Interview: Sea Shepherd Founder Paul Watson's Eco-Warrior Journey: Reveals All Book 'Hitman for the Kindness Club'

Transcript: This editable transcript was computer-generated and might contain errors.

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Adriaan Buys: I'm here with Captain Paul Watson. We're going to be talking about the Hitman for the kindness club and Captain Paul Watson was also the founder of Sea Shepherd and various are the protective agencies around the world. And I also recently heard a church for the environment. So I am looking forward to having a discussion about this book. I've been reading a little bit of the book. I mean rather be specific I read halfway through but what's great about this book Paul is that I find the book really engaging in that I can read the short stories of your life and from your childhood and each is almost written a mini Adventure, so as I'm reading the story I can't wait until the end of this story and then I can't stop with the next story I need to

Adriaan Buys: At the next story to see now, what is the next story and the way you've actually titled them is also quite exciting. It really makes me want to read the next one to see what happened next in your life. So it all started. I think if I read it correctly with the beavers in Canada when you started that is that correct?

Paul Watson: yeah, I was raised in an East Coast Canadian fishing Village, there's a lot of force and everything around but when I was 10 years old, I spent the summer almost every day swimming with a family of beavers and in the forest and had a great time wonderful time and The next summer when I went back to that Beaver Pond, I couldn't find any beavers. The dam was wrecked. I began to ask questions found out Trappers that come in during the winter and they took them all. They didn't leave any they just took them all.

Paul Watson: And that made me very angry. So the next that winter when as I was turning 11, I began to walk the Trap lines and 3D animals and destroy the traps. I would actually take them and throw them in the river. And so I did that for a number of years and the Beavers didn't come back to that pawn. But I tried everything I could but I also was rescue not just beavers but, everything from weasels to seagulls even Kitt. sometimes or cats and so that was where I really Got an affinity for protecting animals.

Adriaan Buys: yeah, and then that's when you contacted Aida Fleming and about joining the kindness club which is the title of the book, right?

Paul Watson: Yeah, I didn't actually contact her. My mother had signed me up And …

Adriaan Buys: yeah, I remember that. Yes.

Paul Watson: I just an interesting woman. She was the wife of the conservative premier of New Brunswick a huge on Fleming and she set up this kindness Club to teach children to be kind animals of Elbert Schweitzer was actually the honorary president. I remember on this and so yeah, she said literature out we would read it and everything. I never met her until I was in my 20s and I was coming back from leading the Green Peace campaign to protect harp seals off the east coast and L Johnson and I decided let's go drop by and see eye to Fleming and she was quite delighted to see us and as I left she said, you become the Hitman for the kindness Club. So that's where I got the title for the book.

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, that's fantastic. I must say and reading your book it is like that, and I also think that it's initial encounter with the Beavers when you were destroying those traps and things it's almost like your career where you destroyed machinery and various made things to protect. Wildlife or use made things as well.

Paul Watson: I devised a strategy in the mid 70s, which I call aggressive non-violence, which that's intervene, but that's not hurt anybody and we've never injured anybody but I believe that destroying an on sentient object to protect a sentient life is justifiable, especially if that is being done illegally to intervene against illegal activities which is what we mainly done for example of somebody's going about to shoot a rifle at an elephant and you smash the rifle out of their hand and break the rifle to me. That's an acting non-violence. But we live in a society where property is valued more than life. So any damage to property is considered more violent. I always put it this way again what our values are imagine walking into Mecca and spitting on the black stone. you're not going to get out of that City alive, you'll be torn to pieces or walk into Jerusalem and hack away at the Wailing Wall.


Paul Watson: Pickaxe and you're probably going to get an Israeli soldier's bullet in the back for doing it. Nobody's gonna have any sympathy for you because you've attacked something which is sacred at each and every day we go into the most sacred and beautiful cathedrals of the natural world the rainforest of Amazonia or into China the Great Barrier Reef off of Australia, and we totally desecrate and Destroy these Cathedrals and how do we respond to that?

Paul Watson: We don't do anything other than petitions or talk to me write a letter to the government or to dress up an animal costumes and jump up and down with protest science. That's pretty much about it. But if the rainforest of Amazonia, it's a great barrier weepers sacred to us is a hunk of Marvel and Rome or an old Wall in Jerusalem or a hunk of meteorite in Mecca. We would literally rise up and defend that no matter what the cost and…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: we're so connected to this anthropocentric reality or point of view that those are our great values. is Anything not man-made is considered well exploitable.

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, I know it's crazy. And I don't know. how it's even possible to change that sort of mindset, to expand the way we see living beings or it's this the way we see other humans for example now if you see what's happening and Israel and so on at the moment you start wondering if we even care about other humans the way we should be but I don't know, how can we expand?

