Whale Wars - when terrorism is heroism

whale wars.jpg

In November 2008 Animal Planet began airing a reality show Whale Wars.

The premise, according to Wiki:

The program follows Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, as he and his crew aboard the MV Steve Irwin attempt to deter Japanese ships that hunt minke and fin whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the name of scientific research. Environmental groups dispute the Japanese claim of research "as a disguise for commercial whaling, which is banned."

So at present, although controversial, the killing is considered legal.

Here's the trailer. You'll see the anti-whaling crew throwing "stink bombs made of glass bottles filled with butyric acid," according to Wiki, at the whalers. They respond by throwing "flashbang devices." Apparently the whalers also fire shots. Watson shouts, "I've been hit!" and shows a hole in his bulletproof vest directly over his heart. That incident has been disputed as staged...



(Interesting that the anti-whalers respond indignantly to the "flashbang devices" and apparent shots, when clearly they were attempting to intimidate and provoke. How did the whalers know what was being thrown at them?)

So the obvious correlation is to the pro-life movement. I wonder how we'd be received for throwing glass bottles filled with butyric acid at abortion mills.

The anti-whalers claim their tactics are nonviolent, but this clip, entitled, "How to harass whalers," shows them strategizing to be taken hostage by the Japanese to create an international incident. This clip, entitled "Intimidation tactics," shows anti-whalers attempting to make a Japanese whaling ship think they're going to ram it, laughing afterward.

Where is the outcry? Au contraire. From Wiki:

The first season of Whale Wars was the most watched program ever for Animal Planet, capturing more than one million viewers for its season finale....

The first season also received the Television Academy Honors award... [created by] The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences... to recognize "Television with a Conscience" - achievements in programming that present issues of concern to our society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way.

paul watson.jpgHere's an interesting angry rambling note by Captain Watson, the guy getting all the glory.

MSM's response to the show? Per the Los Angeles Times:

And there are many who'll be pulling for Watson, just as some will be critical of the way he conducts business on the high seas. One thing's for sure, it's a compelling story.

That'll be the day when the LAT calls truly peaceful pro-life activist activity "compelling."

[HT: moderator Bethany; attribution for Watson photo: Discovery.com]


Comments:

Also, Paul Watson continually calls the Whalers "murderers". If a Japanese whaler is killed one day by some schizophrenic, will the media consider them responsible for the death, as they consider O'reilly and Jill Stanek responsible for the death of George Tiller, simply for calling George Tiller a murderer?

Posted by: Bethany at July 1, 2009 11:11 AM


I'm pretty pro-whale. :|

I hope that they succeed in helping whales, but, really, violence isn't necessary. Poor whales, though.

By the way, I hate it when people call the murder of George Tiller terrorism. It was horrific but it wasn't terrorism, it was vigilantism.

Posted by: Vannah at July 1, 2009 11:54 AM


Hi Vannah,

I don't know if I would call a shooting by an unmedicated schizophrenic anything more than a killing by a deranged gunman.

Posted by: Mary at July 1, 2009 12:18 PM


Vannah, I think that even people who love whales and want to protect them should be against these guys. Not only can they never do anything right, and almost every mission they have attempted on the show has failed - the captain is constantly endangering his own crew's lives for his own publicity.

Posted by: Bethany at July 1, 2009 12:20 PM


Mary, I agree with that.

Posted by: Bethany at July 1, 2009 12:20 PM


Good post Jill!

Posted by: Steven Ertelt at July 1, 2009 12:21 PM


You're probably right, Mary. That murder should not have happened.

I miss when I first became a pro-life supporter and this entire debate seemed much simpler: how could anyone support abortion when it destroys women, say nothing of what it does to children, and degrades all people?

Seven months later, this entire affair seems much more complex with Tiller being killed and propagandists shouting that he was assassinated and that we're the Taliban and not knowing if Tiller's murder was unwanted vigilantism or the product of a mentally ill man. And that's really only the beginning of things. :(

At least the whales are safe. Whales are good. :)

Posted by: Vannah at July 1, 2009 12:51 PM


To save the whales, they can refuse to eat whale flesh. Isn't that a personal choice?

Posted by: xppc at July 1, 2009 1:04 PM


What a bunch of idiots.

Posted by: Kristen at July 1, 2009 1:17 PM


Yeah, Xppc...don't like whales being killed? Don't kill one.

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at July 1, 2009 1:17 PM


:-)

Posted by: bethany Author Profile Page at July 1, 2009 1:18 PM


You mean whales aren't people too?

Hey, I'm all for treating animals humanely.

I think there's a mindset that goes with Liberalism that allows one to be hyper-animal- protectionist while at the same time being pro-abortion.

I think it has a lot to do with the lies of evolution, the dissing of the Bible and Christianity, etc.

Here's a good reason to watch and understand this video which gives insight as to the humanistic mindset so prevalent today:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/events/state-of-the-nation

Posted by: HisMan at July 1, 2009 1:32 PM


Something tells me that if I illegally killed a pregnant whale these people would want me charged with two whale killings, not one.

Posted by: Kristen at July 1, 2009 1:42 PM


I watch the show, and I like it. I even pull for the "whale terrorists" to win. I actually admire their devotion to something that is emotionally and morally important to them, which is also what I am doing when I protest abortion.

But I do find it sad that many of them are not as open minded as I am, and would not return the admiration whatsoever.

