“Why we fight to preserve the planet… and why you should too”
by Captain Peter Hammarstedt
The greatest lie ever told is that human beings are separate from the natural world - that there are three branches to the tree of life: humans, animals and nature.
Yet whether furred, feathered, finned or naked, all living creatures share the same home - a solitary satellite spinning through space – and therefore our fates are intertwined. We argue that intelligence or morality separates us from the animal kingdom and yet no other species poisons the food that they need to eat, taints the water they need to drink and pollutes the air that they need to breathe.
Illogically our economies are based on models where infinite growth is a necessity, even though ecologically there are natural limits to growth. The Earth has a limited production capacity (there are only so many fish), absorbent capacity (it can only process so much pollution), and carrying capacity (it can only support so many people).
The conversion of living beings into dead things is fundamentally what drives human economies. We value animals and plants only after their utility as units of production. We don’t acknowledge their intrinsic value, an inherent worth outside of our use for them. Forests are valued according to the amount of paper pulp or board feet that they can produce; and oceans according to the amount of fish that can be netted and hooked.
Which is why more species of plants and animals will disappear between 2000 and 2065 than have become extinct in the last 65 million years. About 50 thousand square miles of forest is lost every year, equal to 72,000 football fields a day. The crisis facing the world’s oceans, where by 2048 it is predicated that all of the major fisheries will have collapsed, is the tragedy of the commons, the depletion of fish populations in an extraction free-for-all fueled by the reality that if one fishing vessel doesn’t exploit an area to the fullest, then another will.
We are on a crash course for disaster. Sea Shepherd’s actions are a last-ditch effort to help humanity change course.
At Sea Shepherd, we fight to preserve the planet because we recognize that we share the Earth with other species and that their well-being is inexorably linked to ours. We fight to preserve the planet because it is a matter of self-defense and we’ve taken the fight to sea.
The ocean produces two-thirds of the oxygen that we breathe on land. Fifty percent of the human population depends on the oceans as their primary food source – they directly count on it for survival. And the oceans are home to more plants and animals than any other ecosystem. It is a natural place to take a stand.
Mahatama Gandhi said that “a nation’s greatness can be judged by how it treats its weakest members” and Edmund Burke wrote that “evil prevails when good [people] fail to act”.
Sea Shepherd is a global movement, representing all nations of good people who act in the interests of animals who cannot defend themselves.
By arresting poachers and confiscating illegal fishing nets and gear, we work towards saving the world, while ultimately saving the entire world for each animal for whom our actions are the difference between life and death.
But we need your help to do it. We fight to preserve the planet because even though there is only one Earth, we know that another world is possible. You should too.
Free speech is a right that is worth preserving. We give our Soapbox pages to others to tell us their view of the world.