What’s Happening: Sea No Evil Art Show

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ecology |iˈkäləjē|

noun

1. The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one

another and to their physical surroundings.

• (also human ecology) the study of the interaction of people with their

environment.

2. (also Ecology) the political movement that seeks to protect the environment,

esp. from pollution.

We’ve all heard it before; we’re destroying our earth. Going green, cutting back on fossil fuel emissions, and reusing and recycling are some of the most advertised and obvious ways that we can cut back on leaving a blemish on our planet, but there is one way in particular that most of us overlook: our diet. Oftentimes, we focus on long-term ecological solutions like phasing out fossil fuels and repairing the ozone layer. But we need to be mindful that more immediate, direct intervention on behalf of our planet’s life is required as well.

1982, the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling, which took effect in 1986 and allowed for scientific research whaling. According to the Whale Wars website, “…some twenty thousand whales have died since 1986 not for profit, but for science.” Regardless of how affected you may feel by this number, the annihilation of whales has affected the oceanic ecosystem and has been a problem often internationally overlooked on the governmental level.

Whale Wars was started in 1977 by Captain Paul Watson, who began fighting against commercial destruction and poaching of sea animals, dedicating himself to the aggressive conservation and protection of ocean life. Today, their initiative has been televised, bringing the whole narrative to the public eye. With support from around the world and volunteers from every corner of the globe, Watson and his team have turned the tide on many of commercially-driven, ecologically destructive industries. The Whale Wars television show provides an insight into and an understanding of what is actually going on in our oceans, and has sparked a movement amongst activists to protect our oceans.

Sea No Evil is an annual benefit held in Riverside, CA, that raises money for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society through the auction of illustrations and art pieces from artists around the Los Angeles area. This year was filled with pieces from prominent illustrators like Jeff Soto, Shepard Fairey, Gary Baseman and Dave Kinsey, as well as a lot of work from local and up-and-coming artists (Ocean Roots, Shannon Crawford, FriendsWithYou, Kev Munday, Hydro 74, Melinda Read, Zoltron, Christ Anthony, etc.). The event was packed with supporters of the Whale Wars series and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The crew of Watson’s ships (the Bridgett Bardot, the Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin) were walking around, socializing with the guests, and the overall feel was very familial—everyone was there to support and hear more about the Sea Shepherd’s initiative.

The night was filled with entertainment. DJ Juicewon, Michael Rey and the Woebegones, and She Wants Revenge provided the musical backdrop of the evening while the bidding started on the pieces in the main gallery. The most important part of the night, however, was Watson’s speech. During his talk, he addressed the ecological issues that he and his crew have been facing over the years and what the audience could do about it, explaining the motives behind fighting the Japanese whaling fleets and other actions that the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have taken against poachers and consumer corporations. He repeatedly touched on how important it is for average people to take issues into their own hands without approaching the government, and how passionate people working towards their goals are always more effective than people who are being paid to do the same things. He is currently on the Blue List of world terrorists, but he made sure to explain that he is honored to share that in common with the Dalai Lama. Watson stressed the importance of benefits such as Sea No Evil, and different ways that we could contribute, and it was definitely an educational experience. His point was that we need to be aware of the harm we, as humans, are causing our planet, and that if we continue to overlook our destructive corporations like the Japanese whaling fleets, we are going to suffer the consequences.

The night offered much-needed insight into the ecological standing of our planet’s oceans and many ways that we (as Californians, and as a nation) could help out. It is important for us to be good stewards of this planet, and I would encourage our readers to do a little research for themselves and find out what is really going on here. Make sure you check out Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, and do yourself a favor—be aware of what is going on around you.

Written by Josh Kaye

Photos by Jen Trahan

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