4/28/2009

No More Shark Fin!

It's a tradition to serve/be served shark fin soup at Chinese weddings. I do not deny that it's really delicious, but I was turned off when I saw videos & pictures of cruel "finnings", where the fins are cropped off & the mutilated body is tossed back to the sea...

Mutilated sharks drown while drifting to the bottom of the ocean


Do they deserve such a cruel end?

The shark is, unfortunately, still alive; sharks need to swim continuously to force water through their gills: without their fins, they can't swim & they literally drown as they sink to the bottom of the ocean.

Imagine having your limbs chopped off & being tossed into the sea.

Unpleasant, right? 

Do you see the result of your greed?

Yet it's hard when your older family members want this dish to be served at one of the most important events of your life...The question now is, should you give in to cultural pressure or do your part to protect sharks & the ecosystem?

My answer: Protect the sharks. I would probably have a small wedding ceremony anyway, none of the yam seng & crazy 8 course Chinese dinner where I'd to change at least 3 times throughout the night. No thank you. 

Why shouldn't we continue this gruesome practice?

1. Cruelty to sharks: Recall the scenario I painted earlier. What creature deserves to be treated in such a horrific manner? To have its fins served as a delicacy for weddings? At least put the rest of the body to use instead of dumping the still-alive finless shark back into the sea.

2. Mercury & toxic chemical levels: Didn't see this coming, did ya? Sharks are at the top of the food chain & they become the vessels containing toxic materials that were consumed by their prey (smaller fishes etc). Now when our oceans are increasingly polluted, the toxicity levels in the shark's body is on the rise. Hmm...still want to consume extra poison?

The broth of death...do you really want this at your wedding??

3. The shark's existence & the ecosystem: Who are we to overcome the sharks & push them to the brink of extinction? Shark population numbers dropped by 90% due to overfishing & increased demand for shark fins, not to mention accidental capture in fishing nets. We already lost precious animal species as a consequence of our selfish & greedy nature, don't let the sharks be the next victim.
 
Sharks are beautiful & fascinating creatures

The sharks play an important role as a big predator in the ecosystem, they control the population of smaller organisms & they are a mirror to the growth of the ecosystem. Destroying them kills the ecosystem.

We have to play our role as guardian of sharks & the oceans

But some of you may say "I love shark fin!"

Here's my response:
1. Damn you.

2. Due to the increased price of shark fins, fake shark fins made from mung bean vermicelli, which has a finer texture than real shark fin. The flavor of the broth is largely unaffected because, really, the flavor of the broth IS FROM THE BROTH!

Fake shark fin is nice & doesn't kill sharks

Kudos to Scotland for taking steps to protect sharks from being meals for the indulgent. If more people & authorities can cooperate, we can save the sharks before it's too late.

So if you're planning a Chinese wedding & shark fin's on the menu, either:
1. Cross it out.

2. Replace with fake shark fin.

3. Tell parents to shut it, you won't be killers for the sake of ceremony. 

No more shark fin!

A wedding can last a lifetime. Sharks may not make it. Make the right choice.

4 comments:

Goose said...

Im surprised! Not many people stick up for the bad guy, and thats who sharks are in public opinion really, do people care if Jaws is on there dinner plate?

Im not a fan of fish food much, so i would much rather have mung bean vermicelli in its place anyway.

Its certainly a seemingly uneconomical way of getting the fins, odd to see it done by hand aswell.

Interesting though, i agree with you on its cruelness.

Rowan said...

Yeah it's a cruel way to take the fins :(

Upholding culture isn't worth a species' extinction.

Anonymous said...

The largest population of Shark Fin lover is Chinese. In one restaurant, one night, there could be approximate 5 families asking for Shark Fin. Not to mention it, in a wedding dinner ceremony, there could be up to 50 tables. Imagine the table of shark fin used and number of sharks have been caught to cut of their fins. When Chinese tradition believes that Shark Fin is good for health, our belief tend to cause devastation. Sharks listed as one of the most endanger species, sadly we just want to fill our stomach rather concenr of the extinction of sharks. We are too pathetic for ourselves. Sadly we are selfish enough to be known as the most perfect creation ever exist.
Every day I hear the radio, 'When one stops eating, the killing stops'. Do people aware of it? I just cross-fingered. We don't see the beauty of everything, we see ourselves in the mirror. It is all about us, Human, the Homosapien.

Rowan said...

We're shameless, right? I know telling my family members to stop will only earn glares & snorts.