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Eat whale and save the planet
March 4, 2008 8:03 AM   Subscribe

Eat a whale, save the planet.
posted by 445supermag (64 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
They would have a reasonable argument if they were talking about bio-accumulated mercury reducing the survival rates of newborn humans, but savings on greenhouse gases? That came straight from the WhaleCo marketing department.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:17 AM on March 4, 2008


That came straight from the WhaleCo marketing department.

Is there no depth that is too low for Big Whale?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [15 favorites]


They must have paid close attention while reading "How to Lie with Statistics".
posted by demiurge at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is there no depth that is too low for Big Whale?

I used to think so before the Dolphin-Free Dolphin scandal.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:23 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


They must have paid close attention while reading "How to Lie with Statistics".

Eat a cow, save the planet.
posted by trueluk at 8:27 AM on March 4, 2008


Leviathan: it's what's for dinner.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


OSLO (Reuters) - Eat a whale and save the planet, a Norwegian pro-whaling lobby said on Monday of a study showing that harpooning the giant mammals is less damaging to the climate than farming livestock.

In an unrelated story, today the lobbying group known as Supervillians for a Better Tomorrow has announced that detonating a "doomsday device" and covering the Earth in radioactive ash for 100 years will, on average, help to reduce global warming more than wind and solar power. Dr. Maximus Klink, supervillian spokesperson, said that he "hopes there are lots of people stupid enough to believe this." Developing...
posted by Avenger at 8:30 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


21 million pounds of beef were just recalled.

a fully grown minke whale weighs 4 or five tons. Assuming that the entire whale is edible, that's still more than 5 million whales needed to replace the beef that was just recalled.

according to wikipedia: "The total population of Minke Whales is estimated to be in the order of 184,000"

so... they're making a ridiculous argument. the motivation is found in the link:

Norway and Japan, the two main whaling nations, are seeking new arguments to promote whale meat after years of condemnation from anti-whaling nations for breaking with a 1986 moratorium on all hunts meant to save many whale species from extinction.
posted by dubold at 8:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why do they continue to promote this disgusting meat? And I don't mean it's morally repulsive - it tastes horrible. Who buys this crap except old people who grew up on it because they were too poor to have anything else? Someone needs to pull the plug on this retarded industry.
posted by GuyZero at 8:34 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


That they need to resort to this to try and justify the industry is very amusing (in a pathetic kind of way).

Do they add up whale breathing, too? They have great big lungs, you know! THINK HOW MUCH CO2 they produce then! It's pumped straight into innocent whalers faces in a big spouty thing! It's practically murder!
posted by Brockles at 8:35 AM on March 4, 2008


Do they add up whale breathing, too?

Don't forget whale flatulence, methane is much more potent than CO2.
posted by 445supermag at 8:50 AM on March 4, 2008


Save a tree, eat a beaver.
posted by sciurus at 8:52 AM on March 4, 2008


Eat a Norwegian tonight. The earth will thank you. Perhaps even the Norwegian will thank you.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:55 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wait, is their argument that we should prevent global warming by crashing the ecosystem first?
posted by bettafish at 9:03 AM on March 4, 2008


I can just imagine the Big Whale board/cabal meeting. On some desolate skull-shaped island. There's "the Captain" a Norwegian ship captain with a scruffy beard and thick cable-knit sweater, Dr. Fuji, the Japanese "scientist," Mr. Burns, Dr. Evil and Dick Cheney.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:16 AM on March 4, 2008


Oh, and might as well throw in Ossama bin Laden, Fidel Castro and Walt Disney's disembodied head.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:18 AM on March 4, 2008


"Basically it turns out that the best thing you can do for the planet is to eat whale meat compared to other types of meat," said Rune Froevik of the High North Alliance...

Well, no. The best thing I can do for the planet is to convince about 4 billion humans to immediately dig holes and bury themselves in them. I'm not making much progress with that, but eating whales is not even in the top 100 of the best things I can do for the planet.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:21 AM on March 4, 2008


Think of how much we could do to save the planet by harpooning lobbyists.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:22 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


The best thing I can do for the planet is to convince about 4 billion humans to immediately dig holes and bury themselves in them.

