Sunday, August 3, 2008

Entry for February 24, 2008


I don't need it!

I went to the local supermarket today, and they were promoting whale meat. "Safe whale meat obtained through research whaling!" the 30something man in a yellow happi coat with a whale logo said into his microphone. They were offering tasting samples to whoever would show interest.

I'm not anti-whaling. I think in the US and UK, this puts me in the same class as child molesters. However, I think whaling, at least for Japan, is a waste of time and resources. For one, it tastes all right, but not t die for. I've had whale meat. It tastes somewhere between tuna, chicken, and beef. If there were a shortage of food (which was indeed the case once upon a time in Japan), then I would eat it, but for now, I prefer tuna, chicken or beef (though I understand tuna fishing is heavily restricted these days, so my toro cravings will soon need checking). Like I saw in the supermarket today, the whale meat from Japanese research whaling is sold. I didn't see very many people buying it today. It looked a bit red and runny, probably because the meat had been frozen (how else can you get it home from Antarctica still fit to eat?).

Which brings me to the next issue. When you chase down a whale and harpoon it and winch it up and carry it home, it involves a lot of diesel fuel. And, currently, tax dollars, as research whaling is funded by the Japanese government. That money would probably be better spent hiring more and better elementary school teachers and hospital nurses. Go use our carbon dioxide emission quota on something like electricity for a nursing home.

I understand that there are poor countries that look to whaling as a source of protein. I understand that there are traditional Inuit communities for whom whaling is a way of life and a source of cultural identity. However, Japan is no longer protein depleted. Japan's national identity can be seen in aspects other than whaling. I don't need it.

But if you tell me I can't have it because it is WRONG, I shall be quite annoyed. If you write me telling me that whales are endangered and whales are beautiful and whales are intelligent and whaling is barbaric, you will sound to me like you are saying abortion is murder and murder is wrong, and make my eyes cross and mind go blank.

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