Greenpeace has been around for almost 20 years, and one of its members says that pressure from the environmental group has forced the endless slaughter of whales, baby seals and dolphins to stop.
Chris Childs spoke to a Weber State College crowd Thursday to urge the students to get involved in an effort to save the planet.Childs has worked with Greenpeace since 1987, and he said that the principles behind the organization centers around the Quaker philosophy of non-violence and bearing witness to the truth.
"Some things are really more important than one's own physical well-being," he said. "We have to change things for the better."
Greenpeace is well known throughout the world for its efforts in stopping nuclear testing and the slaughtering of whales, baby seals and dolphins.
Childs said Greenpeace's non-violent direct action to save the planet is based on the strategy to stop the destruction through boycotts, painting baby seals' white fur with green spray paint and by getting in the way of whaling ships.
He summed up his strategy in four words, "be in the way." He also said it helps to take lots of photographs.
In the early 1970s, Childs said that 17 whaling countries were killing about 40,000 whales a year and the planet's largest mammal was becoming extinct.
Because of the work of Greenpeace and international pressure, there are only two countries left in the world, Japan and Norway, that kill whales, and the number of deaths has dropped to 500 annually.
"There has never been anything romantic about whale killing," explained Childs. "It's brutal and bloody. We have a great deal left to learn from living whales."
Childs also said that the work of Greenpeace has brought the slaughter of baby seals from 200,000 a year down to less than 6,000.
And Childs said that some tuna fish companies no longer buy tuna from fisherman who kill dolphins.