Whale Wars: Why I Watch

A couple of years ago I discovered “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. I am not a PETA person, though I do have two dogs. The whale harvesting process is startling and disconcerting, but that does not drive my viewing.

This show encapsulates the many themes of human existence, man versus man, man versus nature, man versus himself. The escapades of the Sea Shepherds chasing the Japanese whaling fleet in the South Sea provide weekly entertainment for me. The mastermind of this project, Paul Watson, makes oftentimes inexplicable tactical decisions and other times perfect choices.

This show provides a perfect opportunity  to observe the behaviors of crusaders on their voyage. Over the years, individuals who signed on have been shocked, shocked I say, when the Japanese defensive response to the Sea Shepherds’ offensive attack efforts to thwart the whaling. In some instances, individuals joined the crew bringing their seafaring experience and tactical know-how only to overruled by single-minded “leaders” in the group.

Morale on the Sea Shepherd always starts out positive, chipper and gung-ho. When human lives are threatened by a foolhardy jaunt into an ice field by a ship not protected against ice, the destruction of a swift, fancy small boat, the physical defensive response of the Japanese or the capturing of stowaway Sea Shepherds who jumped on a Japanese ships, the show documents the deterioration of the crew’s attitude.

I highly recommend this show for the purely entertainment value of the people. The gory death and dismemberment of the whales can be startling. The statistics on the harvesting of whales are disturbing.


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