Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saving Whales Is Saving Ourselves

I've become a fan of the television series "Whale Wars," wherein film crews accompany anti-whaling activists on hair-raising confrontations designed to stymie Japanese whaling ships from harpooning whales.

Yeah, old English grad students once immersed in Moby Dick never really recover.

But back to Whale Wars: Part of the tension in the episodes comes from the ethical questions playing out on the screen: is it right to kill whales, is it right to interrupt the whalers and put livelihoods and human lives at risk, and so forth?

And other questions pop up in your mind as the programs unfold: Are the intervenors idealists, or fools? Vandals or heroes?

Some answers and perspective emerge in the cover story in last Sunday's New York Times magazine.

The story says scientists know that whales have complex brains and social structures similar to ours, and, in fact, may be initiating fresh contacts with people as the whale slaughter recedes worldwide.

The piece is definitely worth a read, and makes me wish those anti-whaling activists out on the Antarctic Ocean all the best.

1 comment:

Sink the Poachers said...

The Japanese are illegally poaching these whales, a good third of them are pregnant when slaughtered. The Japanese are lucky, in Africa they shoot poachers dead.