Whale Wars: Viking Shores – Does The Sea Shepherd Come Off Bad?

whale wars - viking shoresLet 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?

5 comments

  1. falcon7 says:

    I agree…what a waste of valuable money to try and dictate to other people about which mammals are more sacred then others. As best I can tell… whales = sea version of cows..the good thing is this series has so far helped define this for me. In the first whale wars i was torn between whales as something more vs the Japanese. This series has me convinced that they are not anything more then cuter version of cows…though cows can be pretty darn cute as well….

    I fully accept that visiting a slaughterhouse of any sort would be disturbing because for better or worst most of the First World is completely insulated from having to kill their own food. I doubt if we all had to slaughter our chickens, cows or pigs, it would be done in general half as “humanely” as a professional slaughterhouse.

    Unfortunately (for the Sea Shepherds — the very name is ironic NO? Historically shepherds protected their sheep so THEY could eat them…) anyway, as I was saying, unfortunately their very descripton of whales as Herdlike creatures (someone say “cows”?) who have family structures (cows?) and are easily tricked into swimming into shallow water to be slaughtered (ummm doesn’t sound overly intelligent…sounds like erm cows) actually reinforces the Faroese people’s polite opinion of the whale as a legitimate food source.

    The land crew in particular seems obnoxious as can be…yelling at elderly and young couples with children in strollers. Another example of privileged Americans, Aussies and Brits with more money then sense trying to impose their narrow and uneducated view of the world on other peoples. Embarrassing. My apologies…please don’t judge our countries on these fringe vegan goofballs behaviors.

    • misskris says:

      Viking Wars is an intrusive, disrespectful publicity stunt that is going to give America more of a bad name than we have already made for ourselves. Does Paul Watson understand how amazingly ignorant he sounds defending the screams of the whales, while he collects donations from people who live in a country wherein one of the largest agricultural markets deals with what? SLAUGHTERING animals!! I suppose they try to take the stance that dolphins are more intelligent than the cows or pigs, but really, an animal is an animal.
      More importantly, the Faroese are a peaceful people who are truly using the whales as food – no different than we do here. So rather than harassing another country, disregarding more than 4 centuries of history and disrespecting the traditions and values of an entire nation – Paul Watson and friends should spend some time, energy and money on the MANY problems we face here in our country.
      Paul Watson, LEAVE THE FAROESE PEOPLE ALONE!!!

    • ttman says:

      falcon7,

      The problem is that some people consider them the sea version of cows, and other people consider them the sea version of dogs. But that sort of mass slaughter of a large group of them would have most people upset if it was deer, geese, etc.

      • ttman says:

        Maybe a better comparison would be using 4 wheelers to herd a bunch of wild horses into a lake and as they floundered in the water a bunch of guys going in and turning the water red.

  2. poh.1891 says:

    I was an admirer of the sea shepard and its efforts in the antactic as the population of whales there was under threat from industrial whaling. However after seeing their (what can only be described as) antagonism of the local population of the Faroese I have done a complete U-turn. To get in the faces of the locals, to shout and point their finger at them on the equivalent of the 4th of July showed the crew of the sea shepherd to be purile and petulent. There was no attempt to engage positively with the locals. Yes they did have youths harrassing them while the bridgitte Bardot was moored. But considering what they did at Faroese Patron Saints day what the hell did them expect?

    The Faroese on the other hand were thoughtful about what they were doing. Whaling was not just a way of life and tradition for them, but also a way of being self reliant.

    As the population is at a sustainable level maybe Paul Watson should turn his attention to pigs as they are far more intelligent than whales. Though I’d imagine he cares more for BLTs than the life of a mammel. Is Paul, the insanity of humanity. Indeed.

Leave a Reply