Madison – March 2009

When my best friend sent me email footage of what they’re doing in Japan – killing small whales and dolphins for meat – I was disgusted and knew I had to do something to try to change the situation. It’s been happening for a long time, even to endangered species.

I went to Japan [in November 2007] and became involved in a peace paddle. It is a ceremony performed by surfers when a friend of theirs dies in the surf. We paddled out on surfboards a couple of times and formed a circle to honour all of the whales that had died there. The second time we were five metres away from a pod of pilot whales and half the pod had already been slaughtered; the water was red. It was an awful sight. Of course the [whalers] didn’t continue their work because we were filming.

But because we’d swum into the area where they were doing the killings, an arrest warrant was issued for [our] interfering with international commerce and trade. That wouldn’t be enough to stop me from returning to Japan for further protests though.

Why am I passionate? Because it’s so cruel, it’s absolutely barbaric. I’m really comfortable with the media attention I’ve helped secure for this cause, but whether or not I was in the industry, this would be something I would choose to be involved in.

I think there are many issues in the world that need to be attended to, but you also can’t give your energy to everything. I’m dealing with one thing at a time.