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.
So why is it that all the world’s large environmental and conservation groups are not campaigning against the meat industry? Why did Al Gore’s film Inconvenient Truth not mention the inconvenient truth that the slaughter industry creates more greenhouse gases than the automobile industry?
The Greenpeace ships serve meat and fish to their crews everyday. The World Wildlife Fund does not say a word about the threat that meat eating poses for the survival of wildlife, the habitat destroyed, the wild competitors for land eliminated, or the predators destroyed to save their precious livestock. . When I was a Sierra Club director for three years, everyone looked amused when I brought up the issue of vegetarianism. At each of our Board meeting dinners, the Directors were served meat and only after much prodding and complaining did the couple of vegetarian directors manage to get a vegetarian option. At our meeting in Montana we were served Buffalo and antelope, lobsters in Boston , crabs in Charleston , steak in Albuquerque etc. But what else can we expect from a “conservation” group that endorses trophy hunting.
As far as I know and I may be wrong, but my organization, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is the only conservation organization in the world that endorses and practises vegetarianism. My ships do not serve meat or fish ever, nor do we serve dairy products. We’ve had a strictly vegan menu for years and no one has died of scurvy or malnutrition.
The price we pay for this is to be accused by other conservation organizations of being “animal rights.” Like it’s a bad word. They say it with the same disdain that Americans used to utter the word communist in the Fifties.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not an animal rights organization. We are exclusively involved in interventions against illegal activities that threaten and exploit marine wildlife and habitat. We are involved in ocean wildlife conservation activities.
Yet because we operate our ships as vegan vessels, other groups, and now the media dismiss us as an animal rights organization.
Now first of all I don’t see being accused of as an animal rights organization to be an insult. PETA was co-founded by one of my crew-members and many of my volunteers come from the animal rights movement. But it is not accurate to refer to Sea Shepherd as animal rights when our organization pushes a strict conservation enforcement policy.
And secondly we do not promote veganism on our ships because of animal rights. We promote veganism as a means of practising what we preach which is ocean conservation.
There is not enough fish in the world’s oceans to feed 6.6 billion human beings and another 10 billion domestic animals. That is why all the world’s commercial fisheries are collapsing. That is why whales, seals, dolphins and seabirds are starving. The sand eel for example, the primary source of food for the comical and beautiful puffin is being wiped out by Danish fishermen solely to provide fish meal to Danish factory farmed chickens.
This is a solid conservation connection between eating meat and the destruction of life in our oceans.
In a world fast losing resources of fresh water, it is sheer lunacy to have hundreds of millions of cows consuming over 1,000 gallons of water for every pound of beef produced.
And the pig farms in North Carolina produce so much waste that it has contaminated the entire ground water reserves of the entire state. North Carolinians drink pig shit with their water but its okay they say, they just neutralize it with chemicals like chlorine.
Most people don’t want to see where their meat comes from. They also don’t want to know what the impact of their meat has on the ecology. They would rather just deny the whole thing and pretend that meat is something that comes in packages from the store.
But because there is this underlying guilt always present, it manifests itself as anger and ridicule towards people who live the most environmentally positive life styles on the planet – the vegans and the vegetarians.
This is demonstrated through constant marginalization especially in the media. Any organization, like Sea Shepherd for example, that points out the ecological contradictions of eating meat is immediately dismissed as some wacko animal rights organization.
I did not set the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society up as an animal rights organization and we have never promoted animal rights in the organization. What we have promoted and what we do is oceanic wildlife and habitat conservation work.
And the truth is that you can’t practise solid and constructive conservation work without promoting veganism and/or vegetarianism as something that promotes the conservation of resources.
A few years ago I attended a dinner meeting of the American Oceans Campaign hosted by Ted Danson. He opened the dinner by saying that the choice he had to make was between fish and chicken for the dinner, and what was the point of saving fish if you can’t eat them?
Guest speaker, Oceanographer Sylvia Earle put Ted in his place by saying she did not think that he was being very funny. She said that she considered fish to be her friends and she did not believe in eating her friends. So neither Sylvia nor I ate dinner that night.
I met Sylvia again at another meeting, this time of Conservation International held at some ritzy resort in the Dominican Republic . Harrison Ford was there and the buzz was what could be done to save the oceans. I was invited as an advisor. I sat on a barstool in an open beachfront dining plaza as the “conservationists” approached tables literally bending from the weight of fish and exotic seafood including caviar. I looked at Sylvia Earle and she just shook her head and rolled her eyes.
The problem is that people like Carl Pope , the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, or the heads of Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and many other big groups just refuse to accept that their eating habits may be just as much a part of the problem as all those things they are trying to oppose.
