The American Animal Welfare Movement and Pacific Whaling


Lissa Wadewitz juxtaposes the emerging American animal welfare movement with the racial diversity of American whaling crews in the Pacific during the nineteenth century. Whalers often anthropomorphized their prey, noting their maternal and mourning behavior; however, the hunt always proceeded for the sake of both economic and personal interests. For thousands of African Americans, the Pacific whaling fleet provided a means of obtaining freedom and advancing their careers. Some became officers and thus outranked fellow white crewmates, which drove the latter to lash out against their prey.

DOI: 10.5282/rcc/8957