“Whale Wars”

Posted: June 4, 2011 in Morons, Television, Whaling

(a brief break from Sexism in Gaming)

Okay, so post back shot my back is feeling better, so I have been taking less drugs, but the taking of less drugs has had…an effect…on my stomach (all that pent up…yeah) so I have been feeling kinda GAHHH and spent the majority of last afternoon/evening on the floor, near the bathroom, watching….Whale Wars…

Now, I have admitted to my weakness of watching this show before, and last nite was the first show of the new season, and it’s not like I felt like actually moving, anywhere, at all, so yep, I tuned in, and same as the last few seasons I have been watching it- I root for the Japanese Fleet.   I admit it, I do…heck, I am not even sure WHAT my opinion on Whaling is….I mean, it would be a shame if the whales got hunted to extinction- I do believe that, but at the same time, you know, you don’t see the Sea Sheppard’s out there harassing Cattle Ranchers or Mink Farmers or trying to disable land based slaughter houses, and the crews on the Japanese Fleet Ships?  They are regular people trying to earn a living and put food on their own families plates- not…evil rapers of the ocean.   The Japanese Fleet are a buncha people trying to earn a living.  The Sea Sheppard’s?  Well…..

So, me having my sense of humor and all. whilst watching the show last nite, I found myself wishing for an ice-class ship (I hear the Russians are selling off seriously bad ass Ice Breaker Ships at really reasonable rates these days!) the following arose in my head…

Dear Japanese Fleet:

Hi, You don’t know me, but I am an American television viewer who has seen the show “Whale Wars”, in which the Sea Sheppard’s follow you guys around, throwing shit on your boats and screwing with your business, then whining like school children when you fight back- at all.  You might think I am about to chew you out like some whiny eco-terrorist fangirl, but no…because even if I don’t think whaling is an awesome idea, I cannot stand self-aggrandizing, lying, bloated media whores who will fake being shot and blame every ill they have caused to befall themselves and their crews upon other people.

So, yes, I managed to get my hands on an Ice Class ship, and I am sure I would be able to find enough other American Viewers who watch this show and root for you guys to man it, and thus I am offering to come down there in said ship with my snarky crew and…harass the fuck out of the Sea Sheppard’s while they are trying to harrass the fuck out of your Fleet.  Water cannons, prop foulers, paint balls, spud guns, butaric acid, the works, hell maybe even a few brazen boardings of their own vessels.  What do you say?  I can be paid off in “Full Metal Alchemist” merchandise and would love to help make that Lying Bloated Media Whore’s life a whole lot more difficult.  In fact, I wanna see that fucker cry on air.  

I imagine my first mate will be Stagger Lee, and she is ex-Army, so come on Japan, what do you say?

-sincerely
Your Biggest Fan
Ren 

(South Park did a fully awesome episode Mocking Whale Wars that I loved, and come on, the nerve of naming their newest ship Gojira? WTF!)

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Comments
  1. Jenny says:

    oh! may I also add to this saying Paul Watson has also been racially insensitive to indigenous land rights and is a part of this fringe Sierra group which supports restrictions on immigration?:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Sierrans_for_U.S._Population_Stablization

  2. Xena says:

    Oh boy. You’re making me cringe now, Ren. Let me think on it for a few days and come back when my stress about other stuff won’t turn a friendly debate into a piece that could come off sounding like an attack.

  3. Gaina says:

    First, I’ll be honest and tell you that I have only watched a few minutes of Whale Wars as that’s all I can manage ANY time I witness someone harming an animal before the desire to have some ‘quality time’ in locked room with them and a baseball bat overwhelms me.

    Now, some facts and figures….

    Despite a moratorium on Commercial whaling which has been in place since 1986, Japan has killed 1500 whales per year (source: http://www.wwf.org.au/ourwork/oceans/whales/) under the guise of a ‘scientific research’ but with modern scientific research methods, killing whales is not just unnecessary, studying live whales is producing more valuable data that aids their conservation.

