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Endangered whales are turned into… luxury Japanese dog food?!

Story by Michael Graham Richard - Source:
Photo © Creative Commons via Flickr

Photo © Creative Commons via Flickr

Whalers from Iceland (ships pictured below) are killing endangered fin whales and shipping the meat to Japan so that it can be made into luxury dog food. How crazy is that?

Michinoku Farm, a Tokyo-based company, is offering chews made from North Atlantic fin whales on its company website, with the meat described as a “low calorie, low fat, high protein” snack. […]

Michinoku’s website, which also sells pet goodies it says are made from Mongolian horses and kangaroos, has three different sized packets of whale chews, with a 60 gram (2 oz) bag selling for Y609 yen ($A6.28) and a 500 gram bag for 3,780 yen. (source: The Age)

The whole point is for rich folks to show off their wealth with “something different” for their pets. Ugh. What next? Poodles chewing on tiger bones? Water bowls for cats made out of elephant ivory tusks?

Photo © NOAA

Photo © NOAA

Above is a fin whale seen from the air.

Photo © Creative Commons via Wikimedia

Photo © Creative Commons via Wikimedia


Update: Success!

This is a follow up to this article. It’s rare to be able to report success, if only partial, this quickly, but Michinoku Farm, the Japanese company that sold dog treats made from endangered North Atlantic fin whales caught by Icelandic whalers (pictured above) has decided to stop selling that product because of pressure from environmental groups.

Michinoku’s president, Takuma Konno, said he had decided to pull the product even though its sale is legal in Japan.

“Dogs are like family members for many people in Japan. We just wanted to sell a wide variety of food for dogs,” he told the AFP news agency. “Campaigners look at whales as important animals, but we consider dogs to be just as important.

“Maybe I was ignorant of the debate over whaling, but it’s not worth selling the product if it risks angering some people.” (source)

Not exactly the reasoning that I’d like to see, but at least they won’t sell it anymore.

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