Paul Watson: movie

Adriaan Buys: the general public specimen about animals to include them as other sentient beings to actually No, we'll talk about the vegetarian vegan thing a little bit later, but to include them as actual beings that have rights to life and protect them almost like we would protect other humans, to see what happened in the second world war when a population was targeted and abused and killed and the rest of the world intervened. how do we get people In what's happening to biodiversity and Wildlife around the world?

Paul Watson: I'm not really sure we can because again we've been so indoctrinated into this Collective Mass psychosis of anthropocentrism that the other living things are sort of alien to us. We don't even get much thought to them and we don't understand just how important interdependence and diversity are to our own Survival, a few years ago. I got a call from Brett Hume as a reporter for the Fox News Network in the US and he said at a recent lecture, did you say that trees Birds whales and fish are more important than people. And I said, yeah, I think I did and he said how could you say something so outrageous so what do you mean?

Paul Watson: You said that they're more important than people I said, yeah, and I'll tell you why because us. We can't live here without them. We need them. They don't need us they're ecologically. They're far more important than we are, bees a world without fish a world without trees is not a world that we're going to live in a world without humans. I think it'll do quite well, so again, it's just idea that we're just better and everything is made exactly for us anthropocentrism is also led to the wars that it's just been never-ending Wars all through our history. We don't even have respect for our own species because we divided ourselves into this group and that group it's like they're all different football team.

Paul Watson: So they can beat the hell out of them. we all got these little pieces of cloth that we decided that's gonna what we're going to I identify with and we justify everything that we do. I mean with Hitler it was a master race with Israel. It's the chosen people. I mean, it's all the same thing and I don't even believe that we get together to say for instance to go after the Nazis in World War Two. I don't think that was what it was meant. I think it was all about a power grab. I mean to me World War Two is really the destruction of the British Empire and the replacement of the British Empire with the American Empire. It's all just using Opera opportunistic moments to seize what somebody else has had and it'll constantly change again. It's all over territory and ridiculous beliefs, but


Paul Watson: what I do see is a solution to this is why I set up the church about centrism is that it's basically around The three laws that ecology the law of diversity that strength of an ecosystem is depended upon the diversity within it. The second is the law of interdependence that all species within an ecosystem are interdependent with each other and the third is the law of finite resources. There's a limited growth because there's a limit to carrying capacity and when one species steals the carrying capacity of all the other species that causes diminishment in both diversity and interdependence leading to ecological collapse. So if we do not find a way to live in harmony with other species and to respect those other species, we're simply not going to survive. Hopefully, we'll have a minor ecological class which might be a good swift kick in the ass and just if we teach us a lesson that we need to know. but to show you how perilous the situation is

Paul Watson: in 2010. There was an article in scientific America that stated that since 1915. There's been a 40% diminishment if phytoplankton populations in the sea and phytoplane can provides up to 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere that we breathe if I took Plankton were to disappear from the sea. We do not live on a planet where there's no fight to plankton in the sea. It's as simple as that the force of the world which are also being cut down only provide 30% Now why is vital point in the diminished because we've diminished the population of Wales and dolphins and Seavers and fishes and they're pretty much the farmers of the ocean. They surprise they Supply the fertilizer for the phytoplankton the nitrogen the iron and the

Paul Watson: In the Magnesium, which is the nutrient-based for phytoplankton populations basically feed the plants to plants feed the animals. And that's way it's is even on land about 200 million years ago flowering plants developed and…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: people don't like to hear this but the flowering plants actually own us. I mean, they manipulated us for 200 million years. I mean all animals really, so what they do is we're going to create these nice little

Paul Watson: Flowers to attract these animals and we're going to give them some nectar as a reward. and for those mammals, let's give them some fruits so they can spread our seeds so we've become incorporated into the sexual reproductive system over the plants and we don't know that they're using us they're not doing it consciously, but they're using us and we get the rewards for that. And in fact that are most manipulative or…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Watson: the plant, the grains and old thing like that, which we've made them so successful because we've cultivated them made them even stronger the real problem though, of course is that there's about 500 species of potatoes 600 species of apples and everything, but we decided only these six are okay and these six are okay and that's gonna create a real problem because if anything happens just like the potato farm a famine in Ireland because there's only one species they focused on the whole thing can collapse because of that and that really illustrates the need for

Paul Watson: City we need that diversity. We should have availability of 600 species of apples and 500 species of potatoes instead of that already.

Adriaan Buys: All right.

