Whale Munchers Mad as Hatters

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Inhabitants of the notorious dolphin slaughtering township of Taiji have been found to have dangerously high levels of mercury in their bodies, thought to be due to the presence of large amounts of whale meat in their diets.

A scientific study of 1,000 residents of the town of Taiji, in Wakayama prefecture, traditionally a major centre of whale meat consumption, found levels of methyl mercury in the hair of inhabitants to be five times that of Japanese in 14 other locations where whale meat is not generally on the menu.

3% of the Wakayama residents surveyed had levels of mercury contamination over the levels WHO considers likely to cause neurological damage. The residents with the highest levels of contamination were the ones who reported recently eating dolphin and whale.

The National Minamata Disease Research Institute highlights the dangers:

“These findings imply whale consumption is tied to high mercury levels. We did not detect any signs of methyl mercury poisoning, but continuous monitoring of residents with high levels of mercury in their bodies is required.”

The findings have particular resonance in Japan – “Minamata disease,” caused by the contamination of seafood by methyl mercury industrial effluent, killed thousands of Japanese in the 20th century, crippled tens of thousands and resulted in almost a hundred million dollars of compensation being paid to victims by the major polluter.

Heavy metal contamination is a major health hazard associated with eating whale meat – the Japanese government itself advises against consumption by pregnant women and children, and some cetacean meat is banned from supermarket shelves due to excessive contamination.

The contamination itself is due to the natural presence of mercury in the food chain – predators who eat many other creatures, such as whales and tuna, accumulate the chemical in their flesh, a phenomenon which also afflicts humans who eat them.

Such findings are particularly disturbing when taken in conjunction with the not infrequent attempts by whaling advocates (essentially fishermen and crazed nationalists) to force whale meat onto school meals, which most public health bodies would consider the very last place it should be served.

Wags suggest whaling proponents might have been eating too much of the meat…

Leaving aside the issue of whether whale populations can sustain responsible commercial whaling (the evidence seems to suggest they can), the major issue facing whaling advocates appears to be what to do with the meat, which most evidence now suggests is barely fit for human consumption.


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    Comment by Anonymous
    03:45 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    nobody got the joke?

    The mad hatter from alice in wonderland...lol my favorite character in the book

    Avatar of Lyzander
    Comment by Lyzander
    04:03 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's not actually a reference to Alice in Wonderland per se, but rather to the expression "mad as a hatter", which existed long before Lewis Carroll's book (and which is the origin of Carroll's character).

    In the past, mercury was used in preparing felt which was then used in making hats (ie. top hats). Those making the hats ("hatters") suffered neurological damage (Korsakoff's syndrome), thus giving rise to the expression.

    I thought the title was quite clever.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:09 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Responsible commercial whaling".

    Putting "responsible" and "commercial" into the same sentence is pretty naive.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:55 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    well.. we can filter coal power plant exhausts to where we can eleminate sulphates, and mercury release in the atmosphere.. but it costs.. so we don't do it, and then the US doesn't want to build nuclear power plants, Even The Obamaman.. so we're all screwed for awhile till they invent clean power sources (don't give me wind, priuses and stuff.. there not that clean, and the materials u use to make them .. like batterys for that prius is more harmful than driving a hummer... so piss on ya.. ) i belever we will get better, but no thanks to politicians and businesses that think of the allmighty dollar (or whatever currency u use...) instead of humanity... Screw Them!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:23 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope they all die. And you fucking idiots are such idiots. I can't believe you think high mercury content in whale meat is bullshit. You guys remind of of those God Hates Fags people. You're all obstinate retards.

    Avatar of Dr. Zoidberg
    Comment by Dr. Zoidberg
    04:31 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    the temporary solution's simple, just get more people to eat small amounts of whale meat to keep the industry booming and minimizing health risks.

    Avatar of Azure Xuchilbara
    Comment by Azure Xuchilbara
    05:38 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like this will stop me from looking at Dolphin and Whale hentai bestiality...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:52 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Please tell me since I'm curious, what exactly is the appeal to whale hentai..? There's a guy in one of my classes who is really into whale hentai and I don't get it at all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:53 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    ..That was a reply to Azure Xuchibara, by the way. It for some reason didn't post as one..

