Japan’s Whale and Dolphin Meat Appearing in Pet Food
By Mike Ezawa
The nation of Japan claims that a worldwide end to whaling is “disrespectful of its culture.” Japan, a country seemingly fueled by respect, tradition, controversy, and concealed and publicized blood-letting, claims its whale- and dolphin-killing practices are an important part of their heritage, and are therefore necessary.
Now, in what appears to be a desperate move to rid themselves of some of 2,700 tons of unwanted meat, the industry has put some of its products into pet food. 1,035 tons of whale meat is in the markets. The public isn’t buying it; they’re not stupid. So it’s come to this. Whale meat in pet food.
Whale meat has been highly publicized to contain toxic levels of chemicals; this fact has been proven by tests many times. Japan insists the meat be sold, with some of the advertisements so obviously showing their desperation. The Wakayama prefecture is attempting to get young people to eat the meat, saying it’s both healthy (a lie), delicious (after many taste tests by purchasers, another lie), and a proud tradition (to most people, yet another lie).
Now, the meat is also appearing in school lunches. With this knowledge, it seems as though Japan cares more for killing dolphins and whales than it does for the future of its children. Their children are exposed to the toxic contamination within their served food. Potentially deadly chemicals like mercury, cadmium, and PCBs appear in some tested dolphin and whale meat.
Mercury’s potential effects are frightening, to say the least: it can severely damage the nervous system, cause lessened vision, poor hearing, speech impairment, and, in more dangerous exposure levels, mental derangement, and death. Cadmium will give you a scare as well: it can cause lung cancer, heart disease, anemia, skeletal weakening, slowed immune system response, and kidney and liver disease.
Don’t forget that dogs and cats will face these threats too unless something is done. Just imagine what kind of terrible health problems pets will endure if the animals are consistently fed whale meat.
The appearance of dolphin and whale meat in pet food indicates a clear lack of demand for the product from the public, a complete disregard for animals of many kinds, apathy for their children’s futures, and disrespect for all the nations, people, and organizations who are against the whale and dolphin killing.
“Respect” is something you earn. You can’t get it with indifference.
Harte, John, et al. “Mercury.” Toxics A to Z: A Guide to Everyday Pollution Hazards. Berkely: University of California Press, 1991. 342-343.
Harte, John, et al. “Cadmium.” Toxics A to Z: A Guide to Everyday Pollution Hazards. Berkely: University of California Press, 1991. 245-246.
Wallace, T. LaShaun. “Whale meat becomes lunch and pet food in Japan.” BellaOnline. 27 Mar 2007.