Spare me anti sharksfin hypocrisy too

 Regular readers of this blog will know I’ve not a Greenie. I don’t support Earth Hour and other gratuitous shows of saving the environment when the process, in my view, is a lot more damaging, as I’ve stated here and here.

So I was naturally miffed when someone I know sent me a chain-email about boycotting sharksfin for wedding banquets, with some grotesque pictures of something that was claimed to be a shark being caught and dismembered.

finless shark?

What got me even more riled was that this same someone then proceeded to send me another two copies of the chain-email, so much so that I had to respond to him.

This is what I wrote: “While it’s true sharksfins come via a cruel way, I think it’s no more cruel than flinging live lobsters, prawns, crabs etc into boiling water or oil. Have you ever thought what trussed up lobsters and crabs feel — to be boiled alive and yet can’t even flail their claws to protest against the pain (not that it would be any use of course!)

“Haven’t u heard that line from Shakespeare that ‘the poor beetle that we tread upon, in corporal sufferance finds a pang as great as when a giant dies’?

How many sharks die each year to give restaurants the necessary sharksfin as compared to the millions of chickens, pigs, cows, ducks, geese, lambs and goats that are put to death for our table? And the possibly billions of prawns and seafood of all description that die too to feed us?

Are they really “humanely” despatched off?

When none of us humans have ever had our throats slit, our carcasses flung into hot water and cold and then have our guts ripped out to prepare us for the supermarket shelves, I think it’s rich of any of us to make such “humane” claims.

The fact is whatever meat and seafood we eat has caused an animal to die an unnatural death. Just that most of us don’t want to think about it. And kicking off campaigns against eating sharksfin is as hypocritical as announcing Earth Hour events in airconditioned comfort, unless the anti-sharksfin campaigners are 100% vegetarians too!

This is because the best way to avoid causing pain to sentient creatures in order to feed our bodies is to be a vegetarian.

But then, there are experts now saying that vegetables, plants and trees can feel pain too and scream and shout when we rip them from the earth and harvest their leaves and/or fruits for food. The only solace to our guilt is that our ears aren’t sharp enough to hear their dying groans.

So, where does this leave us?

For myself, I eat meat and fish sparingly. In any case, I don’t eat lamb, mutton, duck and beef and several kinds of seafood like squid and prawns.

When I’m the host at a meal in a restaurant, I never order live seafood — though whether that’s really any good for the fishes and prawns swimming in an over-crowded tank is anybody’s guess!!

If it’s beyond my control over what food to order, and there’s meat and fish aplenty, with live prawns drowning in alcohol being a favourite choice, then I make sure I eat up every scrap that’s put on my plate, so that no creature dies in vain, where my stomach is concerned.

If all of us eat more vegetables and less meat and fish, I think we will do a lot more to reduce the suffering of all animals than by just boycotting sharksfin!


7 thoughts on “Spare me anti sharksfin hypocrisy too

  1. Pingback: Spare Me Anti Sharksfin Hypocrisy Too Food Fuels Me To Talk « whatisthisateaparty

  2. Lucy, I am a vegetarian, and I do not eat animal meat of any kind nor any kind of seafood for about twenty years. I am healthy, and at the age of 75 I do a full day’s work every day Mon-Fri with Sat. off and half day work on Sundays.
    I like to ask these do-good people who are so fervent in protecting animals, e.g. sharks: are you vegetarian? They should be vegetarian. How many Westerners shout about protecting animals and the next meal they will be willingly enjoy a piece of steak? Cows cry in pain and sorrow before they are killed for food for steak- eaters.
    Yes, non-violence in thought,word and deed is the principle to the practice of protecting animals.
    May all beings in all the worlds be happy!

