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Eat The Whales

Written by PETA | April 16, 2007

You know what was sweet? PETA’s “Eat The Whales” Campaign. For those of you not familiar with it, the concept behind this campaign was to encourage people who just “can’t do without meat” to limit themselves to really, really large animals in order to minimize the number who had to die for their flesh addiction. I always bring that point up when people say “I only eat white meat.” As if eating more chickens were somehow better than eating a combination of chickens and cows.

Eat The Whales.JPG

“Eat The Whales” was launched outside the 2001 International Whaling Convention by PETA activists “distributing ‘Eat the Whales’ leaflets,” as the press release puts it, “displaying a colorful ‘Eat the Whales’ banner, and serving ‘whale meat’ to nonvegetarians, pro- and anti-whalers alike,” and it made (excuse the pun) a really big splash. I’ve always thought of “Eat The Whales” as one of the best things of its kind that PETA has done. The campaign immediately grabs your attention, because, well, why in God’s name would PETA be encouraging people to eat whales? But it also raises some really important questions about the arbitrary lines we draw when it comes to what kind of killing is acceptable to us. Why do some of the same people who get up in arms at the notion of a whaling ship harpooning a whale have no qualms whatsoever about eating a ham sandwich?


I know this one is controversial, and I know that not all animal activists share my enthusiasm for it—but my attitude towards “Eat The Whales” has always been this: I can guarantee you that whether people took it seriously or not (the “whale meat” PETA handed out was vegan after all), there wasn’t a single person who actually ate more whale because of the campaign. But a lot of people who were outraged at the very suggestion that anyone would kill and eat these wonderful creatures were also forced to ask themselves whether, just maybe, they shouldn’t be eating any animals at all.


Commenting is closed.
  • Michelle says:

    Pigs and Chickens are raised to be eaten, although some slaughter houses kill their meat inhumanely, most don’t. Whales are not raised to be eaten. They are wild animals, born to be free and born to swim in their vast ocean.

  • Eddie(nator) says:

    dude! they don’t actualy mean eat the frickin’ whales so don’t do it! they are endangered! It’s a way of saying… how many pigs and chickens had to die for one wale, they want to make you think and not eat animals anymore, not for you to eat whales too!

  • Rob Woods says:

    I thinking eating whales is great idea. The only problem is you can only get it in Japan or Norway. I’ve had it on 3 seperate trips to Japan. It’s like a cross between venison and salmon. A good dark read meat, but just falls apart like salmon. Melt in your mouth good. I’m glad to see more people are interested in whale meat. Maybe one day we’ll be able to get it here in the states again. Now as for whales being so smart I have to disagree. If they were really that smart they wouldn’t be so easy to kill. Or they would at least fight back. If God didn’t want us to eat animals He wouldn’t have made them of meat.

  • Lindus says:

    This posting by “PETA” I hope is a rogue one and not sanctioned by the central HQ. To suggest that eating a whale and eating a chicken is the same is like comparing mud with diamonds. There’s a limited amont of diamonds but mud can always be produced. As we all know whales are wild animals, not farmed and not monitored and assured for survival. Chicken is farmed, some of them live very very well (free range etc), better than millions of 3rd world country children as a matter of fact and there will never be a risk of over slaughtering of chicken as all too many depend on them for their livelyhood. Furthermore, we know for a fact at all times how many chicken there are, we definitely don’t with whales. So what am I getting at here? I sincerely hope this posting will be retracted and can therefore not be used against an organization that afterall does laudable work.

  • Robin says:

    Vegetarianism adopted due to moral conviction is an example of anthropomorphism run amok and a failure of critical thinking as applied to morality in general. Why not eat whales? There’s only one good reason because they’re neat to have around and there aren’t many left. I’m less enamored with chickens and there are a lot of them. Plus they taste good.

  • callan.davidson says:

    You sickos! you meant good but consider this. Whales are intellegent. this is like eating a man. I like the idea of saving lives but the whales are endangered. the other animals are idiots who don’t know whats happening so it doesn’t matter. Would you eat a dolphin? for crying out loud! p.s keep up the good work PETA.