Paul Watson: We lost the Cavendish banana, which is we see right now is in big danger because it could be wiped out. It's only cloned. It doesn't really grow you have to clone it. But the banana that went to extinct in the 50s commercially extinct was wiped out by plague and it was replaced by the Cavendish, but it was because we're focusing on that one species and

Paul Watson: The disease hit it bang is gone. And so this is going to be a major problem. I think coming into the future and the other thing too diminishment. I think leads to tsunamic transmission of viruses. This is why every year on factory farms, they kill literally millions of chickens and pigs and just bury them alive and gas them and everything. They're trying to keep the lid on those Petri dishes which are factory farms to keep those viruses from spreading and for instance the domestic salmon Farms, there's a genomic transmission of viruses from the salmon Farms too. Weld indigenous salmon populations, like in British Columbia, for instance, which is diminishing in those wild salmon because they don't have the antibiotics and the chemicals protecting them like that and what happens when you reduce your diminish an ecosystem and you remove certain species the viruses because there's viruses associated with every single animal and every single plant the virus is associated with those species have to go somewhere. They need a place to go.

Paul Watson: Again, it's not a conscious thing. We don't really understand how this is but they need to jump to another species and God. There's nothing more attractive than an eight billion primates that are walking around doing stupid things and …

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: so the common cold we got from the horses, we've got, just chicken pox and all these things all came from animals and now re seeing we're going to see more and more of that when I read Lori Garrett's the coming plague.


Paul Watson: 1995 she predicted all of this stuff, West Nile Virus antivirus Ebola, in the covid bias. All the stuff is predicted and it's gonna even be worse. And on top of that you have the release of all of these, bacteriums and viruses and various worms and things from the melting permafrost up in the Arctic, who knows that, they've already revived some worms and things that have been there for 40,000 years and in 2017 an Anthrax virus. So came out of the permethross killed a thousand reindeer and one human being so this is going to be more and more of a problem into the future.

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, and I don't know how we are going to change the way because theoretically the UN says we've reached Peak child. So population in a couple of years. I think it's 2050. You should start declining but globally we still growing But ultimately there's also upliftment happening, people all over the world in third world countries and developing countries the American lifestyle with the two cause and the driveway and living in a suburb and the food the choices that lifestyle affords you so

Adriaan Buys: Ultimately, they're still going to be a little bit of pain with farming and with global. forming expansion and so on and I think I want to.

Paul Watson: Yeah,

Adriaan Buys: She could still remember all of that happening. And that was massive in the public, right?

Paul Watson: Yeah, I'm still in touch with her but she didn't teach me very valuable lesson when we brought her out to the ice blows off of Labrador and she's very very courageous. I mean didn't bother fly through the storms or the helicopter anything but by putting her cheek to cheek with a baby seal gave us the front cover of every major magazine in the world winter Stern what Perry match whatever and with that because Again, that brings us to the culture that we live. We live in a media culture and reality is dictated To Us by the media and it defines what our values are and the media only understands four elements. Any news story has to have one or more of these elements and those four elements are six Scandal violence and celebrity if you have all four you got a super story, so

Paul Watson: have so I learned out to manipulate that and get a lot of celebrities on board to do things that are dramatic I mean saying, the Japanese are killing whales in the Southern Ocean. big deal, we're gonna go down there and risk our life to protect them and we're gonna get in the way and we're gonna be in a big confrontation with them. We got a new story now people pay attention to it even in Japan. We got headlines in Japan because of that. So again,

Paul Watson: And I think the most perfect story I ever did was in 1984. I led a campaign to protect wolves and British Columbia and Northern and in the Uconn and Perfect story. They had the violence of them shooting wolves the violences and threatening us if we intervened we had a environment Minister who we caught taking a bribe from a big game hunting organization violence and Scandal almost there. I recruited Bo Derek as our spokesperson for this and at the press conference, which was packed reporter for the Vancouver son said come on. What does B Derek know about wolves. It's ridiculous having heard your spokesperson. And I said, if I had David Meck or Dr. Gordon Haver here the two foremost wolf biologists in the world. I think it'd be an empty room. But I see the thing is packed all the TV cameras here. It's gonna be the front page story of your newspaper tomorrow, you're gonna write it you're editor is gonna give it a headline and It's nothing you can do about it is there and that's exactly where


Adriaan Buys: It is great for you to actually have having caught on to that quite early and in your career, and I think and then you were I think

Adriaan Buys: You were saved by two whales You were saved twice. you risk just life multiple times. and the one was when you got stuck on these ice floats and trying to in the middle of the night escape from the ship and you were hiding and you were hiding and the bed sheets on the ice to so you don't detected by the car by the police and then the ice float started breaking off and then it ended up almost falling in the ocean and all four of you almost dying there in Ocean the one night, but that's not the one where the whales saved you but I just wanted to sort of give the guys watching just some idea of some of the adventure stories, but you were safe safe twice my

Adriaan Buys: sales, in fact

Paul Watson: All in 1975 there's an incident which actually just changed the entire course of my life and we come up with this idea to protect whales by reading a lot of Gandhi at the time thought that all we had to do is to get between the harpoons and the ship and they'd stop whaling and so we went after the Soviet wailing Fleet which at that time was operating only 60 miles out the coast.

