Save the Whales

Star Trek IV: The Voyage HomeThe Australian has reported that whale meat is now back on school lunch menu. Though international whaling was banned in 1982, a provision allowed Japan to continue whaling in the name of scientific research. This loophole has been the death of countless whales since 1987, with the estimated 2,000 tons of whale meat ending up in supermarkets and restaurants across Japan.
Officials said today that nearly 85 per cent of public elementary and junior high schools in Wakayama, Japan's western whaling heartland, are serving whale meat lunches.

Japan says the global ban is disrespectful of its culture. Tokyo reportedly plans to tell an international meeting that begins May 30 in South Korea that it will start killing two larger species of whale considered endangered by the World Conservation Union.
Can you believe that it has been nearly 20 years since "Star Trek: The Voyage Home" made its premier? My friend and I were channel surfing a few weeks ago when we stumbled across a Star Trek Marathon. She innocently turned to me and asked, "Is this the Star Trek movie with the whales?"

Not a second had gone by when the screen flashed: "Yes, it is the whale movie." That was a sign that we needed to watch the rest of the movie for answers to the meaning of life in the universe. Trivia: This remains the only Star Trek movie in which no one dies or is killed.

Well, it's time for me to get a new Greenpeace Save the Whales bumper sticker for my car.

tags: ........
another point of view ...

Anonymous Ron

It's nice to know that people still care about the whales. It seems like we're done far too much damage to the environment for them to take care of themselves.

Blogger Lester T.

When I was in Japan a few years back, I went to a sushi restaurant. I didn't see whale on the menu but what really shocked me was the dolphin sushi. A person that was with me jokingly said that he might try some. I immediately told him with a serious face and tone that he shouldn't. He never did order any but it left a lasting impression on me. I would like to think that they don't actively hunt the dolphin and are a result of collateral damage from other fishing but I'm not sure.

I understand that Japanese people have hunted and consumed whale products for centuries (as did the Norwegians and some native indians) but in this day and age, there is no need for it. I think that humans should grow and raise our own food (ethically & humanely) instead of killing wild animals. I think that too many people believe that the earth is solely for the benefit of humans.

Blogger Nam LaMore

ron: well, i was a real environmental activist back in college .. and some vestiges of those days still bleed through! i do miss chaining myself to ancient redwood grooves!

lester t: you've got to be kidding, i've never heard of dolphin sushi. well, the name 'dolphin' is applied to the cetacean as well as a fish. so, perhaps they were serving dolphin-fish sushi (i hope!). i have lost my appetite for sushi of late. i used to have sushi and sashimi for lunch or dinner at least twice a week; the last time i had sushi was about two years ago.

thank you for reminding me that other countries other than japan have been and continue to hunt whales. i'm oppose to hunting wild animals as a food source (unless you're like the nomads of the kalahari desert). we should be able to farm all our food source at this point. as everything tastes like chicken, we don't really need to eat anything but chicken or pork! :-)

Blogger Satsuma

Several thousand years ago we had cannibalism in Europe. Doesn't mean it should still be allowed.

Blogger Nam LaMore

satsuma: yeah, i agree with you -- we should be a bit more evolved now and discard old traditions that doesn't make sense anymore. i am all for traditions, but sometimes we just need to realize that it's not useful. many of my 'enlightened' jewish friends now eat pork and, even, shellfish!

Blogger frankysbride

I, too, think that whales should not be killed.

The problem is that whale meat is delicious. It tastes like very delicate liver with way-mellow overtones. I ate it a few times when I lived in Barrow, Alaska, because the Eskimos there still hunt whales for food, too. (And since they can't grow anything to eat up there, if their oil money ever runs out, they'll probably need to eat whales to stay alive.)

The Japanese, having a few more options, could probably come up with an excellent whale-tasting tofu substitute, don'tcha think?

Blogger Nam LaMore

frankysbride: you've had whale meat, really? i've heard that the eskimos hunt whales for food, out of necessity. i won't judge them, as i'm sure they, like most people bound to the land, are aware of the consequences of disrupting the balance of the natural world.

that's so amazing that you've tasted whale meat. you should include that as an entry in your blog, it would surely be an interesting topic to discuss. think of it as if a vegan wrote about having a t-bone steak for the first time.

whale-substitute tofu .. that sounds like a brilliant idea! i know the japanese (and most asians, in general) have been yammering on about the wonders of tofu for years. so, the quote for the new generation: "let them eat tofu." incidentally, i do like tofu.

Blogger frankysbride

Nam: Actually, I ~am~ a vegetarian-- 16 years, now. I ate whale meat because it was an unusual opportunity and because I didn't want to offend my Eskimo housemate who invited me to share dinner. ~lol~
Morningstar Farms makes some tofu (well, soy) chicken and burger substitutes that even my meat-eating friends and co-workers think are as good as flesh. There's probably no market for it in the US, but someone with their culinary genius should definitely take on soy whale meat.

