Whale Wars might possibly be my new favorite show!

Has anyone else seen Whale Wars yet?

If you haven’t yet, there are a couple of ways you can watch this crazy new show on Animal Planet.

1. You can download the series illegally, like a number of people I know like to do, off a torrent-server, off a number of clip-websites, etc. etc.

2. You can watch it when new episodes come out, I’m not exactly sure when that is but I think it’s Fridays at 9PM EST. It’s kind of an iffy time-slot since I’m sure most of you probably have better things to do on a friday night…

3. You can do what I do and just wait until the new episodes come out on their On-Demand selections. I find that typically, new series episodes come out anywhere from a week to a month after their original airing. Since Animal Planet works hand in hand with the Discovery and National Geographic , they even offer the series in HD!!!

I mean seriously, even if you don’t give a damn about whether or not Whales are killed in the Antarctic Southern Whale Sanctuary, this show at the very minimum offers some of the most breathtaking HD scenery and landscapes in the entire world.

In just a few episodes, you see a number of different creatures, from whales to seals, penguins and even sea turtles. The icebergs and glaciers are amazing in both size and brilliant coloring.

Now the basic premise of this series, from what I can gather, is basically the recently renamed marine ship, the MV Steve Irwin, is basically run by the controversial conservation group, Sea Shepherd.

Some quick reading and scanning through some of the web-content available, including the Sea Shepherd-website, enlightened me to their cause.

To make a long story short, one of the co-founding members of the famous conservation group Greenpeace, was kicked out for being just a little bit dangerous and direct in how he approached his goals.

His name is “Captain” Paul Watson. He’s a Canadian(…), he’s big and chubby and just a few steps away from jumping off the iceberg. He values marine life as much as he values any human life, including his own. Or at least that’s what he claims.

Sea Shepherd’s direct goals include stopping the poaching of whales, the exploitation of seal products by the Canadian government, the exploitation of the Galapagos islands by sharkfin-hunters and a number of other causes that involve the ‘murder’ of marine life.

Now personally I don’t care if animals die. I know that as part of the natural cycle of life, animals will need to die in order for humans to continue to live.

As Anthony Bourdain often says, ‘I could never be a Vegan, I love eating meat too much.’

I think that in all honesty, going Vegan and abhorring all killing of animals is just way too far on the opposite side of the moon.

Now people are going to read this the wrong way and think that I hate ALL animals and cheer everytime one of the bloodthirsty butchers slaughters another creature. This is not true. I just enjoy the taste of meat.

But we’re getting off subject. This series, Whale Wars, is basically a televised on-going documentary about the battles going on near Antarctica between Japanese commercial whalers, who claim they are just killing whales for “research”  and the Sea Shephard vessel MW Steve Irwin.

I turned on the first episode out of curiosity a few days ago. I saw one of their commercials, which have been aired all over a number of different channels, in which a directable harpoon is pointed around a ship’s deck until it finally spots a whale in the distance.

It then proceeds to aim and fire, blasting the harpoon through the air, the sea and finally watching as it punches through the side of the marine mammal. At this point, you don’t see blood and guts, you see one of the letters to the words ‘Whale Wars’.

Pretty good huh? I definitely thought so. It got my attention pretty quickly.

So what is so amazing about this show? It’s exciting, it’s refreshing and it taps into humanity’s basic need for visceral, tangible images. From the very first episode, Watson and his crew tell the world they are basically willing to do WHATEVER to save the whales from the Japanese.

On a related matter, look. I’ll level with you I’m of Asian-American descent. I have traveled to good bit of the asian world. I live in a Chinese household where crazy crazy food like chicken feet and pig intestines, as well as sharkfin soup is normal.

I know and you know that the Japanese ain’t killing these damn whales for any research or development. They were banned from killing whales by the International Whaling Commision in 1986 and since then they started to do research?

Please. You might be able to lie to some of the less educated inhabitants of your tiny little islands but you certainly aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking you need to kill, not collect tissue or blood samples but kill, over ONE THOUSAND whales EVERY year just in the name of science?

I mean come on! This is ridiculous. Somehow, since they aren’t legally allowed to ‘waste’ any of the animal, they get to sell every part of the animal, minus anything they take for their bullshit research, to the fish markets and private vendors.

For anywhere from 250,000 dollars to over a MILLION dollars! EACH!!!

Out of a sense of fairness, before I go more into the Whale War series, let’s take this moment to go over the statistics.

1. Whales allowed for ‘research’ each year: 950 minke whales, 50 fin whales

2. Average value per whale: $250,000 – $1,250,000

3.  Minimum size and weight of adult whales: Minke (23 ft, 11000 lbs)

Fin (60 ft, 150,000 lbs)

4. Estimated minimum value of total catch:  285,000,000 + 45,000,000 = $330,000,000.00 (@ 300k x 950 + 900k x 50)

I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with any tissue or blood samples before but either way, do you really need 950 x 11000 lbs worth of Minke whale-meat and viscera and 50 x 150,000 lbs worth of Fin whale-meat and viscera? That’s over 17 MILLION POUNDS of whale…FOR RESEARCH?!

I have seen articles in the news and Japanese food blogs that all claim that the government and other powerful entities in Japan are all trying to influence the masses into enjoying food made from whale-meat that ranges from “hamburgers” to fried meat on sticks to whale sushi/tataki.

In what way does that show the government is only interested in culling these animals in the name of science and are just selling the “excess” in order to not waste any parts of the animal?

I really don’t know. Maybe people are just plain stupid and/or just don’t care that the Japanese people are once again lying through their teeth while they find their way out through another loophole.

Anyways, let’s get back to the main subject.

So because of this so-called ‘slaughtering of intelligent marine mammals,’ the MV Steve Irwin uses a variety of different tactics throughout the series to bombarb, harass and even board the Japanese vessels.

In the past, he has even used his ‘observer’ boats to CRASH into enemy ships!!! Are you kidding me? That is exciting and amazing to the fullest extent. I mean seriously, who doesn’t like large ships smashing into each other like marine bumper-cars???

Even though they say they don’t condone violence of any sort, I think this is more a plan to gain public sympathy and support then anything else. They fly a pirate flag that happens to show a human skull, a shepherd’s staff and a TRIDENT. I think the trident speaks for itself when dealing with a ‘violent’ approach.

In my personal view ‘Captain’ Paul Watson, the head of the entire Sea Shepherd organization, is crazy, talented and very devoted to his cause. Even if the ends don’t always justify the means, it’s people like him that can change the world. Bless his pirate soul.

So if you haven’t seen the show Whale Wars yet, do so whenever you get the chance. I may like the taste of certain animals but anything that can be done to stop the Japanese from parading the words ‘RESEARCH’ and ‘SCIENCE’ while they kill thousands of whales is good enough for me.

Regardless of your standing on whether it’s cruel or not to kill sentient animals, it certainly isn’t right that the Japanese whalers believe they can do whatever they want, including killing thousands of endangered creatures right in the middle of a MARINE SANCTUARY.

If there was anything I could do to help besides write this blog of support, I would. Well…not anything. But a lot. I might even crash a ship into a poaching vessel to save some seals or whales.

-Michael

Wong_83@hotmail.com