Sunday, January 12, 2014

Iceland Prepares for Whale Beer

Greetings everyone and welcome once again to Operation Kibou. Earlier today I was informed by my good friend at the Shark Research Institute (sharks.org) that a new alcoholic drink is coming out in Iceland. Now how in the world does this pertain to sharks, dolphins, or whales you ask? Well what happens when you get a brewing company and a whaling company working with each other? Nothing good that's for sure and that is now the case in Iceland. The brewing company, Steoji, has partnered with the whaling company, Hvalur in an effort to make a beer that has whale meat inside.

Yes you read that right. This beer will contain whale. The owner of the brewery, Dabjartur Ariliusson says that "Whale meal is very protein rich, and has almost no fat in it. That, along with the fact that no sugar is added, makes this a very healthful drink, and people will be true Vikings drinking it". The beer is set to be sold for a limited time from January 24th to February 22nd. The species of whale that will be used in this beer are not specified anywhere that I can find, but given Iceland's recent track record, one would think that the Endangered Fin Whale will be included in this strange beverage. Just last year Iceland was exposed for using Endangered Fin Whale meat in dog food and conservationists claim that the whaling fleet is at least partially run on fin whale oil. This is an Endangered Species we are talking about here. This is not some animal that if you kill one, ten more show up. No. The fin whale is in a lot of trouble and Iceland seems to completely ignore, or not care about that well known fact. So why is this beverage even being made?

Nobody knows for sure the details between the deal that the brewing and whaling companies have, but it's not hard to speculate as to why the whaling company may seek to get their product into as many places as they can. Take a look at the few nations who still whale commercially. Iceland, Norway, Japan, etc. There is a common trend. The demand for whale meat is on the decline. Less and less people are eating whale for one reason or another. Some feel that eating whale is simply morally wrong as these animals would never attack a person. Others fear the health risks, such mercury poisoning, that are associated with eating whale meat. Some, myself included, just think that the whole process of hunting, packaging, and lying to the public about how the meat is sold is just outright disgusting and has no place in the year 2014. Whatever the reason, people are not eating the meat like they used to and it has gotten the companies who whale desperate to find a way to sell their product.

I have no doubts that people will try this beer and chances are, it will taste just like any other beer. It will be bitter. It will contain alcohol. It will also contain whale which means to at least some extent, it will probably also contain mercury. The whaling industry, with this move is, from what I can see, desperately searching for a target audience. The average family isn't just going out and putting whale meat on the table anymore. Bars are popular pretty much no matter where you go, so why not try to market it there somehow? Why not try cramming it into dog food and see if the public notices? It's a gamble. So is this beer. The brewing company knows this and even admits that the ingredients are unusual and even says "Doubtless some people won't like it, there is a certain risk and we are aware of that...". In the end this beer will be short lived, but at what cost? Some species of whales live for a very long time. Is a beer really worth the life of any Endangered animal? I find it incredibly hard to believe that it is, but for the companies who sell these Endangered animals, one beer sold is all the more reason to kill more of these amazing creatures. Luckily, the product will be sold exclusively in Iceland and only for the time stated above. Hopefully the product flops and the brewing company sees the light and decides to end whatever partnership it may have with the whaling industry.


All quotes in this blog are from the following article http://www.ibtimes.com/whale-beer-sold-iceland-sparks-controversy-brew-called-immoral-containing-endangered-animals-meat 

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