Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Transcript of Captain Pete Bethune's ARZone Guest Chat of 31 July 2010

Transcript of Captain Pete Bethune’s ARZone Guest Chat

31 July 2010 
6pm US Eastern Time 

11pm UK time 

8am Australian Eastern Standard Time 

10am New Zealand Time 

 



Carolyn Bailey:

Today in ARZone we’ll be chatting with Captain Pete Bethune.

Pete is passionate about the environment and adamant about the potential for alternative fuels. He believes that renewable fuels must become a key part of our transport fuel mix.

Pete graduated from Macquarie in 1987 with a Master of Business Administration, University of Auckland in 1990 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), University of Auckland in 1995 with a Diploma in Commerce (Marketing) and from Waikato in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science (Applied Mathematics).

Based on his research, Pete set out to prove that hydrocarbon fuels could be replaced by sustainable bio-fuels. He had Earthrace designed and built in order to break the world record for a circumnavigation by a powerboat, in hopes that it would call attention to the viability of bio-diesel as an alternative fuel. In 2008 Earthrace, with Pete as Captain, broke this world record, which still stands today.

After touring ports around the globe, the Earthrace was put on sale and purchased by Hollywood production house owner, Ady Gil. Earthrace was renamed The Ady Gil on October 17 2009, when Ady left the ship to Pete and his crew to participate in anti-whaling activities as part of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

On January 6 2010, the Ady Gil was involved in a collision with the Japanese whaling vessel, the Shonan Maru 2, in the Southern Ocean. Pete and his crew were lucky to survive the incident relatively unharmed. It has been said if the Captain of the Shonan Maru 2 had turned 2 seconds earlier, there may have been no survivors. The Ady Gil sank a few days later.

On February 15 2010, Pete boarded the Shonan Maru 2 to conduct a citizen’s arrest on the Captain, Hiroyuki Komiya, alleging attempted murder and to present a claim for $3 million for the loss of the Ady Gil. He was detained by the crew and taken to Tokyo, where he was arrested by the Japanese Coast Guard on March 12 on charges of trespassing. Pete was subsequently indicted in Japan on five charges, including assault, which he disputed. This charge was based on the allegation that he threw a bottle of butyric acid onto the Shonan Maru 2, days before boarding, causing chemical burns to a whaler’s face. Sea Shepherd claimed the burns were self inflicted when the whaler was shooting pepper spray at the Sea Shepherd crew.

On July 7 2010, Pete received a two year suspended sentence. Additionally, he was banned from Japan or five years. Pete was deported to New Zealand on July 9.

Pete has graciously agreed to take questions from ARZone members today on a range of topics. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Captain Pete Bethune to ARZone today, please, say hello to Pete …


Jane Gorman:

and what a boat my dad still thinks so


Jason Ward:

Hello Pete


Robyn Downie:

kira ora


Josh Nicholson:

Hi Pete


Carolyn Bailey:

Welcome, Pete!


Mishka Love:

Hello, Pete


Rachel Lizzie:

Hello Pete


Steven Lee Clarke:

Hi Pete


Tyler Collins:

Hey there Pete


Constanza:

Hallo xx


Christy:

Hey Pete!


Kristina R:

Hi Pete!!


Oluf Marshall:

Hey Pete


Pete Bethune:

Great to be here


Stacy Reyes:

HEY Mate!


Marianne Taeman:

Thanks Carolyn. Hello Pete!


Contessa Huerta:

‘ello Pete.


Charleen Heidkamp:

Hello there, Pete!


Ash Black:

Hi Pete (from Dev Ious)


Krista Nikole Cadwell:

Hi Pete


Ceci M.

Goo’day mate!


Christy Melanson

Hi


Giulia Milesi:

Ciao Pete xxx


Urosh:

Hi


Tyler Collins:

Hi Pete!!


Lucy Robinson

Hey


Marianne Robson

So good you’re back


Pamela Saavedra

Well I will leave to let space to others. Indeed we don’t know, be sure we will be always in contact with you supporting. You are a very special person, we are all very proud of you. I know you need time to recover your energy too. All our best wishes


Pete Bethune:

it is wonderful to be here


Carolyn Bailey:

Before we begin, I’d like to request that people refrain from interrupting Pete during the chat session, and utilise the open chat, at the completion of Pete’s pre-registered questions, for any questions or comments you have.


Josh Nicholson:

it is wonderful to have you :-)


Carolyn Bailey:

I’d now like to ask Pete his first question.

