The Null Device
Eat the blue whales
Right-wing contrarian Jeremy Clarkson (he's sort of The Times' version of Charlie Brooker, or perhaps a very English P.J. O'Rourke) weighs into the question of sustainable food production
Already the Atlantic has fewer cod in it than Elton John’s bath, so we are having to import fish fingers from China. And you may think this is fine. Your underpants come from the Far East, and your mobile phone, so why should we not import our watercress and beef from those industrious little yellow fellows on the banks of the Yangtze? I’ll tell you why. Because China’s population is growing, too, and soon they won’t be able to send us their fish fingers because they will have been scoffed before they get to the docks.
Obviously, one solution is to burn the entire Amazon rainforest and turn this rich and fertile place into the world’s pantry. But unfortunately this is not possible because Sting will turn up on a chat show with some pygmy who’s sewn a saucer into his bottom lip, arguing that the world’s “indigenous tribes” are suffering because of the West’s greed.
I fear, too, that if we all became vegetablists, the world would smell of halitosis and we’d all start to vote Liberal Democrat. Furthermore, all the veg-heads I know are sickly and grey and unable to climb a flight of stairs without fainting.
Clarkson's modest proposal is simple: you know all those exotic species you see on BBC nature shows? Well, we could eat those. And no need to worry about endangered species, as the free market will take care of that issue:
I believe that if enough people demanded blue whale for supper, garnished with the ears of a panda and the left wing of a juicy great bustard, it wouldn’t take very long for big business to move in.
When there’s a quid to be made, pandas will be having babies with the regularity of hens and you won’t be able to go to the shops for all the leopards you’ll meet on the way.
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