Over in Japan, dog owners apparently absolutely love their dogs and many have no qualms about spoiling the ever loving crap out of them with fancy food. But when environmentalists found out a Japanese pet food company was using meat from endangered North Atlantic fin whales in dog treats, the you-know-what hit the fan and has prompted the company to pull the controversial snacks from the market.
An Iceland company was set to hit the high seas next month to continue its practice of commercial whaling, reports Marketplace, and had planned on killing up to 174 of the endangered whales and selling off the meat to Japan. One pet food company reportedly uses the meat in luxury dog treats, it turns out, along with offerings like Mongolian horsemeat and kangaroo.
That sound you hear is outrage from activists and perhaps a little bit of “Eww, awww, what, whales?!?” from consumers.
“It’s outrageous,” Claire Perry of the Environmental Investigation Agency tells Marketplace. “It is grotesque to kill an endangered species and then ship it half way around the world in order to feed it to dogs.”
The Japanese company is now ditching the fin whale bites after the backlash, but the head of the company sounds like he doesn’t really get the furor.
“Dogs are like family members for many people in Japan,” he told The Telegraph. “We just wanted to supply a wide variety of food for them. We consider dogs as just as important as whales. But it’s not worth selling the product if it risks disturbing some people.”
There’s a worldwide moratorium on whaling, but Iceland, Norway and Japan all refuse to abide by it. The whaling company at issue has also since denied that it ever sold whale meat for dog treats, and insists that it’s a “green” company because it uses geothermal energy to melt the fat from the whale carcasses.
Oh, so. Okay? But on the other hand, noooooooo! Whales! And also, frownface.
The dog eats whale: Japanese company pulls whale-based dog treats [Marketplace]
Endangered whale meat sold as luxury dog snacks in Japan [The Telegraph]