The Shameful Reality of Aquatic Torture and Death Pens
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
One of the things that has troubled me for many years is the way that we treat the fishes of the sea.
As a species we deny and ignore their sentience. We dismiss them as living beings and refuse to comprehend that these animals think, that they suffer, that they have emotions.
We literally vacuum them from the sea using highly mechanized machinery to scour the bottom of the sea, to trap them in huge nets or to ensnare them in hooks on long lines that can stretch over a hundred miles across the waves. We suffocate them, we crush them, we tear open their mouth with savage hooks and mutilate their delicate gills in plastic curtains of death and destruction.
For fish there are no safe places. We have invaded their homes and ravaged their lives, destroyed them by the billions and polluted their habitats.
And to add insult to injury, not content to murder them in their homes we now breed them in massive confinement facilities that literally fill the air with the stench of decay and death as they spew toxins, parasites and viruses into once pristine eco-systems.
A Haida elder once told me that salmon farms were a perversion of the spirit of the salmon.
What we do to them by raising them in concentration camps is obscene.
We abuse them, we assault them with chemicals, we force them to consume dye in the food pellets to actually dye the flesh pinkish while they are alive. We inject them with antibiotics and force them into toxic chemical baths. We scour the sea to catch millions of other fish from other species to render into cheap fish meal to feed them. We see hundreds of thousands of them die off as the farms collect insurance for the losses and then we send them to market after slicing off the cancerous growths so that humans can have cheap salmon.
As a species, we cruelly accept that the viruses and parasites that these mass incarceration facilities produce gets transmitted to wild indigenous species of salmon and that the diminishment of wild salmon means the diminishment of food for Orcas, Eagles, Bears, Seals and so many other species of wild sentient creatures.
These fish that are bred in these horrific facilities are living, self-aware sentient beings that we force into unbearably miserable confines and it takes a toll in suffering and death, pollution and ugliness.
These shameful facilities degrade not just the salmon but also ourselves.
They need to be shut down in every eco-system that these companies have invaded.
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson:
GRETA THUNBERG HAS MASTERED THE ART OF MEDIA AIKIDO WITH A BRILLIANT RESPONSE TO ANAL TANGERINUS AND HIS BIZARRE TWEETS.
In response to Greta being named Time magazine’s Person of the year, the President angrily attacked her because he wanted to be Man of the Year.
But the “Man” who failed to be is furious that a 16 year old Swedish girl got the goden egg that he so desired and tweeted:
Donald J. Trump
So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!
Greta, not to be intimidated by a narcissistic sociopath intent upon ushering in all the perils of unaddressed climate change by opportunistic world leaders like himself responded brilliantly.
Without hesitation she replied on her Twitter profile with: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
This young lady was born to be a leader and what she has done has been incredibly stunning. She skipped school to cross the Atlantic twice by sail, she addressed the United Nations, she toured North America including Standing Rock and the Tar Sands in Canada, she told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he was not doing much, she stared down the President of the United States and just recently addressed the Climate Change Conference in Spain.
And I don’t thing she has (in the immortal words of Captain John Paul Jones) even begun to fight.
I can honestly say that over the last 50 years of activism I have ever met or seen someone so focused and unrelenting with her message. I have had the privilege of speaking with her and what impressed me was her courage, her passion, her commitment and her exceptional mind.
Over the next 50 years as humanity slides towards a future most cannot even comprehend or imagine, her vision hopefully will help to navigate us towards a safe harbor.
She is an incredible leader today and she will be an exceptionally inspiring leader in the years to come.
I wonder if that good old fashioned movie she will be watching with a friend will be “Soylent Green”.
As part of a campaign to protect the Cocos Island UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society partnered with Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment to collect and transport 34 tons of marine pollution, illegal shark finning long lines, and other confiscated fishing gear, which had been accumulating on the remote volcanic island of Cocos for over 25 years.
For a one-time project, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society removed over 1700 miles (2800 kilometers) of nylon monofilament fishing line from Cocos Island and shipped it to Aquafil to be transformed into ECONYL® regenerated nylon, which is used for carpet flooring and fashion items.
Island Del Coco National Park is home to many marine ecosystems that provide universal importance. The Costa Rican thermal dome off the coast of the Cocos Island gives 7% of biodiversity to the world. Thanks to this one-time collaboration, harmful marine debris was recovered from the ocean and is set to be transformed into a high performing material that can have a second life in new products.
“It is not just about sending a boat to the island and bring the trash to the mainland, it is to do the whole work,” stated Costa Rica’s Minister of the Environment Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, concluding “this is an achievement we are very proud of, and above all, we are very grateful for the support we received.”