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:05 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then,just kill whales and don't eat them

    Avatar of Pacpon
    Comment by Pacpon
    23:39 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    OH GOD NOT ANOTHER WHALING POST. lordy lordy

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:19 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Only Sea Shepherd can save them now...

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:35 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Leaving aside the issue of whether whale populations can sustain responsible commercial whaling (the evidence seems to suggest they can), the major issue facing whaling advocates appears to be what to do with the meat, which most evidence now suggests is barely fit for human consumption.
    ++++++++++++

    This is the kind of BS that the conservationists propagate. Certain types of animal meat are not meant to be eaten in excess- which is what this village has been doing.

    You eat red meat, tuna, seal meat in excess, and you will have health problems. I wonder why Scandinavian countries have not had these problems?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:22 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Whales are not more delicious than beef.
    However, it is valuable food for the Japanese. And, it is a culture.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:50 14/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Culture"... To only Taiji apparently

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:24 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Reminds me of this:
    http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2010/04/15/sea-shepherd-japan-fanclub-really-does-love-whales/
    After such an overdose, I wonder how many of them are in the looney bin right now...

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:00 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It should be noted that Minamata Disease patients had levels in the 710ppm range. That's a lot higher than the levels in the Taiji villagers (9 to 10x higher, according to the article), and as always in toxicology, "the dose makes the poison." To put a person out in general anesthesia, a certain dose of, say, sodium pentathol is required, and does the job very effectively and safely. But if you got ten times that dose, your next operation would be an autopsy.
    Besides, people choose to go base jumping, despite the risk. If the Taiji folk want to chow down on whale meat seasoned with mercury, let them go for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:26 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    this isnt about what animals are ok to eat and what arent! its about eating endangered species! thats all it is about! id eat a whale species that isnt endangered! but i wouldnt touch one that is! humans are the top of the food chain! we eat what we want when we want! thats how it goes! this isnt about cute or famous animals! its bout environmental protection and management! and the lieing japanese government trying to play of whaling as science!

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:28 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Will the whales and dolphin meat run out before the rest of them "chokes" on it? Win-win for you, you whale killer.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:25 20/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Karma, bitch.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:11 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Let's feed the meat to our pets to make em go insane and start biting everyone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:48 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Maybe we should just kill whales to keep the populations in check and give the whalemeat to hungry africans instead

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:54 12/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    All this mercury stuff's been around for a long time. How come it ever dawned on them that if the fish have mercury in them then there's a good chance that dolphins and whale also have high levels of mercury in them?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:27 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just sell them to China.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:06 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    >"the major issue facing whaling advocates appears to be what to do with the meat, which most evidence now suggests is barely fit for human consumption."

    Looks like China has a new food source--Providing they soak it in sewage first.

    Avatar of Ota-Kool
    Comment by Ota-Kool
    07:37 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Good for them, Serve them right and now the Question is will they became a Shibito( maybe a Japanese name for a Zombie ). Its the antagonist of the PS2 game from Forbidden Siren must be happening now in the town of Taji so beware.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:26 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    human suffering is amusing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:36 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, etc.) accumulate in fatty tissues.

    "I'd like an extra-extra-lean whaleburger. Hold the dolphin and tuna garnish, please."

    Avatar of ImBZppl
    Comment by ImBZppl
    08:55 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    hmmm... high levels of mercury? or could it be the philosopher stone!
    perhaps they are homunculus!

    lets transmute the whole town into a philosopher stone
    lol

    Avatar of fakegaijin
    Comment by fakegaijin
    09:09 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's nothing, Tony Stark can hold 54% palladium in his blood.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    "can hold 54% palladium in his blood" makes no sense, consider rewording.

    Avatar of TheBeast
    Comment by TheBeast
    10:14 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    chuck norris can hold 500% weapons grade uranium in his blood.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:15 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Soon, there will be a "Taiji Syndrome", where people living in Taiji will start to become insane, and then start hallucinating and then finally kill each other...

    -Overall plot for "Kujira no Naku Koro Ni" (When the Whales Cry)

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:28 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    that might be good, but they'd have to change it up a bit, if it copies that whole disease thing, then it would just seem like a cheap knockoff of higurashi, I liked both Higurashi and Umineko, so you never know, it might actually work haha.