No, no. no. They should drown themselves in bogs. That way at least, their corpses will decompose into petroleum eventually and future generations will be able to run their Hummers on them.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:27 AM on March 4, 2008


But on the way to becoming petroleum, they're going to generate a lot of methane.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:31 AM on March 4, 2008


Perhaps we could throw them into microwave hydrocarbon extractors? That way we can use the fuel right away!
posted by delmoi at 9:36 AM on March 4, 2008


Why don't we just cut out the middleman and start eating people? That will solve everything.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:41 AM on March 4, 2008


That's the beauty of the bog. Decomposition takes place anearobically and the resulting metane gets trapped by the collecting materials on top (that's why pond scum smells so foul). Eventually it gets trapped under the Earth and heated and squeezed into more complex hydrocarbons, aka coal and oil. Being buried in the ground deep enough just traps the carbon in state until it is either dug up and exposed to aerobic decomposition (see Ramses I) or replaced by other minerals. Too shallow and they just rot. No, nothing quite traps the carbon in easy extractable forms like good old fashioned bog drowning.

Why don't we just cut out the middleman and start eating people? That will solve everything.

Perhaps, but only if the last few drowned themselves in a bog or fed themselves to wild animals.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:45 AM on March 4, 2008


Eventually it gets trapped under the Earth and heated and squeezed into more complex hydrocarbons, aka coal and oil.

I guess you're not buying in the the idea that oil is produced abiogenically?
posted by 445supermag at 9:52 AM on March 4, 2008


i just buy whale flavored tofu
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 9:59 AM on March 4, 2008


Are there any wild cows left? That would be a good analogy. Kill off the few remaining wild cows is similar to killing off the whales.
posted by stbalbach at 10:00 AM on March 4, 2008


I think eating analogies would be good for the planet.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:18 AM on March 4, 2008


For some reason I read this to the tune of "Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy".
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 10:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Shut up all you whale lovers. We need to kill the whales in order to do nice things like giant fucking drums! (link only in norwegian).

It's just such a great idea:
- 1. Kill whale (well maybe not so great for the whale)
- 2. Stretch whale stomach over old silo
- 3. PARTY!

Try doing something like that with a cow you hippies.
posted by uandt at 10:42 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Soylent White is whales!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why don't we just cut out up the middleman and start eating people? That will solve everything.

Fixed that for you.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:50 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I maintain a completely different stance on this issue; there are less than 200,000 minke whales. Under the best of circumstances, those would be gone in a year or two of culling. Even if we made our best efforts at preserving them, eventually they would be a total loss if used as a food supply.

Now, according to the 2007 survey, there are nearly 4.5 million people living in Norway, this is a far more sustainable food-source than whales. And, if what I've heard is to be considered accurate, a better tasting kind of meat as well.

So I submit to you this: Save the world, Eat the Norse!
posted by quin at 10:52 AM on March 4, 2008


On preview, TLE and others kinda beat me to the idea
posted by quin at 10:54 AM on March 4, 2008


I propose we propel the Earth into the sun as quickly as possible. We would never have to worry about extinction again.
posted by robtf3 at 11:11 AM on March 4, 2008


dubold: 21 million pounds of beef were just recalled.

a fully grown minke whale weighs 4 or five tons. Assuming that the entire whale is edible, that's still more than 5 million whales needed to replace the beef that was just recalled.

according to wikipedia: "The total population of Minke Whales is estimated to be in the order of 184,000"
While I'm no pro-whaling advocate, isn't anyone else going to call out this horrifically flawed math? You magically replaced "ton" with "pound" at some point in your calculation.

Taking your first assertion that "...a fully grown minke whale weighs 4 or 5 tons. Assuming that the entire whale is edible..." then that's 8-10,000 pounds of meat per whale. At that much meat per whale, multiplying by a factor of 1,000 changes that into millions of pounds: 1,000 whales would provide 8-10 million pounds of meat. And thus about 2,000 whales would be 16-20 million pounds of meat.

So technically, if we culled 1% of the minke population, we could supply ~20 million pounds of whale meat. Whereas if we actually had 5 million minke whales, that would produce about 40-50 billion pounds of meat.

That said, the United States consumes about 200 pounds of meat per person per year, or ~60 billion pounds per year; it really would take more than 5 million whales each year to supply the US with all its current meat needs. So yes, this is a laughable Big Whaling PR campaign- whale meat isn't plentiful enough to replace our own country's annual meat consumption- but that doesn't in any way detract from your absolutely atrocious and sloppy math.
posted by hincandenza at 11:22 AM on March 4, 2008


Why don't we just cut out the middleman and start eating people? That will solve everything.