“Plastics are a serious threat to marine ecosystems. Removing illegal nylon fishing gear from such a pristine environment, repurposing the material and ensuring it will not be used to kill sharks again is a big step in protecting sharks and the Tropical Eastern Pacific marine environment, which Cocos Island is part of,” said Captain Paul Watson. Adding, “This is a very important migration route for sharks and Sea Shepherd’s commitment to protect sharks and their habitats is a holistic one, tackling Illegal targeting of sharks by longline and overseeing the proper disposal of the fishing gear, by ensuring a chain of custody from the high seas to the recycling facility.”
ECONYL® nylon is obtained through the regeneration process of nylon waste and reduces the global warming impact of nylon by up to 80 percent compared with material generated from oil. Aquafil, the Italian company that invented ECONYL®, brings new purpose to waste materials that would otherwise pollute the world’s landfills and oceans.
Source: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
WATSON – The Movie poster
Just saw the new movie poster for WATSON. Amazing!!! I’m honoured that Leslie Chicott made this incredibly well done film about my life and about Sea Shepherd. Love the poster, love the film and I adore Leslie and Louise. Thank-you Terra Mater and Participant.
WATSON has been shown three times to sold out theatres at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC and it was shown at the Dallas Earth X Conference yesterday.
It is of corse difficult to promote a film about one’s self especially when it’s named WATSON. But what is important is that it is the story of what has become a global movement.
The film is a brilliant distillation of a half century of activism. It is my hope that it will be inspiring to a younger generation now facing challenges and struggles for greater and more perilous than anything that I have experienced during my lifetime.
The film hopefully will soon have a theatrical release.
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
One thousand whales will die because of a vote amongst a group of arrogant humans today in Florianopolis, Brazil
The vote was on so called indigenous whaling. In other words a slaughter quota for the Inuit, the Yupik, possibly the Makah, some Greenlanders and a few bogus aboriginal groups in the Caribbean.
Well the Aboriginal people of the Caribbean were the Caribs and they were wiped out by the Spanish colonizers. Thus, the people wanting to kill Humpbacks and pilot whales in Bequi, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia have no indigenous “rights” to slaughter whales at all.
Not that anyone has a right to murder a highly intelligent, self-aware, socially complex sentient being like a whale.
The position of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is that no one should have the “right” to kill whales anywhere for any reason.
Killing whales is plain and simply – murder!
The Japanese, Icelanders, Norwegians and Danes and Faroese are mass murderers and the killing of whales by indigenous cultures is also an act of murder.
I make no apologies for this position. We have been called racist for opposing the murder of whales but we are not motivated by racism. We don’t care what the color or the culture is of the hand that fires the harpoon. There is no justification for the mass murder of whales.
Racism is allowing one group to have special rights to commit murder based on culture and race.
We oppose whaling by the Japanese but also by the white Europeans of Iceland, Denmark and Norway.
Our passion and our loyalty is to the nation of whales and we will not betray them for any cultural justification.
I would like to salute the 7 nations that had the courage to vote against indigenous whaling.
58 nations voted to slaughter whales in a proposal led by the United States.
Brazil, Chile, Gabon, Mexico and Peru abstained.
Australia has little respect for Aboriginals but voted to allow the Inuit on a distant continent to kill whales.
Japan has denied the indigenous Ainu people the right to whale and hunt but they have no problem backing indigenous peoples in the USA, Canada and Greenland to kill whales.
Perhaps the United States believes they can absolve the guilt of genocide by allowing the slaughter of whales so that the whales must die for their colonial sins.
It all reeks of self-serving hypocrisy.
Denmark will now try to convince the world that the slaughter in the Faroes is indigenous.
Will the Makah once again try to kill whales just to prove then have the right to do so? They have no subsistence necessity and nothing in their culture justifies killing a whale with a .50 caliber recoilless rifle.
How many more Humpbacks must die in Greenland to provide fad foodie meals for bored tourists?
How many 100 to 200 year-old Bowheads must die in the Arctic by people using explosive harpoons, motor boats, and sonar?
Sea Shepherd’s position on Aboriginal whaling may be controversial but it is consistent. We have always opposed the murder of whales and we always will, by anyone, for any reason, anywhere.
by Captain Paul Watson
I have seen the steady evolution of veganism in my lifetime. In the Seventies we had vegetarians but practically no one had ever heard of a vegan.
As a vegetarian in 1979, I was hard pressed to find a decent meal and at dinners I would find myself ordering an omelette for lunch or dinner which actually was considered somewhat unusual. Finding a vegetarian meal was possible but almost always restricted. Finding a vegetarian restaurant was more of a challenge but there was always Indian and Japanese vegetable sushi.
But I have seen the movement grow and although it began slowly, in recent years it has accelerated rapidly to the point where traditional meat venues like MacDonald’s and others have seen the writing on the wall and now are offering vegan burgers and the dairy industry is totally freaking out over coconut, soy, almond, hemp, oat and pea milk.