    Comment by Schrobby
    19:43 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Insane hallucinating killers? The people turn into a zombie like state?
    The next Resident Evil will be about Taiji... ^_^

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:12 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    The movie is called Tetsuo: The Iron Man. It's even got a sequel.

    Avatar of Barbarian of Gor
    Comment by Barbarian of Gor
    17:27 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's basic ecology that toxins tend to accumulate in higher "Trophic Levels" or "Up the food chain" in plain English...

    Things like Mercury and other "Heavy Metals" (1) tend to accumulate and essentially multiply with each animal being eaten. In most cases it's fish eating countless "Plankton" but then they might get eaten by other fish, like sharks which also have a mercury danger to "Fin" enthusiasts.

    Usually the worry with fish is how polluted the water is with Mercury and other stuff. But most fish have a lifestyle that anticipates high predation so they use every bit of excess energy to grow as fast as possible. What makes whales and sharks more of a danger is that they are "Top" creatures for the most part (save Man) and so they need a slower lifestyle (less death by violence/predation) and to live longer. (to become better hunters and reproduce when they do it less often) In addition they tend to travel farther than most fish have so if you are fishing in a 'safe' (low mercury) area, that's no guarantee about a shark, dolphin or whale.

    Thus, if you eat 1lb of whale meat you are eating the concentration of 10-100lbs of toxins versus fish meat. Or more. Or much more.

    My opinion, we should have a moratorium on such meat for at least 20 years combined with careful management to get things back on track.

    Then, I'm actually for people having things like shark fin soup, once in a blue moon (like yearly at worst) and provided the population/consumption is stable. But we should NEVER eat whale or dolphin. Whales, even "Killer" whales don't eat us. Dolphins tend to attack sharks and save drowning people. The exception should be when a whale beaches itself naturally or some tribes like the Inuit who do hunt whale naturally.

    1-And I don't mean the sometimes awesome fantasy Magazine with Druuna and stuff!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:42 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What did cows ever do to you? Stop eating cows! They don't hurt us either. What about Chickens? Pigs? Anything else? Your reasoning sucks.

    Avatar of vanchrian
    Comment by vanchrian
    02:42 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Your reasoning on why people shouldn't eat dolphin and whale meat shows hypocritical thinking at it's finest.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:50 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Some lifeforms just aren't meant to be eaten.

    So who's up for some exotic elephant?

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:13 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow, reading the tone of this I can only assume there is someone on this site who likes sucking the sea sheppard crews cock.

    Hope the captin enjoys his prison rape.

    Avatar of Badtz_Maru
    Comment by Badtz_Maru
    17:30 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agree with you. Now, go to eat some exotic animal cock. Put some soya for flavor.

    Avatar of deadbeat
    Comment by deadbeat
    19:15 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    comparing eating whale meat to minamata disease is like comparing riding a skateboard to taking a rocket.

    just sayin'

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:11 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, the survey says that none of the people surveyed, even those with high levels of mercury detected in their hair, had any sort of medical issues related to mercury. Considering this has been going on for decades, they're probably safe. The scientist in charge also speculated that it might be due to the fact that naturally occurring mercury is different from industrially produced mercury.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:55 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    mercury is mercury, its a fucking element, there is no naturally occuring vs industrial

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:04 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Gotta love it when people care more for the animal then there follow man.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:02 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's because they wouldn't have gotten abnormal if they hadn't eaten whales. Also, the people are said to have suffered no body or mental damage yet.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:02 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So they are all metal heads on taiji? That must be one bad ass town where everyone looks like they came out of a manowar cover because of so much concentrated metal

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:10 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    So Tetsuo: The Iron Man was a documentary.

    Avatar of TehBoringOne
    Comment by TehBoringOne
    16:24 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have seen the effects of heavy metal poisoning first hand and it's not in the least pleasing.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:02 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    What happens?

    Avatar of Captain Obvious
    Comment by Captain Obvious
    17:33 10/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    For example, mercury if consumed in high quantities can cause some of the following:

    Kidney damage, nerve fiber degeneration, mental retardation, gum bleeding and soreness, vision loss, immune dysfunction, anorexia, speech disorders, suicidal tendencies, and more displeasing effects.

    Avatar of thanto_
    Comment by thanto_
    08:38 11/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, but it cures VD!

    By killing you!






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