Icelandic Brewery Uses Whale Meat in Controversial Beer
Update: Whale meat beer has been banned by the Public Health Authority of Vesturland! Read more here.
To the horror of conservationists world-wide, an Icelandic brewery has announced that it is concocting a special beer, flavored with real whale meat, to celebrate an upcoming mid-winter festival in honor of the Norse god Thor.
Iceland is one of only seven nations in the world to still practice whaling. This new novelty beer, which has a 5.2% alcohol content, contains whale oil which is collected when the meat is boiled down. The byproducts of this process will most-likely be sold locally as animal feed.
The brewery is promoting the new beer as a “healthier option,” claiming that it is higher in protein and lower in sugar than most traditional brews. In its winter ad campaign, the brewery even implies that those who drink the beer will become “true Vikings.” According to brewery owner Dagbjartur Ariliusson, the beer was created to celebrate many centuries of Icelandic culture. Traditionally, “[we] eat cured food, including whale fat,” he said, “and now we have the beer to drink with this food.”
While the brewery continues to defend its new seasonal beer as a short-lived and purely cultural item, conservationists refuse to accept this reasoning and say that the new brew damages a recent declining trend in whaling. “Reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get,” said Icelandic whaling campaign leader Vanessa Williams-Gray. “The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but imagine what price is the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?”
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