Vegan scarcity has evolved into a cornucopia of vegan alternatives. The movement has exploded and due to many considerations like animal rights, health, the environment etc, the movement is becoming stronger with each passing day.
My prediction is that by 2030, western society will be predominantly vegetarian and veganism will be the norm and not the exception.
Being a vegan sometimes appears to be a complicated affair. People seem to be vegans for different reasons and there does seem to be a bit of bickering amongst vegans on just how vegan one should be.
The only negative aspect of veganism is intolerance. And it’s not just intolerance by vegans towards meat eaters and vegetarians but intolerance of other vegans.
Sea Shepherd ships have been vegan since 2000 and we have had thousands of crew participate in campaigns so we have had plenty of opportunity to see the various factions of veganism in relationship to each other.
People do not have to be vegan to be crewmembers but they must be vegan on the ship as crewmembers. Because of this over the years we have introduced hundreds of meat eaters to veganism and as a result many have made the decision to adopt veganism as a life style.
Given the opportunity to eat real vegan meals by excellent vegan cooks it is amazing how many people have discovered veganism as a real option – healthy, delicious and easy to do.
But we have also discovered a major obstacle to people embracing veganism and that obstacle is vegans with hostile, holier than thou, angry and judgemental proselytizing attitudes.
I tend to look at this from the point of view of both the animals and eco-systems which really means I do not give a damn why anyone is vegan. The motivations to me are irrelevant. Anyone who is vegan is good for animals and for the environment. Vegetarians are also good for animals and the environment and even people who refrain from eating meat once or twice a week or who cut down on their meat consumption are good for animals and the environment.
Abstaining 100% is wonderful. Abstaining 50% is good. Abstaining 25% is helpful.
Most vegans were once vegetarian and/or meat eaters. People can change but they change best by seeing examples from others. Those who lead by example are helping to recruit more people to a vegan life style than those who try to recruit though shaming, anger and ridicule.
Every vegan meal consumed is a bonus for animals and for the environment.
It’s easy to tell when someone is a vegan because they will damn well tell you but it is somewhat more difficult to determine what kind of vegan a person might be.
Just for fun, I thought I would prepare my 50 Shades of Veganism to illustrate the wide diversity within this thing we call veganism.
“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.” Definition of veganism by the Vegan Society in 1979.
1. True vegan – Absolutely no animal products used in any manner without the need for any justification, explanation, defensiveness or offensiveness.
2. Level 5 Vegan. … A Level 5 Vegan was defined as someone who never eats anything that casts a shadow. While this definition is nonsensical the Level 5 term as it’s used today is a mostly tongue-in-cheek reference to someone who refuses to make any compromises at all in their vegan lifestyle.
3. Paleo-vegan – The Paleo diet without the meat – unprocessed foods.
4. Compassionate vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals.
5. Compassionate Ethical vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals and a deep concern for the lives and welfare of animals.
6. Compassionate Ethical Health vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals and a deep concern for the lives and welfare of animals and sees veganism as a healthy life style.
7. Compassionate Ethical, Health, Environmentalist vegan – does not consume animal products out of a deep love for animals and a deep concern for the lives and welfare of animals, sees veganism as a healthy life styleand is concerned about the impact of the meat and fishing industry on the environment and climate change.
8. Activist vegan – a vegan who is an actual activist for animals. An on-the-ground-gets-things-done-in the-face-of-the-enemy-vegan.
9. Enemy Identification Confused vegan. A vegan who is unable to actually identify the real enemy i.e. the animal abusers, meat producers, hunters, and abusers and instead sends time and energy attacking vegetarians and other vegans.
10. Ethical Environmentalist vegan – does not consume animal products out of concern for the lives and welfare of animals and because they are concerned about climate change and the environment.
11. Ethical Environmentalist Health vegan – does not consume animal products out of concern for the lives and welfare of animals and because they are concerned about climate change and the environment and they also want to have a healthy lifestyle.
12. Raw vegan – A vegan who only consumes raw fruits, nuts and vegetables.
13. Raw till 4 vegan – Raw until 4 and cooked vegan after.
14. Raw Ethical vegan – A raw vegan who adopts a raw vegan diet out of concern for animals,
15. Fruitarian – Vegans who eat only fruits and nuts.
16. Raw Environmental vegan – a raw vegan who adopts a raw vegan diet out of concern for ecology and climate change.
17. Raw health vegan – a raw vegan who adopts a raw vegan diet for health reasons.
18. Organic vegans – only organic vegan foods
19. Organic Raw vegans – only raw organic fruits and vegetables.
20. Home Grown Vegans – Vegans who only eat food locally grown and preferably organic.
21. Competitive Purist Vegan – An ethical vegan who is constantly comparing themselves to other vegans and pointing out how they are better vegans than other vegans.
