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Musings of a Malcontent: No One Escapes the Eyes of the World (even when you’re selling whale meat online)

Musings of a Malcontent: Environmental Irony in an Imperfect (but humorous?) World“Musings of a Malcontent” is a weekly op-ed by GlobalWarmingisReal contributor Carlyle Coash

Is it me, or do we live in a global community?

We do, right? We live in a time when it is almost impossible to do something that will not be seen by people from all over the planet?

I mean this is standard knowledge, yes?

Did I miss a memo saying that we are returning to a more insular Dark Ages kind of time where we are barely aware of the world around us? To a time where sharing video from your phone on You Tube would be openly laughed at, potentially resulting in you being beaten just because you upset everyone for even saying such a ridiculous thing? To a time when you could get away with a lot more horrible behavior without being busted for it on the world stage?

No memo, correct?

Just checking, since it seems Amazon.com got one.

A couple months ago Amazon Japan – owned by Amazon, Inc –was featuring 145 products derived from whales, porpoises and dolphins. Baird’s Beaked Whale Jerky, Icelandic Fin Whale Bacon and Whale Meat Gift Sets for the New Year were just some of the fabulous items on sale. That is until last week when the global public were notified and complained so much that they pulled all the products off the site.

Oh yeah – did I mention that many of the products were found to have toxic levels of mercury? At levels that exceeded the allowable limits set by Japanese law?

Excellent.

I mean I love a good Whale Hamburger – but infuse it with a tasty dose of mercury and I am in heaven! Actually I love making a little soy mercury glaze for my dolphin stuffed whale chops. Absolutely amazing! It’s as close to eating what the Gods eat as any of us humans will ever get. Awesome.

Idiots! Amazon I mean. What were they thinking? Yeah I know that these products are hot in Japan – and we will get to that in a minute – but have we not learned anything about the Internet over the last 10 years? There is access to everything. There are people who get paid to look for things that are horrible and in bad taste. I would think that Amazon pays some PR firm obscene amounts of money to avoid such ill-advised moves. Clearly they need to be replaced.

Plus, did they forget that most of the world thinks whales and dolphins are our friends? They don’t keep making Free Willy movies because everyone secretly hopes Willy will be harpooned and made into a lovely canned gelatinous meat product. Hundreds of people don’t show up to help whales when they are beached because they are hoping to get a shot at some yummy slices of bacon meat. As a whole we love these beings. We dream of swimming with dolphins and having a whale help us when we are stranded on a life raft in the ocean. They embody the universe at its best.

Not to mention the restrictions on killing them – there is that.

Silly me.

Also isn’t it about time we stopped killing these animals? I mean do we really need the “products” they produce? 100 years ago, maybe I could see the reason – maybe. But now? Kill them to make an item that looks like the end product of an intestinal virus? Or to resemble that time I drank an entire bottle of Vodka and purged a tasty Carnitas Burrito in the wastebasket? Nice!

What is our problem?

The excuse used by Japan is that they are conducting research on the whales and that they are simply selling the by-product of that research. The Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo is all for this saying it helps “to make the provision of cheap whale meat as much as possible to all levels of civil society.” Minor point with the whole “laced with good for you mercury” aspect – but hey it did come from “research”.

Researching what, exactly? That harpoons kill Whales? That dolphins stop breathing when you take them out of the water? That when killed faster than they can breed these species die out? That people are willing to eat something that looks like a liver Hannibal Lecter just pulled out of a surprised census taker?

Trust me – there is no research. Just criminal behavior.

Luckily for me I hit “purchase” on those 50 cans of Dinty Moore Hearty Whale Stew before they were pulled from the site.

There is a God.

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