Sunday, February 12, 2006

Whale meat is being turned into dog food

I have just learned that Whale meat is being turned into dog food in Japan. According to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society:
Japan’s stockpile of whale meat has doubled in the past decade as a result of more and more animals being killed each year, and selling the meat as dog food is the latest attempt by Japan to stimulate the market and shift the hundreds of tonnes of whale meat piling up in Japanese warehouses.
Thanks to David for the tip-off. How much more convincing do we need to push the campaign to boycott seafood products from companies that profit from whaling?


At February 12, 2006 9:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for including this on your blog, Mark (for those who wonder why I didn't comment direct, it is because I can't get the links to work that way).

As you know, I am a die-hard sceptic so I wait anxiously for confirmation of this from other sources. But I cannot help but comment on its significance if true.

We have seen contradictory polls about the views of the Japanese to the whale meat industry. In business, however, the only poll that counts is how much the market will consume. Now, if the whale meat market is a "cultural" market - that is to say a market meeting the "need" of "traditional" whale-meat eaters rather than one that you have to go out of your way to promote, then this turn of events appears to demonstrate that it is a very small market indeed - saturated at the level of "scientific" whaling conducted a few years ago.


At February 14, 2006 9:51 am, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

I don't know if this is 'confirmation' enough, as they refer to the same conservation group's story, but the BBC News online ran a story on this issue last week at

The BBC story actually sites and quotes the company website's comments on the dog food, so perhaps they did their own confirmation of the claims.

At February 15, 2006 9:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm. The quoted website says "粗品プレゼント券

This doesnt help me a lot, but I suppose that we can assume that the BBC were up to a translation when they confirmed the story!

It does look like the mighty "our culture" argument has just gone off with the dog food. Let's hope that Japanese anti-whaling groups are now able to take advantage of this (why do we never hear anything about them?). 


At February 16, 2006 10:11 am, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Probably for the same reason as us having to rely on the BBC having translated the Hakudai website...

Does anyone bother to translate Japanese green/anti-whaling activists? For instance, FOE Japan's website is, naturally, in Japanese...

However, Greenpeace Japan's website has an English section.


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