In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, the unflappable Captain Kirk and his loyal crew must journey back in time to save the whales. As advanced beings of a futuristic time, they knew defending biodiversity and having respect for every species were important parts of being a global citizen (also, the planet was being held hostage by a strange alien force who demanded to speak with humpback whales or something). Many people in the present are trying to help marine mammals like whales and dolphins before time-travel becomes the only way to save them. Along those lines, William Shatner (old Kirk himself) has partnered with PETA to try and end the “Dolphin Swim” excursion on Norwegian Cruise Line’s themed Star Trek: The Cruise.
Shatner wrote a letter to Norwegian Cruise Lines CEO, Frank J. Del Rio:
Dear Mr. Del Rio,
I’m so happy that Star Trek fans have the opportunity to climb aboard Norwegian Jade’s Star Trek: The Cruise and experience their own interstellar voyage of sorts. However, so long as your company offers “swim with dolphins” experiences, what should be a futuristic voyage will be set back light years.
He goes on:
Never before has public opinion leaned so strongly against marine mammal captivity, presumably across all galaxies. Dolphins are highly intelligent, socially complex animals who travel great distances in the wild, often in large family pods. In captivity, they’re confined to pitiful, barren makeshift lagoons, often after being captured from the wild and torn away from their families in violent ways or after being bred into captivity for profit. There’s no justification for condemning animals to a lifetime of suffering in the name of entertainment.
Shatner concludes by calling upon the legacy of the U.S.S. Enterprise, the flagship of Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets:
Aboard the USS Enterprise, it was Captain Kirk’s duty “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations” in order to advance and diversify our own. The exploitation of any species for profit and entertainment would have violated the Prime Directive. I’m urging you to go where compassionate companies—such as TripAdvisor, MasterCard, and more—have gone before by removing “swim with dolphins” encounters from the Star Trek: The Cruise voyage, as well as from all other cruises offered through Norwegian Jade. Surely, Star Trek fans would appreciate the decision to allow dolphins to remain in the wild—and prosper.
The mantle of philanthropist and conservationist is laid on Shatner unexpectedly after he just last week went on a multi-day Twitter tirade against social justice warriors (SJWs):
Shatner has sailed aboard the cruise in the past, acting as host and "Captain" for countless Trekkies. The next voyage, which Shatner will not be on, will be setting sail on January 2018 from Miami and make stops in Honduras, Belize and Mexico.
Nowegian Cruise Lines has declined to comment thus far. Time will tell whether or not they decide to remove the excursion from their program. Even more time will tell whether we discover Warp-speed travel and make contact with the Vulcans here on Earth. After that, a truly huge amount of time will tell whether we are forced to travel back in time and save those dolphins again. I look forward to the movie!
H/T - Uproxx, The Hollywood Reporter