Paul Watson: California this before the 200 mile limit and so we can counter the Soviet wailing Fleet and Bob Hunter and I got into a small boat got in front of a Soviet Harpoon boat that was chasing some sperm whales and This was a great tactic. It worked for 20 minutes. I mean, I look back and harpooner was clearly frustrated because he couldn't get a shot until the captain came running down the catwalk and screamed into the year of the harpooner a very angrily and then turned look down at us and smiled and brought his finger across his throat and that's when I realized Gandhi wasn't gonna work that day and a few moments later this horrendous explosion the Harpoon flew over her head and head into the back side of the female and one in the Pod in that was in front of us and she rolled over on her side blood everywhere. She actually screamed. I didn't know I wasn't even aware of whales could scream and she screamed and the largest whales suddenly rose up out of the water slap the water with his tail don't swam right underneath of us and throw himself at the bow of the Soviet vessel at the harpooner who was ready because they knew he would do this they

Paul Watson: They were ready with an unattached Harpoon. He pulled the trigger hit the whale Point black in the head with an explosive Harpoon and the head fell back that the whale fell back into the water screaming and rolling and Agony On the surface and as he did I caught his eye and he stopped then I saw him some merge again. there's a trail of bloody bubbles coming straight towards us he came up and out of the water at the angle that to come forward just crushed him right down on top of us and as his head rose up out of the water. So close. I mean I could see my own reflection in the eye of that.

Paul Watson: Whale and as his head Rose over the water. I felt that whale understood exactly what we were doing because I could see the effort he made to pull himself back instead of crashing down on us. He began to slide back into the sea and I saw As I Disappear of an inter service and he died. He could have taken our lives and chose not to do so, but I also felt something else and it made me think it was a pity for us not for them. Why were we killing these whales they didn't eat them. They're killing whales for whales spermosetti oil which is highly prized or lubricating high heat resistant machinery and one of the things that was most valued for by both the Soviets in the US except the US had a stockpile was for the manufacturer and maintenance of intercontinental ballistic missiles. I said to myself here we are destroying this incredibly beautiful socially complex self-aware sentient creature for the purpose of making a weapon for it meant for the mass extermination of human beings, and that's when it struck me. We're

Paul Watson: Were insane and I said at that moment I don't do this for people I do it do this for them not for us. So, 10 years later after we sank half of Iceland's whaling Fleet in Reykjavik Harbor and I went to the international whaling commission and former colleague from Greenpeace came up and he said, what you did in Iceland was reprehensible criminal and unforgivable. I said, yes, so he said, aren't you concerned about people think about what you did I said? No, not at all. We didn't do it For the whales find me a whale that disagreed with it. I promise we won't do it again.

Adriaan Buys: and then

Paul Watson: I make a lot of people bury it angry because like I said, if you're gonna be an activist you're going to be effective conservationist, you have to say things people don't want to hear and do things people don't want to see being done. you have to rock the boat and piss people off.


Adriaan Buys: yeah.

Adriaan Buys: I think there's almost those two sides, there's almost the marketing side where you need to attract people to the cause and to get people to be interested and then there's the other side where when we are in a crisis and there needs to be the people who communicate this crisis and let people see because we spoke a little bit earlier about the forest destruction that's happening around the world in the latest Forest reports just out again talking about how if we don't do something then by 2050 they believe their Amazon forest will actually start destroying itself because firstly the overall the heat is too high. The it's not built for the plants aren't live both for living in.

Adriaan Buys: With the global warming and then you've also with the droughts and the fires. it's been to dry. There hasn't been enough rain. And in this also The Chopping out of the forest and then there's also the other forests around and we spoke about it earlier. While we are focusing on trying to save these massive forests other countries are chopping out their little forests and win win. They not getting caught. they blame the developing countries or they blame the countries over there. Don't look at our backyard, what we're doing and all the houses and new suburbs. We are building and Don't look at our backyard. Look at those guys over there. The Amazon forest is the problem, so How I…

Paul Watson: Yeah.

