Shark fin soup – do you eat it?
This is obviously a contentious question in Asia, where “food ethics” seem to be a little different than in the West.
While sharks are often seen as dangerous, undesirable and are usually feared, does the act of finning separate out this foodstuff from any other act involved in food production? That is, can carnivores who eat factory-farmed food, with animals raised often in cruel and inhumane conditions reasonably separate this out from shark fin “production”? Can someone buy and eat a locally slaughtered chicken at a wet market, but criticize those who eat shark fin soup?
Other arguments are less emotive: sharks are an apex predator (top of the food chain) in many ecosystems, which means that when they decline or eventually vanish, those ecosystems suffer immense inbalances. Shark finning is a way of satisfying human “taste” (as opposed to nutritional need) at the expense of nature, but isn’t most modern food production? Discuss… –Matt Leppard