Japanese schools are serving whaleburgers and whale nuggets dipped in sweet and sour sauce. Some schools take children on field trips to view whale slaughtering. Although whale meat can have toxic levels of mercury and many believe whaling is inhumane, the Japanese government contends that it is part of their culinary cultural tradition.
An International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling has in place since 1986, but has not stopped this practice. The Japanese government states that thousands of whales are hunted each year for scientific research, totaling 23,000 dolphins and small whales.
Many environmental groups believe it isn’t necessary to kill the whales to obtain scientific data. “There is no need to kill whales to study them. ‘Research’ whaling is just commercial whaling under another name,” said John Hocevar, oceans specialist for Greenpeace.
Meanwhile, the majority of whale meat finds its way to supermarkets, restaurants and even school lunches. The health risks are very high as this meat can have up to 16 times the mercury levels advised by the health ministry.
People across the globe are outraged and communicating this to the Japanese government (click for an email form). Is this a mere clash of cultures or an inhumane massacre?
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