Adriaan Buys: this is all happening. We keep getting the reports every year. 60% decline in the weight of wildlife all over the world. We keep getting the forest destruction report how many percent and how many football fields are getting chopped down every year we keep getting all of this. But what is that on sea, you can only fight so many battles and then your legal issues starts fighting up as well in the different countries, so you fight that battle in your own country then you move on and you got legal battles there and that Country and

Paul Watson: The problem is we don't want to change. I mean everybody wants to change but they don't want to change. I remember years ago in Toronto. There was talk, cleaning up the dawn River and that was the flow through Toronto and I was at this meeting where they were talking about it and that pollution was horrendous I said, okay do we know where the pollution is coming from? yes, it's this Factory It's that and so I said, shut it down. And they all looked at me like what?

Paul Watson: If you don't want to polluted river shut down the stuff that's pouring the pollutants into the river. the unions are all upset about the government's up say we can't do that. I said then you don't really want a solution. you just wanted to continue and you wanted to magically go away and it is not magically going to way the Amazon will be turned into a desert because all you need to do is cut a swath the clear cutting and stop that atmospheric River from flowing across which keeps what it is and everything buys you stop the atmospheric River everything just goes, just look at the history of North Africa was once head Force North Africa was a very very biodiverse area. And of course now the North African elephants extinct the North Africa Lions extinct the North African bears extinct all of these species want extinct in the diversity collapsed on that and in the Sahara moves 10 miles south every year getting close, moving towards

Paul Watson: Later more and more to me. That was all a man-made creation that desert. And we started…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: but this giant Cedars of Lebanon. We forget that the Mesopotamian area was incredibly fertile and diverse and then we've turned it into God's monkey house now, but we destroy it because we have this incredible ability as humans to adapt to diminishment. Now this served us really well 20,000 years ago when we had to adapt to diminishment, but what it does now is allow us to just get on with it. For instance. We wipe out the northern Cod. let's go after some other fish. I forget about the northern continent. We're gonna fish this now, we're gonna push that the fish becomes smaller and smaller and smaller.


Paul Watson: 1965 if I had a set to anybody, in 40 years you could be why buying water and plastic bottles and you're going to be paid more for that water than the equivalent amount of gasoline. Everybody would have looked at you like your nuts. Nobody's gonna do that and yet here we are. I mean

Paul Watson: We buy water in New York City in plastic bottles and New York City has a cleanest drinking water in the country because of the water for the Catskills that comes through Stone tunnels into the city. I mean, it's absolutely clean that they bottle it in plastic bottles and take it to LA and sell it as New York City tablet tap water and people buy it, you can Market anything on that. So I mean I drink water in Paris other than the tap, I have no problem with it just perfectly okay, but nobody wants to do that because we've been conditioned that it's bad and it's an interesting that the water companies are owned by Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola and I mean Coca Cola makes more money selling water than they do selling Coca Cola. so

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: and it's just adaptation to diminishment constantly constantly in the 90s Roughy was a fishy so everywhere in the supermarkets. You don't see it anymore because here's a fish that takes 45 years to become sexually mature lives to be 200 years of age. It couldn't keep up with our demand unlike a salmon which takes only four years to mature and then dies. So we treat every fish as a fish when in fact, they're all different species and all the different Lifestyles and everything lobsters can live to 200 years of age, but they sell to get it Beyond seven or eight years today. And again, it's adaptation when I was a kid lobsters were cheap. You can tell the poor kids in our town. We went to school with the lobster sandwiches and home homemade bread, and we tried to trade it for bologna or peanut butter on Wonder Bread.

Paul Watson: You thought that was exotic lobsters used to be called the poor man's meat and it was actually illegal to serve it to prisoners in prisons because it was considered me, demean of it. In fact British in Prince of Rhode Island. They used to catch lobsters for the sole purpose fertilizing the potato crops. So scarcity translates into profit. So what we have now today is what I call the economics of Extinction as we drive species into diminishment their value goes up and therefore the exploitation increases on that. Right now we've pretty much removed 90% of the fishes from the ocean. The people don't believe that because if you go just next door. There's a fish market I go there right now. everything you can imagine. Is there very very expensive.

Paul Watson: But people say obviously there's fish we get I said, yeah, but it's costing more and more money to catch those fish. We have hundred million dollar super trawlers. We have 100 mile long lines Hundred Mile Long Gill Nets per saying that's incredible amounts of technological material to get less and less of what was once very plentiful. We have satellites telling us where the fish are. We just came back from the English Channel where there were six giant super tankers are super trawlers taking everything every net that we film was the size of three school buses being pulled in and what is in those Nets blue Whiting and hearing which is then rendered into fish meal to go to factory farms and to turn into fish pellets for domestic salmon, and these are the food fishes of everything else. we got to leave these little fishes alone, but no they're going after everything right now and

Paul Watson: Fish meal is 40% of all the fishes taken out of the oceans rendered into fish meal for factory farms and for salmon farms, and now we're going after the Krillin the Southern Ocean to turn that into a protein paste to feed to domesticated animals. And so what we're doing is we're replacing the world at weld animals with these domestic. Animals, and what are we doing? we're massacring of killing slaughtering 90 billion animals every year ninety billion. I mean the numbers are mind-boggling.

