Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

We Can’t Wait for ‘Whale Wars’!

Written by PETA | November 7, 2008
ecorazzi / CC
Whale Wars

Are you as excited as we are about this?! Following up a string of victories for animals this week, a new TV series is coming to keep the party goin’! Whale Wars is the newest reality show from Animal Planet, and it features none other than our favorite sibling on the high seas, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Do you know about these good folks who so deserve to have their own show? For 30 years they’ve successfully fought for the rights of sea animals the world over, using nonviolent methods of direct action. And starting this Friday at 9 p.m. E/P, we all get to join in on the adventure!

The Sea Shepherd site describes the show this way: “During Sea Shepherd’s Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign: Operation Migaloo in 2007/08, Animal Planet had a camera crew on board a campaign that saved the lives of nearly 500 whales, leaving the Japanese fleet with less than half of their quota and costing them tens of millions of dollars.” I literally “whooped” out loud the first time I read that.

Impressively, this was actually the third time the crew met its own quota of saving hundreds of whales. Mind you, this incredible work is being done in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. You read that right. Animals who should be protected are being slaughtered under the guise of “research.” Since it seems that no government is willing to enforce the law, the crew members risk their lives by taking this responsibility upon themselves.

This show is both timely, in light of the great strides that have recently been made for animals, and heart warming, as it gives credit to unsung heroes. But just think of how many people the show will make aware of the plight of whales! I’m so looking forward to staying in on Friday nights!

You can read an exciting piece by Sea Shepherd warrior Pete Hammarstedt in Ingrid’s new book One Can Make a Difference.

Written by Missy Lane

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  • Joe says:

    Wow i just discovered this show and I cant believe that noone besides them is doing anything to stop the japanese from illegally killing whales thats crazy. I dont know about boycotting ALL japanese products though like that one guy said. Without them we wouldnt have Bleach after all

  • Shawna Flavell says:

    Robert Baker We’ll be sending you some information about that soon.

  • Robert Baker says:

    I would like to know about the Crab fishing in the Bearing Sea!

  • johnstarr says:

    I would love to get a few people together and get captain Paul Watson a real fast boat to out run them harpoon ships. That’s what we could do!!

  • oceanworior says:

    whales have more complex brains than people because all other animals witch includes us have three lobes while cetaceans have four. their language is higher on the level of complexity than are own languages. and people who criticize people who risk their lives to save these beautiful whales why are people dieing over another countries real estate or over an oil well. all animals are just as important as people denying that is like saying a child who cannot talk is less valuable. and if your going to say something childish like Eco terrorist when they have never hurt anyone. it is just name calling like calling someone a poopyface.

  • Gail Burgeson says:

    omg i love whale wars im applying to crew for them this summer

  • animalcarer says:

    i love whales

  • Naomi says:

    But James S Riddle me this. What exactly are they supposed to do to end the genocide? Go in their with guns and shoot up the offending militants? Plain and simple it is far more in their power specifically to protect whales who are also deserving of not being killed! I understand you save a child before a dog. But do you let 1000 whales die so you can raise awareness about genocide amongst a lot of people who can hardly do anything? Not to mention that many animal rights activists also work in human rights. It is possible to raise awareness for both.

  • James S says:

    I believe that animals should be treated well and protected. But risking people’s lives over it? If you kill 5 people but save 10 whales does that make it okay? What if instead of chasing people in a boat they went to third world countries and stopped genocide’s from happening what if they ended world hunger. Animals are important but these people have to sort out their priorities. The fact is people are more important than animals. If your in a burning house and have the decision to take your child or your dog do you justify taking your dog because it has just as much rights as the baby? This is not to say animals have no rights but I do believe human rights come first even if they are criminals. Call me cruel but I believe that people should be treated like equal with out violence.

  • lynda downie says:

    Texkamaka Nice try making Paul Watson out to be a dangerous cult leader. Sorry any committed ARA won’t be taken in by your attempt to malign his character.

