14 August 2010

Shark Fin Soup & Wedding Dinners 1

I care about animals. I believe in not inflicting unnecessary pain on them. If you make a sadistic joke on the topic, I will not laugh along with you or share your enthusiasm, be it in the name of friendship or respect. The most you can get from me is a straight face, if not sarcasm or hostility.

Shark Fin Soup.

I have been intending to write about this since I attended a wedding dinner with the bf not long ago. I have intended to write EVERYTIME I attend a Chinese wedding dinner. I just never really knew how. But here I am, finally, and hoping that I’m writing this right and hoping that I can contribute my tiny share to the survival of these creatures.

This looks majestic I suppose. Perhaps that is what the tiny human needs in order make him/herself look bigger – to hold a massive body part of a dead animal.

As a kid, I used to love shark fin soup. It was sort of like the highlight dish during the wedding banquet night. Perhaps I was cute, or charming, or adorable, or lovable, the older folks at the table always let me have two bowls. But I stopped when I got old enough to realize how shark fins came about. Here’s a rough idea how: “…millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark's fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks either starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown (if they are not in constant movement their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water..”

Yes indeed, animals do get killed for food. But I disagree with shark finning because of the brutal way they die. The shark bodies are not taken because they are generally of low value and they take up space and weight in the fishing vessels. May as well bring back more valuable fins than transport worthless shark meat that take up space that can be filled with money-making fins, right?

This is what I used to picture when I decided not to eat shark fin: imagine having a cut the size of a 20sen coin. Then imagine dipping that cut into salty sea water. Ouch. Now maybe the shark doesn’t hurt from an exposed cut in the sea water – I don’t know. How about this: imagine having your limbs chopped off (the pain won’t be good). Then imagine being thrown into sea water. Not only are u hurting, you are also not able to move or swim up for air. You suffocate. And just to add some spice to the story, maybe a shark comes along and eats you up, shredding off your flesh, bit by bit. (From my bit of reading, sharks are gentle animals they say. So I guess they don’t attack. I don’t know).

to be continued...

1 comment:

iho said...

Hi Lynda:

Great post! Humane Society International, where I work, is very concerned about shark finning and is working to curb shark fin soup in Asia. I am so glad to learn that you share our concern! I am inviting you and your friends to sign our no-shark-fin pledge: https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2837

Please visit our sharks page at www.hsi.org/sharks

Thanks for writing about this important issue!

Iris Ho