Jan 9, 2011

Whale meat tastes like barbequed koala

Not everyone worships the whale. For some time I’ve been criticizing the hypocrisy of anti-whalers, as a strong supporter of free-range fishing and hunting rights.

The Weekend Australian’s Chris Kenny, though, is on fire:

FOR many people it seems whales are an animal above all others, deserving of reverence and never to be slaughtered for the sustenance of humankind.

Fair enough. Hindus have the same feelings toward the cow, and some tribal traditions assign a similar status to totemic animals.

But for policy-makers in our secular world, we should expect the whaling issue to be considered with a modicum of rational analysis. Instead, the major Australian political parties focus on a populist, emotional approach to whaling in a race to the bottom that only undermines serious debates about future conservation and natural resource management.

But wait there’s more (there's always more):

When I tell people I once was served whale-meat as part of an official, multi-course feast in Japan, they invariably inquire about the taste. And I respond with the old line that it's similar to koala.

However the point is a serious one. People the world over eat a wide variety of foods involving the killing of a vast array of animals; celebrity chef Luke Nguyen showed a cooked dog's head and ate dog's intestine on television this week. Much of what others kill and eat does not sit well with our palates or our sensibilities.

But unless we have a blanket rule against the killing of all animals for food, we need to approach the issue from a rational standpoint. After all, not even the strictest vegan can claim no animal is killed to sustain the production of their diet.

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