    Japanese whales killed for ‘scientific research’ end up in the food chain as well as in cosmetics. If we take 1500 whales a year over 25 years that’s just over 37,000 have been killed since the moratorium was put in place, which may not sound like a lot but when you add to that at least 1,000 more whales, dolphins and porpoises are killed in fishermen’s nets and encounters with boats it starts to rack up. And that’s before we’ve even considered the deaths caused by pollution, and the number each year that beach themselves because they become disorientated due to increased boat traffic and military underwater explosions and sonar devices.

    Whales take 7-14 years to reach sexual maturity and only produce one calf every 1-3 years and that calf will stay with it’s mother for at least five years so if she’s killed in that time, invariably the calf dies too. Many of these whales are not getting the chance to breed at all before they are killed which diminishes the population further.

    Most species of whale are endangered with the Blue Whale currently running at 10 -14,000 individuals worldwide and they are slow to reproduce so that’s putting a significant burden on the population that is unsustainable.

    Indigenous whaling, on the other hand accounts for a relatively small number each year, the window of opportunity to catch whales is a small one and those whales are used to sustain the communities when other food sources are not available, and once caught every part of the animal is utilised. Their methods of whaling are a million miles away from the industrialized slaughter carried out by countries like Iceland and Japan.

    Groups like Green Peace do *interfere* with whaling practices but they are never violent. The same, however cannot be said for the other side. Look up ‘Rainbow Warrior’.

    And, going of at a complete tangent, I’m glad your back is feeling better 🙂

    • Ren says:

      the sea sheppard are violent.

      • Gaina says:

        As I say I haven’t watched more than a few minutes of it. Can you give me some links so I can read about what they’ve done?

        • Ren says:

          giana, best bet is to goggle Sea Sheppard’s and Contraversy LOL

        • Ren says:

          but, okay, I watch the show….they have rammed a japanese boat, shot paint balls, thrown and shot glass bottles filled with butaric acid (which is harmless and smells bad, but yes, GLASS BOTTLES) onto the decks of the japanese ships, shot flares, and shot potatoes and stuff onto the ships decks (where there are people).

          Biggest story lately was when one of the japanese boats WRECKED one of their boats, a small speed vessel called the ady gil….the gil had run out of fuel after speeding up to and around the japanese boat, andwell, the japanese boat hit it and cracked it in half (no injuries)….the Sheppards say the japanese did it on purpose, the japanese say they could not turn their boat out of the way in time to NOT hit it, film from both ships makes it hard to see what the truth is (sheppards film makes it look like a diliberate hit, film from japanese boat really makes it look like they could barely see let alone avoid the Gil),but yes.

          In one instance, the japanese were throwing concussion grenades when the Sheppards boats were, well, dangerously close to their own, and WOOO, all the sudden, Watson had BEEN SHOT, and AMAZINGLY, the BULLET HIT HIS CHEST AND FAILED TO GO INTO IT because, gasp, it hit a BADGE he was wearing….like some Sherif of the Sea Hero…

          Ahem, IMHO, TOTALLY FAKED for drama and ratings….one, waht are the chances of a BADGE saving someone? Two, um, I know my guns, and while the Japanese do have rifles and harpoon guns on the boats, this was a small calibre handgun bullet…it was JUST SO….woooo DRAMA!

          (also telling that watson never tried to have the sailors on the whaler brough up for assualt or attempted murder…)

          • Ren says:

            also, oddly enough, mostof the damage done to the Sheppard’s crew and boats has come from shitty weather accidents and their own wrecklessness, most recent one their chief engineer was trying to repair a hole in the fuel tank on one of the boats in very choppy seas and he hit his head and cut it open. The boat in question is 60 years old. They also ripped a hole in the hull of the same boat trying to navigate an ice field which would be dangerous in a brand new Ice Class vessel, but hey, they didn’t let that stop them.

