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Tuesday, June 20, 2006


An interesting story in the Washington Post: Reviving a Taste for Whale: Japan Introduces Meat to Children as It Fights Moratorium

NATORI, Japan -- An animated group of schoolchildren from this suburban town in northern Japan poured into their gymnasium Thursday afternoon and listened raptly to a whale expert give a talk on the gentle giants of the sea. They passed around whale teeth and were told about the growing abundance of the world's largest mammals before diving into the lecture's main course -- heaping plates of deep-fried whale chunks

Whale meat. Yum. Yum. I would have thought it unpalatable since seal is at best an acquired taste. In general, anything that lives in the sea but is not a fish is probably a little too oily for most people. I read recently the memoirs of some Nova Scotian doctor who recalled seeing poor people cook and eat seagulls in the 1930s, but there's probably not much point in that. There are some foods which people eat if they're that hungry—groundhogs and pocupines come to mind—but I don't think they offer much nutrition for humans, as opposed to full-time predators such as cats or wolves. Although a good marinade might help.

There has been a conference on whales, so you can find more stories on the same topic: the BBC has Japan pushes whale meat revival. If you read the story, it seems as if only a few communities actually eat whale as part of their traditional diet. It could well be the same in Norway or other places. However, insisting that they quit eating whale altogether might have the unintended effect of causing their governments to promote it even more, just out of pique. There could be subsidized drive-through whaleburger palaces next. Politicians will have their photographs taken enjoying a whalekebab. It could spiral out of control in a blubbery orgy of irresponsible eating.


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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.