  • Kurt K says:

    Joe I waan’t really worried about the captain’s ability to navigate the ship. He seems experienced and competent at the helm. The problem is the crew many of them are new to this position and it seems that some veterans on the ship are not up to the task either. That was apparent in the first episode when they couldn’t launch the little boat and almost got five people killed. I am just worried that the Japanese sailors will eventually get fed up and use deadly force. Put yourself in their poistion they beleive that they are doing is okay while some crazy people on a boat stalks them. The tried to disable a ship in a huge freezing ocean. A disabled ship is very vulnerable in such an unpredictable ocean. One side or the other is going to get a person killed.

  • Joe says:

    Kurt After 4 episodes would you still say “don’t worry Watson is a master mariner” or are you waking up a bit and can you finally see what really is going on here?

  • Texkamaka says:

    The thing that kept running through my head was JONES TOWN in south America The Capitan reminded me of Jim Jones who KILLED his followers. The women on the Steve Irwin remind me of Charles Manson Girl friends.. It is too bad these people do not fight this hard to stop WORLD HUNGER Help there own species.. The show was entertaining but my gut feeling was the captain and crew were Diabolical and Ignorant MANSON and JIM JONES were fighting for what they believed in.. I am a AMERICAN but if I was in the Japan Government The Steve Irwin would just disappear or The Japanese people should send a ship out to throw stink bombs and make the steve irwin dead in the water and I would cal the Japanese ship STINGRAY

  • Darel says:

    It’s incredible the amount of funding that an organization such as Sea Shepard generates for their efforts. I believe that their efforts have merit and saving such a majestic species should be the entire world’s concern. Watching the program it is painfully obvious how amateurish the operations are ran. The lack of planning with regard to safety. The day to day operations with no redundancy planning. The capsized semi rigid boat and the seemingly disenfranchised mindset the crew makes one ponder to the sanity of the captain himself. Though I applaud heroics in the face of disdainful corporations bent on pillaging the seas I have doubts about the longevity of the efforts and manner in which the results are attained. Captain Paul is responsible for all aboard that vessel. It’s appalling to see people with such concern and compassion for other creatures being lead by such callous incompetence.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Kurt K The organ donation bank would be for vegans only. They are the healthiest people so my organs are not going to someone who had perfectly good organs but chose to lead an unhealthy lifestyle and most vegans care about animals so the chance of donating to an animal abuser is much slimmer with a veganonly donation bank. Of course regular donation banks would continue to exist but this would provide an alternative for vegans who might not otherwise donate.

  • Kurt K says:

    Define monster? What would be the stipulations in order to get your organs? Would that include all people who are not vegan? Or just the ones are known animal abusers? Please clarify?

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Well Kurt K since we live in America it is completely up to me whether or not my organs are donated. As of right now they are not and they will not be unless I can be sure they will not go to someone who abuses animals. It is not my place to forgive these monsters for the cruel things they do to others and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one responsible for allowing them to continue. If I am the only thing standing between one of these people and the Grim Reaper I’m moving out of the way…….

  • Kurt K says:

    Antigone It is really funny that you just called me a bigot. I read your post on the “Insurance” post. “I believe in karma doing unto others and letting others live their lives.” How can you say that when you said you would not donate your organ because you fear they may end up in a person how may be cruel to animals? If you belive in karma then you must believe in forgivness. You obviously do not. I hope to God you are not a teacher. If you are I want to know where you are teaching. And yes denying a person your organs becasue they may not share the same philosophy in life as you is heartless. At least I have the capability to forgive those who hate my ways.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Kurt K I am far from heartless. The problem is that you are a bigot. There is no other word for it. You defend the most egregious treatment of animals with the belief that they deserve less consideration than you because you are human. I do not subscribe to that philosophy and neither does any other true AR person. I believe in karma doing unto others and letting others live their lives. It is a small person that believes that cruel treatment is okay provided the victim cannot defend himself.

  • Kurt K says:

    I can’t believe what you just said Antigone. I take that back I can coming from you. You are a heartless person.