Blogger mquest

FYI-- Robert Hunter, a founding member of Greenpeace, died on May 2 of prostate cancer. He was 64.

One report I heard had him dying during treatment in a Tijuana hospital. Who seeks treatment in Tijuana?

Blogger Nam LaMore

frankysbride: you have such a terrific character -- to go outside your boundary because of opportunity and insight into sensitivity. perhaps you have piece of the dalia lama's soul. if offered, say, garaffe meat, i'm not sure if i would eat it out of curiosity and opportunity. i must meditate on this more.

i have many friends who are vegetarian and a few who are vegan. dining with them is always a treat, as i get to discover new vegetarian restaurants, or the benefits of vegetarianism are reinforced. i love some of the glutten meats. i remember a "fish" dish with texture and taste so incredibly simulated that i just could not tell the differnece; the 'skin' was a kelp wrapping!

Blogger Nam LaMore

mquest: thank you for the information about robert hunter. i had no idea. i'm pretty sure the universe is constantly dropping clues as to its meanings at my doorstep, and i often don't see it.

treatment in tijuana? that sounds so surreal. i suppose at the realization of one's mortality, any hope (no matter how remote) is worth investigating. was a madonna recently sighted in tijuana, perhaps etched on a tortilla?

Blogger mquest

It should be noted that Robert Hunter of Greenpeace is NOT the same Robert Hunter that wrote many great songs for the Grateful Dead.

Blogger Dutched Pinay on Expatriation

One of the co-founder of Greenpeace just died. Forgot his name. And I also read last year, one of the co-founders too (who left the org) said that Greenpeace was IMPOSSIBLE. They were aiming at something that cannot be attained. I don't know, could be he had an internal conflict with the org and was just out for a bogus discussion with the press?

Anyway, we here in NL are CRAZY, I repeat CRAZY environmentalists. It is etched in most Dutch people's minds and lives. My sister in law is a vegan, and her reason? To save the animals!

They say also that its because of fish eating that the Japanese have poor vision. Wonder why many of them wear glasses?

Blogger Nam LaMore

mquest: thanks for clarifying this. i did a double take at first, when i saw the name 'robert hunter' as i had remembered that name from my friends in santa cruz (big grateful dead fans). i did a quick search and came to the conclusion you pointed out.

Blogger Nam LaMore

the dutched pinay: as people change, their values often change. case in point is roe v. wade. norma mccorvey ("jane roe") filed a petition to overturn roe v wade (legalizing abortion) in june 2003. after 30 years, mccorvey (became christian, then converted to catholicism) said that abortion was an act against god. however, the judge did not overturn roe v wade.

Blogger frankysbride

Nam: You are ~way~ cool and always highly interesting. And in this case too, too complimentary. *bg* :-)
Meat substitutes seem to be exploding through our stellar universe at the speed of light-- Last year, a Chinese person turned me on to some fake Taiwanese duck breast that was ~so~ eerie I almost had it analyzed...

Blogger Akh

OMG, must have been a really boring installment of "Star Trek". Missed that one!

That is an interesting little tidbit about the whales, I had no idea they were still being killed over there while we are over here on eggshells...*gosh* ANYWAY, you know, I am quickly discovering that there are TONS of little interesting things like that. If I concentrate on them to long or to often my brain starts to feel packed to tightly...hmm... maybe I should get that looked at. *peace*

Blogger Nam LaMore

frankysbride: don't think i've had fake duck breast -- i'll have to look at the menu closer on next vegan dining. i have noticed there are more choices now for vegan than, say, 15 yrs ago when i first came across the concept. before college, i don't think i knew anyone who was vegetarian/vegan.

perhaps you had whale burgers, but i remember having those cardboard burgers in jr and sr highschool -- they were absolutely horrible; burger day was always monday, and i always stopped by taco bell on the way to school to get some hot sauce!

now you've made me blushed!

Blogger Nam LaMore

akh: it was really, really boring: no killing and no nudity!

what your brain is feeling is .. that's just your conscience talking to you; you don't need to have it check out, you're normal.

oh, i'm not a doctor; this advice is free and without merit.

Blogger Love Hurts

poor whales,***FREE WILLY***
I'm not sure if I could try whale meat, do you think it tastes like chicken?

Blogger Nam LaMore

love hurts: i have to agree with you, whale meat seems a bit too exotic. however frankysbride says it best: I ate whale meat because it was an unusual opportunity and because I didn't want to offend my Eskimo housemate who invited me to share dinner.

i never thought i would eat a bowl of grasshoppers. however, a few years ago while in thailand, i wandered around the outdoor market and came across a food stall that seemed interesting: all sorts of insect were in cages. the 'cook' was preparing them different ways: sauteed, on the skewer, roasted, etc. i had to try the curry grasshopper to see what the fuss was all about. a bit crunchy and spicey, but good flavor overall.

according to frankysbride, whale meat tastes like very delicate liver with way-mellow overtones. i love liver with onions!

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