Sir David Attenborough, one of the most famous naturalists in the world through his decades of ground-breaking BBC documentaries, has finally broken his long self-imposed ban on commenting on political matters by taking a stance against whale hunting. Since the whales cannot be killed swiftly even the most strident meat-eater has to acknowledge that it is incredibly inhumane to slaughter them. Even those who enjoy eating meat generally don’t want the animals to suffer a prolonged or painful demise. Indeed we have stringent rules on those matters in the UK. Not so at sea where Japanese and Norwegian whalers kill whales which can take from two minutes to half an hour to die. Assuming they kill it – some manage to get away but are maimed or will die later in the depths. As Attenborough points out these creatures, which include the biggest animals who have ever lived in the entire long history of our world, provide nothing which we cannot make for ourselves these days so there is no need to kill them, except human cruelty and stupidity. Alas, those are qualities our species seems to have an inexhaustible source of.