  • Ozzie says:

    THIS is bad .I thought killing any animal is bad.Anyhow Tonight 6509 on ANIMAL PLANET everyone if you have time show watch the Sea Shepherd program on how they are stopping the japanese to HUNT WHALING. Hey Peta I am shocked at you.

  • Chris says:

    Perhaps we should not hunt whales but why not humanely kill and eat beached whales? Until recently coastal communities presented with a beached whale would have considered that God was blessing them with free food etc. Have we all gone bonkers?

  • Joe Callan says:

    Right on. We need to eat everything equally. Best idea I got from this article Whale Bacon. Can it be done?

  • Jamie says:

    you make me sick whales are not to be eaten

  • christie rhode says:


  • Commentary says:

    Whether this is the case or not this comes across as a convenient and disingenuous way for PETA to sidestep criticism for taking a stance against the practices of an “ethnic” culture. Cruelty is cruelty regardless of the face behind it.

  • Louise Sales says:

    What an unbelievable stupid idea. I’m vegan and you’ve just put me off ever being involved with Peta. As endangered species any harvesting of whale populations is completely unsustainable. The method of killing whales is barbaric involving prolonged suffering. This is incomparable to the quick bolt to the head involved in killing pigs. Much as I deplore the killing of any animals for food I find encouraging people to eat meat derived from even more inhumane and unsustainable sources really unhelpful.

  • piggy says:

    spaking of whales there was a freak incident in Brooklyn

  • Steven Cochrane says:

    Whale tastes good i have had yummy

  • TuPac says:

    This campaign is total bullshit. Quantifying death doesn’t prove anything. How many plants do you have to kill to get the protien of one chicken? How much land is torn up for monocrop agriculture to grow soy very water intensive and if you ask me isn’t worth its weight in shit. And before I get a slew of people telling me that raising animals is unsustainable you don’t know anything. I don’t agree with feedlots and I don’t agree with caged chickens. But I also would never agree with a diet of supplements and pills to go along with a process meal of soy burgers. I would rather wear a fur coat then gortex any day of the week because it has less impact on the environment. so before you go and cast stones think about it all. We are omnivore’s. We only have one stomoach. eating grass isn’t an option. We work ideally on a mix of foods. You want to improve an animals way of life keep doing what your doing petitioning to make the treatments of animals better isn’t a problem but also try giving your dog or cat something fresh try cooking a meal for yourself from unprocessed foods. Get yourselves out of the cages and then worry about something else. These microviewpoints are dull and show a lack of insite.

  • Maya says:

    Michelle is certainly not “dumb”. I mean the campaign does kind of remind me of some “jokes” in hollywood that PETA did not find at all amusing. Whales evoke very strong emotions in the general public PETA has an excellent point that some people respect whales more than pigs it’s just that the message is a bit confusing.

  • Kacie says:

    Michelle.. you are one of the people we talk about when we say some people are too dumb to get the point. They are not speaking literally. This is why there is controversy over the campaign because people know that there are people like you that aren’t intellectually capable of processing information that doesn’t say EXACTLY what it means… you know information that you have to actually THINK about.

  • Canaduck says:

    You missed the point completely Michelle.

  • Brandon says:

    The point being made here is that from an animal rights perspective it is arbitrary and speciesist to place a whale’s life higher than that of the pig or chicken. They all have a right to live on their own terms free from human exploitation. From an ecological perspective however it may be more detrimental to eat whales especially if it leads to their extinction.

  • Larry Buck says:

    I would eat a whale.

  • Chris says:

    Wow Jack. Wow.

  • vegan4animals says:

    Why do some of the same people who get up in arms at the notion of a whaling ship harpooning a whale have no qualms whatsoever about eating a ham sandwich? YES! Love this campaign. It is one of PETA’s best and most memorable. Keep up the good creative work.

  • Sarah says:

    Wow this campaign should be brought back!

