Captain Paul Watson Asks: "When Will Greenpeace Ships Go Vegan?"
About a week ago, Greenpeace Esperanza asked their followers on Facebook this question: “Should we eat meat on board Greenpeace ships? Let us know what you think.” Now, Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who is a co-founder of Greenpeace, took to Huffington Post to ask a different question. He asked: “When will Greenpeace ships go vegan?”
Watson writes that the issue surrounding policies on meat consumption aboard Greenpeace ships has been around since 1978 and that when he “tried to promote vegetarianism on Greenpeace ships in 1976” he only “received looks of amusement in return.” Citing that as one of the reasons he founded Sea Shepherd, Watson states:
“I instituted a policy of vegetarianism in 1978 when we outfitted our first ship. We changed that policy in 1998 when the ships converted to veganism.”
He outlines the time when the Greenpeace ship Esperanza and Sea Shepherd’s ship Farley Mowat were both in Cape Town in 2005, and after his crew were invited to dinner, they were “shocked to see they were serving a fish dinner on the eve of departing on a campaign to protect fish.” Watson dismisses some of Greenpeace’s arguments in terms of serving meat on their three ships stating that Sea Shepherd has nine ships and “finding officers and crew who accept an on board vegan diet has not been a problem,” especially with the availability of so many realistic mock meat products.
While Watson states that there is no requirement for Sea Shepherd’s crew to be vegan, they do expect the entire crew to be vegan when serving on the ships since:
“A person has to be in willful denial to not see the connections and the reality is that you can’t really be a credible environmentalist if you consume products from the animal agriculture industry.”
While the letter is addressed specifically to Greenpeace, Watson also makes it clear that it goes beyond one organization, and that the inability (or refusal) to make connections between the environment and animal agriculture is prevalent in “most of the large environmental organizations.”
He compares the non-violent strategies of both organizations and states that “not a single animal has had to die for decades to feed the Sea Shepherd crew, not a single fish, chicken, cow, pig, lamb, or anything else” and when they go to save a “whale or a seal, a turtle or a shark,” they do it “without sacrificing the life of another animal.” He reiterates his question, asking “How many more years will Greenpeace continue to review their internal policy on meat consumption?”
To read the letter in its entirety, visit this link.
Photo Credit: www.theguardian.com