Target: President of Michinoku Farms, Takuma Konno
Goal: Support the company’s decision to stop producing luxury dog treats made with endangered whale meat
A Japanese campaign group recently voiced their outrage over the use of fin whale meat in luxury dog treats. North Atlantic fin whales have suffered a decline in their population over recent decades, which many scientists believe is due to over-exploitation. There is an international ban on hunting fin whales in place, but Japan continues to hunt whales by citing a loophole in the ban, and Iceland, the country providing the meat for the dog treats, completely defies the ban.
The treats were produced by Michinoku Farm using meat from fin whales caught by Icelanders. The dog treats were described on the company website as having health benefits because of their low calorie and low fat properties coupled with a high serving of protein. The whale meat treats were sold in three different sized packs, with the largest, a 500 gram bag, being sold 3,780 yen ($37.80). Michinoku Farm also offers treats made from Mongolian horse meat and kangaroo meat.
The Japanese campaign group that first voices their outrage over the treats claimed that the company was selling whale meat treats in order to target wealthy consumers. Being able to afford such exotic food for one’s dog would be a lavish display of wealth and status. However, only hours after the treats were advertised on Michonoku Farm’s website, activist groups from around the world voiced their outrage. The company pulled the treats to avoid angering potential customers, but this was a small victory in the whaling debate. Other Japanese companies still offer whale meat dog treats, so Michinoku Farm’s decision, even if reluctant, has the potential to affect other companies as well. Support the company’s decision to stop selling whale meat dog treats.
Dear Mr. Takuma Konno,
The recent outrage garnered by the production of luxury dog treats made from the meat of endangered fin whales has led Michinoku Farm to come to a positive decision. By halting the production of these treats, Michinoku Farm is helping to stop a global issue: the over-exploitation of the endangered North Atlantic fin whale. While opinions and feelings about this matter differ greatly from person to person, and even from country to country, there is no question that halting the use of whale meat in dog treats is a necessary step to protect the endangered whales.
The international ban on whaling is treated differently by various countries, but the use of whale meat in dog treats goes beyond a question of mere legality. It is simply disrespectful and dangerous to use the flesh of endangered animals for luxury products, especially those created for pets. Perhaps Michinoku Farm’s decision will influence the actions of other companies that produce similar products, which could potentially lead to a decline in the use of whale meat, and consequently, whaling. Michinoku Farm has made a step that will protect the global environment, as well as the North Atlantic fin whale.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Timothy Takemoto via Flickr