I’m devastated and heartsick to hear that the pregnant blue whale who washed up at Bean Hollow beach this last weekend was the victim of a ship strike off the coast. This follows another recent whale killing where a cargo ship pulled into Oakland terminal with a whale stuck to its bow. Over the years, the Cetacean death toll from shipping has been horrific. I covered this issue here at On the Level when I was crossing the Atlantic on a cruise ship last year to get back to the US. It’s appalling that we continue to allow this to happen in our backyard.
While the mainstream media might decry this as a tragic ‘accident’ the truth is that we continue to treat marine mammals (and all marine life) with a recklessness and cruelty that boggles the mind. It’s no accident when we fail to enforce low shipping speeds in areas where whales are feeding and birthing. It’s no accident that we fail to use the latest sonar technology to allow ship captains to avoid whales in the open ocean. It’s an intentional, cold calculation to internalize profit, while externalizing damage and death to the natural world.
From oil and gas drilling, to naval sonar exercises that can damage the inner ears leading to the horrific deaths of the most magnificent animals on the planet near extinction, our culture seems hell bent on destruction of the natural world. It’s a suicidal system that will bring us to a grisly end as well if we don’t manage to turn things around in time.
While our ‘leaders’ call for infinite, exponential economic growth and more trade with Asia as a way to stem unemployment and increase wealth, what does this actually mean in terms of the real world? Increased carbon emissions, more cargo ships and oil tankers crushing the life out of whales, more mercury raining down on our environment from coal fired power stations, and the list goes on.
Does job creation really depend on slaughtering the living world? Or is it actually the generation of extraordinary stores of wealth by a very few psychopaths like Donald Trump that depends on these vicious attacks on humans and nature?
Why is there such a fuss put up by religious fundamentalists when one woman out of seven billion makes the choice to end her own pregnancy because she can’t give the baby the life it deserves, but there is barely a peep when one of the last 5000 or so Blue Whales on Earth- a mother and her unborn calf are murdered so that Wal Mart can stock the latest plastic crap that we don’t really need or Chevron can import blood oil from Iraq to its Richmond refinery?
It’s time we expand the idea of being pro-life to include all of life, of whatever species.