Sea Shepherd by Paul Watson with Warren Rogers

5910734Nonfiction — print. W.W. Norton, 1982. 258 pgs. Library copy.

Subtitled “My Fight for Whales and Seals”, this book is the first Watson (along with Rogers) wrote about his experiences using proactive and usually aggressive measures to prevent whales from being harpooned and seals from being clubbed to death. It begins with the founding of Greenpeace and leads up to the ramming of the phantom whaling vessel, Sierra, and the sinking of the Sea Shepherd. Despite what the title and subtitle might lead you to believe, Watson also had his hand in campaigns to prevent nuclear testing and the slaughter of African elephants for their ivory (something I knew nothing of).

The book is largely focused on his campaigns rather than his evolution into the controversial environmentalist that he is today and, as such, his own political philosophy is often muddled with the jump from one campaign to another. But Watson and Rogers both managed to express his disdain for environmental organizations such as Greenpeace – whom Watson claims become large bureaucracies whose fund-raising efforts serve only to perpetrate the organizations – very clearly.

I started out enjoying the interview style of this book largely because I felt like I was having a conversation with Watson. I changed my mind very quickly; there were so many follow-up questions I wanted to ask! I started Watson’s section autobiography as soon as I finished this one and although I haven’t finished the second book yet, I already prefer it much more than this one.

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