Pete, there’s been a lot of talk recently amongst animal rights advocates in regards to whether the Sea Shepherd crew commit to being vegan on board the ship. If this is the case, does this constitute just a vegan diet or does the crew, in general, adhere to living a vegan lifestyle whilst at sea?


Pete Bethune:

While on campaign all crew must eat vegan. It is not optional. And it is a good thing, because many non-vegans realize it is fine. Some people can change to vegan / vegetarian through this and some don’t. I believe sea shepherd is good because it gives people the opportunity to experience it with chefs that really know how to cook good vegan food.


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Pete! Tammy McLeod has a question for you but couldn't be here, so Jay will ask for her, Jay?


Jason Ward:

Thanks Carolyn.

Could you please tell us how you and Earthrace became involved with Sea Shepherd?


Jane Gorman:

Hi it’s when your a kid your told meat good for you but you change when you get older


Fifi Leigh:

Hi


Pete Bethune:

Towards the end of Earthrace (early 2009), I was looking for a project I could put my time and effort to. I care deeply about marine conservation so I wanted to remain in that area if possible. I went to Friday Harbor in WA, USA July 7th 2009 and worked a deal with Paul Watson. Then Ady Gil put up the million bucks to buy Earthrace and it was agreed I would captain the vessel to Antarctica for Sea Shepherd.

 

Stacy Reyes:

It's been really exciting watching you on Whale Wars this season as Captain of the Ady Gil... former Ady Gil!


Carolyn Bailey:

Tim Gier is also running late, so Roger will ask his question for him next, Rog?


Roger Yates:

If the 3 News 60 Minutes story of you and your experience in Japan is accurate, the public there seems outraged at what you did and how you did it. Isn't it just as likely as not that the effect of Sea Shepherd's efforts will be to harden the resolve of the Japanese and their government to continue whaling?


Pete Bethune:

I think it varies depending on the demographic. The right wing people I’m sure it hardens their resolve. But the challenge is most Japanese don’t realize how offensive whaling is. Especially to Aussies and Kiwis, who think of Antarctica as their backyard. So while many people may end up hating me there, it also makes them aware that whaling really pisses us off. Whale meat has dropped in price by 250 yen / kg this year (about $2.50) so perhaps there has been a little success. I think overall what happened in Japan will help in stopping whaling, but I accept for some it may make them more determined to keep eating whale.


Jane G:

Thats shocking


OM:

Whilst on trial in Japan you were branded a terrorist and people were even saying you should be hanged how do you respond to that


Carolyn Bailey:

It would be really helpful if we could all refrain from interrupting Pete until the open session is underway. Thanks.


Mystic Rebel:

Pete has the floor


Pete Bethune:

Next question Carolyn?


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Pete. Next question is from Jason Ward, Jay?


Jason Ward:

Thanks Carolyn Hi Pete, could you please elaborate on your world record for the fastest trip around the world in a powerboat, aboard Earthrace? Done


Pete Bethune:

We set a record for a boat to circle the globe. This was June 2008. We ran 100% biodiesel made from waste cooking oils, and we also ran the project carbon neutral. The time was just under 61 days. It was an amazing voyage. We made an unsuccessful attempt the previous year. Both voyages were very difficult. sorry if i cocked up that first question.


Carolyn Bailey:

Congratulations on that achievement, Pete!


Pete Bethune:

Was amazing, great to be part of it!


Roger Yates:

Thanks Pete. Carolyn will ask the next question question, C?


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Pete.

Thanks, Rog. My next question is this: A lot of “animal people” regard SS as an animal rights group, despite the word “conservation” being quite clear in their name. Because of this, I believe there are higher expectations placed on the crew of SS than perhaps should be, by some animal advocates. What is your opinion of this?


Pete Bethune:

Paul makes it very clear; we are about conservation, not animal rights. I think this is because conservation has broader acceptance. Animal rights people are often perceived as extreme, and if SSCS was seen in the same light, they’d struggle with funding, getting mainstream TV shows on air etc.

He wants to have the average bloke or lady on the street support them. I don’t mind anyone getting some stick to change their attitudes in a positive way. That Sea shepherd crew are asked are they vegan etc I have no problem with.It is good the questions are asked.

I consider myself a conservationist more than anything. It is not just about whales. It is about our carbon footprint, our clothes, cars, transport, consumption, food, energy, houses – these all play a role. I try and get my crew to rethink the way they lead their lives. Everything we do matters. Not just the food. But the food sure is part of it.

