Sunday, May 17, 2009

Whaling in Ulsan

Brian in Chŏllanamdo has a focus on whaling in Ulsan, an area that supposedly has a centuries-old tradition of whaling. As in Japan, folks there are trying to re-popularize the acquired taste (or delicacy, depending on your point of view).

Japan gets most of the bad press over whaling, mostly because they push it the strongest and especially because they use very bogus, disingenuous ways of finding loopholes in international whaling agreements (e.g., "scientific research"). But it should be noted that Korea, Iceland, and I believe Norway are riding Japan's coattails, hoping that the practice will become liberalized again.

I did have an opportunity to try koraegogi on a trip to Pusan a few years back, but for some reason we didn't; social responsibility or some such. If it's already there, I might entertain the idea of sampling it, but I find the whole practice of capturing and killing these animals to be, well, distasteful. Really, no pun intended.

I mean, old Japanese whaling towns are trying to revive the general public's dying interest in whale meat, with free samples for schools and what not (those this may have backfired). If it were a less controversial item, I wouldn't see that as such a problem, but in this case it's a tad inappropriate.

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