  4. Jenny says:

    A ban on whaling in Japan might be workable granted,but not in the case of indigenious people:
    http://vegansofcolor.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/anti-whaling-advocates-and-the-far-right/

    Just so we’re clear and Watson hasn’t stopped being an asshole, it seems:
    http://vegansofcolor.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/nobody-deserves-a-tsunami/

  5. I pretty much agree with Ren. Capt. Watson, head of Sea Shepherd, proudly says he hates people. I think the right of people to make a living outweighs the right of privileged Westerners to live out their moral fantasies.

    Having said that, if I was against whaling, I’d support Sea Shepherd because they’re actually effective. There’s a lesson there about the difference between protest and action.

    Gaina, a couple of counter points:

    1) The Japanese do not hunt Blue Whales. They mostly hunt minke whales, and there are plenty of them at the moment.

    2) The Rainbow Warrior sinking by French Intelligence had nothing to do with whaling. Greenpeace were planning to use the Rainbow Warrior to interfere with French nuclear tests in the South Pacific. (This was HUGE news in Australia when it happened in the 80s).

    3) Of course the Japanese whaling is for food etc, not research. They’re taking advantage of a hypocritical way to get around a bad (IMO) rule.

    • Ren says:

      IMHO, Greenpeace is a farily respectable organization….Paul Watson was thrown out of Greenpeace and endangers human lives constantly in a variety of ways.

      He’s a douchebag.

    • Gaina says:

      Hello David 🙂 Yes, I understand the context in which the Rainbow Warrior incident occurred. I maybe should have phrased that sentence better because I was using that as an example of how violence has been used in the past against peaceful protest and not related to whaling.

      Was also aware that Japanese hunt mostly Minke whales, but thanks for pointing that out for anyone who didn’t know – sometimes I forget that because *I* know something it doesn’t meant every else knows it and I type/speak as if they do. I think faster than my fingers can carry me sometimes ;).

  6. Xena says:

    FUCK! No I won’t be a nice little Canadian about this. Yeah, Greenpeace are interfering with somebody’s business. That business is slaughtering creatures who may be smarter than any of us for a fucking tube of lipstick!!

    Go ahead and rant about the interests of mercenary capitalism if you must, but let’s not be a hypocrite, David. Go big or go home. Where’s your Jewskin lamp, Mr. Libertarian? The Nazis had to make a buck too!! Abu Ghraib was all in a day’s work, right? Do you have a whole lot of Lynching Postcards on your wall? Couldn’t stand in the way of that business now, could we? Got any relatives who owned and raped slaves to save money? Nothing wrong with that business practice either, right?

    PFFTT!!

    • Ren says:

      Xena: I am a libertarian….and a Jew. One of the ONE LAWS of my blog is Godwin’s…

      In my house, the only time I wanna see ANYONE compaired to Nazi’s is when I am talking about…Nazi’s. I’m sorry, that is a RULE FOR EVERYONE.

      THAT response to David was EXCESSIVE (midway down comment chain, have not seen what comes next) However, I too can research…..what he says there, about the Rainbow warrior, so on, is true.

  7. Xena says:

    Pardon me, David. I didn’t realize you were Australian, not American. Of course your family didn’t own slaves.

    How’s the resocializing of the Aboriginal population going over there? You must be a staunch supporter.

    • dead_vladimir says:

      I think a Canadian would be the last to want to talk about the resocialization of aboriginal peoples unless we are going to have a comprehensive discussion of such thinks like the Sterilization acts Canada passed in the 1920s and 30s or the various other abuses.

      And frankly what does any of this have to do with whaling?

      • Xena says:

        Yeah, dead_vlad. My great granny was a daughter of the Ojibwe First Nation. My Irish relatives disowned my grandmother for marrying her Metis son, my grandfather.

        Read the comment I wrote June 5 @2:31 if you want to know what this has to do with that.

  8. Xena says:

    OK, I had a smoke. I feel better now.

    Yes, Ren, mediawhores get under my skin too. But there’s a better way to address that than helping the people they’re trying to stop. The cause is still important. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Oh, and David, while we’re on the topic of mediawhores, I thought there might be a chance this would come up: Coal is not sexy, but I’m sure there’s an ecofriendly compromise to be reached on that issue. Strip mining is bad for the environment, but less devastating than hunting an intelligent species to the brink of extinction. Fill me in on what happened with Greenpeace protests on stripmining in New Zealand if you feel compelled to do so.