As members of the overarching "animal group" (as opposed to plants), we must kill animals and/or plants to survive, so eating animals is not a bad thing in itself, IMO. But it is sad that some species, like certain species of whales have been driven to extinction, and others may soon join them. I do wish that the international community would join together to prevent the complete destruction of "food grade" whales. They would be missed.

Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at July 1, 2009 2:29 PM


Something tells me that if I illegally killed a pregnant whale these people would want me charged with two whale killings, not one.
Posted by: Kristen at July 1, 2009 1:42 PM

one does wonder.

Doyle we have to be good stewards of our natural resources.
However, what bothers me is the hypocrisy here. People will hug trees and save whales, stop buying seal products and wearing furs but have abortions, donate to PP and fund abortion clinics.
It's a mixed up world when 50 million babies are slaughtered every year in the world by abortion and are largely ignored by the media. Meanwhile the number of whales hunted is in the hundreds or maybe thousands and these kooks get major press.
Makes one want to scream.

Posted by: angel at July 1, 2009 5:13 PM


Posted by: angel at July 1, 2009 5:13 PM


By their thinking they are doing the world a favor. One less human polluting the planet.

When I was pregnant with my third child a guy I work with told me I was being "irresponsible" by having more than what would replace my husband and me. He only had one child and I asked if he was going to have more. He said "no" so I told him he could consider my new daughter his "replacement."

Posted by: Kristen at July 1, 2009 6:02 PM


I know people who have worked with Sea Shepherd, and many of them (and other animal activists) are pro-life. Let's not turn this into a liberal vs conservative issue here, and instead do what we pro-lifers insist people do - look at the being facing oppression and death.

Posted by: Pro-life atheist at July 1, 2009 7:08 PM


When I was pregnant with my third child a guy I work with told me I was being "irresponsible" by having more than what would replace my husband and me. He only had one child and I asked if he was going to have more. He said "no" so I told him he could consider my new daughter his "replacement."
Posted by: Kristen at July 1, 2009 6:02 PM

Good for you, Kristen.

If a couple with two children has one child who dies young (before the couple dies), would they then be allowed to have another baby or would that be "irresponsible" in that guy's mind? Hmm...


Posted by: Janet at July 1, 2009 8:58 PM


Excellent points, Pro-Life Atheist. :)

You can be both pro-animal and pro-life while being of either political belief. This isn't about politics, it's about human rights.

And just to throw in a smidge of promotion here: I've been a vegetarian since I was thirteen and it's a very nice lifestyle. I recommend it to all who are not medically required to eat meat.

Posted by: Vannah at July 1, 2009 10:29 PM


There's too many homo sapiens and not enough marine life. What can we do to fix this problem? Feed unwanted fetuses to the sharks, perhaps?

Posted by: Hart at July 1, 2009 11:58 PM


There's too many homo sapiens and not enough marine life. What can we do to fix this problem? Feed unwanted fetuses to the sharks, perhaps?

Posted by: Hart at July 1, 2009 11:58 PM

Wow. That's real classy. I've been haunting this site awhile and I've never felt a need to post until I saw this. Well, Hart, I suppose you can just feed yourself to sharks, 'cause the killing would be about the same only a fetus would be slightly more useful than yourself, if you wanna look at it in utilitarian terms. Fresh life means fresh ideas means less stupidity borne of fixed mindsets, don't you think?

I'm not religious--in spite of my name, which is just the name of the main character of this pro-life novel I'm writing--and in fact I'm very strongly athiest and I don't believe in poaching, either. So I don't mind what these anti-whalers are doing, so long as they remain focused on the issue. Whaling is bad because whales are almost extinct, not because whales "are people." Let's not go there.

Posted by: Abel at July 2, 2009 11:53 AM


Hi Abel. You are yet more proof that claiming that a rejection of abortion is a "religious" issue is a complete falsity. Nice to have you here.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at July 2, 2009 12:00 PM


Abel, I would go ahead and say that whaling is bad because its a violation of that whale's life - regardless of how many are left, and furthers the cycle of animal being treated as disposable property. There is no need to eat whales or other animals, and reasonable people should seek out the least cruel (ie no killing) food source.

What Sea Shepherd is doing is attempting to bring more attention to the needless slaughter of whales and the message that animals are not ours to go ahead and do with what we please. And the pathetic argument by the Japanese ("We're using them for scientific research...nevermind that they all end up being sold for food") would be laughed at here if a similar see-through lie was used by Planned Parenthood or another organization that exploits and kills life.

As pro-lifers, we should applaud the way that Sea Shepherd and other animal rights activists have shown respect for human life (well, at least post-birth human life) in the way that they go about fighting for their cause. The unequivocal rejection of taking the life of an animal abuser/killer on the grounds that it would negate their message is exactly what pro-lifers have been saying in regards to the rejection of using homicide against abortion doctors.

Posted by: Pro-life atheist at July 2, 2009 12:31 PM


I would invite my fellow pro-lifers to view even a few moments of the video "Earthlings." It details the way that animals are systematically controlled, treated as property, tortured, and slaughtered. Parts of it are very graphic, but anyone who can stomach the images from the Center for Bioethical Reform should be able to make it through.

http://www.earthlings.com/earthlings/video-full.php

Posted by: Pro-life atheist at July 2, 2009 12:35 PM


I thought folks here might be interested in an article in the July-August First Things journal by Mary Eberstadt entitled "Pro-Life, Pro-Animal" about the unfortunate disconnect between the pro-life and animal rights movements.

-- Eric Scheidler

Posted by: Eric Scheidler at July 2, 2009 1:51 PM