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Protests or not, Japanese keep eating whale

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By Jay Alabaster

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Whether you think whaling is immoral or not, if you are female and consistently eat whale, whatever children you have run a huge risk of being mentally retarded and will almost certainly be mentally ill due to all the dimethyl mercury in it.

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I find it highly unlikely that anyone is "consistently" eating whale in any of the whale eating countries. The supply simply isn't as abundant as say Quarter Pounders with Cheese.

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Quite right brighton. Whale meat is full of dioxins. So much for Japan's whale "research."

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Ito says the scientific whaling done by his company, in connection with the government-backed Cetacean Research Institute, is needed to prove there are enough minke whales for harvesting, and thus for the lifting of the commercial whaling ban.

Something smells a bit fishy!!! They are killing whales to prove there are whales to kill?!?!?

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I have heard many japanese talk about whale always being on the plate because thats all there was after the war but I dont recall any having fond memories, more along the lines of glad those days are over.

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Japan should start using its coast guard ships to escort and protect against pirate/terrorist aggression.

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Whether you think whaling is immoral or not, if you are female and consistently eat whale, whatever children you have run a huge risk of being mentally retarded and will almost certainly be mentally ill due to all the dimethyl mercury in it.

Do you really think that this hasn't been tested? Do you really think its not safe for human consumption? I'll tell you plainly, theres nothing wrong with it, and anyone who says different is selling something.

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Molenir,

Here are the facts, I hope you can keep up:

"Whales are particularly vulnerable to accumulating contaminants now wide spread in maritime environments, eg organochlorins and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), DDT, dioxins and methyl mercury. These contaminants can cause neurotoxicity or nerve damage, reproductive and development disorders, immune suppression and liver damage.

Whale meat, blubber and internal organs all accommodate these toxins which are passed on through the mother's milk to the next generation of whales and dolphins. Not to mention to those who consume it."

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without a publicity boost, whaling may fade away on its own.

One can only hope it's soon!

Molenir - Please quote your sources. With all thew recent food scandals in Japan would you actually believe anything said by the Japanese food industry?

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"Why shouldn't Tokyo persist," says crotchety old man, "we've eaten it for HUNdreds of years, since the end of WWII. Coming to this 10,000 yen per plate restaurant to eat whale reminds us of when we were forced to eat it because we had no money for pork or beef. So, you tell me why we shouldn't force kids to eat it, too? at jacked up rates, of course."

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A whale restaurant is a sure loser. Whale is not easily found in supermarket cans and dining places in my humble town of over a million people. Note the period. None of the people I know crave whale ever.

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I can't remember where I read it, but there was an article about a year or so back, as well as specials on TV, which talked about how some Japanese fishers were simply catching dolphins which rode behind in the boats wake. There are of course an easy catch because they follow boats in large groups and you simply need to throw a net over them. Depending on the type of dolphin, they are technically classed as a type of toothed whale, and so some fishers catch dolphins in droves and sell them as whale meat, hence it's still somewhat affordable from place to place in supermarkets.

"Whales belong to the order Cetacea. There are two suborders: Odontoceti (toothed whales) and Mysticeti (baleen whales). The toothed whale suborder includes sperm whales, classified as Physeter catodon; beaked whales in the family Ziphiidae; narwhals, classified as Monodon monoceros; and belugas, Delphinapterus leucas. Toothed whales also include members of the dolphin family, Delphinidae, and the porpoise family, Phocoenidae."

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Here's one link I found on the above topic (sorry mods, but it proves a point). http://www.earthtrust.org/dnarelease.html

Yes, you could be eating easily and intentionally caught dophin labelled as whale, my friends -- assuming you are poor enough that you can only eat whale as a substitute for beef or pork.

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The title of this article is ridiculously misleading.It should read 'SOME Japanese...'

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Potsu: Agreed. Actually, 'very few, but who have influence' would be most apt.

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Yeah Smithinjapan, most whale meat sold in Japan is actually dolphin meat. To the Japanese it is the same thing. I'm sure most people have seen the video of the dolphin hunt in Taiji, if not, here it is on Youtube. Feel free to throw up after watching it.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=bHb74sNjtLU&ytsession=OkqQ3m-nPgGrBvtWMFjbN-H7YU_h2Z1dLmabCl-uSQ2_SOdHqja0YDkPru0vGFBQsdkDB43SfcAFX8wfgmsZZsy5P4zCXCqSsYv6pZ__rAMVl0v5jyEc0EeO-uGChSF-e3r_33YURp84dMSQG7txVo588fjS6qf4w4UgLn3XMqZeQr_POmcDTjAGSmPVNj3Ddb2jYqcgsyd-XKLQG8DbY15S5CTOSAHRYHOpIWYzJ8Hc0XYFmCUx028i3rw6opKqY3ZamecLMMER30vQBKnqYe8aLeV1ew9L

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Keep eating the whale meat you methyl-mercury loving morons! The quicker you expire the less CO2 and the more oxygen there'll be in the atmospshere for the rest of us!