Adriaan Buys: That is mine.

Paul Watson: And it's a single greatest contributor to dead zones in the ocean the single greatest contributor to groundwater pollution the single greatest contributor to greenhouse gas production and yet we just carry on and carry on because we do not want to see a solution. I wrote an article last year about, the burning man thing that they have every year. until I

Adriaan Buys: Yeah. Friends of mine are very keen on that day that they go every year. I've got big enthusiasts.

Paul Watson: It struck me is that this last year burning man a bunch of people from the or Extinction rebellion and everything went there and they put up a barricade and block people from going in there about climate change all these people in the line. They got violent with them they were called not and they ordering their arrests these people they're beating on them. They were destroying their equipment everything because they were blocking their way into burning And what happened three days later bang the whole place gets flooded out never happened there. It happened before so they've become the victims of climate change. Here If you go back to its original Origins the most Burning Man thing that happened last year was that damn blockade on that road, which all these people, they're actually coming now in their private jets and their air conditioned RVs and…


Adriaan Buys: My goodness.

Paul Watson: everything like this is what it's evolved into when it began. Yeah, that was one thing but that's not what it is anymore. And

Adriaan Buys: one my friends go to is an Africa burn. So I think that's still a little bit wild. I think people can really go there in the airplanes and stuff, but

Paul Watson: It has a few years up with the other one,…

Adriaan Buys: probably

Paul Watson: I guess. But that's what it is. we turn these things into it's the same with environmental groups. They start with the best intentions and then they get taken over by opportunists who now look old. This is a way to make money. I call it green wash or I feel good. Let's join Greenpeace to feel good, because we're part of the solution, we're not part of the problem and everything and…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, that's true.

Paul Watson: I'm not very popular with Environmental Conservation groups because of what I say, I was a national director if it's a Sierra Club in the United States from 2003 2006 and they're trying to get rid of me because I kept asking questions that they did not want to answer but it's always

Adriaan Buys: But I mean These are difficult questions, I mean, I've been spending the last two weeks in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. And I'm semi-vegetarian. So I call it Simi vegetarian some of my friends hated when I say that they say there's no such thing as semi vegetarian. If you eat meat that you're not vegetarian I said, I eat one Meat Meal a week. So that's sort of my process. I have one Meek Mill a week and that's my contribution and

Adriaan Buys: But then have trying to eat vegetarian. So how I say to this for instance. what do I how I eat? Because when I go into a restaurant,…

Paul Watson: It does.

Adriaan Buys: So I need to find a vegetarian restaurant for my vegetarian meals and then Kuala Lumpur you can't find them you have to go just specific vegetarian restaurants. The other restaurants don't serve any meals without meat every single meal has meat in it. Now. These are thousands of little restaurants. You can go in the streets you go from restaurants.

Adriaan Buys: About the abuse of animals for some of these Slaughters and so on but What is the answer because we're not going to turn an entire country for example, Malaysia into vegetarians?

Paul Watson: But we will when you have an ecological collapse or more and…

Adriaan Buys: Correct.

Paul Watson: more by viral infections and things like that, it will happen that way but things, considered 1980 nobody even knew what a vegan was, and you certainly couldn't find anything in France. You definitely couldn't find anything. I remember. six years ago is down the southern France and I said on the restaurant down there one of those outdoor cafes I said, you got a veggie burger here and he says, yes, we had to get something. I got tired of all these people just eating french fries. That's all they would order, so now, that was consumer pressure. They had to provide something because they were losing customers all on that. So now in Paris, I mean it's very very easy to find a vegan restaurant and they're really quite good my ships have been vegetarian since 1979 when I started but in 2000, I made them vegan ships.