Jason Ward:

K- Roger Yates has the next question


Roger Yates:

There are reports that you took a weapon on board a SSCS boat and this would risk your future involvement with the group. Was that just media hyperbole, or did it happen - and is the issue resolved now?


Pete Bethune:

I had a bow and arrow and there were certainly some people in Sea Shepherd who felt it inappropriate. But Paul Watson gave me permission to take it. I am told it was done to assist my sentencing. Paul has made it clear I am welcome on any future campaigns so I’m all cool about things. all good now.


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Pete. Lisa Blundell also has a question for you and isn't here, I'll ask that for her.

Why have you decided to dedicate your life to saving whales? Why whales, rather than other animals?


Pete Bethune:

I have only dedicated a year or two. I care deeply about marine conservation. It was just the opportunity to work on stopping whaling fell into my lap. I also see whales as a flagship species. I believe we can stop their slaughter and if we can do that, we can move onto other species. But if we cannot stop whaling, I believe we have no hope.

Roger Yates:

I'll ask the next question for Erin

Erin's Q....

As a Japanese national, I monitor the Japanese speaking media. Whenever the issue of Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling activities come up, the response from ordinary Japanese people seem to follow a similar pattern.

1. They claim that Sea Shepherd has no case since its members and crew eat animals – just other types of animals, while Sea Shepherd dotes on dolphins and whales. This is the common “cultural imperialist” claim;


Pete Bethune:

My argument to the Japanese centres more on the location. They have no right to hunt whales in Antarctica. It is the back yard of New Zealanders and Australians. Japan is so far away. Japan has no tradition of whaling in Antarctica. It also breaks many international treaties in doing so. Also, the whales often take ½ an hour to die. They gradually bleed to death. It is just appalling. No sane person can watch a whale die in such a way and then happily eat it.

They have a point that other countries eat plenty of animals, but those countries own the animals. I am not saying I agree with farming. I hate most aspects of animal farming as well, but if you ask me what I hate more, it is whaling. Also, whale meat is such a small part of Japanese diet. It is only a small minority who eat it.Beef and Chicken for example is eaten by most Japanese, while whale meat tends to be a food that old men eat.

Finally, Japanese whaling historically was coastal whaling in a few towns, not ocean whaling. It was never a bit part of their culture until after WWII. So their arguments of tradition are shallow.


Roger Yates:

2. Because the crew eat other animals, they cannot see any difference between Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace, and often get the two mixed up;

3. They say that – after Sea Shepherd does something about the eating of cows and pigs in their own countries – then talk to us about whales;

4. Many of those most opposed to Sea Shepherd appear to be older right-wing nationalists. There is a definite generation gap in the reaction to Sea Shepherd’s activities and statements....

Most people seem not to care one way or the other about whale eating, but those who do are angered by points, 1, 2 and 3. Could you comment on these points, please, which are made repeatedly in the Japanese mass and alternative media.

 

Pete Bethune:

Question 2. Yes the two are often mixed up. I don’t really see a problem with this. The boats are vegan though. The Japanese are clever to say you eat chicken, why can’t we eat whale, but it ignores the issues above.

Question 3. This is just a continuation of the food argument. It is more than just what people eat. It is the cruelty of it, the ownership of the whales, the territory they are hunted in, the illegality of the operations, the offensiveness to Kiwis. And as above, Japanese eat way more chicken and beef compared to whale. The industry is tiny.

Question 4: Yes. The staunch pro whaling people tend to be older men, and certainly there is a right wing element amongst many of them. Young people and females in Japan tend not to eat whale or be vocal in its support. These people are often indifferent to whaling. They know it happens but they don’t really care much about it one way or the other.

Unfortunately older men are the most powerful group in Japan. They control the government, ministry of fisheries, media, coastguard – it makes whaling a tough industry to tackle.


Carolyn Bailey:

There certainly are some Aussies and Kiwis who take whaling in the Southern Ocean very personally. I agree with that point, regardless of which nation breaks the law in doing so.


Pete Bethune:

Yeah, indeed.


Roger Yates:

Thanks Pete

The next Q is from Carolyn. She gets to ask one "wot she wrote herself"


Carolyn Bailey:

Hah, thanks Rog! How were you treated in the Tokyo prison? Did other prisoners know who you were and why you were there, and if so, how were you treated based on that knowledge?


