Soup of Cruelty

– – Shark fin soup can cost more than $100 a bowl, and is served at weddings and on important occasions in China and other Asian countries, both to display wealth, and in the belief that it can improve one’s health.

The soup is actually made by de-finning a shark, often while they’re alive, causing the animal a slow and cruel death as they are dumped mutilated back into the ocean.  The shark fin component provides gelatinous bulk to the soup but is itself tasteless; the soup  is then flavored with chicken or other stock.   Demand for shark fin soup, driven largely by Chinese consumers, has caused populations of some shark species to decline by as much as 99 percent, according to a WildAid study.  Furthermore, a 2007-08 study indicated that a quarter of all shark fin samples sold at Hong Kong markets were unfit for human consumption, containing high mercury levels that increase the risk of infertility and brain damage.

Fortunately, NBA star Yao Ming is featured in a commercial produced by the San Francisco-based conservation group WildAid which shows Yao urging largely Chinese patrons to stop ordering shark fin soup…and public awareness and pressure may eventually lessen consumer appetites for the item…

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2 Comments on “Soup of Cruelty”

  1. carycomic Says:

    Heh! If the fin is tasteless in the soup, why not just _tell_ the patrons who order it that it’s in there (even though it’s not)? I mean; remember that M*A*S*H episode about the fake sleeping pills given to the patients with extreme insomnia, or whatever it was?

    That should have irrevocably proven to _everybody_ how auto-hypnotic the human mind can be.


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