Conservationists sobered by Icelandic brewery's whale meat beer recipe
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 4:32 PM -
One normally would not speak out against a cutting edge beer related development -- but some are saying one Icelandic brewing company has simply gone too far.
Animal conservationists are strongly criticizing the sale of a new beer which claims to contain parts of dead whales.
Icelandic brewery Steðji created the controversial brew along with whaling company Hvalur. The brewery says its 5.2 per cent beer is a 'healthy' choice because whale meal is high in protein and low in fat, while containing no added sugar.
Yet, environmental group Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) has publicly criticized the beer, saying the latest use of whale meat is nothing but a tasteless (pardon the pun) marketing strategy on Hvalur's behalf.
"Sadly, WDC has become increasingly used to Hvalur's desperate hunts for new outlets for [Hvalur CEO, Kristjan Loftsson's] whale meat,” says WDC’s Icelandic whaling campaign lead, Vanessa Williams-Grey. “Demand for this meat is in decline with fewer and fewer people eating it.
"Even so, 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. The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?"
Dagbjartur Ariliusson, the brewery's owner, confirmed that his company was creating the product, but explained in an interview with the Guardian that it's being made for an annual festival in which people gather “as we've done for many centuries and eat cured food, including whale fat, and now we have the beer to drink with this food.”
Ariliusson added that he had no intention of exporting the beer.