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Thank you I will. I have no problem eating this murcury free whale meat. And why don't you try finding some non eco-freak, reputable sources rather then just spouting this mercury scare nonsense.

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lol, If there was any real evidence to back up these spurious and idiotic claims, don't you think it would be everywhere? Don't you think there would be even more save the whales nonsense? Its easy enough to prove. Just go out and buy some whale meat, take it to a half decent reputable lab, and get it tested. Won't cost much at all. That you can't find any evidence, any lab tests, etc is more then enough proof for me.

That aside, sorry but I barely have time to check in, read the news, and occasionally comment on interesting articles. I certainly don't have time to go searching for the sources you are asking me to find, either positive or negative. So if you can provide proof to back up your claims that, all things considered, seem beyond silly, then find it, otherwise keep talking out your butt!

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[“If there are plentiful resources, and we can take some without causing whales to go extinct for future generations, what is wrong with that?” Ito asked.]

I have said it before and I will say it again, the flaw in this argument is that it is only sustainable if it is only Japan. If every country in the whole world had the same attitude there would be none. This sentence underlies the selfishness of the Japanese position. Why they don't get this never fails to amaze me. It is either everyone or no-one. Not no-one except Japan. Whaling by everyone is not sustainable. Period.

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...and before you come back and argue that the tests were on dolphin meat not whale meat, remember that most of the dolphin meat on sale is labelled as 'kujira', not 'iruka'; you have no idea as a layman whether what you are eating is whale or dolphin.

Moderator: All readers, stay on topic please. The subject is whale meat, not dolphin meat.

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Cripes, how long will this sad story continue? Whale tourism will net the whalers more money than this embarrassing self-delusional, self-serving behavior.

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stay on topic please. The subject is whale meat, not dolphin meat.

Isn't it on topic to point out that people who think they are eating whale are often eating dolphin?

Moderator: No, that is a different subject.

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Whale meat is disgusting, full of toxins and also a rotten taste. If the Japanese want to poison themselves eating this crap, then dozo - but count me out.

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invoking images of whales being killed at sea is unfair because killing animals for food is never a pretty sight. “There are intense scenes of cows and chickens being slaughtered too,”

The equivalent of a whale hunt would be to have the abattoir worker chase the cow or pig around the slaughterhouse on a motorbike for several hours before shooting the terrified and exhausted animal with a high-powered harpoon (while both the shooter and the target are moving at high speed, so accuracy is literally hit-and-miss) and then letting the cow or pig drag the bike around for another half-hour or so until the animal bleeds to death or drowns in its own blood.

Yup, happens every day in abattoirs all around the world. NOT.

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invoking images of whales being killed at sea is unfair because killing animals for food is never a pretty sight.

Which means he wants us to stop eating the dead flesh of animals. Sounds good to me.

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borscht -

That too.

Apparently there's a programme on BBC TV 'which follows the journey of wild game from the field to the fork, as nine contributors find out what is involved in the shooting, butchering and preparing of game for their dinner' . I'm surprised the meat industry didn't scupper the series before it got started, but it seems some sad people think this kind of thing is fun.

Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion focused on Japanese eating whale meat.

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Molenir: "Thank you I will. I have no problem eating this murcury free whale meat. And why don't you try finding some non eco-freak, reputable sources rather then just spouting this mercury scare nonsense."

The mercury found in whale meat is not nonsense at all; there were plenty of examples found in JAPANESE tests of people who often eat whale meat. Men who ate it frequently were found to have had 20 times the permissible levels of mercury, found by testing their hair.

No one is saying whales are the only thing with mercury in them, my friend. Blue-fin tuna also has it in droves. You're the only one denying it's possible. Why don't we hear more about it in the media, you ask? Simple... the same reason you hear nothing but news about Ichiro when he gets a homerun, and very little about him when he doesn't; the J-media are extremely biased and tend to only run things that make them look good from an international point of view, or that run in their favour domestically; such test results do neither. You may as well ask why companies that get involved in food scandals don't rush to report it nationally.

Oh, and people have gone out and tested the whale meat, as you suggested. Several found it to be dolphin, labelled as whale (sorry mods, but it's true, and it's not off topic).

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Molenir: Hell, it was even in a JT article in October! I suppose you think JT is also an eco-freak?

