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  Straits Times Forum 10 Jul 06
A compassionate carnivore is an oxymoron and hypocritical
Letter from Anthony Lee Mui Yu

Straits Times 5 Jul 06
From yuppie to avid environmentalist
by Meng Yew Choong

Email from Grant Pereira 22 Jun 06

Fund raiser for Sea Shepherd
8 Jul (Sat) Pulau Ubin


I am trying to raise funds to help Sea Shepherd buy a faster ship so we can catch up with the Japanese factory ship the “Nisshin Maru” when she returns to Antarctica this December.

I am organising a fund raising lunch at Pulau Ubin on Saturday 8th July.

10.00 am - Meet Changi Village jetty (how to get there)
10.30 am to 12.30 pm - Nature walk Sensory Trail
12.30 pm to 1.30 pm - Sit down lunch
2.00 pm - End of programme

Price $25 per person, this includes boat fare to/from Ubin, 8 course sit down Chinese lunch and soft drinks (alcohol own A/C).

Also have limited number of Sea Shepherd T-shirts at $25 each. Please help Sea Shepherd put a stop to the killing of 1,000 plus whales by the Japanese each season.

Email Grant Pereira grant@gvn.com.sg if you want to support this worthy cause.
or call Mobile: 96840950 Office: 63376062

Pray give me a good ship so that I may sail into harms way--Captain John Paul Jones

Straits Times 5 Jul 06
From yuppie to avid environmentalist
by Meng Yew Choong

As a grain trader with a multinational firm some 30 years ago, Mr Grant Pereira lived well, owning three cars at one point.

Then all of a sudden, he was struck by the realisation that his lifestyle was unsustainable. In 1975, he joined Greenpeace, later enlisting in what he felt was a more 'militant' environmental organisation, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

He gave up his easy day job and let his driving licence lapse, marking his complete transformation from affluent yuppie to full-time environmental activist.

Today, the 58-year-old is head of the 2,500-strong Green Volunteers Network, the volunteer arm of the Singapore Environment Council.

His various campaigns include persuading pepole to give up eating shark's fin, lobbying against seal and whale hunting, and promoting 'catch and release' practices among anglers. Reactions to his campaigns have been encouraging, he said.

"I think most Chinese restaurant owners recognise my face by now. Yes, I have received some verbal threats, but that's about all. I just ignore them"

Mr Pereira was recently given a medallion by Sea Shepherd for 'courage and active service to protect life in the sea'. He sits on the board of advisers to Sea Shepherd, with stars like Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan.

Mr Pereira's philosophy for opposing the hunting of sea creatures like whales and sharks is simple: if you cannot breed them, you should not eat them.

However, he is not, as people might expect, a vegetarian or organice food advocate. "I'm a carnivore and loving it. It is alright to eat the entire shark, but it is wrong to just cut off its fins and throw the rest away. This is wasteful and cruel."

Mr Pereira is particularly angered by Japan's insistence on killing close to 1,000 whales a year, under the guise of 'scientific whaling'.

"You don't need to kill so many to study them. Whale eating is a dying tradition and the Japanese are clinging onto whale hunting just for the sake of preserving tradition".

His efforts have earned him labels like fanatic, freak, madman and eco-terrorist, but Mr Pereira laughs them off with this retort; "One man's eco-terrorist is the whales' freedom fighter!"

This Saturday, he will try to raise more funds for Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling efforts on Pulau Ubin. The half-day programme entails a "sensory walk" on the island, followed by lunch with Mr Pereira.

For details, go to www.wildsingapore.com

Straits Times Forum 10 Jul 06
A compassionate carnivore is an oxymoron and hypocritical
Leter from Anthony Lee Mui Yu

The article, 'From yuppie to avid environmentalist' (ST, July 5), is about Mr Grant Pereira who heads the Green Volunteers Network under the Singapore Environment Council. He campaigns against consuming shark's fin and seal and whale hunting and promotes 'catch and release' angling.

While we welcome volunteers I am dumbfounded by his asserting: 'I'm a carnivore and loving it. It is all right to eat the entire shark, but it is wrong to just cut off the fins and throw the rest away. This is wasteful and cruel.' Mr Pereira is also up in arms that Japan insists on killing whales as 'the Japanese are clinging onto whale hunting just for the sake of preserving tradition'.

To me, a compassionate carnivore is an oxymoron and hypocritical: respecting life while indulging the palate. Like a cancer educator who condones smoking. I can accept if Mr Pereira does not claim to be compassionate, just ecologically dutiful about endangered and threatened species like whales and sharks respectively. But he is for shark-eating, only calling it 'wasteful and cruel' when de-finned sharks are tossed overboard to bleed to death.

Does Mr Pereira's compassion kick in only when it is 'wasteful', not when killing 'humanely' for productive consumption? Is selective compassion really compassionate?

Japanese whaling advocates recriminate of a cultural bias: If Western fare is hoofed and clawed beasts why deny them their seafood tradition that includes whales, now that species like the Minke are off the endangered list?

Condoning meat-eating also reinforces a primal tradition that gifts whale and sharkfin gourmands justification to sustain their relatively recent ones. Inviting cat, dog and exotic meat indulgers to join the chorus.

Nutritious vegetarian and vegan diets should supplant anachronistic meat ones that damage our health and conscience thanks partly to global 'hamburgerisation'. Cattle and sheep pastures deforest woodland that would otherwise cool the earth and keep run-off precipitation from flooding lowlands. Livestock produce methane that worsen the greenhouse effect of global warming.

It demeans humanity to hubristically commodify animals as a given for food, vanity (cosmetics testing, fur and leather), medical experimentation, entertainment and sport. That they are voiceless and defenceless should all the more restrain our bullying. Is might always right?

Haven't slavery and other excesses on our own species taught us the sanctity of freedom and rights germane to all sentient creatures? The infinite and shameless insatiability of our kind? Whether for resources, ideology or politics, a primal (patriarchal?) paradigm that cheapens and takes life, whatever its intelligence, needs transcending beginning with unselective consumptive killing.

More about Grant Pereira on the wildlives blog, done for NDP2004
Sea Shepherd website
More about Pulau Ubin and the sensory trail
Related articles on Dolphins and other cetaceans
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