Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Twist on School Lunches

We’ve seen a few disturbing things popping up in the news coming out of Japan lately. Specifically, it was recently found that 18% of Japanese grade schools were found to be serving whale meat to their students! That is nearly one out of every five Japanese children.

As I’m sure our readers aware, Japanese ships have engaged in whaling, under the guise of scientific research for years. While many countries participate in whale research, the vast majority of them do not proceed to kill the whales and sell off the meat.

Decades ago, the serving of whale meat was a fairly common occurrence in Japan, not only to school aged children but across the board. Since then, whale meat has seen a great decrease in popularity. According to this report, Japanese whaling fleets have continued to engage in the loathed practice despite the marked decrease in demand. Apparently somebody is still paying for people to hunt whales even though few are actually buying them. This lead to groups like Japan’s “Institute for Cetacean Research”, to sell off their excess meat to willing schools at severely reduced prices.

As disturbing as this news is, in a mildly perverted way this does indicate a silver lining, for those fighting to abolish the practice of whaling. With such a decrease in demand for whale products, perhaps it points to a limited support within Japan for the Japanese whaling industry. If this is the case then surely Japan’s whaling days are numbered. One can only guess what effect the loss of Japan as a whaling advocate would do for other pro whaling countries like Iceland.

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