22. Veggie Jesuit – An ethical competitive purist vegan whose mission is to convert all of humanity to veganism through intimidation, shaming and bullying.
23. Proselytizing vegan – They just really have to preach – all the damn time.
24. Angry vegan – Constantly angry with anyone who is not a vegan.
25. Health Vegan – A vegan because it is healthier but could not give a damn about the environment or animal rights or welfare.
26. Annoying vegan – a person whose advocacy is just damn annoying.
27. Celebrity vegan – Promotes veganism in an attempt to be cool.
28. Compassionate celebrity vegan – Promotes veganism because they are actually cool.
29. Athletic vegan – A vegan who sees veganism as providing their body with more endurance, stamina and overall health.
30. Ethical Athletic vegan – An athlete who embraces veganism and promotes it because of concern for the lives and welfare of animals.
31. Environmental vegan – A vegan who is vegan because they are concerned about the impact of the meat industry and fishing on the environment and climate change.
32. Trendy vegan – A vegan who is a vegan because it’s like – well, trendy to be vegan.
33. Straight Edge vegan – A vegan who does not smoke or drinks alcohol but loves coffee.
34. Plant based vegans – These are vegans who do not like to be called vegans primarily because they are environment or health motivated vegans. Like it or not they are still vegans.
35. HCLF vegans – High Carb low fat vegans.
36. Honey eating vegan – A vegan who for different reasons justifies the consumption of honey. One reason put forward is that there is a need to support bee colonies for pollination.
37. Non-Face Eating vegans – People who view themselves as vegans but will eat animals without faces like oysters, clams and scallops for example and will insist it is still a vegan lifestyle.
38. Leather wearing vegans – People who refrain from eating animals but continue to wear leather clothing like belts and shoes.
39. Flexitarian – A person who is a vegan sometimes but not always depending upon circumstances.
40. A Freegan vegan – A person who views themselves as vegan but eats anything as long as it is free.
41. Fall off the Wagon vegan – a vegan who decides to no longer be a vegan but intends to become vegan again. ]
42. Revengeful ex-vegan – a vegan who now eats meat and passionately embraces carnism.
43. Goth vegans – Goths who practise veganism. It’s kind of their thing.
44. Nazi vegans – Yes there are indeed vegan Nazi cults because they claim Hitler was a vegan.
45. Hindu vegans – Not all Hindu’s are vegan but there is a movement to embrace veganism in Hinduism.
46. Krishna vegans – Hari Krishna, hare veganism.
47. Infiltrating vegan – someone who nefariously pretends to be a vegan for the purpose of infiltrating vegan activist groups.
48. Pervy vegans – Males who pretend to be vegan in order to pick up vegan females.
49. Norvegans – not real vegans just Nor vegans.
50. VEGANS – aliens from the star system Vega.
May 20, 2011
On April 21st, 2006, Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, commemorated John Muir’s 168th birthday by saluting Muir’s anti-hunting philosophy in an article that accompanied his resignation as Sierra Club National Director, only a few days prior. We have decided to reawaken Paul’s article, as we feel that it is a profound piece, which echoes the feelings of many environmental, conservation and animal rights activists, alike. Thank you for allowing us to post this. Please click on Paul’s photo above to visit the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s website. In Unity…
The Sierra Club Chooses Killers over Advocates for Life and Nature By Paul Watson
My resignation from the Sierra Club received more letters of support for condemning hunting than criticisms and this was to be expected considering that more than 80% of Sierra Club members do not hunt.
Of the few who were critical of my anti-hunting position, they reportedly took offense to my remarks as being anti-hunting(of course they were) and they insisted that hunters were a strong conservation lobby and thus essential to protecting wildlife and wildlife habitats.
I probably should have been more definitive of my position. Instead of stating that I was anti-hunting or opposed to hunters, I should have said that I am anti-killing and opposed to killers.
The choice is really between endorsing the infliction of pain, suffering and death or opposing the infliction of pain, suffering and death.
Pro-killers will say that those people like me who are opposed to killing are alienated urbanities, of the privileged class, and insensitive to the traditional rationale that supports hunting.
That argument does not work with me because I was raised as the eldest of seven children by a single mother in a small fishing village in a rural area of Eastern Canada. My father was abusive and he was a hunter.
I have spent a large part of my life in third world nations and on the ocean. I oppose the killing of wildlife not because I am alienated from nature but because I happen to believe that you can’t love or respect nature with a gun.
I walked the trap lines in the Eastern bush as a child. I walked them to free captive animals from leg hold traps and to destroy the traps. I destroyed hundreds of these vicious contraptions between the ages of 11 and 18.