Pete Bethune:

Most knew who I was. I was considered extremely dangerous (the irony in that) and the prisoners and guards were all very wary of me. I saw lots of violence and nasty stuff, but none thankfully directed at me.

Prison was so very sad.  I was OK with my treatment in the end. no fights. no smacks. and when i stepped aboard Shonan Maru, i came under Japanese law and had to accept whatever happened.


Carolyn Bailey:

You were considered extremely dangerous, that could be funny if it wasn't so sad. Jay would like to ask your next question on behalf of Tammy McLeod, Pete. Jay?


Jason Ward:Thanks again Carolyn

What was going through your mind in those moments directly before the Japanese vessel rammed the Ady Gil, and what was the initial reaction directly after?


Pete Bethune:

A couple seconds before the collision we all just suddenly realized we were about to get smacked. All crew had same instinct to jump onto rear deck, which was the only safe place really. We all clung to each other as the wave of water came over. It wasn’t terrifying because it happened so fast. I thought my boat would sink quickly so we scrambled for the life raft and emergency gear. Then I realized it would take a while to sink so we just went about getting everything off. Took a couple of hours. I was pretty focused on sorting stuff until we got on Bob Barker. Then I just broke down and burst into tears. It broke my heart to lose that amazing boat. I was really angry at the time. But I’m over it now. I know as well that Ady Gil has served a purpose, and it has helped the cause.

Jason Ward:

Thanks Pete


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks again, Pete

Ronnie Lee has a question for you and is unable to be here, Rog will ask for him. Rog?


Roger Yates:

It is a great please to ask a Q for Ronnie "the general" Lee.

btw, generals outrank captains :-)


Pete Bethune:

Unless on a boat


Roger Yates:

There is no doubting the bravery of the Sea Shepherd activists and the fact that they have saved some whales from slaughter. However, if Japanese whaling is to come to an end, is it not the case that the Japanese people will need to put pressure on their own government to end it, and in order for this to happen, a strong anti-whaling movement needs to be built in Japan.

Is Sea Shepherd doing anything to help build such a movement? Not as exciting as confronting the whalers on the high seas, but in the long run, surely much more effective, as quieter, more "boring" forms of action often are.


Pete Bethune:

It is government control that allows whaling to exist. They could make a decision to just stop the special permits and that would be the end of it. So pressure on the govt can help. If the whaling company went bust, and the government failed to bail them out, that would also be the end of it. Sea Shepherd members have been to Tokyo on several occasions handing out material but it has limited effect. Greenpeace does work on the ground in Japan as well but the success is limited.

I think direct action has a role, but so too does pacifist actions on the ground as well as govt negotiation.


Roger Yates:

Thanks Pete. The next Q is from Belinda Morris who is busy...so Jay is stepping in, wearing a lovely floral dress...Jay


Jason Ward:

Ok. Thanks!

Hello Pete, I find your transition from working in oil exploration to working in bio-fuel alternatives to diesel oil to be of much interest. Bio-diesel in the form of regular corn and peanut oil has been a viable alternative to petroleum for diesel engines for over 100 years, and was first propounded by the original diesel engineer and inventor Rudolf Diesel himself (until the latter went missing from his steamship cabin en route to promote this, and was found floating in the ocean from an alleged suicide).

With the advent of materials engineering that offsets even weight-penalized engines, would you elaborate on your theories of bio-fuel as a viable alternative to petroleum-based products for diesel engines - and what response might be expected from vested interests such as 'Big Oil'? Thank you.


Pete Bethune:

Biofuels have a role to play in transport, but they will never simply replace petroleum. They allow a start away from total dependence on fossil fuels, with little new infrastructure. And they work on existing engines. But we need caution in selecting feedstocks. Waste and by-products are ideal. I’m not so keen on palm oil and corn, as it raises issues of food versus fuel and deforestation.

The future for biofuels is waste / by-products, biomass, and perhaps algae. But it is just part of a solution. Considering transport, I think electric cars will play a large role, public transport, smaller cars, changing lifestyles. We live in the golden era for transport. No future generation will ever travel as easily and as cheaply as us. The oil industry hates biofuels of course. Dealing with farmers is far from their core business.

There will be a battle between coal, shale, lignite based fuels and more sustainable alternatives in the future. No guesses where the oil industry will prefer to be. But it needs leadership from government to make this happen.

Jason Ward:

Thanks again Pete


Roger Yates:

Next question is from Matt Bowen, asked by the mighty Carolyn Bailey...C?