    Lucy Lawless has no clue who I am. I hope she and Raimi and the rest don’t mind me borrowing the name for my blog chats. I don’t usually stumble across environmentalist posts where borrowing her label might create a conflict of interest. So here’s my disclaimer: I am not Lucy Lawless. I borrow the name Xena because I’ve always loved the statements the show made about feminism, philosophy and the meaning of life. It was campy, fun, action packed, sometimes, but rarely serious, and always full of awesome storytelling. All the things I like to bring to feminist discussions. But I repeat: I am not Lucy Lawless, nor am I affiliated in any way with any of the creators, producers or cast and crew of the show.

    *whistling through my teeth* Those comments were pretty harsh, eh? Toothache. I’m feeling kinda mean today. Go ahead and clear the air if you’d like, David, Ren, or anybody else.

    • Ren says:

      Coalmining. I live in Virginia….right up the road is the US State of WEST VIRGINIA, where yep, people work the coal mines- it is ugly, dangerous, dirty, foul life killing soul stealing work…that is often the ONLY work there is. Hummm, I will ALWAYS side with the miners. They deserve to make a living and feed their families. Thier jobs should be safer, and if we ever come to some era where power is cheap and clean- they sure as shit still deserve to be able to earn a living and feed their families.

      As for animals….I remember once when I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8, I was watching National Geographic or something and on the show, they showed a baby fur seal being killed. It sickened me. I wanted someone to do the same thing to the person who clubbed the seal, and the rich bitch who decided she needed a seal fur jacket. I cried and cried and was upset about it for weeks, and hell, at 39, I STILL remember watching that and how it made me feel. But, I also learned about how many animals are hunted for people to have clothes and food…I eat meat, I wear leather…does it make me a doublefaced fool, maybe, but I DO see a difference in killing an animal if one uses all of it, meat for food, skins for wearing, oils for machines and light, so on, so forth, than merely killing it for its fur and wasting the rest (as is the case with seal fur coats, or any animal fur coats for that matter…)

      Is whaling a moral issue? As I said, I don’t like the word “extinct”. But I hate even more people who will PRETEND TO BE SHOT to drive up ratings and who ENDANGE HUMAN LIVES- both those of their crew and the whalers they are fighting- FOR RATINGS. Save the whales, Harm the Humans- including those who are jus trying to earn a living? Yeah, I think not. Not in my house anyway.

      And do you think, for a second, that these sea sheppard assholes might, oh, set up a fund to HELP the Japanese affected by this recent nuclear incident, or will that bloated media whore just continue to pump up himself? You know, donating just ONE YEAR’s worth of their GIVEN donation to Japan to HELP THEM, rather than tryin to dick over their working people MIGHT go a long way in helping his cause…but would it get him the attention he so obviously craves? Hummm…

      And Paul Watson was THROWN OUT of Greenpeace because they thought he was an extremist douchebag….that tells ya something, doesn’t it?

    • Hmm… Glad I only just saw this now. I’ll put all my answers to this and comments below here.

      1) I’m Australian, not a New Zealander. They’re not the same country.

      2) I’m a Marxist, not a Libertarian.

      3) I’d appreciate it if you could not personally attack me, please.

      4) I don’t oppose Sea Shepherd because Watson is a mediawhore (although he is), I oppose Sea Shepherd because in my opinion humans are more important than animals.

      5) I totally disagree with the idea that hunting animals for food is the same as lynching black people in the USA or the attempted destruction of Aboriginal Australians. In fact, indigenous people in Canada hunt whales. For me, animals are there for humans to use and the only moral issue is managing them so we keep the population high enough.

