21 April, 2008

Would You Like Some Whale With That Sir?

鯨ベーコン=くじらベーコン=KUJIRA BACON=whale bacon)

If i am to be completely honest, while i keep up with what's going on in the world, I am not particularly political. Every so often, there are things that make me go 'WHAT?!' or 'That's f-ing unfair!!', but that's about as far as i get. Maybe that's apathetic, but that's me.

So, today is a bit of a rare posting, in that i want to write about something that's been bugging me for while.

Every year, Japan does some whaling for 'research' purposes & causes a whole lot of upset in various circles - mainly environmental groups, but lately governments (I think Australia has been voicing some degree of protest) have been getting involved. I'm not going to get into the whole whaling debate because i don't know the details & history of it all.
What has been interesting though is hearing the western (BBC/CNN/Times) perspective & Japanese media views. The foreign media have been interviewing a lot of the activists involved (mostly Greenpeace) and saying how they have successfully disrupted Japan's catch of Minke whales (apparently, the catch was only about 60% of what Japan were hoping for).
Japanese media, on the other hand, have been reporting about the pesky foreigners who have been harassing them and their important scientific research.

And here we get the part that bugs me.
Japan keeps reiterating the fact that it is SCIENTIFIC research.

Then how the hell does it end up in my local supermarket?
Am i going to scientifically buy it? Then scientifically eat it?
I recently took the above photo in my local Tokyu supermarket. Not a speciality shop or anything. Just a local supermarket in Kawasaki.
Don't know about you, but to me it just seems damn wrong.

If you want to know more on the whole whaling issue; here are some links:

The Institute of Cetacean Research - the Japanese whale 'researchers'
The International Whaling Commission - the group who decide how many whales are caught each year & who can catch them
Greenpeace - their anti-whaling campaign

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