A Norwegian group has come up with a controversial new idea, save the planet by eating whales.
A Norwegian group thinks eating this minke whale is environmentally friendly . Image by Julius Agrippa
The attention grabbing idea comes from the High North Alliance, a group that lobbies for the interests of Arctic coastal communities and is a supporter of commercial whaling.
Norway and Japan are the two biggest whaling nations in the world, and have faced increasing international anger in recent years. The Alliance defended commercial whaling, citing the results of a recent study which found that whale meat is, in a way, a more environmentally friendly product than beef or pork.
Alliance spokesman Rune Froevik said: “”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.” According to the study funded by the alliance, “Greenhouse gas emissions caused by one meal of beef are the equivalent of eight meals of whale meat.”
The study itself focused on fuel use in the production of commercial meat. It found that 1.9 kilos of greenhouse gases were created to produce one kilo of whale meat. In contrast, a kilo of beef represented 15.8 kg of emissions while a kilo of pork represented 6.4 kg of emissions.
The study is thought to be the first to measure the carbon footprint of whaling. The study will likely be cited repeatedly in the near future as Japan and Norway look for new ways to justify commercial whaling. The study found that whaling had roughly the same carbon footprint as other forms of seafood. Much like parts of the seafood trade, however, whaling is condemned more for its effect on animal populations rather than its carbon footprint.
As you can imagine, environmental groups were quick to respond to the suggestion that eating whales is a new “green” activity. Greenpeace quickly condemned the study, saying most meat was environmentally unfriendly and the extinction of whales was more important than whaling’s low carbon footprint.
Greenpeace spokesperson Truls Gulowsen said: “The survival of a species is more important than lower greenhouse gas emissions from eating it. Almost every food is more climate friendly than meat. Most fish and seafood has similarly low emissions.”
If you are a regular reader, you may recall that I believed “greenwashing”, or misleadingly suggesting random products or activities were eco friendly, had reached its peak with the marketing of cigarettes as environmentally friendly. I believe I may have spoken too soon.
Funnily enough, the pro-whaling group is technically right. Beef may be delicious, but raising cattle is horrible for the environment. That being said, I have a hard time believing this group is trying to be serious. I certainly can’t take them seriously. This seems a lot more like an attempt to mock anti-whaling environmentalists than a serious attempt to address environmental problems in the world.
Info from Reuters