  • Antigone1000 says:

    Captain Paul Watson is absolutely right in defending the whales. If some of those trying to kill them are themselves killed so be it. No one would cry for a child molester that was murdered in an effort to save his victim. The whales are the victims here. If their wouldbe murderers were killed I would not find it offensive or excessive. If criminals are killed in defense of innocent beings so be it.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Mike To me what the SSCS do is more like acts of vandalism since they are attacking things or property. Violence to me at least implies attacks on people. But your term “nonlethal” would certainly cover it. Kurt K There is the letter of the law and then there is the spirit of the law. While the moratorium is on whales are to be killed in limited numbers not like Japan’s annual quota of just under 1000 whales and strictly for scientific purposes. The Japanese among others are clearly violating this ruling. Notice that the SSCS has never been legally or militarily pursued at least successfully by the Japanese government. To do this would focus unwanted world attention on the scofflawing of the Japanese. The reason nations like Australia don’t enforce the International Whaling Commission moratorium in places like the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary which is in Australian territory is that they don’t want to rock the political boat.

  • Kurt K says:

    Mike You’re absolutely right. I appologize if what I said seemed like all encompassing statement. However many people on this site don’t seem to mind if they call all meat eaters cruel. I like to aviod generalization as well. I will try to do so from now on. Furthermore you are correct that wars have been fought in the name of peace. Some wars were good and some bad. They best way to rid the world of evil is to totally get rid of it. I think you know what I am saying. However the men on the whaling ships are not fighting a war when they go out to sea. They are being attacked however. Whether it is right or wrong leagl or illegal to hunt whales is up to the lawmakers to decided. My point was if this continues to happen attacking the whaling vessels somebody is going to get seriously hurt or killed. What will happen if a Japanese sailor some how falls overboard in the freezing sea and dies? What is going to stop the rest of the Japanese crew from retaliating? This is a dangerous game they are playing.

  • Mike says:

    Mike Q I do realize that SSCS have killed no one and that they strive to avoid any harm to the whalers themselves. I read a little more and it seems the 13 vessels were all sunk while in port thus empty. My point was that hurling things even stink bombs and destruction of property are violent acts. In the interest of accuracy it should read nonlethal rather than nonviolent in the original post. The above does not mean I don’t agree with SSCS. I most certainly do. There are times when such vigilantetype action is necessary. My only point was to ensure accuracy in description. Kurt K Just a nitpick regarding your statement “I thought animal rights people were for peace not violence.” Quite aside from the obvious fact that ironic as it may seem wars may sometimes have to be fought to ensure a greater peace quite aside from this there is the fact that not all “animal rights” people can be grouped under the same category anmore than all blacks or all Muslims or all Americans etc. There are a number of AR people who probably feel that “any means necessary” should be the way to go as witness the organization ALF can we mention them here? and to a lesser extent yes SSCS. So it is hardly approprate to paint all AR people with the same brush.

  • Kurt K says:

    Mike Q Actually they are not breaking the law. The may be stretching the law but they are not breaking it. I am deeply commited to upholding the law and as long as they are not breaking the law I think there is a better way to protest. If you want to change this practice you need to appeal to the people who don’t understand whaling. Everytime I see a story of whaling ships being attacked it pushes me farther away from any sympathy I may have for your cause. This show may unite the animal rights people but it may also offend people on the fringe and it will surely enrage millions of Japanese citizens. I thought animal rights people were for peace not violence. I don’t care what you say their tactics are violent and dangerous. Plus one of these days the Sea Sheppard may go a little to far and really push the Japanese sailors over the edge. People are going to be hurt and possibly killed if this practice is allowed to take place anymore. What if the whaling ships open fire with real weapons in the name of selfdefense? What then?

  • Rebecca says:

    I’m so glad a show like this is being aired unfortunately I’m in Australia. I already knew about Sea Shepherd from several years ago and haven’t stopped cheering for them since. Lynda D in getting the other side of the story remember the Japanese are a VERY proud country once warriors after they were stripped of the ability to bear arms they reacted by becoming proud of other aspects of their culture including whaling it is a sort of defiant gesture to the rest of the world. Though in the name of ‘research’ the excess whale meat is sold for food in Japan though eaten so little they have HUGE stockpiles of frozen whale meat. The Japanese whale for national pride not research or food.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Kurt K Not to worry. Captain Paul Watson is a Master Mariner and has been on water for most of his life. Paul was one of the founders of Greenpeace but felt that their fundraising was taking precedence over their mandate and so he left the organization and formed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He has extended the olive branch to them recently only to be rebuffed. The Japanese sailors are breaking the lawwho cares what they have to say.

