He has devoted his life to trying to preserve the world in which we live.
Ahead of tonight’s premiere of the Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, we spoke to Chad.
Here he reveals what we can all do to help save our beloved Mother Earth.
Celebzter: You’re a long-time animal rights activist, at what age did this become of interest to you?
Chad: Around the age of 13 I became interested in the welfare of animals and the environment. I no longer looked at animals as a source of food or companionship and wanted to not only live a life where I wasn’t responsible for the death of an animal for my daily meals but I wanted to stand up and help protect what I thought was so important. This led to an interest in animal rights , a vegan diet and, after reading an article on Sea Shepherd passed down from my parents, a determination to be a part of an organization like Sea Shepherd where I could take this passion and emotion into positive actions.
Celebzter: And when did it become apparent that your mission was to not only try to save whales but help raise awareness over their endangerment?
Chad: I think the two issues go together. One of the most important characteristics which the environmental movement can have right now is strength in numbers. The more people know, the more support we gain, and what was once a minority can soon become the majority. Unfortunately, much of the world has been conditioned and educated by large corporations who want to sell their environmentally destructive products along with the convenience of a cheap/affordable menu (ie. fast food, dollar menus). I think it is incredibly important to educate people and open their minds to where their food, cloths and consumed products come from. There is far too much mystery about where our food comes from and it is our responsibility to know these things.
With the issues of endangerment and our oceans, it feels great to learn something, have that emotional reaction and then make a change. We as humans must protect this planet, for ourselves and for the future generations. I want later generations to look back at Sea Shepherd with a heartfelt smile and appreciation for the selfless risks we take in the open oceans. I hope this attitude is contagious.
Celebzter: What can we all do more to help in this cause?
Chad: So much can start right in your own house or apartment. Read up about the issues, whaling, over fishing, shark finning, etc….. Learn what is going on. Look at your diet, is there anything that you eat which may be related? Ask yourself what is absolutely necessary and what you might be able to replace with a more sustainable or environmentally friendly choice. Take everything a step at a time and keep an open mind. The best thing is the feeling of making a difference. Give yourself credit and take pride in the decisions you make.
Become a member of Sea Shepherd. Find out if there is a local onshore team which you can volunteer and help out with every now and then. Collect donations for the ships and the crew. I think a lot of people and companies are interested in donating and helping the cause but we need that shore team through numerous nations to give us a hand. Apply for a ship’s crew, you will work hard alongside the most amazing and like-minded people but will walk away with the best stories. You can honestly say that you have made this world a better place.
Celebzter: How did the notion of Whale Wars and your involvement in it come about?
Chad: Whale Wars just came with my working with Sea Shepherd. I look at it as an amazing opportunity to educate the world on the state of our oceans and what people are willing to do to protect them.
Celebzter: Has the show had some impact in educating the public?
Chad: Incredibly. I hope it sheds light on the organization and people become interested in more than just our whaling campaigns but our efforts to protect all marine life. It has brought millions of families down to Antarctica to witness the same things we see and do. For a place as isolated and far as Antarctica, it’s the best thing we could ask for.
Celebzter: What has been the most rewarding part of doing it?
Chad: I love everything about my life and work with Sea Shepherd. I am incredibly honored and proud to be a part of it and make a difference. We are a small but strong organization that will surely go down in history as something that made a difference. It’s an honor to work beside Paul Watson and I hope to continue doing so for years to come. I wish there were more men and women with Paul’s courage and perseverance.
Celebzter: If you had to have a mission statement on helping saving the planet what would it be?
Chad: Simply, it is our responsibility to give back in some way or another. I know it sounds harsh but unless we give back in some way or another, it is safe to say that this world would have been better without us. Every last person has the ability and power to create a change. A lot of animals and the environment don’t have the ability to protect themselves and if we know that what is going on is not right, we have to stand up for it. Isn’t that what you would want?
Celebzter: What is the biggest mistake humans are currently making to endanger the planet?
Chad: We are turning our heads and playing ignorant to what’s going on. We are choosing the option that is more convenient and cheap instead of ethical and slightly more expensive. The truth is, it is the environment that is paying for these conveniences instead of us as individuals. Again, fast food, non-organic produce, sweatshop labored clothing are some examples. Unfortunately, the environmental damage isn’t clearly labeled on much of the things we purchase which is why we must do more to educate ourselves and make positive changes.
Celebzter: When you are not saving the planet, what do you do during your downtime?
Chad: Being a part of Sea Shepherd for more than 12 months at a time, I sacrifice a lot of simple things like going to the beach, relaxing with friends, reading, mountain climbing and surfing, so I try to spend my days in California doing precisely that. I appreciate solitude and exploring the outdoors, in forests, mountains or along the coast.
Whale Wars premiers tonight at 9pm on the Animal Planet