I have seen the suffering. In Kenya I watched a mother elephant literally weep for the loss of her calf. In Michigan I witnessed a Canada goose sit for days without eating beside the body of its mate who had been shot and not recovered. In Alaska I saw a Grizzly cub sitting confused beside the skinned body of its mother who was killed only for her hide. In the Yukon, I followed a trail of blood for over a mile to discover an aerial gut-shot wolf staring at me in fear and bewilderment.
What I have observed in the wild is suffering. It was plainly evident and I felt remorse for the arrogance of our species for justifying the taking of lives for sport, for enjoyment, for fun, and for pleasure.
In Zimbabwe I spent time with big game hunters, some of whom reluctantly led rich trophy hunters into the bush because they had lost their jobs as rangers and President Mugabe had ruled that unless wildlife made money the animals would be eliminated. These hunters described most of their clients as slob hunters, arrogant and ignorant and expressed their shame at being forced to participate in the murder business.
I was amazed to discover that a Texan accountant had won a prize from the Boone and Crocket Club for bagging a trophy whitetail deer and then he was exposed when it was discovered that the rack of an animal stolen from a taxidermist in Alberta had been surgically grafted onto a smaller animal on a game farm in Mexico where they flushed it out from cover into the sights of the great hunter’s rifle.
It was John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club who first described hunting as the murder business.
In a few places in the world people hunt for survival. In the past, people were forced to hunt for survival. The constituency the Sierra Club is now courting through its killer outreach program are not people who have a need to hunt for survival.
They are people who spend more money on weaponry, travel and related expenses than the value of the meat they obtain. It is not the meat they are after but the thrill of the kill.
Dick Cheney, when not shooting lawyers, describes how he loves to see the ducks tumble from the sky. I’ve heard hunters describe how pulling the trigger gives them an erection.
These are men who slaughter for pleasure. I call them perverse death deviants and I have no apologies for labeling them as such. Killing for pleasure is a sickness, no different than child molestation or rape.
There is no sport in killing an animal from a distance with a sophisticated tool designed to inflict death. The name sportsman implies that there is a fair contest. There is nothing fair about being ripped apart by high powered bullets.
Hunters target the biggest, the strongest and the best of the species they pursue. This is behavior outside the laws of ecology. It is unnatural predation and certainly cannot be condoned by credible conservationists.
Hunters defend their perverse desire to extinguish life by saying it is traditional. Unfortunately many barbaric practices are traditional. However, modern day hunting bears little relation to so called traditional hunting. Hunters today are more akin to those who eradicated the bison and took only the tongues.
Hunters were responsible for the extinction of the Labrador duck, the Passenger Pigeon, the Eastern Bison, the Plains Wolf and the extirpation of the Grizzly from most of the lower 48 states. They were not only killers they were involved in the act of specicide, the complete eradication of entire species. This was not conservation.
Hunters cite Theodore Roosevelt as a big game hunter who was also a conservationist. This is true, he was both. He lived in a time when killing for pleasure was accepted but it was also a time when racism was accepted as normal and it was considered abnormal for women to have any rights, especially the right to vote. Roosevelt did set aside land to conserve much in the same way that the British aristocracy set aside land as exclusive hunting preserves to keep out the lower classes.
The Sierra Club is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach out to invite killers to join the Club. The leadership of the Club believes that the over 80% of Club members who don’t take pleasure from killing must be tolerant of the less than 20% who do. They want to bring in more killers into the Club.
There is a big difference between hunting and killing. Photographers and film makers can hunt wildlife. It actually takes more skill to hunt a Mountain sheep with a camera than with a rifle. Any nimrod can pull a trigger and send a high velocity bullet unexpectedly into living tissue to shatter organs and induce shock. The photographer brings back nobility, a creature caught in its natural habitat in harmony with the world around it.
The killer watches his victim tumble from the air or crash to the ground as it chokes and gurgles on its own life blood. The photographer brings back life. The hunter brings back death.
I have been a hunter myself. I’ve never killed anything but I have stalked and hunted human poachers. I have destroyed their ships, their rifles, their nets, their longlines and their harpoons. I have snatched clubs from the bloody hands of sealers and defended myself from their attacks. My form of hunting is much fairer and gutsier than these killers who prey upon their unsuspecting and innocent victims. I target the guilty not the innocent.
Once I trekked with Kenyan rangers across the plains of Tsavo on the track of poachers. We followed their trail of elephant carcasses rotting on the ground with only their tusks removed. We found the criminals. They fired on us and killed one of our rangers. We did not kill them. We wounded two and arrested seven. They were armed with AK-47 rifles and our rangers were armed with British Enfield 303’s. We were up against a superior foe and we beat them. It was not sport. It was not fun. It was dangerous and necessary work and the objective was to save lives, not to extinguish lives.
