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Whale Meat Beer From Icelandic Brewery Stirs Up Controversy, Outrages Conservationists

“The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price is the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 year

By Bryan Nelson - Source:

yulkapopkova via Getty Images

yulkapopkova via Getty Images

It’s a good time to be a beer drinker. A microbrew revolution is underway, and breweries worldwide seem to be constantly trying to outdo one another with new flavors and unique brewing techniques. There are beers brewed with everything from exotic grains and spices, to artificially flavored hops, fruits like apricots and pumpkins, moon dust (seriously), even whale meat.

Wait, what? Yes, you read that right: there is now even a beer brewed with whale meat, according to the Independent. And as you might have guessed, this hasn’t exactly gone over too well with conservationists and animal rights activists… and probably for good reason. Anti-whaling efforts are at the foundation of the modern environmental movement. The idea of drinking beer flavored with whale meat seems downright archaic– a cruel throwback to a barbaric era.

The Icelandic beer-maker responsible for the cetacean-flavored brew hasn’t helped matters much by using the drink as a special promotional item for an upcoming mid-winter festival in honor of the Norse god Thor. Claims that the beer is a “healthier” option due to being high in protein and low in sugar are stirring up controversy. The ad campaign even suggests that those who drink the whale meat concoction will become “true Vikings.”

The environmental group Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) has slammed the whaling company behind the beer, Hvalur, by calling the effort a “desperate hunt” for new markets for its “immoral” meat.

“Demand for this meat is in decline, with fewer and fewer people eating it,” said Vanessa Williams-Grey, Icelandic whaling campaign leader. “Even so, reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get.”

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