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Mike Those would be stink bombs being thrown on board to deter the illegal whaling. Remember Sea Shepherd is just upholding the law based on the United Nations World Charter of Nature and the International Whaling Commission. No criminal has ever been killed by Sea Shepherd in their efforts to enforce the whaling laws whereas many countries turn a blind eye to this illegal activity.

  • Tracy Doucette says:

    Just wondering why the actual names of labortories and farms are not included in the films uploaded on the site.

  • Kurt K says:

    I watched the first episode. It seems to me the crew is full of imcompetent people who have never been out to see. Though I’m sure nobody got seriously hurt on this show because I don’t think Animal Planet would air the show if somebody did it is scary that one man would endanger the lives or so many. That is not the calm waters of the Caribean it is the freaking Antarctic. The weather is rough and the water is freezing. Also I wish the show would get the prespective from the Japanese sailors as well. This show is pretty biased. I’m not saying it is okay to kill whales but I would like to hear what the others have to say so I can draw a better conclusion. It is an interesting show however. I was especially confused by the whole ‘Sea Sheppard”Green Peace’ feud. Its odd the two won’t help each other.

  • lynda downie says:

    Yeah I agree Carla. Those words “Stop Killing Whales!” had such a strong impact. I don’t get Animal Planet unfortunately but I’m so glad that they’re airing this show. Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd rule!

  • farah says:

    what a great show. i admire paul watson and his dedicated crew for the important work that they do. props to animal planet for airing such a show!

  • hope says:

    This show is so ridiculous

  • Jenny says:

    O… M… G…. I watched the first episode last night and i LOVED it!!! I am now hooked for the entire season! What those people are doing is selfless and incredible! To but your lives on the line for those beautiful creatures is a kindness that not everyone can possess! Kudos to everyone on board the Sea Shepherd! You guys are true heros!

  • Mike says:

    Just wondering something. Don’t get me wrong I love that SSCS is working for the whales and all but… How is an organization that boasts of having sunk 13 I believe it was vessels and that was even shown throwing bottles of something at the whaling vessels in the commercials how is this considered “nonviolent?” Not trying to start anything here I’m just puzzled by the description.

  • Rainbow Warrior says:

    SAVE THE WALES!!!!!!!!!!!

  • NT says:

    As a Canadian I have admired Captain Watson’s commitment to defend animals for over 20 years. He and Bob Hunter funded Greenpeace to protest Canada’s seal hunt. He brought celebrities like Brigitte Bardot and Sir Paul McCartney on board for the cause and he does this with a quarter of the budget of huge animal welfare groups such as IFAW. There are pictures of him standing on an ice flow between a huge sealing vessel and a defenseless seal pup taken in the 70′s. It is priceless. In the 80′s when it was still legal to slaughter nursing pups he spray painted whitecoats with nontoxic paint to render their fur useless and saving their lives. He is a hero. BTW only vegetarian food is served on his ships! I hope everyone will lend Sea Shepherd their support.

  • nikkijo says:

    captain paul watson has been a hero of mine ever since i saw him in the film “sharkwater”. if you haven’t seen it def check it out it’s about watson helping to stop illegal shark finning. he is an inspiring person and i can’t wait to watch the show!

  • SASHA says:

    THIS IS GREAT! CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE SHOW! They have my love and support!

  • Rex's Mom says:

    I always watch Animal Planet and especially enjoy all the “cop” shows where the agents rescue dogs cats horses and other animals from abuse neglect and just plain cruelty and adopt them out to loving families. I also love whales and it is about time that a show is on that tries to save them. Whales are too big to keep in aquariums so a lot of people dont get to see them up close. But aquariums like zoos are not the best place for captive animals. So hopefully this show will get people to really care about whales. And everyone should boycott Japanese products until they stop whaling! I think only Iceland and Norway are the other countries who still murder these magnificent animals!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Captain Paul Watson is certainly one of the great animal defenders and he wields a mean pen too. Props also to the brave crews of his allvegan ships.

  • Carla says:

    “Stop killing Whales”!!! I can’t get those words out of my head ever since seeing those commerials!! Go Sea Sheppard!!! “A crew” can surely make a difference in the lives of hundreds of whales!! Friday nights will never be the same!!! God bless them!!!