Carolyn Bailey:

When Sea Shepherd started on this most recent campaign, was the expectation that the Australian and New Zealand Governments would protect their citizens involved with this campaign, or was the crew aware of the consequences of becoming involved, in regards to the lack of support forthcoming from both Aussie and NZ Governments?


Pete Bethune:

We never really expect our governments to do anything for us. They are in a difficult position. They have their citizens on one side, and trade, tourism, foreign investment on the other. We do want them to be proactive and vocal against whaling though.

I think Australia has improved much on this in last 12 months. Peter Garret roasted the Japanese in the IWC conference this year for example. Also, they are taking action against Japan in Int. Court of Justice. New Zealand has been a bit limp on whaling. If I was a US citizen, it would have been interesting to see what the Obama administration would have done with my imprisonment.

Roger Yates:

This is the last formal Q - so here goes...


Carolyn Bailey:

Peter Garrett is always vocal ... in an election year!


Roger Yates:

The last formal Q is from Bill Slater

What was your reaction when confronted with the fact that SS were deserting you in Tokyo to fend for yourself? Did this anger you, when, after all, you were in Tokyo because you had taken action whilst acting on behalf of, and with the support of, SS.


Pete Bethune:

Last question Carolyn?


Carolyn Bailey:

Last question before open chat begins


Pete Bethune:

I was livid. By far the worst day in Japan. And the whole last month was miserable. I felt totally betrayed. I had sacrificed much, in part, on their behalf. When I got out I got told it was done to support my case. It could have been handled much better. I am cool about it now though. And I know SS is a tough organization to run with so many missions, campaigns, boats, volunteers.


Carolyn Bailey:

Thanks, Pete, again!

This concludes the pre-registered questions for Pete today. Pete’s chat was then opened up to all members. Pete spoke of his new book which he hopes to have published, his prison time, his hopes for an Ady Gil 2, and much more. Pete also confirmed that he is a conservationist, and feels his calling is towards helping marine animals.

I’d now like to open up the chat to all members who’d like to engage Pete. I do, however, ask that you send a private message to either me, Roger or Jason in order for us to keep the chat moving and productive.


Marianne:

Hey, Pete! Will your book include details about the things you saw and heard in the Japanese prison?


Sharon:

Hi, Pete. I'm curious if there is another Ady Gil in the foreseeable future to assist in the continued campaigning for Sea Shepherd's? That was a havoc-inducing machine. I loved it! BTW, you should know that you are my 2010 hero.

 

Pete Bethune:

Yep. The book covers Antarctica and prison. New Ady Gil is in pipeline.


Rachel:

Pete, this question was asked earlier by Charleen. What do you think of all the tribute drawings to the Ady Gil/Earthrace?


Pete Bethune:

Will be different. And, we still need to raise funds and sponsors. But, it looks really promising. The boat will be a real beast, if we pull it together.


Steven:

What is the title of your book?


Fred:

Will the Ady Gil be independent or part of SSCS again? And, will you captain it?


Pete Bethune:

Not sure if it will be SSCS or not. I hope so. I don't need to captain the vessel. It is possible, but I don't really mind. Title? Not sure. I leave that to publishers.


Cricket:

With that particular episode of WW generating over 1 million viewers, it has come to not IF a new trimaran is built, but WHEN. Considering there will be no refits to switch it over from an Earthrace vessel to the Ady Gil vessel, are there any design differences in mind, in regards to equipment and other ideas?


Christy:

How can the average Joe help with your cause for a new boat, Pete?


Robyn:

Pete, how did you occupy your time in jail to prevent yourself from going mad? Were you given books to read, pens, or paper?


Mystic:

Did you get the engines out of the Ady Gil before it went down?


Pete Bethune:

No engine removal a big mission. We drained fluids and removed easy stuff.  Yep. Boat will be completely different. 9m RIB on the back. Many changes, but lots of good parts from Ady Gil. It was an amazing boat.


Christy Melanson:

Hi, Pete. I recently saw a picture of you holding a big fish. I know you aren't a Vegan. So, do you fish?


Pete Bethune:

Not now. I used to be a hunter gatherer, like all my family. But, I've gradually gone away from it.


Kathleen:

Did you get the cards we sent and e-mails we wrote in support?


Pete Bethune:

I got many of them. Was the best bit of a day, but many were blocked. Was wonderful to know I had support from people. The best was a letter.

 

Lucy:

I liked the idea of using the treated arrow to taint the whale meat as it's being brought up the slipway. Do you think Paul will use it in the future?