I remember one Greenpeacer defending his meat eating by saying that he was a carnivore and that “ predators” have their place and he was proud to be one.
Now the word predator in relationship to human beings has a rather scary connotation having nothing to do with eating habits, but for any human being to describe themselves as a carnivore is just plain ridiculous.
Humans are not and have never been carnivores. A lion is a carnivore as is a wolf, as is a tiger, or a shark. Carnivores eat live animals. They stalk them, they run them down, they pounce, they kill, and they eat, blood dripping, meat at body temperature. Nature, brutal red in tooth and claw.
I’ve never met a human that can do that. Yes we found ways to run down animals and kill them. In fact we’ve come to be rather efficient at the killing part. But we can’t eat the prey until we cut it up and cook it and that usually involves some time between kill and eating. It could be an hour or it could be years.
You see our meat eating habits are more closely related to the vulture, the jackal or other carrion eaters. This means that we can’t be described as carnivores. We are better described as necrovores or eaters of rotting flesh.
Consider that some of the beef that people eat has been dead for months and in some cases for years. Dead and hanging in freezers, full of uritic acid and bacteria. It’s a corpse in a state of decomposition. Not much that can be said to be noble about eating a cadaver.
But a little dose of denial allows us to bite into that Big Mac or cut into that prime rib.
But that one 16 ounce cut of prime rib is equal to a thousand gallons of fresh water, a few acres of grass, a few fish, a quarter acre of corn etc. What’s the point of taking a shorter shower to conserve water as Greenpeace is preaching if you can sit down and consume a 1000 gallons of water at a single meal?
And that single cut of meat would have cost as much in vegetable resources equivalent to what could be fed to an entire African village for a week.
The problem is that we choose to see our contradictions when it is convenient for us to see them and when it is not we simply go into a state of suspended disbelief and we eat that steak anyway because, hey we like the taste of rotting flesh in the evening.
Have you ever thought why it is that with a person, it’s an abortion but when it comes to a chicken, it’s an omelette?
Does anyone really know what’s in a hot dog? We do know that the government health department allows for an acceptable percentage of bug parts, rodent droppings and other assorted filth to go into the mix.
And now tuna fish comes with a health warming saying it should not be eaten by pregnant women or small children because of high levels of mercury. Does that mean mercury is good for adults and non-pregnant women? What are they telling us here?
Eating meat and fish is not only bad for the environment it’s also unhealthy. Yet even when it comes to our own health we slip into denial mode and order the whopper.
The bottom line is that to be a conservationist and an environmentalist, you must practise and promote vegetarianism or better yet veganism.
It is the lifestyle that leaves the shallowest ecological footprint, uses fewer resources and produces less greenhouse gas emissions, it’s healthier and it means you’re not a hypocrite.
In fact a vegan driving a hummer would be contributing less greenhouse gas carbon emissions than a meat eater riding a bicycle.
Skye and Ayesha will be traveling to Anchorage, Alaska as Australian Youth Representatives to the International Whaling Commission in May. They've done a great job in raising funds to cover the cost to date but time is running short and they could use more help. Please visit their site and consider helping out in what ever form you can and help spread the word.
Hey g'day shipmates, Whale Call is proud to announce that we are supporting this coming event and we are sponsoring Bunna Lawry, the Whale Songman to appear and perform the Whale Call Ceremony with Clayton Wetherby playing his didgeridoo ~ To fund Bunna's expenses, $2500 is required, of which i've pledged $200 for his petrol costs to drive down from up north ~ Boris and myself will be showing him local sacred whale sites and he will be performing and speaking, and teaching culture to school children ~ we would greatly appreciate it if you are kindly able to donate to help us support them ~ to donate plz click on the Whale Call Incorporated button on our website: here TY!
If you're actually able to attend also (Central Coast, Australia), Please do!!!
A Vibrant offering of Song, Dance & Connection - Perfect for Father’s Day!
National aboriginal icon Bunna Lawrie of the band “Coloured Stone” will visit the Central Coast and perform in public at the Entrance Memorial Park at 1.30pm on Sunday 3rd September 2006.
The Entrance Town Centre Management are excited to play host to an indigenous ceremony celebrating Whale Dreaming country on Fathers Day. Bunna Lawrie, co-producer and starring in the film “The Gathering – Return of the Whale Dreamers” is looking forward to visiting the Central Coast and being involved in the planned activities for the day.
“This visit by Bunna & the performance by local aboriginals is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to participate and enjoy a sense of community and connection” says co-ordinator Nikki Freeburn “the film The Gathering – Return of the Whale Dreamers is an extraordinary experience and we invite all to see”.
