I saw a trailer for the new Animal Planet show ‘Whale Wars’ at the movie theater the other day with my wife. We both watched in amazement as we saw the way that the ‘Sea Shepherd’, a ship and crew intent on keeping Japanese whalers from hunting down whales in the Antarctic. The tactics and hatred of the crew of the Sea Shepherd was staggering. Their passion for whales and protecting the environment is admirable, but the way that they are going about trying to stop the hunters is both violent and illegal. I found it interesting that Animal Planet is promoting their cause by creating a show out of it. While I understand that Animal Planet would probably say that they, ‘don’t support the illegal actions of the Sea Shepherd‘, or something political like that, by airing the show to get more viewers, better ratings, and more money, they are in a sense, supporting the acts of these people.
What kind of message do we send to kids and to people, who frequently watch Animal Planet, about caring for the environment? That its okay to take the law into your own hands? That’s it alright to throw smoke grenades and threaten other human beings without regard for international law and policy? Even the usage of the title, ‘Whale Wars’, is threatening. That Animal Planet is somehow condoning their actions and creating War Heroes about a group of people that are more concerned for the safety of a whale than for the respect of law and human life.
I appreciated the blog by my colleague on Consumerism yesterday on Green Glancy. We must be wary of putting so much emphasis on the environment that we forget that it is people that are in desperate need. Resulting to violence and terror to protect animals is too extreme of an action. Making a show about, making money off of, and effecting children and students on an ‘educational’ channel, is disappointing and frustrating.
Animal Planet should pull the show or develop healthy dialogue about the ‘real’ issues of whaling and how to effectively and respectfully deal with the issues.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.