      BTW I wrote about this when the Ady Hi was sunk about 18 months ago…articles at

      http://strangetimes.lastsuperpower.net/?p=556

      And

      http://forth.ie/index.php/content/article/a_whale_of_a_time/20100110/

      There’s plenty of background info there, including videos of the sinking at the first article.

      • Xena says:

        1) I never said Australia and New Zealand were the same country. Canada and the US are not the same country, but they’re close enough that American environmental issues are important to me.

        2) Ok, so not approving of moral pipe dreams is a Marxist thing. But defending “the right of people to make a living”? That sounds very right libertarian to me.

        3) I didn’t attack you. I don’t know enough about you to attack you. I attacked your belief that whales are less important than humans, and therefore only meant to be eaten.

        4) There was a time when people believed the very same thing about every non-Xtian, non western culture on the planet, especially those with darker complexions. That they were ‘less than human’ and fit only for slavery or slaughter. Men thought the same thing about women once, too.

        5) Whales may be as intelligent as human beings. See the comment I made June 5 @2:31 for the full discussion about eating vs. unnecessary cruelty.

        • Xena says:

          #3 sounds a little more crass than I meant it to sound. I try to avoid ad hominems. Even if I knew anything about your personal life, I wouldn’t attack you for who you marry, your religious beliefs, etc.

          I have a problem with your belief that whales are “only animals”, and that’s where the problem stops.

          • Xena, you did ask where my Jewskin lamp was, and said I was no doubt a “staunch supporter” of the “resocialisation” of Australian Aboriginal, which I take to mean a staunch supporter of the attempted genocide of them that occurred here. I do think it’s fair to say those are personal attacks.

            As a Marxist I think that the only thing most people have to sell to make money is their labour power. Therefore stopping people from selling that labour power without providing alternatives is very damaging to them, since it is, in effect, illegal to be too poor.

            I support the right of working people to make a living over the desires of other people to stop whaling.

            The fact that vicious racism, sexism and so on has existed for thousands of years does not prove that whales should have the same rights as humans. I don’t think it’s ever been shown that any animal comes even close to approaching human levels of sentience, self-awareness and language. I think it’s very unlikely that whales are as intelligent as even the most mentally disabled humans.

            Yes, I do think whales are “only animals” when it comes down to it, and that it’s ok to hunt and eat them. You disagree, and fair enough too. I guess all I can do is make my arguments and anyone else who might be reading can decide which of us they agree with more.

      • Xena says:

        I liked the first comment after your second linked article from eatmorehumans.com. That was EXACTLY my point.

  9. Ren says:

    ACTUALLY, as I do not feel like looking it up, aside from Japan and Iceland, what countries STILL engage in commercial whaling? I know Norway and Russia did…do they still? Does anyone know? If not I will look it up and see.

  10. Ren says:

    Okay, I am inpatient…

    Commerical (and I stress commerical) whaling nations include: Japan, Norway, Russia, and Iceland.

    Iceland hunts minke and fin whales (30 and 9 respectively a year)
    Russia hunts Grey Whales (140 a year)
    Norway hunts minke whales (400-2000 a year)
    Japan hunts minke and humpback whales (500-1500 a year)

    at least that is what I could find…various other Nations (US, Canada, Greenland) allow for native peoples to engage in whale hunting Greenland’s allowed number of whales to be taken being the highest)

    • Ren says:

      …kind makes me wonder why the Sea Sheppards aren’t up there chasing down the Norway and Russia whaling contigents too….could be because well, those two groups might ACTUALLY shoot at them….

      Russian whalers seem to take that shit VERY seriously….

  11. Xena says:

    That’s what I said in my second comment, Ren. Mediawhores bother me too. But there’s a better way than helping poachers poach. As you said, they should find more ways to help the Japanese rebuild after the tsumnami.

    I mentioned coalmining because I thought David might have a problem with the Xena name, and bring up Lucy Lawless. She was making a big stink over in New Zealand about strip mining last year. Like I said, there’s a more reasonable compromise to be reached on the coalmining issue there than banning it all together. There’s a difference between mining and hunting an intelligent and endangered species. Except for a very few native groups who hunt a very few marine mammals every year, whaling and seal hunting needs to be stopped. Right now. My point about the coal mining was that it’s possible to phase it out gradually over a few generations to lessen the possible harm to the families that rely on it for their income. Digging and killing are 2 entirely different things.