That is the only kind of hunting that makes sense today in a world with a human population approaching seven billion. If every American exercised their right to kill, the ducks, geese, quail, elk, deer and other creatures would disappear quite quickly. There are simply to many of us and not very many of them.
It can hardly be an egalitarian sport if only a minority of citizens can realistically participate. Instead of encouraging hunting, groups like the Sierra Club should be discouraging the number of hunters. The nation and the world needs fewer killers of wildlife, not more.
In Europe over a hundred million songbirds are gunned down every year. Elephant populations have been reduced by 70% in East Africa since I worked on poaching patrols there in 1978. World fisheries are in a state of collapse. Wildlife is getter scarcer and there is more need now than ever for protection.
Why can’t we protect wetlands simply because wetlands need to be protected? Why is there this demand that killers are needed to help protect wetlands simply because they want to slaughter ducks? Canada geese mate for life. Shouldn’t it bother us that we shatter tens of thousands of these relationships every year? Why should we tolerate the accumulation of lead and steel shot in the marshes and estuaries? Why should we tolerate the legal murder of human beings that we label as hunting accidents, especially when the victim is a non-killer, perhaps a child some nimrod has mistaken for a deer.
The son of Sigmund Freud was walking on his own property in Quebec when a hunter shot and killed him. The killer was found not guilty because the death was ruled an accident.
When a stranger can kill you on your own land and get away with it, it demonstrates that our tolerance for this legal killing has gone over the top of acceptability.
One killer wrote me to say that my radical anti-hunting ideas were unacceptable for a member of the Board of the Sierra Club. When did opposition to killing, to the taking of life, to the extinguishment of a living creature, to the wasting of a sentient being become a radical idea?
Sometimes I think we live in such a bizarre world where advocates for life are considered radical and proponents of death are considered normal, where violence is considered acceptable and non-violence is dismissed as unpatriotic or cowardly.
Few killers question the morality of their actions. Once you have reached a stage where you can inflict cruelty and death, thoughts of morality, empathy and respect have long since vanished.
For if a killer of a deer could feel the pain and anguish of his victim or see the fawn starve because of a mother that did not return they would have little appetite for the meat.
Humans who have crossed the line into dealing death and inflicting misery have become alienated from the wonderment of life and no longer see or appreciate the magic of being alive.
Life is to be cherished, protected, defended and championed, not to be wantonly and cruelly destroyed, and certainly not for so frail an excuse as pleasure or sport.
This essay may be freely distributed and published.
Captain Paul Watson
Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (1977-
Co-Founder – The Greenpeace Foundation (1972)
Co-Founder – Greenpeace International (1979)
Director of the Sierra Club USA (2003-2006)
Director – The Farley Mowat Institute
Director – http://www.harpseals.org
Whom when I asked from what place he came,
And how he hight, himselfe he did ycleepe,
The Shepheard of the Ocean by Name,
And said he came far from
the main-sea deepe.
– Edmund Spenser
Address: P.O. Box 2616
Friday Harbor, Wa 98250 USA
“ECO-PIRATE: THE STORY OF PAUL WATSON” is a feature-length documentary about a man on a mission to save the planet and its oceans. Currently being screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival to wide acclaim, this documentary is the first of it’s kind to follow the life of Captain Paul Watson’s tireless battle to save our oceans. Do not miss this film!
Raising money to protect the feared sea creatures can be a challenge
President Donald Trump’s reported death wish for sharks has been a lifeline for charities that protect them.
Shark-related nonprofits have been receiving a steady stream of donations in the wake of Trump reportedly telling adult film actress Stormy Daniels, “I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.” Trump’s comments came to light in an In Touch Weekly interviewwith Daniels, who reportedly had a fling with Trump in 2006. Daniels said Trump was “obsessed” with sharks and “terrified” of them.
Since Trump’s strong anti-shark stance became public late last week, donations have poured in at the nonprofits Atlantic White Shark Conservancy and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, their leaders told MarketWatch.
“It’s actually more dangerous to play golf than it is to go swimming in the ocean with sharks.”
“We have been receiving donations in Trump’s name since the story was published,” said Cynthia Wilgren, chief executive officer and co-founder of Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, based in Chatham, Mass. Most of the money has come from first-time donors, she added. “It can certainly be a challenge to raise money for a species that most people fear,” Wilgren said.
Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Burbank, Calif. based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, said his group had received “quite a few” donations from benefactors who specifically mentioned Trump’s comments.
He and his fellow conservationists consider Trump’s comments “ignorant,” Watson said, but they’ve had a positive effect. “Anything that focuses attention on the plight of sharks worldwide is valuable, so I guess in that way the president did good service,” Watson said.
