Me: Hey Japan. I sometimes hear about you and whaling.

Japan: Oh no. Not this. Why do people always want to talk about the whaling thing?

Me: Well –

Japan: I’m not some kind of evil killing machine you know.

Me: Yeah, I know, it’s just, well, er…We don’t have to talk about whales. What animal would you like to talk about?

Japan: I don’t know…Elephants?

Me: Elephants?

Japan: Yeah.

Me: Er, right…So…Erm…Did you know the French eat elephants?

Japan: What? No, i did not know that. Really?

Me: Er, yeah, sure.

Japan: What does it taste like?

Me: Erm…chicken?

Japan: Huh. So, do they have elephants in France?

Me: No. Not really. They have to go to Africa to get it.

Japan: That’s a long way. It must cost a lot.

Me: Oh, yeah, sure. In fact, it’s been reported that they are partially subsidised by the government.

Japan: That’s strange.

Me: Hmm, apparently they go there to manage the elephant population.

Japan: But they’re on the other side of the world from each other.

Me: Yeah, right. And they also kill them for research purposes.

Japan: They kill them for research?

Me: Yeah.

Japan: That seems like quite a radical approach to animal research.

Me: Doesn’t it?

Japan: And what have they found out from this research?

Me: Erm, well, I’m not sure. They never seem to mention that. But other studies state that elephants play a central role in the ecosystems which they inhabit.

Japan: Really?

Me: Yeah, and their dung is extremely useful in feeding other life forms which can absorb Carbon from the atmosphere.

Japan: Seriously? Wow. So these large creatures can fight global warming.

Me: That’s what i read.

Japan: And then they sell the meat that they have?

Me: Right.

Japan: But why don’t they just find some other land based animal to eat?

Me: Ah, well, they use to eat them quite a lot in the past. There was never any research involved before but it was a part of their culture when there wasn’t a lot of food to go around. Lots of people remember eating it for school dinners. People reminisce about it but now sales are really low.

Japan: So, now it’s not so common?

Me: It’s pretty rare I think. Some sort of international laws were passed limiting the amount of countries that could kill them on account of them being generally good or the world and all that. But Norway and Iceland still do it.

Japan: Well they should all stop. It’s just not acceptable.

Me: Isn’t that a bit culturally insensitive?

Japan: A country continues to kill mega fauna in another hemisphere for research purposes because eating them used to be a part of their society and then they hide behind tradition and cultural insensitivity when they’re called out about it even though an ample supply of other food is currently available?

Me: …

Japan: What?

Me: Nah. Actually, I just made all that up. The French don’t eat elephants. Never have.

Japan: Oh, right. Well, thank God for that.

Me: Anyway…

Japan: Yeah?

Me: About these whales. Why is it all so controversial?

Japan: I’ve got absolutely no idea.


October 9, 2015. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized.

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