Pete Bethune:

We have a new technique that does not involve a bow and arrow. And, it allows greater volume of fluid.


Charleen:

Thanks, Carolyn. Pete, what do you think of all the tribute drawings to the Ady Gil/Earthrace? I've seen a lot of good artwork done by talented people and I was wondering what you think.


Pete Bethune:

I think it is great. Ady Gil has become a touchstone for the anti-whaling movement.


Marianne:

Some people think that buteryc acid is like vitriol. When, in fact, it is just rancid butter. Perhaps, SS could make that point to help their cause.


Pete Bethune:

And, I feel honoured that people feel inclined like that.


Roger Yates:

Is the "eye fillet" story genuine, Pete? If it is, what's the point of eating one and saving another?


Pete Bethune:

Yes, I did eat eye fillet. I am not perfect. And, I ate three meals on the flight home. I couldn't help myself. Since then, I have gone back to vegetarian. But, it is not an absolute for me.


Jose Valle:

Oh, it's an absolute for the animals who end up in the slaughterhouse…an absolute terror. Why do you think it's ok to eat animal products? Is it because there are many cows (in contrast with whales)?


Marianne:

A person does not have to be a vegetarian to want to save an endangered species!


Christy:

I'd like to talk about your family...how many months a year are you usually away from home and how does your family handle this, especially after this last scary incident? (and, thanks for all who have done and continue to do for the planet.)


Pete Bethune:

I guess I am on a transition. I respect people who are Vegan, but I have been all my life in a family who are not. And, it is not so easy to suddenly be Vegan. I am not perfect. And, I believe in the future I will be totally Vegan. But I am not today.


Marianne:

Whales are endangered. We, as humans, were not responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs. But, we sure are for all the other species disappearing every day now, in the 21st century!


Roger Yates:

What difference does "endangered" mean - THAT YOUR KIDS CAN'T SEE THEM?


Pete Bethune:

Yeah, we are poisonous on this planet.


Jose Valle:

Marianne, individuals, not species, are the ones who have interests and deserve respect. Cows are in REAL danger: sentenced to death due to some people’s choices.


Jen:

Pete, when people refer to a canine's "knot", could you please tell me what they mean by that? Further, how do you untie this "knot"?


Pete Bethune:

I have been away on average seven months per year over the last four years. My family has sacrificed a lot. But, they also support the work. I have been blessed, yeah, indeed. But I am home now, and loving being dad again. I have cool kids.


Ceci:

Thanks, Carolyn! Hi, Pete. Got kinda crazed there for a while. Sorry. I wanted to ask you, I know Capt. Paul has NO problems with you. You think you'll be joining SSCS again? (I hope...)


Pete Bethune:

Yeah, I hope to be in Antarctica this campaign. A little luck and we will have them less than 100 whales in a campaign. That will possibly bankrupt them.

 

Susannah:

I have a question: You are a conservationist and protect endangered species. If the blue fin tuna were becoming extinct because whales were overpopulated and driving the tuna to extinction, would you kill/stop the whales eating the endangered tuna?


Pete Bethune:

We just need a little luck and there are plans that will make a big difference. No, we leave nature to work. The more we intervene in nature, the more damage we do. And, only Orcas eat whales.


Denise:

Pete, I'm at a crossroads in my life. I am not sure how to do it, but I want to be able to be more able to affect society. But, I'm just a "regular" person trying to get along. Any brief tips?


Jose Valle:

Pete, you previously said, "They have no right to hunt whales in Antarctica." What would give them the right to kill them in ANY other place? If it were a traditional place for them to kill them, would you accept it?


Tim Gier:

Pete, if the 3 News 60 Minutes story of you and your experience in Japan is accurate, the public there seems outraged at what you did and how you did it. Isn't it just as likely as not that the effect of Sea Shepherd's efforts will be to harden the resolve of the Japanese and their government to continue whaling?


Pete Bethune:

I would hate to see whales killed anywhere. But, if they were to hunt them locally, I would not protest in Japan.


Jose Valle:

So, it's fine to kill whales in Japan. Why?


Pete Bethune:

No, it’s not fine. But, for me personally, I will not be protesting there. I hope others would, though. I am on second-year suspended sentence for five years. Will you do my prison time?


Mystic:

Will the Japanese Coast Guard have the authority to board your next ship in the Antarctic due to your probation and the deal that was made?


Pete Bethune:

No. They cannot board the vessel legally. But, the Japanese have different views on laws.


