Intelligence is our ability to live in harmony with nature.

Paul Watson

We’ve all heard of Dances with Wolves. My special guest on Voices from the North in November 2007, Ashiya Austin, was a Woman who Speaks for Whales. And frankly, with Japan’s latest whaling season due to begin soon, the whales of the Southern Ocean need a spokesperson urgently.

Ashiya Austin is an expat Kiwi who’d been living for years in Byron Bay in northern New South Wales. In late 2007 she burst into our local area with a clear mission – to save the whales. It turned out that Japan planned to take 50 humpbacks that whaling season together with their usual planned catch of Minke and the endangered Fin Whale. What do they do with the whale meat? What doesn’t get forced on Japanese School childrens often ends up in dog food. It sounds strange and difficult to justify. Ashiya wanted to see New Zealanders take a stand.  I’ll report further on this soon. In the meantime, here’s the complete inspiring interview including audio from Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd and Bunna Lawrie of the Mirning people of South Australia calling the whales. Being one of my earlier interviews, it begins with two minutes of music.

In closing the interview I  chose a few famous Native American words that seemed appropriate to the plight of the whales of the Southern Ocean:

Only after the last tree has been cut down.

Only after the last river has been poisoned.

Only after the last fish has been caught.

Only then will you find out that money cannot be eaten.



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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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