Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Daily Archives: October 5, 2008

Sea Shepherd: Whale Wars

I think it is pretty exciting to hear that a series about Sea Shepherd is going to appear on Animal Planet in November. Animal Planet! Even my exceedingly conservative coworkers watch things like that.

The series is called Whale Wars and I find it even more exciting that there is a series planned than the simple fact that it will be on a regular TV show to begin with.

If you go to animal planet’s site, you can see more info on the series, as well as a video sneak peak. It will premiere November 7th at 9pm EST/PST.

I’ve heard Paul Watson speak at a couple of the Animal Rights conferences. One thing that always sticks out in my mind is that he is not an animal rights activist, he is an environmental activist. He points that out to us often, perhaps because it is so unusual for us, as animal rights activists, to see people in other movements (other than the anarchist movement, in my experience) who so strongly see that these thing are connected.

Paul’s pretty blunt about it. I think that he’s a great person to use as an example and source of information for people primarily concerned with the environment. Have you read his essay, “A Very Inconvenient Truth“?

He starts with:

The meat industry is one of the most destructive ecological industries on the planet. The raising and slaughtering of pigs, cows, sheep, turkeys and chickens not only utilizes vast areas of land and vast quantities of water, but it is a greater contributor to greenhouse gas emissions than the automobile industry.

The seafood industry is literally plundering the ocean of life and some fifty percent of fish caught from the oceans is fed to cows, pigs, sheep, chickens etc in the form of fish meal. It also takes about fifty
fish caught from the sea to raise one farm raised salmon.

We have turned the domestic cow into the largest marine predator on the planet. The hundreds of millions of cows grazing the land and farting methane consume more tonnage of fish than all the world’s sharks, dolphins and seals combined. Domestic housecats consume more fish, especially tuna, than all the world’s seals.

And that’s just the intro paragraphs.

I’m not actually putting the blame for the disconnect between movements on the shoulders of others. I think that we have a lot of work to do ourselves, and I think that we need to put in time in other movements instead of letting ourselves be isolated. It was surprising to me when I first learned what a negative opinion most movements have of animal rights activists. “What have we done?” I wondered to myself. Well, we’ve done nothing, and that’s the point. We tend to point fingers without offering a hand.

But I’ve talked about that before.

The real point here is that what we eat, it matters. It is a choice, and it is a choice that is about a hell of a lot more than just what it tastes like. It is a choice that has a rippling effect – from the environment to the animals to the workers, and back around to our health and the environment and … well, it is a feedback loop, see?

What we eat matters, and our choices arguably impact others more than they impact us.

And that impact has nothing to do with the grumbling of the people in our lives as they complain about the “inconvenience” of feeding The Vegan.