His group sends boats across the world to catch poachers who illegally kill sea animals. Some 75 million sharks a year are killed, often when their fins are cut off and they are tossed back into the ocean, Watson said. When their fins are removed, sharks are unable to swim effectively, so they sink down to the bottom and die or get eaten by other predators. Sharks are also killed to make shark leather shoes and belts, and for shark liver oil, which is used as a dietary supplement and in beauty products such as lipstick, according to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The popular image of sharks as super predators is unfair, Watson said. While hundreds of millions of people swim in oceans every year, sharks kill only about five people a year around the world, Watson said. “It’s actually more dangerous to play golf than it is to go swimming in the ocean with sharks,” Watson said. “Quite a few more die from lightning strikes and bee stings while playing golf than from sharks.”
Sharks are a critical part of ocean ecosystems and their fate is closely tied to the health of oceans as a whole. If they go extinct, humans wouldn’t be too far behind, Watson claimed.
The president’s hatred of sharks pre-dates his time in office, according to his Twitter history. Back in 2013 he said he’s not a fan of the animals. In November 2017, Trump drew the ire of conservationists after eating shark fin soup during a visit to Vietnam.
Shark charities and other nonprofits face an uncertain future under Trump’s new tax law. Some estimate that charities could see a $13 to $20 billion drop in donations because of changes in the tax code.
Commentary by Captain Paul Watson
For all of the people who hate me, criticize me, loathe me, troll me, threaten me and generally carry on like I really give a damn, all I can say is thanks for taking your time to say so. It is much appreciated.
Sometimes you’re amusing, but most of the time you’re simply boring. But it’s no bother, because I have this simple delete button and a cyber dungeon to conveniently drop your ass into the internet version of the phantom zone, where for all intents and purposes you simply no longer exist on my particular plane of existence.
However I must confess that I do love the fact that so many people get all hot and bothered and spend time talking, complaining, ranting, sharing and even going to the trouble of setting up websites and Facebook pages simply to attack me. How awesome and flattering is that!
People I don’t know and have never met, hate me and I think that’s pretty damn impressive.
I considerate it a disappointing day when I don’t receive at least one hate message. It’s good to know that they know that I’m still here, pissing them off.
A person without enemies is a person who does not do much. Give me a person without enemies and I can guarantee few people really know or care who they are.
All great people have enemies. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Dianne Fossey, John Kennedy, Malala Yousafzai, Russell Means, and so many others including even Jesus Christ. I can only aspire to have the number of enemies they have had. In fact the more enemies one has, the more one achieves. Everyone needs a legion of enemies to inspire them to greater and better deeds and to validate their achievements.
I am not in the business of pleasing everyone. In fact I’m not in the business of pleasing anyone. I’m in the business of defending biodiversity from the irresponsible actions of my own species and that guarantees me volumes of enemies.
I pick up enemies like a dog picks up fleas except that I can shake them off easier than the dog.
If I can please my wife, my daughter, my son, my family, supporters, and my friends, I’m happy. Everyone else is irrelevant.
Even allies become enemies at the slightest disagreement. The infighting within movements is hilarious, like when the People’s Front for the Liberation of Judea attacked the Judaean People’s Liberation Front in Life of Brian.
We really can be a silly assortment species of primates.
I often wonder if a person who sends me a vile or threatening message imagines the said message as being hurtful or damaging to me. Do they really think that I shed a tear with each word? Do they really think I care what they think? I suppose it’s a good thing if they feel a sense of satisfaction with the illusionary belief that they are threatening me. If they deprive some sort of pleasure from it, all I can say, is go for it and enjoy yourself.
Now although I don’t care what people say about me or to me, I am posting this really to help people who are sensitive to attacks from perfect strangers in the internet. It is easy for me to ignore bullying because I simply don’t give a damn but there are people, especially younger people who are indeed hurt by comments from strangers and sometimes such bullying has disturbing and sometimes tragic consequences.
So I would like to advise such people to treat offensive and threatening comments as nothing more than a momentary fart in a windstorm. You may get a whiff but the stench is gone in seconds. People only have power over other people when people allow other people to have power over them.
So my advice to anyone plagued by trolls, haters and critics is simple. Ignore them, block them and delete them. They and their opinions simply do not matter.
Words are not bullets. Words are harmless.
Hell even being called names can be flattering. Years ago I was at the home of a famous Hollywood personality when the phone rang. I picked it up and a familiar voice said “is Maurice there?”
I said no but would you like to leave a message. The voice answered, “yes tell him Orson called.”
“Orson who”” I replied.
“Orson Welles, you idiot.”
Was I offended? Hell no. Orson Welles called me an idiot because I did not recognize his voice. How awesome was that?
by Captain Paul Watson:
In 2003, Sea Shepherd brought the issue of the dolphin slaughter to worldwide attention. In October of that year we sent photographer Brooke MacDonald to Taiji. Her pictures appeared on the cover of newspapers around the world and her video was aired on CNN.
