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Whale Wars

It's hard to believe that whales are still hunted. Even harder to believe that they are hunted by the Japanese under the guise of "research" when it is so clearly a commercial venture.

And I have to admit it's hard to believe people go out on a boat and try to stop whalers.

They shouldn't have to. No one should be out there taking from the world these intelligent, intrinsically necessary, beautiful mammals.

I enjoyed the show on Animal Planet, though I was a little unnerved by some of the ineptitude exhibited by crew members (they nearly lost three members when their small skiff capsized in the middle of the antarctic ocean & someone whacked the helicopter blade with a gaff). They don't make contact with the Japanese harpoon ship until the end of the first episode, leaving you with a bit of a cliff-hanger. But the message, that whales are not ours to harpoon and cut up alive, is so clear and provocative and real. That there are people willing to risk their lives to stop the slaughter of such awesome creatures is amazing and frightening. 

From an article: While there are laws against whaling for commercial use, there are also laws that allow killing whales for scientific research.  This is where Captain Paul Watson and his crew step into the action.  The SSCS considers this line between research and commercial whaling to be fuzzy, and spent a year campaigning against Japanese whalers in the icy Antarctic, going after ships with the words “Research” plastered on their hulls in the belief that they were not research vessels at all (and even if they were, research does not validate the killing of these animals).  Whether the SSCS are operating outside the law—whether they should be seen more as terrorists (albeit nonviolent ones) or environmental activists—or trying to enforce the international conservation laws no one else will enforce seems debatable.  These people are whale vigilantes, men and women with convictions held with a passion not often seen in today’s society.  And it is passion that led to significant results.  According to the SSCS website, this campaign “saved the lives of nearly 500 whales, leaving the Japanese fleet with less then half of their quota and costing them tens of millions of dollars.”   http://www.examiner.com/x-1242-Omaha-Science-Examiner~y2008m11d7-fds

Do you remember the early days of Animal Planet? I do. 24-hours of Flipper and Lassie (both with Timmie and that other kid). Watched it obsessively. I like that Animal Planet is getting edgier and going out on a limb by producing and airing a show with a clearly animal rights message. We'll see how the show pans out. :)


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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
zebrallama
Nov. 9th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the post.

Nonviolent terrorists? Er what? The word "terrorist" has less and less meaning every day.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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