Mystic:

Under Japanese law, do they have the right?


Ceci:

Jose, since Pete is banned, why don't you set up protests over there?


Jane:

Hi, Pete. I watched a documentary here in the UK the end of the line, and to learn about the fate of the bluefin tuna.


Pete Bethune:

No, they do not have the right to board a vessel. Yeah, there are many species we cull out—bluefin tuna, yellowfin, toothfish, cod, and haddock. We are so destructive. There are so many things to work on.


Jose Valle:

Christy, I do protests where I live to defend ALL animals, not just those who belong to a group with less members than others. That's speciesist.


Pete Bethune:

Yeah. Look, I support many things. We have many people tackling many things on land; and, few, at sea. That is why I work on marine conservation. And, I respect people who do protest about the issues close to their hearts.


Jose Valle:

Do I have to prove that I am an activist so my views are taken seriously? I am critical of some of his views, yes.


Jen:

Pete, do you have any pets?


Pete Bethune:

No, I don't.


Jen:

I have a question for Pete. What do you think about the Galapagos not being considered in danger any more?


Pete Bethune:

It is appalling. I've been there. It is the most amazing place on earth. We need to preserve these places. It ends up about money.


Jose Valle:

I am not perfect, but I like to debate and critical thinking about views that have consequences on animals. Is that a problem?


Ceci:

The Galapagos is in danger, beginning with all the tourists messing up the place.


Mystic:

What do you think of the statement that we are in the middle of the sixth extinction that we are causing it?


Pete Bethune:

Yes, we are causing it. We are toxic on the planet. We are heading in the right direction in some ways, but way too slowly. Tourists, fishing, exploitation, and many things.


Mishka:

Hi, Pete. You are a part of a national conservation effort to put a stop to whaling. I commend you for that. I wanted to ask you how a person becomes involved in conservation efforts/helping animals who are endangered, more than just raising awareness. There are so many things I'd like to do for animals, but would like to know how I could become a part of a team of people who spend a good part of their lives doing what you do to make a difference.


Pete Bethune:

Start local. Join a local group, help them, volunteer, and find what you work best at.


Kristina:

Here's a question. Pete, I heard the SS are sailing under the Netherlands flag. If there is a second Ady Gil, will it also be under the Netherlands?


Pete Bethune:

We all have a role to play. The key is to meet like-minded people and work from there. Not sure if it would be Dutch. I’d like to see a US flag on one of them.


Tim Gier:

Pete, are you concerned that your actions in the name of animal liberation might be construed as violent against human beings in what we all want to be a peaceful movement?


Mishka:

Thank you. I do what I can now. But hope to travel and become part of a sanctuary to help animals.


Fina:

Pete, hi! Do you ever feel helpless, feel like what we do only makes changes on a small scale, feeling that there is so few of us who actually care and we could not stop what is happening?


Pete Bethune:

Sometimes, ya just gotta stand for things and make your choice and run with it. And, take the consequences if it doesn't work out. We all have it in us. There is nothing special about me. I am ordinary in many ways, but I back myself, like many on this forum.


Marianne:

If you don't stand up for something, you'll fall for anything.


Christy:

Pete, I live in the US. Why do you say you would like to see that flag on one of the ships representing SS?


Pete Bethune:

Yep. The US is the bog robbers dog that no one messes with. If I was a US citizen, I think the Japanese would handle the case differently, for example. The US is a key to conservation.


Rachel:

Unfortunately, the U.S. is probably doing the least for this planet.


Charleen:

They're not doing enough, that's for sure.


Pete Bethune:

That's why we need to engage them. And, many in the US do a lot of good. Ady Gil, for example! They are part of the solution.


Marianne:

Pity our NZ government lacks a backbone on the whale issue - I would like to see an NZ flag, or better, a global one.


Pete Bethune:

Yeah, they were spineless.


Sea Shepherd Pirate:

I don't think we are not doing enough. We do need to do more, but we have many animal welfare organizations here. Good ones.


Jon:

The problem we have here is that there are too many miles of red tape. Just recently with the gulf, can't get permits to work and arrested for touching oiled wildlife. It's insane.


Charleen:

Pete, what do you think about the oil spill?


Pete Bethune:

Yea, tragic. Opening a few eyes, though. And, let’s hope some good will come from the tragedy.


Rachel:

Yes, BP has claimed to have capped it off multiple times. Although the last time appears to have been a success, I agree that it will hopefully make some people realize what we are doing to our planet.


