NROP: Humans – the masters, the idiots and the killers; How do animals fit into that?

Have you ever eaten whale meat? It is rather difficult for me to imagine including that in my diet. Why? I am not sure. I have never thought of it. However, whale meat used to be popular throughout the Middle Ages in Europe. Even though people in Colonial America consumed whale meat, by the time whale hunting became commercialized, the general public was “too civilized” to eat it. In Japan, people have been eating whale meat since 800 A.D., but it became the main source of protein after World War II.

Wikipedia shows us that no part of the whale gets wasted: “The belly meat, (…) “from the lower jaw to the navel”, (…) is known for being made into whale bacon. The prized tail meat, (…) are two strips of muscle that run from the dorsal to the base of the fluke. The tail meat is regarded as marbled, and is eaten as sashimi or tataki. (…) The other portions are labelled lean, or “red meat” and command much lower prices than the tail. The fluke or tail flipper, (…) after being cured in salt it is thinly sliced, scalded with hot water and rinsed, and served as sarashi kujira. The tongue (…) is often processed and used in high-end oden. The fried skin (…) is (…) analogous to “fritter/crackling”.”

As of July 1st, 2019, Japan is again able to hunt whales after three decades of being a part of the International Whaling Commission. Back in the 80s, Japan joined the IWC in order to help the whale population get back to status quo. It was their belief that the ban would be temporary. They have grown tired of their sustainable whaling proposals being rejected and nothing changing. The President of the Humane Society International spoke against Japan’s decision, mentioning the demand for whale meat being low. If the demand is low, will the supply not be curbed soon enough? And if that is the case, why have the ban anyway? It just sounds silly to say: “You should not be doing this, but do not worry, because no one will buy your product.” Around 200,000 tons of whale meat was consumed every year in the 60s. The number has dropped down to about 5,000 tons in recent years.

The Japanese people could not be happier to have their tradition returned. Once the first legal whales were brought in, they poured sake over the whales’ bodies to “purify” it, which is in line with their tradition.

The next piece of news comes from Alabama. Well, I am not sure how much of this is real, because nothing was proven. This is all alleged. Supposedly, the Police executed a search warrant in a residence where an attack squirrel on meth resided. Yes, you read that right. Before they entered the premises, they were warned by an anonymous source that they would find an aggressive squirrel, which is being fed methamphetamine. The fugitive is wanted for gun and drug possession. He was not at that location when the warrant was executed. Someone else at that residence was arrested with possession charges. The owner of the squirrel posted a short video stating that he no longer lives at the location that was raided, but his pet was still there because he did not remove all of his things from there yet. He is seen petting a squirrel in the video. The animal was to come to him once he drove by the old address and whistled. He refuses any accusations related to him feeding the squirrel meth to make it more aggressive. The man claims the animal can be vicious but is not on drugs.

Because I do not want you to abandon all hope this early in the week, I have one more animal – related story to share with you. This time it is a positive one. Even though I grew to like some cats throughout the years, I am more of a dog person. Why? The below story will explain some of the reasoning.

Have you heard of the Japanese dog named Hachiko? To refresh your memory: it was a dog who walked his master to the train and saw him off to work every single day. Later in the day, he would greet his returned from work owner. Unfortunately, one day, the professor died and never returned from work. The dog kept coming back and waiting for his master every day for TEN YEARS. That is dedication.

This more recent story comes from New Jersey, where a dog kept sitting by an empty bed, waiting for his owner to return. Only the man passed due to cancer and would never return to that bad. Moose’s story is a touching one. Two years ago, the dog was found tied to a railroad sign. The Eleventh Hour Rescue shelter took him in. A year after that, the now deceased man adopted Moose. And then he found out he had cancer… The Eleventh Hour Rescue took the dog back once the man passed. The photo of a dog sitting patiently by an empty hospital bed went viral and Moose found a new home pretty quickly. Hopefully the dog and the new people form as strong of a bond as the dog and his previous owner did. If you treat your dog right, you will have a great friend.

What should the relationship between humans and animals be?