    My point about souveneir industries built on human remains didn’t stop with the Nazis, if you noticed. I also mentioned Reconstruction Era/Jim Crow Era lynching souveneir postcards, and the attacks on the aboriginal population of Australia. These atrocities were also orchestrated around the assumption that these intelligent human beings were somehow ‘less human’ than the rest of us.

    Just like the excuses whaling industries give for the atrocities they commit against the whales.

    Research is still underfunded and inconclusive at this point. But marine biologists have been working to try to communicate with several species of marine mammals. It’s already been proven that orcas and dolphins’ behaviour patterns are due to a shared culture, rather than the in-the-moment pack behaviours of other mammals whose sensory and learning patterns are configured differently. Scientists have yet to decode these creatures’ vocalizations to a point where we can understand them, and speak to them. But their vocalizations are more than just the echolocation abilities demonstrated by bats. I’m sure they have language. They speak to each other. Whether their language capacities are closer to the capabilities demonstrated by the great apes, or closer to what human beings share is still undetermined.

    Whales may also have language and culture. Killing them should be a crime.

    As for killing other animals: When I actually have a say about what I eat, I eat mostly vegetables, free run eggs and white meat bc factory farms bother me. Footwear is a problem for me. New leather that can stretch to the shape of my foot is mandatory to prevent actual pain. I justify a little beef about every other week by telling myself I wear meat, so I might as well eat it too. But the way they slaughter cattle makes me queasy. I try to keep my consumption to a bare minimum. Between 1990 and 2004 I managed to eliminate my once a month veal treat from my diet entirely. I love the stuff, but I couldn’t deal with that cruelty. It’s been 7 years since I last ate veal. Shellfish will be the next treat I eliminate from my diet, at least until they figure out a more humane way to kill it than boiling it alive. Since 2005, I’ve only spent about $300 on new clothes for myself. I live on donated and thrift store clothing and make it last as long as I can. If I had money I probably wouldn’t spend it on clothing anyway. I’m not trying to impress anybody but my kids right now. I rarely wear makeup, and when I do, I’m extremely picky about brands. Animal testing is cruel. I’ve never had a driver’s licence. I hitchhike everywhere. I’ll get a licence once I can get a good used hybrid for under $10 000. That’ll probably take at least 10 more years.

    For the moment I’m eating whatever they put in front of me, which includes beef closer to 2x a week. At least I have the option of refusing pork. Humanitarianism is part of that, but I’ve never really liked pig meat anyway.

    Btw, I have no problem with killing per se. It’s the intellectual potential and rarity of the creature we mean to consume, and the manner in which it’s killed and used that make all the difference. I have no problem with people who go out in the bush with a rifle and get their meat the old fashioned way. It’s quick, humane, and it’s a fair fight. The deer has the option of kicking the hunter’s ass out there if it wants.

    If the Libertarians hadn’t accused me of being whatever and whatever for trying to raise my disabled son on student loan money, and if they hadn’t used that as an excuse to yank my home and my entire life out from under me, I would have tried hunting deer myself. Whatever… I’m about to leave this shelter and live like an animal so I can get my teeth fixed, if you can believe that. That’s what it takes to get help here.

    So I have to focus on not going extinct, myself. I’ll still be watching this blog if you’d like to continue this debate. I hope we’re still on for Slutwalk DC, Ren.

    • Ren says:

      I did another whaling post, you might find in interesting….

      I had veal last nite for the first time in prolly ten years. But I find the idea of killing okay not okay as based on intelligence….terrifying.

      Ugh, i gotta get my teeth fixed too, they are a mess (and that shit IS pricey, here especially!)

      Take care of yourself X, and hell yeah, w’ere still on.

  12. Xena says:

    Ok. I’ll check out that other post. See you soon.

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