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addabook - Of Orcas and Men
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Of Orcas and Men
What Killer Whales Can Teach Us
David Neiwert
read on June 19, 2018

I read this book quickly over the summer, inspired by a trip out to the San Juan islands where we searched for, and eventually found, Orcas. I don't have much to say now, other than:

  • Orcas are incredible. They are smart, social creates with unique cultures. We could do well to understand them much better. They are ancient.
  • For 50 years we have tortured them, putting them in tanks hardly larger than their own bodies, to entertain us for profit.
  • The ones we haven't tortured, we are eradicating via environmental damage. We've completely ruined their main food source (salmon), and tanker traffic in the Pacific Northwest is additionally highly disruptive and dangerous. We are making no significant efforts to stem any of this impact.

So yeah, overall pretty depressing book about how callous and ignorant humans are, and how we're going to terminate this wonderful species for no real reason.

Author Bio:

Neiwert was raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and attended the University of Idaho, where he obtained his B.A. in English (1984), as well as the University of Montana (1987–88), where he studied creative writing. He worked at newspapers around the Pacific Northwest from 1978–1996, notably in Idaho (at Sandpoint, Blackfoot, Lewiston, Moscow, and Twin Falls); Montana (Missoula); and in western Washington (Kent, Bellevue, and Seattle). He went to work at MSNBC.com in 1996 as a writer-producer, and continued there through late 2000. Since then, he has focused on writing books and producing his blog Orcinus, which tends to report on the crossover between the mainstream and the far right. The Northwest Progressive Institute named its annual awards to the region's best liberal bloggers after Neiwert. He edited the political blog Crooks And Liars from 2008-2012. He is currently a contributing writer for the Southern Poverty Law Center's blog, Hatewatch. His book, And Hell Followed With Her: Crossing the Dark Side of the American Border, won the 2014 International Latino Book Award for general nonfiction.