  3. The animal rights industry is an industry of human abuse. If they want to yell about people eating meat, and they believe animals are equal to us and deserve not to get killed and eaten and to live pain-free, then why the heck aren’t they going out to preach and chastise lions for ripping apart zebra, wildabeast etc. and chomping them down while they’re still kicking? Ditto for any wild canids – they tear open their prey as soon as they can maul and get them into a prone position. And my gos those poor bugs that end up paralyzed and in pain while getting eaten away by wasp grubs because baby wasps need to eat fresh meat? In other words, nature is cruel, and humans are the only species that actually give a darn and try no be cruel. But that sure doesn’t give the greenies the right to shove their sick misanthropic cult belief system down our throats. And lobsters aren’t always boiled alive.

    Anyway, thanks for posting about the animal rights chain letter. I can always use more info to back up what I’m saying – that chain letter acity is by doesn’t only and always come from the political right or from Christians.

  4. Dear Dr Ho! Thank you for stopping by and sharing. i wish I cld be a complete vegetarian but guess my karma and my greed won’t allow it. My late father was a vegetarian since he was 19 n remained one till he died aged 87.

    What I try to do is refrain fm killing stuff I can’t/don’t eat: ants, lizards, moths, cockcroaches. One way to keep these at bay is to keep the home as clean as possible.

  5. Thanks Capri, for dropping by. In wotever way lobsters r killed, it’s not something we wld wish our worst enemies! 😦

  6. Auntielucia,

    I share your philosophy towards meat eating, but I have to disagree with your stand towards the anti-sharksfin movement.

    I oppose the eating of sharksfin for two main reasons, the first being the sheer non-necessity of it. Sharksfin confers little nutrition or taste. It has to be heavily cooked and complemented with other ingredients to be palatable. What started out as an exotic luxury food item for the very rich is now becoming a common dish with the rapidly growing population and wealth of the Chinese. To be quite blunt, people eat sharksfin because of face, not because it gives us sustenance, or that it tastes good. Drawing a parallel to livestock or seafood does not stand. Comparing it to lions hunting prey is even more ridiculous.

    Second, there’s a real danger in depleting out the ocean’s top predators. Wait, doesn’t it mean more fish for us? No! Upsetting the ecology of the ocean could well mean massive loss of marine life, and hence fish stocks for us.

    I suspect your ire is really with the smugness and moral superiority of some of these activists. I too bristle at being preached to by people, but sometimes I have to get past my own sore pride and see the truths that they speak.

  7. Hi Charlie Hotel, how nice of u to drop by and tks for spending time commenting.

    I don’t mind eating sharksfin because it’s rather nice, and not always expensive. I’ve in mind the S$60 sharksfin set meals I had in Taipeh abt two years ago and also a long time ago in BKK.

    The combs of fin were thick; the soup was thick too, not from starch but from a combination of many ingredients, including baby abalone, sea cucumber etc

    And while sharksfin was the piece de resistance, there were two or three other items in the set.

    Still, I don’t go out of my way to look for sharksfin meals. My all-time favourite food, believe it or not, is hard bread rolls with marmite or simply neat

    And if we eat only essential foods, then our menus and stomachs would be the poorer for it while our waistlines and wallets wld be richer. 😀

    Kidding aside, I’m not sure tt sharksfin is a China-Chinese thing; instead, it seems to be more an overseas Chinese taste, with sharksfin in combs in thick soup a particularly Teochew thing. (The biggest sharksfin suppliers are still in North Canal Rd, I think, while Ban Seng and Hung Kang used to be the definitive restaurants for sharksfin) Whereas the Cantonese like to have their sharksfin in scrambled egg and eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves ( called kwai-fa chi) or in shredded crab meat soup, using far inferior sharksfin.

    Of cos, China being such a large country, even if only the southern and eastern seaboard Chinese want to splurge on sharksfin, then the demand and price will go up. It may or may not have anything to do with face. Let the market and nature impose their natural and ultimate curbs!

    What’s more worthwhile for the no-sharksfin campaigners to concentrate their minds on is foie gras and veal. Ah, the cruelty of those farming practices! Annually, millions of geese and calves suffer weeks, if not months, to provide a delectable dish.

    “Comparing it to lions hunting prey is even more ridiculous.” — not guilty! It wasn’t moi but someone else who posted a comment on this subject who made that point!

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