The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

05 July 2007

Have a whale of a time

Irene Schleining, an Austrian artist living in London has created the Whale of a Time website, which is a great starting point for finding out more about whales and other endangered species with lots of useful links. Look her up at

We should all love whales: Whales are the world’s largest, most ancient, highly intelligent and most peaceful creatures who have no natural predators… except humans. They live twice a human lifetime, and they dominate the oceans peacefully whilst maintaining their environment in a sustainable way. They don’t kill larger and other intelligent life forms. The whale is our icon for success in evolution.

We should all want to protect whales. A whale mother gives birth to its calf every three years and the calf reaches maturity when six to eight years. The reproduction rate is the lowest of all mammals. Commercial whaling is an unsustainable activity, and methods of killing are inhumane should be seen by all as unacceptable.

To keep peace with whales is a global responsibility recognized in the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, “whales are part of the common heritage of all humankind, and therefore all humans and nations have a stake in their protection for future generations.”

The Whale of a Time website advocates “the successful stewardship of our planet, so as to create a peaceful, morally justifiable, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species according to the law of nature”.

Many species have been perceived previously as endangered because of hunting, habitat loss and degradation, chemical and noise pollution, global climate change, unmonitored by-catches, accidents and disturbance. We need to think of a way in which we can change our attitude and behaviour for their and our benefit.

Whale of a Time is a portal for people who care to protect the equilibrium of nature and planet Earth as an ecosystem equally and with respect for all life that depends on it. It will focus on what we know and how we can save species by taking effective action.

Did you know? Whales are largest mammals on Earth, Larger than the largest of ancient dinosaurs, one species of whale, the great Blue whale, is the largest creature that has ever lived on Earth. and can grow up to 30m or 88 1⁄2 foot long and weigh over 200 tonnes. Being a mammal implies that they are warm-blooded, give birth like humans and feed their young with their milk. It takes about 5 to 8 years for a female to reach sexual maturity and their 16-19 ft. calves are usually born only every three years. They have existed for 18 million years and thus are also the most ancient. They are considered one of the most intelligent mammals on Earth. They developed the largest brain of any creature alive, which is the size of a car.

They are the oldest mammals on Earth and can live up to 200 years. Whales have used echolocation to locate food and scan their environment for millions of years, whereas we have only been using echolocation since it was discovered in 1917 by Paul Langevin. They are the most peaceful creatures and don’t kill larger or other intelligent life forms.

The world’s largest mammals roam in the world’s largest space. Over 70% of the Earth is covered in ocean and the nice thing about living in the ocean is the weightlessness effect of water. Whales dominate peacefully whilst maintaining their environment in a sustainable way. The oceans largest inhabitants feed on almost the smallest – krill, which are only 1.5 – 3 cm long. The Blue whale’s heart is the size of a car, their tongue the size of an elephant, some of its blood vessels are wide enough to swim through. Its tail is the width of a small aircraft's wingspan. It’s streamlining is close to perfection and enables it to cruise at 20 knots which makes them one of the fastest animals in the sea.

Whales do not have any natural predators, apart from humans.

What can you do?
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • What can you do to free animals?
  • What can you do to inspire humans to live peacefully together with animals?
  • What can you do to integrate animals as friends in our global culture?
  • What can you do to create a beautiful relationship with your environment?
  • What can you do to save whales being hunted to extinction?
And then think of something creative to do. Get started on your project today. Get all your friends involved. Have a Whale of a Time!


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