Let me start off by saying that I’m a huge supporter of animal rights. At the same time, I don’t support fraud organizations like PETA that care more about promoting their brand than actually protecting animals. The Daily Show had a brilliant piece on the hypocrisy of PETA by comparing SeaWorld to slavery, while at the same time “owning” a pet dog. Side note: I love dogs, love owners who treat their dogs right, and don’t consider it slavery, but I also don’t consider SeaWorld slavery.
With that said, I’ve been having a hard time sympathizing with Sea Shepherd during Whale Wars: Viking Shores as I do during the normal episodes. I’m sure this has a lot to do with showing both sides of the story, but also the fact that what they’re doing is sadly considered legal. Is it right to herd a bunch of whales into a little bay and slaughter them? No, not at all. However, like someone said, if Animal Planet took a film crew into a cow slaughterhouse, people may stop eating burgers… well, possibly. I hate that fact that any animal is killed for food, but also understand it’s the cycle of life (I know, I can be a vegetarian or vegan, but I’m not so shoot me).
What’s also not helping is half the crew are coming off as insufferable protestors that you’d see at a PETA rally. Parking the van and interrupting their festivities was probably the most obnoxious form of protesting I’ve seen on Whale Wars yet, especially when they started playing whale sounds. Then you had the girl running around trying to preach about whales to anyone who’d listen. It was generally annoying and painful to watch.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not supporting their tradition and think it’s definitely brutal, but the people who have been interviewed have a point. This whole thing screams as a PETA publicity stunt more than anything else. Paul Watson knows that he’s just being a pest, and is only just trying to put international pressure on the Faroe Islands. Using his show, he’s putting the spotlight on what he thinks is wrong, and hoping the viewers create more of the uproar than he’s actually doing.
This makes me torn on the whole issue really. The message is being sent as intended, and the Sea Shepherd have plenty of valid points of their own, but I’m having a hard time feeling angry against a country that participates in a legal method of gathering food as brutal as it is.
What are your thoughts on the season, and whaling in general in the Faroe Islands?