Stay golden,

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28 thoughts on “NROP: Humans – the masters, the idiots and the killers; How do animals fit into that?

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  1. I couldn’t eat whale or dolphin. They are like our cousins. I couldn’t eat a dog. Ken ate specially raised dog when he was in Vietnam in 1967-1968. It is a delicacy to them, much like whales are to the Japanese. I sure as hell wouldn’t eat a cat. I’ve recently turned 95% pescatarian.

    I’ve read/heard many stories over the years of dogs & cats waiting for owners that are gone. Not too long ago, I saw a video of a cat that had lost its owner. Someone showed the cat a video of the owner on a cell phone and the cat purred, rubbed on the phone and then laid on it. It was pitiful. They can miss us as much as we miss them.

    I can’t comment on the squirrel other than to say that they are cute and I know of some people who have taken care of them from babies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a funny thing how most of the Western world wouldn’t eat this or that, but in other parts of the world, these same things are widely enjoyed. I never say never. Chances are, if given the opportunity, I’d try … many things.

      Really? I’ve never heard about a cat doing that. Neat.

      A pet squirrel is … radical for me. Do you let them loose in the house? They can’t sit in a cage their whole life.

      Like

      1. I guess if I was starving, I wouldn’t object too much.

        The cat video I specifically referenced, above, turned out to be a bit of a hoax but, I have seen other videos of grieving cats…grieving owners, grieving their kittens, grieving another pet…

        The squirrels I’ve seen raised from babies are free in the house. They are trainable & it is a rodent. I had a pet white rat when I was in 7th grade. He was adorable. Squirrels are just rats with fuzzy tails. Have you ever seen a drunk rat? How about a drunk squirrel?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe the relationship with humans and animals should continue to be that of friends AND food. In nature, we see the life cycle of an entire ecosystem reliant on the food chain. Animals fit right in as a food source all the way up to decomposition of the apex predator where they return to the earth and begin the cycle all over again. As the dominant species of this planet, humankind will always see animals as a source of food.

    As for friends, it’s pretty obvious. Like you mentioned above, there’s many stories about a dog’s loyalty. Part of being human is the attachment or bond we form with each other and animals as well. Sometimes we see that in them, especially dogs. It’s almost like there’s an unspoken understanding between a person and his/her dog. From a man and his horse a thousand years ago to little girl and her cat today, we find companionship with animals.

    Of course the line between the two (food, friends) varies by location and culture, and can sometimes be broad. The relationship should continue to be that of friends and food, but humans do need to care for the animals so they in turn can provide their meat and companionship.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said. I cannot disagree.
      You post did make me wonder why certain animals are considered pets in some parts of the world, while they are food in others. I’m assuming it has something to do with economic status, etc., but is that the only reason?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would say culture has a lot to do with it, including tradition as well as location. It’s hard to say, or to speak for others in this case. I’d like to think that in one area of the world, there’s an abundance of a certain animal that provided sustenance for the people there thus becoming a traditional dish (or delicacy), whereas in another area where that animal is not found, they are regarded as exotic and traded or kept as pets.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve watched a movie on Hachiko. It’s called Hachiko : A Dog Story.
    I cried while watching it and I have tears in my eyes now as I remember that.
    It’s a beautiful story and thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The whale story, I get that its tradition and even here in Newfoundland and Labrador the Innu people get to hunt whale as a part of their heritage. That part I don’t take issue with. It’s the blatant overfishing of everything really. The squirrel story, yeah, that’s just nuts. The dog story though, wow, talk about loyalty and love. That’s a prime example of man’s best friend.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. No, i never got a notifiaction to your comment, it wasn’t until the follwing day that I saw your messages.

            I’m sure there is a demand for it. But, I also hear of dismissing numbers of current whale populations. Things like other fishing practices, marine cargo routes and pollution have also been treathening whales. Bottom line I guess, is if the whale species is not in jeopardy, then fine. If not, tradition ro not…they should stop.

            Liked by 1 person

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

From famine to feast.

Recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and random poetry.

Skeptical Heartism

Views from a skeptical heart

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