Pete Bethune:

I am from the oil industry. I worked on those rigs…too much cutting corners. The rigs run so cheaply, but not surprising, it is about money.


Jose Valle:

Pete, this is Animal Rights Zone. Animal rights is a different idea and mutually incompatible with conservationism. Could you explain in detail your conservationist views and why you don't believe in animal rights and the rejection of speciesism?


Pete Bethune:

I do believe in animal rights. I helped on a protest here about sow crates. But my focus is about marine conservation. That is where my time is best spent, I think.


Robyn:

Conservation is for now; extinct is forever.


Pete Bethune:

I believe in trying to keep the planet as it was, not trash it. And, the marine ecosystem is getting nailed now because it is remote. What happens at sea, stays at sea.


Kristina:

Hey, Pete. If there is an Ady 2, when do you think it'll rejoin the SS?


Marianne:

Some tragedies, like the oil spill, open the eyes of people who were previously indifferent. Shame it takes such a disaster. But awareness is the first step to implementing changes.


Pete Bethune:

It will be two years to build. It will be better, way better. But, also, have many good aspects of Ady Gil. It was an amazing boat.


Carolyn Bailey:

Jose, the importance of ocean life and the ocean's life itself is often overlooked.


Steven:

Say if we ran a campaign to stop buying Japanese cars to put pressure on the Japanese Goverment to make them stop whaling. Would that be possible?


Pete Bethune:

Yes. I think that might happen. There are several calls for boycott of Japanese products. It might happen. Yea, really surprised.


Sea Shepherd:

Boycotting an entire country is not very effective.


Rachel:

Pete, since returning home, have more strangers recognized you? If so, are their reactions usually positive?


Tina:

What if we educated the Japanese public, sensitively and over time, peacefully and with grace, until they become so empathetic to the whales that they stand up against their own whaling industry?


Sea Shepherd:

Start small. Then, work your way up.


Pete Bethune:

In person, people are always polite. If I wear SSCS clothes, they may recognize me. The nasty stuff comes on email and FB. But that's OK


Jose Valle:

Carolyn, the ocean matters because there are sentient individuals who depend on it. Respecting those individuals requires rejecting speciesism and becoming Vegan.


Denise:

The only thing I can't believe is that they never prosecuted the Japanese captain for broadsiding the Ady


Pete Bethune:

The education is happening slowly. Many things will all help. But whaling is like a festering saw. And, to get it to heal, ya gotta pick the scab off and expose it to some air. Japanese law is sooooo different.

I wrote a book, read some, lots of exercise (press-ups, sit-ups, 1200 laps of the cell per day and half hour in exercise yard per day. That was where trouble happened so you were always weary up there. Yeah, the Japanese treated me fine. No problems with my treatment.


Sea Shepherd:

What was the food like?


Pete Bethune:

They break so many laws and treaties, not just the whaling.


Sea Shepherd:

I often wonder if they realize they are eating a lot of mercury.


Pete Bethune:

No, not that I know of. But some people were upset at a bow and arrow. I've been shot at by Columbians, and also be Somalian pirates. If my biggest offence is a bow and arrow, I am doing OK. They ignore the mercury. And, the media doesn't cover it there. Just the way the Japanese law works. They have no interest in pursuing the whalers. And, in NZ, there is six months window of prosecution, which is now gone.


Pete Bethune:

Thanks for having me team. And, for those who supported SSCS. All good.

 




ARZone exists to promote rational discussion about our relations with other animals and about issues within the animal advocacy movement. Please continue the debate after “chats” by starting a forum discussion or making a point under a transcript.

 


Views: 103

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Animal Rights Zone to add comments!

Join Animal Rights Zone

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

ARZone Podcasts!

Please visit this webpage to subscribe to ARZone podcasts using iTunes

or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow ARZone!

Please follow ARZone on:

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

A place for animal advocates to gather and discuss issues, exchange ideas, and share information.

Creative Commons License
Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) by ARZone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.arzone.ning.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.arzone.ning.com.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Disclaimer

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) is an animal rights site. As such, it is the position of ARZone that it is only by ending completely the use of other animal as things can we fulfill our moral obligations to them.

Please read the full site disclosure here.

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) Mission Statement

Animal Rights Zone (ARZone) exists to help educate vegans and non-vegans alike about the obligations human beings have toward all other animals.

Please read the full mission statement here.

Members

Events

Badge

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Animal Rights Zone.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Google+