Thursday, 1 November 2012

You Love Shark Fin? I Love Sharks.

I remember strongly that year when Legally Blonde 2 came out and there was this one part of the movie which left a very strong impression on me up until today (you must be thinking what has Legally Blonde got to do with Shark Fins, I promise you, I have a point).

In that movie, Elle Woods was trying to advocate rights against animal testing for cosmetic product and what she said was the following very inspirational speech and it goes something like this - not word by word but something like this:

"There is this saloon in Beverly Hills.  It's really fancy and beautiful but it's impossible to get an appointment unless if you are Julia Roberts or friends with one of the girls.  One day they call me, they had an opening and I finally get the chance to sit in one of those beauty chair.  The stylist gave me a bob, with bangs.  That's to say, it was just wrong, all wrong, for me.  

First, there was anger and then I realized my anger was completely misdirected.  I mean this wasn't the saloon's fault.  I have sat there and witnessed this injustice and I just sat there and let it happen.  I didn't get involved in the process. I forgot to use my voice.  I forgot to believe in myself.  But now I know better.  I know one honest voice can be louder than a crowd."


And I feel exactly the same way when I saw my colleague drinking shark fin soup the other day.  I saw them carrying a bowl of soup and it's just a six sense so I asked if that's shark fin soup and I got an affirmative answer.  So I began by saying "Don't drink shark fi-" well before I manage to even finish my sentence, my colleague cut me over and said "Don't talk about stuff like this.  I want to drink means I want to drink.  Besides, they served it already, it would be a waste to not drink it".  And I answered her but she refused to just listen.

After I got back, I managed to ask a friend what does he feel about shark fin soup.  He told me the exact same thing:  If it's served, it would be even more wasteful if no one drinks it.

I believe that there are still so many people out there drinking shark fin soup because you simply assume that it's okay to do it.  It's like ordering steak or drumstick at fast food because the animal that we are eating is abundant, so it's okay.

Let me tell you.  It's NOT okay to eat shark fin.  The reason why you are still drinking shark fin is because you are totally unaware of what is actually going on underneath the ocean and it's because it's underneath the ocean where no one can see it, no one can care for it.  I do not condemn you or blame you for drinking shark fin soup because you don't know.  So I sincerely hope after reading this, you would at least TRY to not drink shark fin soup and also, PASS the message around.

I must confess that I loved shark fin soup as much as you do, until I found out few years back about how cruel it is to actually even think of wanting to drink shark fin.  The proper term is actually known as "Shark Finning" and unlike eating Sashimi (raw fish), what shark poaches do is exactly what the term indicates.

They hunt the sharks merely for their fins.  Not flesh, but their fins.  An average Great White shark weighs about 700 to 1100 kg (1500 to 2400 pounds) and out of all this great weight, only a mere 300 to 400 grams are what the poaches are aiming for.  They hooked the shark up to their boat, cruelly butcher off their fins and throw them back into the sea.

When poaches poach for shark fins, they are aiming only at their fins and not meat.  How would you feel, if someone dismember your hands and feet and when you are at your absolute fragile state, that person throws you into a lion cage when you are still alive.  You have absolutely no ways to fend for yourself, run for your life but all you can do is just wait for the lion to come and feast off your flesh parts by parts, while alive.  Oh, as though everything is not horrible enough, lets add salt to the injury.  And that's exactly what it is when you throw Sharks with open wounds which can't swim back into the salty sea.  You like that?

That's exactly what happened to that very shark which fins that you have swallowed down into your stomach.  And how would you feel, if not one, or ten or thousands of sharks but the number goes by the millions.  37 millions of shark each year, going through the same torture.  Having their fins butchered, thrown back into the sea alive and either drown to death or being eaten alive by other fishes.  Does it seems okay to you to treat them that way?  Do you think they deserve such treatment just because they are fish?

And unlike Salmons or Tunas which reproduce by the millions, each shark reproduce around six to ten baby sharks each 1 and a half year.  So, what happens when the adults are gone, poaches naturally go for the baby sharks and when sharks can't reproduce as fast, what happens?  Extinction.  Do you really want this to happen?

And why is it that you consume shark fin?  Do they have extreme nutritional or medicinal value?  Do they taste superbly good?  NO.  The answer to all three is NO.  Shark has NO nutritional or medicinal value at all.  In fact, they are high in mercury content and could lead you to having heart disease.  Do they taste superbly good?  NO.  Shark fins have ABSOLUTELY ZERO TASTE at all so why are you still drinking it?

Why are you paying for something that is obtained so bloodily.  So brutally.  So cruelly.

It really pains me to search for this pictures but I honestly believe, someone has to do it.  And today, I am doing it.  I hope that you will one day (and that day is coming soon), that you will help advocate to stop this sick practice and educate more people about this.

As to my colleagues' question about wastage since the soup is already served, my answer was:  If you serve a dish that no one would eat or order, would you continue serving it?  Yes I know it's cooked and laid there for you to take but as the owner of a restaurant, if you noticed that a particular dish is not selling at all and left untouched everyday, you as the restaurant owner, would you continue that dish?  Probably not.

Sometimes, it takes one person to speak out.  And a few more to follow and more will naturally come and when everyone comes, that's the day where things will be changed.

Stand with me on this one.  Say no to drinking shark fin soup.  Say no to this cruel practice.  Simply, just say no.

The next time you are being served a bowl of shark fin soup in a wedding or at a restaurant, remember this.


#1

This really meaningful image is done up by Orikimono from Deviant Art and the Artist not only illustrated it very well, but the artist also wrote up a simple explanation regarding this, so do visit the artist's page if you want more explanation.  This image does not belong to me in anyway.


#2

This is another very short illustration about shark finning but it just shows you how much hurt you are causing to Sharks without knowing or doing anything about it.  This brilliant art is done by Kuroya-Ken and is also another Artist from Deviant Art.  This image does not belong to me in any way.

I am only asking for 2 minutes of your time to watch the video below that my Godbrother have found for me.  All I am asking is 2 minutes.




Below are some pictures that I've found online.  If you don't think you can stomach it, don't scroll down but if you think you can and you want to witness for yourself, do scroll down, alright?  Remember, if we all stand united, we CAN and we WILL make a difference.


























#3 Image from here


Look at the size of this shark.  It's merely a baby shark and how much fin can it gives?  Yet they are willing to sacrifice any sharks regardless of their type, size, old or young.  Say NO to this.  Just say NO.



.#4



#5  Images from here

This writer has an entire gallery of what is known as the Shark's Graveyard.  A picture's worth a thousand word.  He/She has an entire gallery on this so it just show how bad Shark Finning is.

The next time someone offers you shark fin, say no.  Remember, SPEAK UP.  Tell them exactly how you feel about this.  Do not forgot to use your voice to voice it out for those who can't voice it out for themselves.