  • Maya says:

    I think what makes me sad about this is that while many people know about how pigs suffer marine mammals like whales are deeply misunderstood. Whales are anatomically physiologically and mentally very unique and extremely challenging to understand. Please please read Tora Johnson’s Enganglements about how whales conflict with fishermen. at least go to a bookstore and read the 3page introduction you’ll learn volumes!!

  • Michelle Siriani says:

    I don’t get it. You want us to kill and eat whales. Everyday Peta’s actions are turning me away.

  • danielle says:

    wow! this campaign is such a good idea and it reinforced my views as a veggie and peta member. it really is a good idea and hopefully knocked some sense into others. keep working hard

  • Maya says:

    AnimalLib I felt the same way when I saw this but let me say this I thought about it for a while and realized the campaign was not literal. To respond to it literally is missing the point. I think they’re being ironic and figurative. Geez that sounds lame but obviously they’re not wanting people actually killing whales. I don’t like the campaign but I have to give them some credit for not LITERALLY pointing to some person and calling them a slut or dumb or something. At least here they’re just being provocative although a bit too much so. MOST IMPORTANT POINT if people comment on this type of post and not on the poor turtles below who only got 1 comment so far it will only reaffirm to PETA that the most provocative campaigns get the attention. Respond to the clever unoffensive ones too.

  • animalfriend says:

    long life to Moby Dick!!!

  • KathyF says:

    This reminds me of when after staring at a plate of shrimp creole I realized 12 lives had been sacrificed for my lunch. I gave up shrimp the last holdout in my increasingly vegetarian lifestyle and have never regretted it. One whale at a time.

  • Curtis says:

    Yep I remember this campaign! Of course PETA doesn’t support whaling but it sure as hell would be much less cruel than factory farming

  • Matt says:

    right seriously fuck animals… its their own fault for being so damn tasty.

  • Benjamin says:

    I remember when I first read about the “Eat The Whales” campaign. I was mortified! Then I realized that no sane PETA member or activist would actually go out whaling and start eating whale because PETA said so. Those who take offense to the campaign need to realize this.

  • AnimalLib says:

    Stupid I was considering doing an undercover investigation into a cosmetic testing lab when I’ve finished getting my veterinary degree but I’d rather do it independently than with PETA now. How do you expect to be taken seriously with this lunacy? And how do you expect cooperation with environmental organizations. Offcourse you’re not serious but you say this crap and then you expect environmental groups to sign an agreement by you stating they wont test on animals? There’s a difference between fun loving young people and morons and you have just crossed the line. No wonder so many people hate PETA you carry on like children. I understand that you’re trying to make people think but like I keep saying you’ve lost touch with the common man and that’s why you get so many enemies. Normal people won’t understand this it’s just ludicrous. How do you expect to be taken seriously? Talk about a big step backwards for the entire organization.

  • Canaduck says:

    I think this is a pretty hilarious campaign. And…that’s basically the only comment I have right now.

  • K says:

    Eat The Whales? Aw.. but one whale values his or her own life just as much.. The first thing that came to mind was killing one for the greater good is no more morally acceptable.. which is an issue I know PETA takes sides with. I’m not too crazy about this campaign.. I don’t think people will understand the concept although it is an interesting one coming from PETA.

  • Chris says:

    Hey Jack I just came to this blog after clicking a link on great stuff. I can’t help but respond to Maya’s comment. There is an obvious difference between the loss of one life and the loss of more than one life. That difference is one by a factor of however many additional lives are lost minus one. Death is bad but more death is worse. Anyway I love the “Eat The Whales” Campaign! It’s a great example of PETA’s ability to use tongueincheek concepts to grab people’s attention for long enough to impart a little bit of information about factoryfarmed animals. Wonderful.

  • Maya says:

    Jack it reminds me of that psychology ethics experiment where they asked participants if a train was headed towards 5 people standing on a track and you could pull a lever and make it kill only one person standing on another track would you do it? “Kill the Whales” seems to suggest that killing only one is better and that was the most popular answer in the experiment. However I tend to think that taking “just one” life is no different than taking thousands. I know this is controversial too but if that one life is say your own sister or your own cat we may begin to think differently. Thanks for sharing this interesting campaign idea.