Wednesday, December 31, 2008

For the record: I support Sea Shepherd

Over at the Born Animal blog, a lively discussion has erupted over a post on Sea Sheperd and "Whale Wars." It got me rolling, and I found myself firing off a comment of my own.

In essence, I get very tired of people expecting activists and direct-action organizations to be perfect. The hackneyed example: did Martin Luther King sleep around? WTF do I care -- look at the amazing contribution he made to American society. I could care LESS what he did on his own time.

Is Sea Shepherd grandstanding? Are all their facts straight? What the hell do I care? Their actions are working, directly saving the lives of endangered and threatened species. They are also generating awareness and discussion. Plus, they only go after illegal whaling operations, this is not legitimate business we're talking about.

Besides, if the Dalai Lama is behind them, come on people.

So, here is my comment on the above post, it's probably too hot headed and not well thought out, but C'est La Vie. Below that is some video of Sea Shepherd doing their thing if you don't want to make the jump:

I fully support what Sea Shepherd is doing. It's unfortunate that they aren't perfect, saints, and paragons of human ethics and conduct -- but I simply don't care. Those whales are alive, and wouldn't be if it weren't for their presence.

When folks accuse activists for not being perfectly ethical, I always cringe. No one is perfect, no organization is perfect. What I'm interested in is what is the overall, over-arching effect of their presence? That's the question I'm interested in. This year, approximately 500 more whales in the world that weren't illegally killed. That's dandy by me.

As for the argument against direct action proposed by Lynn -- I say keep Sea Shepherd out there doing their thing AND close the loophole.

The way polluters and poachers work is they clog up resistance to their actions (even if illegal) long enough to commit more crime while the courts and diplomats are bogged down with procedure. meanwhile, irreplaceable natural resources are lost forever.

A perfect example is a prime stand of Oregon old-growth forest was cut down on a holiday when the court hadn't yet put a stop on the sale. Those trees are gone forever, because people depended on procedure and protocol.

I think all avenues need to be pursued, not just diplomacy and education. Whale populations get low enough while we wait on this cultural shift to occur, and they'll enter the extinction vortex and be gone forever, we can't afford that.

Enjoy getting your blood boiling occasionally, I am pretty sure it means you've still got a pulse,


[image via Sea Shepherd official website]


Dale said...

Amen. Thanks for posting on this. I almost literally can't stomach the fact that people continue killing whales.

The Sea Shepherd people are not following a perfect ethical/legal arc and I don't care. They are protecting the last whales we'll ever have.

Katye said...


THAT is the Babydaddy, ladies and gents! I couldn't be more proud to bring another (albeit half) version of him into the world!

You sick'em, you go!

Anonymous said...

Totally brave folks - take it on, I say! Thanks for this one, va momma said...

Now you are swimming right up my ally. I wonder if you would indulge me the opportunity to link my thoughts on the matter?


Your pal Sharky

Bpaul said...

Sharky, I knew you'd find this post.

Feel free to link away on my blog, no worries at all I think the chumslick is top notch, as you well know.

Love the photoshop work on that post btw, lovely.