Northwest NEWS

May 24, 1999

Editorial

It's an issue of global whale conservation; it all begins with just one whale

   When I heard this morning that the Makah Indians had killed a Pacific gray whale, I felt sick.

   Although I knew it was just a matter of time before they would kill a whale, I had hoped that somehow the whale's life would be spared, that somehow the anti-whaling activists, the weather, or the Makah themselves would not allow this to happen. This morning, those hopes died.

   After getting over feeling sick, my thoughts turned toward anger. Anger at the Makah for thinking that this would somehow renew their heritage. The need for the Makah to hunt whales has passed into history. Anger at our state and federal governments for allowing this to happen.

   I am outraged by the protection and special provisions our federal government and Coast Guard have provided to the Makah, so that they could kill a living creature that has every right to be left alone.

   Although I was angry with the perpetrators and facilitators of this killing, I am also disappointed. I am disappointed with the residents of our state. The majority of us have just stood by and watched this happen. I am disappointed with the citizens of our country for not paying more attention to this and getting involved. But most of all, I am disappointed in myself for not doing more to help conserve an animal that has every right to live on this planet.

   I am not going to stand by anymore. I am going to voice my opinion on this matter. This is not an issue of race or culture. It's an issue of global whale conservation.

   It starts with just one gray whale, but where will it end? I do not want to witness where this may lead; we must stop this now. I am going to seek involvement from anyone who believes this is not right and must be stopped. I am going to ask you, our elected officials: What are you going to do to stop this?

   I am going to watch our senators, representatives, president, and vice president, and I am going to vote for the people who I believe are willing to do something to put an end to whale killing in the Northwest.

Jim Dobbin, Woodinville