The Central Coast is also Whale Dreaming country with indigenous people the Darkinjung.
The events of the day are centred around the connection of earth, people and all creatures, with the award-winning film to be screened at the Entrance Cinema at 3.30pm following the performance in the Park. Film-maker Kim Kindersley & Bunna Lawrie have spent almost a decade in creating this film which is co-produced by Julian Lennon and passionately narrated by Jack Thompson. Julian Lennon has re-entered the studio after an 8 year break to re-record his single “Saltwater” for this film, which will be released internationally early next year.
We invite families to come and join in the ceremony, bring a picnic and experience first hand the powerful energy of traditional song and didgeridoo, starting with a smudging ceremony. Then they can join us for the screening of the film at the Entrance Cinema.
Performance 1.30 – 2.30pm Main Stage Memorial Park
Film screening 3.30- 5.30pm The Entrance Cinema (hosted by Bunna Lawrie)
Performance is free to the public, with film prices $15 – children’s tickets available. A percentage of the ticket price will go to The Gathering project.
For me, today started with a glaring reminder of the polarization that is rampant throughout the U.S. - from Washington all the way down to my community. The morning news was reporting that President Bush was going on the offensive in defending his secret wire tapping - that he was now seeking a political advantage which immediately told me that he would start painting his opposition as 'weak' as he always has.
Just yesterday, his Attorney General was on T.V. defending the whole operation and insisting that the Federal Government had closely examined this and determined that it was completely legal. As the interviewer failed to take any initiative, I was flabbergasted that he did not question the fact that Mr. Gonzales was a legal council to the president and in that position, likely played a key role in determining the president's policy. Exactly when did the Federal Government examine this issue? Was Mr. Gonzales the one responsible for examining the advice given to President Bush by Mr. Gonzales?
Yet, I'm reading the discussions on the web and at care2.com to see the same people willing to eat the same garbage over and over and then spew it in defense of this administration. This administration has lied to and manipulated people. It has twisted facts and this has all come to light of the American public by various methods including the testimony of former cabinet members and insiders. Yet, so many choose to believe what they prefer and discard the rest.
The same attitude is visible in my local community concernig various issues but I find it particularly discerning in the protection and safety of the voiceless amid development and growth that is out of control. People seem to be lined up on either side of the issue that is putting wildlife in peril, specifically Manatees, Turtles of all types and birds. While the yelling goes on, the very subject of the whole discussion dies. The beachfront homes and multi-million dollar condos and hotels survive only because the fedral government spends millions of dollars in pumping sand from the ocean floor to replenish the beaches from what nature has wrought. These are many of the same people that will insist they pay too much in taxes or complain about government waste or interference.
I've long tried to avoid getting caught up in many of these debates because quite frankly, I feel the correct answer is often somewhere in the middle - in that land where nobody wants to be because people on both sides will cut you down. However, as time goes by, I've come to realize there is no amount of discussion or persuasion that will overcome the ignorance, selfishness or greed that propells some people through life. Not wanting to argue uslessly, I sit quiet and listen - often in total amazement.
Today's announcement that the motor vessel Farley Marwat has been detained by South African authorities further justifies this view. They have been detained on trumped-up allegations of illegally operating their vessel. The South African government has done this knowing full well about the underhandedness and deceit of the Japanese whalers and yet have chosen to pursue this action. No doubt they feel they have more to gain by appeasing the Japanese government than a thousand whales or environmentalists. Whether it be ignorance selfishness or greed, it is wrong.
Yes, it is a polarized world. Maybe it must be that way because everybody can't be wrong. Some things are black and white. Often, the 'correct' choices are not the easy ones but those that take a bit of effort, thought and sacrifice on our part.
As the old guy backed his way down the ladder into the boat I knew he was upset with me.What he had asked me to do was truly insignificant on my part. So insignificant that I’m not sure if I just forgot about it or somewhere along the way decided it wasn’t worth the effort to me. Now he was mad and I strained to say nothing because I felt he was being unfair to me.
Even as he was ranting about my selfishness I could see the change in his face as he reached the bottom of the ladder. His skin had started to pale and the lines of anger that crossed his weathered face began to fade. The old man had long harbored a fear of small, closed-in spaces and yet had somehow learned to suppress them either for the love of his boat or perhaps because living on this boat was the best option for his dwindling budget.