Paul Watson: And you don't have to be vegan to join the crew, but you have to be vegan while you're on the crew because that's just is and nobody's ever complained about it. In fact, people lead the ships probably healthier than when they came on so we try to set by example and…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: also gets around people calling us hypocrisy, you want to say the fish but you're eating them that kind of thing. and also, the other advantage of having to ship that's a vegan is that when you pull into a port in Australia and New Zealand places like that, you don't have to worry about the coming on board the quarantines and everything like that you pull into New Zealand, they'll seize every piece of meat you got and destroy it,

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, I know and we spoke a little bit earlier about some of these meat cultures that are linked to cultures and to religions and we specifically spoke about the ships. There are transport sporting the sheep or the Lambs from various country. I think us specifically are then pointers Australia, I think. To the Muslim countries alive and…


Paul Watson: from

Adriaan Buys: we recently add in South Africa last week the alku 80 caused a big Stern in our country in South Africa. Where a ship. Actually came into Harbor and Cape Town. It wasn't supposed to be going via Cape Town, but they were redirected via the channel to go around the cape. They had 19,000 Kettle who were starving because they couldn't feed them. So they had to actually dock in Cape Town to come and collect food for all this 19,000 kettle and then it's stank up the whole city and people were wondering what is thinking nobody really understood. What is the stage in the city? And then I realized this the ship is stinking so badly from all the feces from these cattle and people were wondering but

Adriaan Buys: what are the petals condition on the ship if it stinks like this in the city? So the SPCA went on to the ship and realized the cattle is living in squala and the photos you can have a look on the internet. It is crazy this Kettle just absolutely covered in feces from a head to toe lying in the feces and they actually had to euthanize some of the cattle but You saw all of this happening and in your book. You're right actually quite.

Adriaan Buys: You saying the Muslim religion get these cattle will also on their way to Iraq where they require the cattle to live slaughtered for Halal reasons. You mentioned in your book that in the Halal religion originally it was to be kind to the animals actually not to have animal abuse by actually slaughtering them live and you're able to see them being slaughtered. So what is your feeling about that at the moment?

Paul Watson: Hello laws and kosher laws are developed to find a more humane way of killing these animals. Although by the way, the Quran actually says you should need animals at all. And I think there's a part of the Bible that I can says that too. but it was the way the spirit of the law. The original intent was to be Humane, but then that got replaced that became the rule of the law. So let's forget about the spirit. We're now just the world. This is what the Quran says. This is what the Bible says and this is the way we're going to do it even if there's a better way to do it and so Yeah, I did see sheep being offloaded from Australia into Bend our shapur which is now Bender Khomeini and Iran and they've just heard it off the Sheep. some of them had lost their eyes because of the Ram's horns that got into the eyes of the others and they're breaking their legs because it was a horrible Dock and it was full of holes and they just left the dead bodies there and

Paul Watson: And moved on but every one of these cattle and cheap ships. they throw dozens and dozens of bodies overboard every single day on that passage. The death rate on that is a good as a very high percentage just to deliver that and this day and age if they're gonna eat the sheep or they're gonna eat the cows at least they can just slaughter them humanely and freeze them. It's still getting the same thing. But yeah,…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: That's the rule of the law the rules that you have to richly cut their throats and do it that way. But again,…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: if you read the car I have read the Quran I have read the Bible and it's specifically says that you should not eat meat but again, every single religion is great on rules, but not very good on people who adhere to those rules,

Adriaan Buys: you've spent your career fighting having to deal with these laws and these rules and what are reading a book is very interesting in the way you actually Know the laws and you try and work within them to fight the system but some of these laws are just so crazy and outrageous and some of these countries but you try and work with the governments, which is what I see in the book.

Paul Watson:

Paul Watson: Almost impossible to do though because whatever you agree with one government four years later is a new government and it all reverses it. But in 2010, I was invited by the FBI to give a talk the FBI headquarters and Quantico. They actually paid me to come give a talk and at the end of the talk one of the FBI agent says, C Shepherd walks a very fine line when it comes to the law and I said, does it really matter how fine the law is as long as you don't actually cross the line and I've never been convicted of a felony in my life. it's so hard to have a good understanding the law but the law is a very complex thing because local law provincial or state law national law international law bilingual all bilateral treaties. All of these things is so damn complicated and in We have to deal with the fact that they make up laws specifically to stop you. For instance when we were protecting seals in the east coast to Canada overnight.


Paul Watson: An order in council law called the under the seal protection act then and now you cannot If You observe a seal being killed you've just broken the law if you film or photograph a seal being killed. You've just broken the law if you disrupt somebody killing a seal. You've just broken a law under the seal protection act if you approach within a half a nautical mile of a seal being killed you've just broken the law under the seal protection act. Nobody has ever been the only people ever arrested under the seal protection act have been animal rights people conservation is scientists or journalists and film Yeah,…

Adriaan Buys: That's crazy.

Paul Watson: so the law.