I think you want to leave in the cuts of middleman. That makes the Soylent extra tasty and greenish.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess you're not buying in the the idea that oil is produced abiogenically?
posted by 445supermag at 11:52 AM on March 4


No.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:00 PM on March 4, 2008


Now with Soylent Green!
posted by otolith at 12:04 PM on March 4, 2008


Greenpeace said the threat of extinction was more important [than worrying about greenhouse gases].

And they are certainly right.
But here's the thing: Some whale species, such as the minke whale, are not threatened by extinction. Killing a few won't extinguish the species. So if the logic is that we should only hunt species that are not threatened by extinction, then it should be OK to hunt certain types of whales.

However, many people get really irrational when it comes to whales. "They are so smart." "They taste like shit." "There are only several million of them left."

I bet, people wouldn't get so sentimental about whales if they looked like this.
posted by sour cream at 12:17 PM on March 4, 2008


I don't get the whole extra outrage over eating whales. Seems to me that there are plenty of things we're eating that arn't sustainably harvested; e.g. tuna. There are plenty of smart animals humanity eats like octupus and pigs. After years of indoctrination from the save the whales folks; I've come around to the Norweigian point of view.
posted by humanfont at 12:53 PM on March 4, 2008


I bet, people wouldn't get so sentimental about whales if they looked like this.
posted by sour cream 52 minutes ago [+]


Jezzus christ, that would remove the sentimentality AND the urge to consume... who would want to eat THAT nasty beast!??



I can just imagine greenpeace circling their zodiacs around the japanese albino mole rat whaling vessal.

eco-warrior hayden (from heroes) steps out with the bull-horn...

"What ur doing is a CRIME! Evil-looking albino mole rats are our friends! Shame on you!"

the capitan of the whaling ship appears...

"Evil-looking albino mole rat hunting is part of japanese CULTURE, u racist american! this is how we make NATTO, and importand source of gross in japanese cuisine. and, anyways, this is just a scientific expedition, so whatever..."


tonight on TMZ/CNN!
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2008


MOAR SPELLING!
posted by [son] QUAALUDE at 1:24 PM on March 4, 2008


The secret ingredient on tonight's IRON CHEF!
posted by blue_beetle at 1:30 PM on March 4, 2008


The single biggest argument against eating giant whales: they simply don't procreate fast enough to cultivate sustainably. Most food species grow and multiply fast; whales grow and multiply sloooooowly. That's primarily why the whaling industry (and the whale populations) crashed.

Arguing for eating giant whales is stupid,stupid,stupid.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2008


I bet, people wouldn't get so sentimental about whales if they looked like this.

If whales tasted good they would have been gone a century ago. Why people insist on continuing to eat them is a mystery.

And if that naked mole rats tasted like a combination of bacon, honey and black forest cake then believe me we'd have half the midwest covered in naked mole rat farms.
posted by GuyZero at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2008


And if that naked mole rats tasted like a combination of bacon, honey and black forest cake then believe me we'd have half the midwest covered in naked mole rat farms.

Well, you know, naked mole rats are known as "saber-toothed sausages", slap one one of those guys down in a cast iron frying pan with some butter...that's good eatin'.
posted by 445supermag at 2:28 PM on March 4, 2008


Is there no depth that is too low for Big Whale?

Not really
posted by Shakeer at 5:41 PM on March 4, 2008


I've eaten whale. Muktuk, made from Bowhead. Like nothing else, and after a while quite wonderful.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:38 PM on March 4, 2008


Can you say 'Desperate plea for attention' and 'Delicious! at the same time?
posted by Football Bat at 1:39 AM on March 5, 2008


So yes, this is a laughable Big Whaling PR campaign- whale meat isn't plentiful enough to replace our own country's annual meat consumption- but that doesn't in any way detract from your absolutely atrocious and sloppy math.

yep, totally right. Thanks for correcting that; even with CORRECT math, whale meat still is not plentiful enough. Obviously the entire whale is not edible either; they are not swimming blocks of tofu.
posted by dubold at 8:13 AM on March 5, 2008


Not yet, anyway. ADM is probably working on a genetically-engineered tofu whale.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:39 AM on March 5, 2008


Whaling Industry Recommends Eating More Whale, how ironic.
posted by electroboy at 8:43 AM on March 5, 2008


I can understand opposing whaling when the whale is an endangered species, but, really, what is the beef with farmed or sustainable whales?
posted by Cosmo7 at 6:33 PM on March 5, 2008


Name one single instance of viable farmed or sustainable whale commerce.