On his hands and knees, he looked up at me again, still angry, and then reached to a far corner of a locker to do what I had failed to do. Within seconds his head appeared again but all of the anger was gone. What now painted his face was fear. As I looked into his glassy eyes I saw the beginning of a tear. He tried to return to his feet but fell backwards and began to shake violently. I had seen this happen to him before and knew the feeling of complete helplessness. In the past, these seizures had lasted for only a short moment but as I considered what I might be able to do to comfort him I couldn’t help but feel guilty that it was my action that brought him to this state. Even though he now had no control of his body, the look on his face seemed different this time, as though he was aware of what was happening and he knew this would be the last time he would suffer through this.
The old man’s dog who had been lying in her favorite spot on the settee was now looking at me. She was a friendly mutt with mottled hair that he had rescued years ago. She whined and looked at me with her glassy eyes pleading that I do something to help the man that she loved. Her little body trembled so much that she could barely walk over to where I stood feeling helpless. For an instant I felt more pitty for this small ball of fur than I did for the man on the floor. She was quite aware that something was wrong but could say or do absolutely nothing about it. We shared something and in her coal black eyes I could see a tear. Then I looked back at her friend and wondered how I could feel any more remorse for one than the other. Each had been blessed with their own gifts and shortcomings but both were breathing, living beings that loved each other.
My emotions were overcoming me when suddenly, I woke up. I found myself in my own bed with a tear in my eye. I lied there, thankful this had only been a dream – wondering who this old man was that I seemed to know so well only a moment earlier. Laying there, fighting back the tears, I recalled the face of helplessness that my old friend Rocky, a black lab mix, had worn when he suffered seizures. He couldn’t speak my language but we communicated and he thought, felt pain and fear just like me. In the darkness I could see the faces of animals being led to slaughter, they were full of fear. And I saw the pain of a puppy being abused. I thought about the desperation, fear and pain that whales endure at our hands - that surely they are crying. Still fighting the tears, I wondered how we can possibly accept that one life is worth less than the other or is merely a source of food or entertainment for humans simply because they can’t easily communicate their thoughts and share their feelings though spoken words.
I reached down to find Calypso laying with her head on my knee. As my hand touched her head she voiced her small, familiar rumble that would probably be mistaken for a growl had she been born a large cat or a gentle “what’s wrong” had she been born a human, and then began her purr of contentment.
(...please excuse any typos or errors - I had to enter this as soon as I could hoping to not lose any emotion but not having time to proofread or dress it up before heading to work)
Well, it wasn't unforseen but Capt. Watson and his ship, the Farley Mowat admitted that they would have to leave the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary today. They have exhausted their fuel and the French registered tanker that was to meet them just outside the sanctuary for refueling, has canceled. The Farley Mowat may not have enough fuel to make it to the nearest port. This is undoubtedly a great disappointment for those of us who felt that Sea Shepherd stood a better chance to end this year's whaling in the sanctuary.
Both Australia and New Zealand have announced that they have explored all of their alternatives and can find no way to legally challenge the Japanese registered whaling vessels and thier support vessel, a tanker/cargo ship registered in another country (Argentina, I believe). Greenpeace is still on station but must certainly be concerned about fuel also.
With this as a background, from a small group of dedicated people at care2.com, Whale Call, a non-profit organization recently formed with it's primary purpose being to explore an alternative method to aid in ending the slaughter of whales. While behind the scnes organizing is being done, it was suggested that members of the group explore other methods to raise awareness of Whale Call and generate interest in it's causes. And here am I - exploring the usefulness of a network such as this, Yahoo!s' new 360.
The first step was to create a Yahoo! and associated 360 account to represent only the united interests of the group. The Yahoo! account is 'whale_call'. Additionally, aYahoo! group has been created to determine the feasability of using these tools for the specified purpose. That group also goes by whale_call and can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/whale_call/ .
The next step(s) will be to add content to my personal 360 site and that of the whale call site and then start networking and spreading the word...
Sea Shepherd and Green Peace have spent the last several weeks in bitter cold and rough seas, searching for and obstructing the whaling activities of the 6 vessel fleet of whalers from Japan. They have received some bad press because of perceived differences. In actuality, there are differences that might well be hampering their efforts.
Please take the time to send them an email complimenting them on their effort but encouraging better cooperation as the real issue here is saing whales. You may use the sample letter below or create your own and send it o the addresses provided. Also, please CC firstname.lastname@example.org in your correspondence.
Subject: Sea Shepherd and Green Peace work together
I am writing to express my gratitude for the effort that is being made by the crews and support personnel of the motor vessels Farley Mowat, Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise in their effort to eliminate illegal whaling among other outrages presently occurring. Together, you have succeeded in reducing the number of whales killed to date. It is unfortunate that some of the press about the current event has focused on an alleged difference between Green Peace and Sea Shepherd.