Paul Watson: Laws are designed to protect the status quo in the United States right now. We have called the under the animal Enterprise terrorism act. If you are caught on a farm with a camera taking pictures, you can be charged under that act. It's terrorism. If you're caught in a slaughterhouse taking pictures, you can be charged with terrorism. So if you cost any company more than $10,000 in losses by boycotting their product, you can be charged under the animal Enterprise terrorism In fact, even Oprah Winfrey was actually charged a many years ago. Actually she was charged under that because she said on television don't eat hamburgers. and She won the case,…

Adriaan Buys: My goodness.

Paul Watson: but it costs a lot of money to win the case on that to say and if your average person says on television don't eat hamburgers, they're bad for You just defamed the meat industry and you could be charged under the animal Enterprise terrorism Act.

Adriaan Buys:

Paul Watson: laws are created all the time to stop things that people disagree with I mean in Germany a couple months ago. They arrested a man. Before he left his house for a protest that he was intending to attend because the intention to attend this protest the protest was illegal. It was a climate change protest that meant that he had broken the law before he had broken the law. And so we're gonna have more and more of this coming because as a situations become more and more desperate things are going to become more and more restrictive. I've been very fortunate in that I lived.

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: I was born in 1950. So my generation has experienced the most materially wealthy time in human history. It'll never come again. And also we experienced the freest time in human history. It'll never come again the things that we did protesting 60 70s 80s, I can't do today 1983. I blockaded Saint John's Harbor Newfoundland for two weeks. I prevented the ceiling Fleet from leaving for two weeks and…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, I was actually just on that part. Yeah.

Paul Watson: If I did that today, they'd blow me out of the water.

Paul Watson: And…

Adriaan Buys: Wow.

Paul Watson: they'd feel just to do it now. everybody who's now is just labeled a terrorists. No Environmental Conservation of animal rights person has ever killed anybody in the entire history of these movements. Nobody has ever killed anybody but over 2,000 environmentalists had been murdered in the last 15 years and you don't even hear about it mainly in places like Brazil or Colombia or places in Africa and everything. And unless there's somebody notable like Chico Mendes or somebody you don't hear about it at all and that's not considered.

Paul Watson: I used to say that if we were to injure or break the finger of a logger in Oregon, that would be the front page news of the New York Times. But you…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: if they kill environmentalists which has happened in the US loggers have done that. It's not even a news story and then they're always trying to it's jobs are all important, this because of the spotted owl and endangered species 50,000 loggers are gonna lose their jobs and how can you justify that I said during the last 10 years of 200,000 jobs were lost because McDonald Douglas 8 IBM and AT&T decided that it was in the interest of the shareholders that we lose those jobs. So there that's okay. if you…

Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: if you lose your job at McDonald's nobody gives a s***, about your jobs if it's gonna affect the bottom line of their profits in the corporation, that's the only thing that ever

Paul Watson: That's considered their concerned of it's the same with human rights. I always say human rights are all right, as long as the price is right as long as somebody's making money off of it then it's fine. I mean and when people say, that's not War what is it Nothing. No, it's good for the economy. That's what all these prophets are dependent upon that I mean just look right now because the Gaza and the Ukraine just look at the shares of all of these arm and companies just shooting right through the roof and everything. It's good business and that's the kind of business that so many governments are backing up. I mean when I see the report right now, Spain and France are going to stop their arm shipments to Israel going. What the hell would they sending them there in the first place for? Why are we shipping All These Arms? why is Sweden one of the major major exporters of weapons and landmines Sweden is one of the major explorers of landmines, but you don't hear about that but so much money they made from it and…


Adriaan Buys: Yeah.

Paul Watson: every country the United Kingdom friends all of these countries even

Paul Watson: which seems to be very strange you're getting all this stuff in but your manufacturing weapons and selling it to African countries. it just doesn't make any sense at all except that it's such a big business, you build a track sell the tractor for $150,000 that tractor's probably good for service for what even up to 15 years, use this tractor you can repair it you can fix it, but it's only 150,000. Let's build a tank for 25. A million dollars one tank and boy we'll get rid of that in a year. We'll get a blown up. I've got to build up another tank. I mean, it's good for the economy.

Adriaan Buys: Yeah, and when we created this concept of that is a human creation a business or a corporation it's not even a human. It's a creation we created which is now ending up ruling us, so we've created all these Structures in our society and they now ultimately rulers. Listen now, I can carry on talking to you for two days like This is my food. I love discussing the stuff. But I guess we need to get to the end because I'm not sure how many people will want to watch us talking for two days. So ultimately we here for the Hitman for the kindness club and this book of yours. I think is a testament of your life to me. it's a life that's inspiring. It's a life that

Adriaan Buys: Then thanks a lot for sharing those with us.

Paul Watson: Thank you.

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