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/high-levels-of-mercury-found-in-hair-of-people-eating-whales-study

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Wonder if the old guys eating whalemeat will die eventually of mercury poisoning . . . they probably smoke too, another Japanese government sponsored means of an early death which may get them first.

To save time these guys should just lite up a thermometor and inhale the mercury vapors.

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Heres the thing about your arguement though. If this was any kind of risk, the media would be all over this. No really. If there was a health risk, do you think for even a second someone wouldn't blow the whistle? That someone wouldn't have a test run and start screaming about a coverup? Even in Japan that would happen. There is nothing the media likes more then being able to report a coverup.

That it hasn't, that no articles have come out talking about tests being done suggests that tests have been done, and that the levels of mercury and other toxins just aren't at a level to be dangerous. (IE worthy of a story)

I don't doubt that there are toxins found in fish. It seems more then likely. I just don't buy into the health scares that so many seem to want to push. To put it simply, either show me the evidence or shut up, is pretty much my philosophy when it comes to these things. Without real evidence to back up these claims. Logic says they're bogus.

I'd be willing to accept the study about levels of mercury from hair. Though since I know a bit about how they test hair, I'd really like more details, like how they went about determining the mercury levels. How they tested the hair etc. Anyone know? The article mentioned was expired.

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How kind of them to care about the health of eaters of whales which they do not seem to eat. They may as well care about the health of eaters of quadruped too.

Sonars sent from the US Navy battleships during military practices in the northern Pacific Ocean disturbed whales and dolphins having them stranded dead on rocks and reefs. Ecoactivist groups filed a suit demanding for the restriction of the military practices in the ocean and won the case in the 1st and 2nd courts that acknowledged the damage to the whales and ordered the US Navy to suspend the use of sonars. But recently the Supreme Court overruled it. Did the US media and ecoactivists oppose to the judgment?

According to "Brainwash by the name of Ecology エコロジーという洗脳" by Soejima Takahiko + SNSI, the true reason to lead the public opinion toward anti-whaling is the procurement of the cerebrospinal fluid of sperm whales. The whale's cerebrospinal fluid is still used as valuable anti-freezing solution for fuel oil and lubricant of combat cars and tanks. It takes enormous cost to make artificially anti-freezing solution that does not freeze even lower than 60 degrees below zero. Those anti-whaling activist groups have been made good use of from the viewpoint of national security too haven't they? Brainwash or not, I am sorry to say, Japanese with an ineffable hunch feeling in our bones tend to take this kind of anti-whaling narratives with a grain of salt.

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How very strange. Molenir says he wants to see reports of independent tests done on mercury levels in whalemeat, I and others provide the links, Molenir claims again that no articles have come out talking about tests being done, I look back up the thread ...and all the posts with links to the tests in question have been removed. No wonder Molenir is confused.

What's going on, JT?

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I would gladly support J-whaling if they and the Cetacean Research Institute would just publically admit that these expeditions have absolutely NOTHING to do with research of any kind and are just to collect whale meat for the few who want to add some pollutants to their diet.

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For your mercury in whale meat proof, a Scientific America article from 2003.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=packaged-whale-meat-in-ja

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Japanese keep eating whale

yeah, all 2% of them.

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Eating whale meat is akin to cannibalism considering that whales are mammals with large brains and are intelligent sentient beings who communicate in songs and live in social groupings. You eat whale --you kill your soul. Go swim with one for ten minutes and then see if you can eat whalemeat!

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Western doctors will tell pregnant women to avoid eating sushi, specifically tuna due to the high metal levels. It is no secret. Logic would tell you that whale would have even higher levels of metal due to the fact that they eat a lot more and live longer.

Now, will one meal kill you? Of course not. But a daily diet is a bad idea... same for many of the fish used in sushi. Once a week or month is probably ok.

Whaleing is an issue pushed by a very small number of nationalists, and should be treated as such. Hit them economically and the issue would die. But, it makes great news!

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Shouganaika, exactly. Let's have some statistics. How many Japanese eat whale regularly, how many have just eaten it once, how many have never eaten it at all.

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Fact is, the vast majority of whale meat goes unsold and sits in cold storage. Eventually it is turned into pet food. There is not enough demand for whale meat in Japan. The meat is loaded with dangerous chemicals, and we know that.

It might be safe to eat here and there - safe as any fast food joint, but please, you must understand that all Japanese realize that this is an amakudari project that brings profit to a chosen few former bureaucrats from the ministry of farms and fisheries. We know that whale is not a potential source of safe or efficient food - many millions of tons of oil must be burned to catch the whales after all, and that our government is embarassing itself by conducting this hunt.

Still, the meat is natsukashii, and we won't allow other nations to dictate morality to us.

