Denmark wants permission for indigenous communities in Greenland (which it rules) to catch more whales for food, The Guardian reports. Problem is, an environmental group has found that the whale meat’s not actually going to feed indigenous communities. It’s going to tourists who I guess get a kick out of eating something endangered:
The [Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society] chief executive, Chris Butler-Stroud, said: “The Danish government’s claims that Greenland needs to kill more whales for nutritional and cultural needs is laughable. Who is this meat really for? Our investigation report shows that this demand for more whale meat is clearly driven by the commercial consumer market, not by aboriginal needs.”
In the past 25 years, the group says, Greenland’s “need” for whale meat has gone up way faster than its population. Greenland has 10 percent more people now than it did 25 years ago, but requests for whale hunting permits have increased by 89 percent.
It is understandable from the perspective of indigenous people. Let’s say you have a limited amount of whale meat. You could give it your kids, who will complain “Blubber, again?” Or you could sell it for much, much more (I’m guessing) to tourists giddy at the thought of eating a whale. Then you can buy your kids some spinach. Or ice cream — whatever they want that’s not blubber.
It is, however, less understandable from the perspective of the whales, which are dwindling in numbers and could become extinct. Or the tourists, who deserve at least a stern glare.