Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

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.


4 responses to “Sea Shepherd: Whale Wars

  1. greentangle October 5, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Makes me wish I had cable to see how this series is going to be done. Maybe it’ll be on dvd someday.

    I’m someone who’s always seen the connection between my deep ecology and animal liberation views and been frustrated by the fact that there aren’t more people within the movements who are involved in both, and by the people in one or the other who blatantly condemn the other. For me, it’s about needing to see the big picture of the importance of natural world and its processes and our dependence on those processes while also retaining compassion for the individual being.

    I’m a big fan of Sea Shepherd and the post I linked to as my website is about a book written about them and has been one of the most popular posts on my blog.

  2. Tracy October 6, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I agree with you and Greentangle. I cared about the environment decades before I had ever heard of animal rights.

  3. Deb October 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    greentangle – I was thinking the same thing, that I hope it is on DVD someday! I don’t have a TV, so unless I find a bar that would put on animal planet at 9pm on Fridays, looks like I’ll have to wait to see this! lol.

    I came to see environmental and social issues only after getting involved in animal rights. I can definitely relate to people being focused on one, but the more you learn about any of these “isms” the more you see they’re connected. Or at least, that’s how it worked for me. The big picture is exactly it.

    Thanks for linking in that post of yours! I will try to find a copy of that book. It sounds really interesting. I’m a big fan of Sea Shepherd as well.

    Tracy – It is funny, when I think back and try to figure out my mindset from long ago and the path that got me from there to here, I realize that I was always upset to learn about the environmental destruction it seems we’re always learning about, but I felt so powerless that I ignored the issue entirely. I think that’s why animal rights was a relief, in a way – going vegan is such a huge and important thing, and right away you’re doing a lot, yet it is a pretty easy change to make. (I know it isn’t precisely easy for everyone, but the amount of effort for a really profound change makes it relatively easy to make a big change.) It was a while later that I made myself really pay attention to the changes I could make in my life that were more environmentally focused. Now I’m maybe a little obsessed.

    But they’re all so tightly linked. Helping the environment is always helping the animals as well, and people too.

  4. Lesley Dewar December 7, 2008 at 2:20 am

    These are the links to fight the secret dolphin slaughter in Japan.

    They urgently need your help now.
    Please pass this on to every one you know.


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