Yet the killing continued.
In November two Sea Shepherd volunteers including Sea Shepherd Global Director dove into the Cove, cut the nets and freed 16 Pilot whales. They were both arrested and spent a month in prison and were fined $8,000.
And the killing continued.
In 2009 Louie Psihoyos and Ric O’Barry made a documentary film called The Cove. It won the Academy Award for best documentary film and exposed the horror of Taiji to hundreds of thousands of people.
Yet the killing continued.
Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians were on the ground every year since 2009. Seven years for six months, a total of 42 months on the ground, livestreaming, witnessing, filming, photographing, protesting, monitoring – watching dolphins die and unable to do anything to physically stop it.
During that time we sent in hundreds of volunteers.
After yet after 14 years the only dolphins saved were the 16 freed when Sea Shepherd cut the nets in 2003.
Since 2014 Japan has been denying entry to Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians eliminating 100% of our Cove Guardian leaders and most of the volunteers.
This year, Japan has made Sea Shepherd tactics subject to charges of terrorism. Under the new laws, 2 people with a camera may be charged with terrorism.
This is, to put it bluntly – insane!
These official decisions have convinced me that we are dealing with a psychopathic attitude where every single obstacle is being thrown into the path of anyone who opposes the mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji.
Since September 1st, Sea Shepherd has received some criticism for not being in Taiji this season. This criticism is quite unfair. How can the Cove Guardians be in Taiji when they can’t even get into Japan? And how can they expect us to send inexperienced volunteers into a position where they will be charged with an act of terrorism just for being there?
Some critics say that the Dolphin Project is there, so why is Sea Shepherd not there?
It is true that Ric O’Barry has been banned from Japan but very few Dolphin Project Cove Monitors have been denied entry – yet. Sea Shepherd is happy that Dolphin Project people can be on the ground but I predict their freedom to do so will soon be greatly diminished.
The Japanese government wants to remove observers.
The thugs in Taiji are psychopaths completely lacking compassion and empathy for the dolphins. The attached image screams the word – psychopath!
The politicians enabling the mass slaughter are also psychopaths lacking empathy and compassion.
Being on the ground in Taiji now is a fruitless endeavor. Years of documentation and live-streaming have not made a difference. The killing continues and the killers become more entrenched in their ruthlessness to the point that their very identity as Japanese is equated with the merciless massacre of dolphins.
It has become painfully evident to me that they simply have a perverse lust for killing. They do it for money AND they do it because they enjoy it. We can see it in their eyes, this lust for inflicting gross suffering and death.
The Dolphin drives are an organized highly ruthless slave trade. Slavery is where the money is, the meat trade is minor by comparison. They could enslave dolphins without killing any and still make a huge profit. The reason they don’t do so is very simple – they like to kill.
What has been going down in Taiji can only be understood as a form of collective insanity. We cannot expect reason, compassion, pity, empathy and kindness will have any influence on the minds of psychopathic individuals and collectively Taiji has become a community of psychopaths backed up by the not surprising psychopathic politicians, passing laws against compassion, empathy, kindness and pity.
Because of this I came to the realization that continuing to be in Taiji, with the increasingly difficult possibilities of even being there, was becoming very unproductive.
We have achieved nothing since 2003, not a single dolphin saved since 2003. Yes, we have raised awareness throughout the world but Japan does not care what the rest of the world thinks or feels.
Sea Shepherd is not abandoning our opposition to the despicable cruelty and killings. We are simply changing strategies and developing new tactics.
We have 14 years of documentation so there is little that continues to happen that we have not already captured on film. We need to get these images out to the public – in Japan.
We need to develop a Japanese website and Japanese social media. We need to make the Japanese people at least as aware as the rest of the world. We need to develop economic strategies aimed at Japan with a special focus on the Olympics in 2020. We need to research legal options.
Unfortunately we’ve done all that we practically and strategically can accomplish on the ground in Taiji.
We are refocusing and planning for a new strategy.
The Cove Guardians were heroic, steadfast and I appreciate the efforts of each and every person who spent time on the ground there. They suffered harassment and abuse including numerous abuses from the police and fishermen and most importantly they had to endure the trauma of witnessing the monstrous acts of cruelty and murder.
They did all that could have been done within the context of having to do so within Japanese territory under the ever present watch of the police and rejection from border guards.
When I first organized the Cove Guardians I felt confident that it could have success but I did not take into account the one factor that makes it difficult to overcome such a heartless behavior and makes it impossible to deal with the situation in any meaningful way.
That factor is insanity. We can’t reason or appeal to the heart of a Psychopath because we have been looking for something that does not exist – their heart!
We must develop a new and effective approach.