“We sat there in our little inflatable boats in the midst of the Soviet whaling fleet with the bodies of a half dozen sperm whales lying lifeless in the swell. I watched the sun begin to set in the west and I remembered that the Russians were killing whales primarily for the valuable spermaceti oil.
Spermaceti oil is valued for its high resistance to heat, and thus it is used in machinery where there is excessive heat. One of the demands for this oil by the Soviets was for use in the production on intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Here they were slaughtering these magnificent, intelligent, socially complex, wondrous sentient beings for the purpose of making a weapon designed for the mass extermination of human beings.
And I thought to myself, are we really this insane?
It is that thought, that unanswered question, that has haunted me every day since.
It is from what I saw in the eye of that whale that has led me to devote my entire adult life to the defence of the whales and the other creatures of the sea, because I know that if we cannot save the whales, the turtles, the sharks, the tuna, and the complex marine biodiversity, that the oceans will not survive. If the life in our oceans is diminished, humanity is diminished and if the oceans die, humanity will die; for we cannot survive on this planet with a dead ocean.”
Paul Watson is a giant.