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Um, the entire world dictated morality to Japan, or didn't they teach you that at school and they will do it again.

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“If there are plentiful resources, and we can take some without causing whales to go extinct for future generations, what is wrong with that?” Ito asked.

Because its illegal internationally.

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Eating whale meat is like eating your dog.

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Papawhale

"Eating whale meat is like eating your dog."

Of course, it is tastier than it. I asked my korean & Aussie friend to try the Whale burgers. Both of them said it is tastier & smoother than dog meat or kangaroo meat. In the ancient time, Vikings from scandianavian region like whale meat so much they even ate without cooking.

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Yes, the Japanese are so proud of it few department stores sell it, and those that do are quite low key about it. Yes indeed. Massive support for it. Did I mention the one time it was served on Iron Chef that one of the judges refused to eat it. And that was back in the 90's. Feel the way of Japanese enthusiasm around eating it.

Old people like to eat it. Why? Because they're old.

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Because its illegal internationally.

it was made illegal cause whales were in danger of extinction so doesn't answer the question now that they are not.

In the ancient time, Vikings from scandianavian region like whale meat so much they even ate without cooking.

i've had raw whale meat in japan and its actually quite good.

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I love whale meat! Especially Bacon. However, the quality has really gone down in the last 25 years I have been here. Whale sashimi is a bit gamey, and has an interesting aroma. Actually sort of tastes like American buffalo when cooked. Whales are not pets though, so that is a stupid argument. And if whales were really that smart, they would have sung songs to each other about getting the gang together to go after and turn over a few whaling ships. Eat whale. It is good stuff!

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@Molenir

I'll tell you plainly, theres nothing wrong with it, and anyone who says different is selling something.

Seems to me that whatever it is Molenir is selling is whale meat. Or ignorance.

Why is Molenir pushing whale meat so strongly, anyway? The bottom line as far as eating safely from the sea is to always try and eat lower on the hierarchy, meaning smaller is better. From what I understand, bigger fish and mammals are nowadays often contaminated with mercury, dioxins and other things that aren't so good to ingest on your dinner plate. A byproduct of the times, unfortunately.

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@Molenir

Thank you I will. I have no problem eating this murcury free whale meat. And why don't you try finding some non eco-freak, reputable sources rather then just spouting this mercury scare nonsense.

And why do people like this freak out themselves about others who strive to learn about and protect the environment (for all creatures, not just humans)? Grow up, please.

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Sorry, haven't check in on this thread in awhile.

To answer your question, I'm not pushing whale meat, nor do I eat it. Though I've tried it. What bothers me is the fact that people are so extreme on this. So many people just rant about hunting whales, and thats not something I can understand.

My own stance on this, is that as long as the hunting is not on species that are endangered, then I see no reason not to hunt whales. Managed fishing, just like with any other species.

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Solution to the problem... lets go find something else to "scientifically" research. Suggestions anyone ?

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Solution to the problem... lets go find something else to "scientifically" research. Suggestions anyone ?

How about Whalers?

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Hmmm... Probably not as they're protected and it can't be Sea Shepard because they're to damn hard to catch as well ;-) Hey! I've got it! Has anyone suggested everyone turn to vegans!TA DA! No more issues... Whales are happy (obviously)

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I'm now living in Japan. But I hate the people who kill Whale.

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Japan's allies in whaling from the Scandinavian countries did their own studies of whale meat safety and found the mercury level to be astronomical. Dioxins were also a problem. Those who want to eat whale meat in Japan have the right to do so, but it is unfortunate that people are not aware of the risks and dangers of it. Luckily, most people (Japanese or other) don't eat that much whale. My Japanese friends warned us that pregnant women should avoid it or they would have babies with birth defects.

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@ loltehinterwebs

Still, the meat is natsukashii, and we won't allow other nations to dictate morality to us.

Seems awefully pretentious. I suppose Japan has had their fill of morality changes brought on by western pressures for long enough. So they're going to stick fast with this one. Like I said, terribly pretentious point to push. Are the older Japanese people that steeped in tradition that they don't see the wrong in killing and eating an intelligent species who has highly toxic meat...over sentiment and nostalgia??? Get real people. And no, the sea shepards aren't just interested in publicity. They actually are out there for one reason. Which is why they have their own TV show. To stop the illegal whale hunting. It's as simple as that. Japan isn't special. That company is in violation of international...International whaling laws. Don't forget about the little towns in Japan where the people eat allot of whale and dolphin meat. The people have all kinds of diseases. And the Japanese government does nothing...Nothing about it to make these people aware of what's going on. They know this meat is poisoning these people and do nothing. There's morality for you.

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