14 Feb 2010

Sea Shepherd: against the left critics

When the Sea Shepherd vessel Ady Gil sank following a collision with a ship in the Japanese whaling fleet, snap protests were called outside Japanese embassy offices in Australia. For some this has become a political football to kick their own goals, but the cause of marine conservation deserves better.

New Zealand foreign minister Murray McCully accused the protesters of “behaving in a manner that has put life at risk” - after they themselves were nearly killed in the collision! Japanese representatives have gone further to insinuate the Ady Gil left a fuel spill, although Sea Shepherd suggest this may have been staged by the whalers. Australia’s environment minister Peter Garrett has emphasised in a letter to Sea Shepherd that his government’s “opposition to commercial and so-called “scientific” whaling” is best expressed by diplomatic means.

Left critic
From the left, some attack Sea Shepherd for alleged racism and nationalism. One socialist, blog author John Passant, provocatively begins his article with the statement “There is nothing about whales that means humanity shouldn’t eat them.” He goes on to explain that Sea Shepherd have utilised racist, colonialist arguments against indigenous subsistence whaling such as that practiced by the Makah people of northern USA.



Maureen said...

I do not know anything about this so called left blogger but his opinions sound like old communist doctrine where animals are just commodities to be used and abused by mankind. As for racism, believe me, the Japanese look down on everybody who wasn`t born in Japan of Japanese parents. Sea Shepherd is saving the lives of whales and that is putting financial pressure on these illegal whalers, they are true heroes and eco warriors.

Derek Wall said...

well I have some mates who are Japanese who are smart but yes S Sheperd are great.

Ben Courtice said...

Maureen: Blogger John Passant is a member of Socialist Alternative, the larger of the two "Cliffite" organisations in Australia (http://sa.org.au). The other group, Solidarity, is more involved in environmental politics. (www.solidarity.net.au) And yes, racism is not the exclusive preserve of the white world - Japanese racism against immigrant Koreans is said to be a problem too, for one example.

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