As a vegan or vegetarian activist, it is worth knowing of organisations that protect wildlife all the while not putting veganism as a goal in their mission statement. And, even though not all of the organisations are run by vegans, it is good to know that they work extra hard to make sure wildlife continues on this planet.
Captain Paul Watson is the owner of the Sea Shepherd Society. This controversial animal activist has been in the news very often, but since most people have never heard of his organisation, they tend to blame Greenpeace for his actions. Depending on the point of view of that confused person, this could have either a positive or a negative effect on Greenpeace.
Once a member of Greenpeace himself when it was originally created in Canada in 1971, he was kicked out because of his radical methods. He goes as far as to claim that although he has killed some of the people who go against the international UN treaties, he believes his work to be valuable. Let's put it this way: Greenpeace is the Gahndhi of environmental protection, whereas Paul Watson is the Che Guevara of sea wildlife activism. Unfortunately, to this day, the two organisations still have major disputes that interfere with their work. Once, while both were chasing illegal Japanese whalers, their boats collided and they started to blame each other for the dangerous lack of attention. The whalers weren't stupid; they took advantage of the fight to escape. Both their missions failed.
Furthermore, it can seem quite contradictory to accept willingly killing someone - for whatever reason - then claiming to want to protect wildlife. But, to Captan Watson, planet Earth would be much better off without humans or, at the very least, if the number went down drastically to about 1 billion. Especially those that don't care about wildlife.
To make matters worse, he claims to be vegan, but has often been seen eating the very fish he tries to protect, as well as the occasional steak. His weight surplus has been deemed proof of his lack of willingness to cut out the very species he wants to protect out of his diet.
However, several vegans have to admit that as drastic as his methods are, as important as his missions turn out to be. He goes where no one else is willing to go - directly between the often-times criminal hunters and their prizes. He has stopped numerous boats from continuing with their damaging fishing and hunting techniques. Plus, he DOES talk to them first. He writes to company owners, opens discussion and argues his point of view. In a threatening manner, but he lets them know what will ensue if they don't comply.
To make matters more interesting, he is not doing this illegally. Quite the contrary; the United Nations GIVES the right to individuals to enforce the laws and regulations it puts forth. For more information, follow this link: http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/laws-and-charters.html. The winner of countless environmental awards, Paul has even been named one of the "Top 50 People Who Could Save the Planet" by ensuring the world's waters are safeguarded.
What is your take on this? Animal activist, or murderer?
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Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)