The fact that there have been so many press releases accentuating the differences between both organizations indicates that there are indeed perceived differences in the tactics being used by either. Perhaps there is a benefit in the two organizations operating apart from each other and bringing more diversity to the battle in combating whaling but when these differences become the headline while whales are still being killed, there should be some review and reassessment of the situation.
In recognition that the resources of Green Peace and Sea Shepherd are greatly limited in comparison to the challenges that are being dealt with, I would encourage you to cooperate as much as possible in order to have the largest affect in this fight against whaling. One of the ‘rumors’ that has floated around – and which may have been partially responsible for the negative press is that there was a significant delay in sharing the coordinates of the whalers between Green Peace and Sea Shepherd; that cooperation has been less than stellar. I would hope that events such as this can be eliminated in the future.
Please continue doing the fine job that you have been doing but never think that you couldn’t do better with more cooperation.
Whaling has resumed in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Please email the decision makers in Australia to encourage them to get off the sidelines and get involved. The Farley Mowat has only enough fuel to stay on station for a couple more weeks. The Esperanza and Arctic Sunrise are likely not far behind. When they leave, the whalers will be left to their own devices and will be monitored by nobody. Please request that the Australian Navy get involved as most of the whaling is taking place in Australian territorial waters.
You may use the sample letter below or create your own, but please do it as soon as possible and send the emails to the following people. Also, please CC email@example.com when you send your letters.
I am writing concerning the current and continued activities of whalers in Australian territorial waters. Counter to the opinions of the majority of nations committed to the protection of endangered species and to permitting only what is deemed to be sustainable whaling, a select few countries have seen fit to actively pursue broadening their whaling enterprises under the guise of scientific research.
Currently, 6 vessels recognized to hail from Japan are known to be sailing in Antarctic waters laying within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary which covers most waters south of 40 degrees and that are claimed by Australia. If the government of Australia has protested this trespass in any form, it has not become widespread public knowledge. In fact, because of the general lack of any evidence to the contrary, it is internationally accepted that the Australian government is doing absolutely nothing in it’s power to dissuade Japan from conducting it’s operations in Australian waters – not even restricting refueling and replenishment of Japanese flagged vessels.
That Japanese whaling is more than a research endeavor is obvious to even the most casual observer. Whale meat is legally sold in the Japanese market in upscale restaurants and fast-food chains. It is served to school-aged children with state sponsorship and recently using DNA techniques, remains of whales slaughtered by the whalers has been found in dog food sold internationally. Only ignorance could keep one from seeing that the Japanese government and whaling community are not being honest in their intentions and negotiations at internationally sanctioned events.
Because nations involved in the negotiations and passage of international treaties concerning whales and other marine life do not provide for enforcement of the results of hard won treaties, Non Governmental Organizations such as Green Peace and Sea Shepherd have attempted to fill the void and have become a non-paid policing force with limited influence. It is outrageous that the nations involved in these negotiations leave holes in treaties that a factory processing ship could sail through. It is even worse that absolutely no effort is made to enforce the treaties that are agreed to.
Recently, captains of the Japanese vessels commanded their vessels to disregard all navigational rules of the road and steered on collision courses for both the M/V Esperanza and M/V Farley Mowat, possibly endangering the lives of the crew of all involved vessels. It is evident that the Japanese whaling fleet has little regard for law and order when there is a lack of authority to answer to. Though rumors of a Japanese man of war being dispatched to cruise with the whalers has not yet been publicly substantiated, were a Japanese Naval vessel to appear in the general vicinity – within radar or if equipped, air surveillance range, it would be most disconcerting to all involved and a display that Australia has no intention of maintaining law and order within it’s territorial waters.
In light of all of these events and the international spotlight that is being focused upon Australia, I encourage you to not only more strongly pursue diplomatic means to address the glaring shortcomings, oversights and deception that is now rampant, I strongly request that all consideration be made in dispatching a capable Australian Naval vessel to ensure that all international regulations be followed and that the whaling vessels are not operated in any manner that endangers any life or property.
Although they are not the only nation that has stated their intention to violate international treaties concerning whales, several ships of the Japanese whaling fleet are currently trolling the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. There has been a lot of discussion about the differing tactics of how to deal with violators of these international treaties in the area of whale conservation.
If you're not familar with recent events, please take the time to read the news releases from the parties involved before voting in this poll. (websites listed below)
I intend to use this data to create letters and/or petitions to the parties involved and greatly appreciate your incite and consideration. Any and all constructive comments are greatly appreciated also.
If after taking this poll, you are interested in joining a group truly dedicated to stopping the slaughter of whales, please join us in Whale Sense.
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