Does that answer your question?
posted by Brockles at 8:21 PM on March 5, 2008


Name one single instance of viable farmed or sustainable whale commerce.

Oh please. Like you know anything about whaling. Quick, google your heart out to find some factoid to post that demonstrates your vast knowledge about whaling sustainability.
posted by electroboy at 10:07 PM on March 5, 2008


May one ask to whom your remark was addressed, electroboy?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:16 AM on March 6, 2008


Oh please. Like you know anything about whaling.

Righto, smart arse. Show me up. Show me a whale farm. Show me a provable study that demonstrates that whale populations are stable enough to support selective farming.

Get your own google search on. Or dazzle me with your knowledge, rather than just blanket try and belittle mine without bothering to address the facts involved. How about you show me where I am wrong with all the instances of whale farms that you have tucked away somewhere.
posted by Brockles at 5:44 AM on March 6, 2008


Here's the results of my dazzling google skills. Enjoy!

These whale farms seem quite sustainable!

Also, I wouldn't try to tell these guys that what they're doing is unsustainable!
posted by Pollomacho at 6:15 AM on March 6, 2008


Wow, I was so dazzled I meant to link here on "my".
posted by Pollomacho at 6:18 AM on March 6, 2008


I won't and I can't, for two reasons.

1. There are no honest brokers in this debate.
2. I know when I'm out of my area of expertise and/or making an argument based on nonexistent evidence and should shut my mouth. I highly recommend it.
posted by electroboy at 10:20 AM on March 6, 2008


There are no honest brokers in this debate.

Really? How so?

And not being an expert on something doesn't mean that you therefore know nothing, nor that you are precluded from holding an opinion.

Being as you know precisely zero about my knowledge of whaling (not that I am by any means even an armchair expert) why on earth is your 'you can't possibly know so you must shut up' attitude coming from? On what grounds?

Why are you derailing this just because you only feel 'experts' should speak?
posted by Brockles at 10:47 AM on March 6, 2008


Because there's almost zero information that doesn't come from either the whaling industry or anti-whaling activists.

I'm not trying to derail, on the contrary, I'd prefer it if people expressing an a belief about a topic knew what they were talking about. If you oppose it on moral grounds, or just think it's plain icky, say so. Don't pretend to know about the sustainability of whaling practices or farming when you really have no idea.
posted by electroboy at 12:06 PM on March 6, 2008


Don't pretend to know about the sustainability of whaling practices or farming when you really have no idea.

You don't know a damn thing about my whaling knowledge, though. What's your knowledge? Is it better than mine? Feel free to share it if it is, that's kind of the point of this thread, isn't it?

Because there's almost zero information that doesn't come from either the whaling industry or anti-whaling activists.

That's not strictly true, though. The studies of whaling aren't only conducted by one or the other. The furore over whaling started because it looked to be damaging wildlife numbers, not because whaling was 'a bit icky'. There is evidence (not from anti-whalers, but marine biologists) that suggests that whales are significantly decreasing - hence the whaling ban movement in the first place. The 'anti-whaling' deal started because of the decline in numbers, not from some altruistic 'it's not nice' feeling.

Because there simply isn't any information to suggest that whaling can be sustainable (because we don't know enough about whales, still) it means it is impossible to opine that farming whales is either sustainable, or even economically viable because there is no proof or supporting evidence.

There are no whale farms. If it was economically viable, they'd exist, but no-one (not even whalers) have managed to present findings to suggest it is viable (environmentally or financially) or they'd change their entire pressure on governments with the bans. They don't lobby for farming. They lobby for hunting. That no-one has even attempted it is rather telling. The person above that I responded to said "what is the beef with farmed or sustainable whales?" - my response was to suggest they looked up exactly how many possibilities there are for either of those. The reply is that "there are none" because it is either not financially viable, or it cannot be proved to be environmentally viable due to the massive difficulties involved in studying whales.
posted by Brockles at 12:26 PM on March 6, 2008


There is actually plenty of information that comes from Inuits and other indigenous whaling cultures that is neither "whaling industry" nor "pro-whale activist" (what Eskimos call "Southern Whale Lover") biased.

Whales can be harvested sustainably. Inuits have been doing so for, oh, about 10-12 thousand years, and continue doing so today. Taking 60 or so Bowheads a year out of a global (and non-endangered) population of perhaps 20K is not going to make Bowheads extinct.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:45 AM on March 11, 2008


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