Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Sin of Fin

MJ and I recently watched a documentary where fishermen sliced off the fins of sharks, then tossed the bodies back into the sea to drown. The brutal practice of shark finning is fueled by the high price that Chinese restaurants can charge for shark fin soup: $30 to $40 per small bowl.

Outraged, MJ resolved to never drink this popular Asian delicacy again. I agreed.

A few months ago, MJ and I attended my cousin Ray's wedding, where they served shark fin soup. It didn't look exactly like this:

Despite insistences from my relatives to "eat it, it's good for you", MJ politely yet firmly refused to drink the soup.

Bravo, MJ! I'm proud of you for standing up against shark finning.

What did I do? I'm embarrassed to say I caved to peer pressure and finished my bowl.

But from now on, I will follow MJ's example and skip the shark fin soup. I will listen to Sherman the Shark:


  1. Wow, I didn't know about shark finning...I don't remember ever having tried the soup, but after reading this, I don't think I ever will. Thanks Howie!

  2. Good on you guys - never tasted that here in NZ - love the creation!!

  3. Super cute. I heard of the practice recently, here's a wedding cake created to emphasize the ugliness of it: Your sharks are far cuter!

  4. I had heard of shark fin soup, but I didn't realize the sharks themselves were left to die. Thanks to your info, Howie, I'll know better to have it if I'm ever offered it. And way to go MJ!!! :)

  5. I'm definitely anti-shark soup! And, you should check out the documentary called The Cove which is soon to be released (if not out this month) which is about the dolphin industry in Japan.... horrible, horrible practices of murdering those poor animals so that we can 'swim' with them and watch them in shows, and eat them unknowingly when in Asia. We must educate ourselves on this stuff so we won't encourage the exploiters.

    Ok, I'm off the proverbial soap box now. I'm sure you could make some really cute dolphins, too! Love your work!

  6. Way to go MJ!!!!! You are awesome. :)

  7. That's sad about the sharks. Thanks for the informative albeit "cute" PSA. Never have had this dish but will not partake if offered in the future.

  8. Again, I have to ask...will you EVER make your patterns available? They are all SO awesome!
    But the best parts of all are your commentaries on everything you make! I love it whenever you have a new post/creation! I just added your blog to my Google desktop feeds so that I don't miss any! LOL! Thanks for your wonderful cheerful nature! And SHAME on you for caving in and eating that soup! :D

  9. TADA's Revolution: Thank you, I'm happy that MJ & Sherman have joined with your Revolution powers to Just Say No to Shark Soup :D

    Paisley Jade: If you have the chance to taste shark fin soup in NZ, I'm sure Sherman will leap out of the waters to shout his opinion ;) Thank you!

    Melissa: Wow, that shark fin wedding cake is a striking work of art. I'm glad Sherman was spared from a similarly bloody fate. (Though I did notice that he's missing his side fins, oh oh!)

    amylynn98: Thanks :) Yes, I also didn't know that finless sharks were tossed overboard to slowly die. After watching some youtube videos about shark finning, it would be hard to drink shark fin soup without remembering those images!

    Shorty: Thank you for telling me about The Cove, which has been well-reviewed and sounds like a must-see. I always felt that dolphins aren't as happy as their smiles seemed to indicate, and it sounds like they have good reason to be glum.

    Crochet dolphins would be popular, good idea! ;)

    Anonymous: MJ is happy to hear your cheer, thank you :) I also admire how she refused the soup despite many at the table encouraging her to drink up!

    Miss Julep: I'm glad you still found this PSA cute! It was hard to resist putting eyes on the bowl :D I don't know how to crochet shark blood, so that spared this post from being tooo graphic!

    Jana: I do take shorthand notes while I work, but I haven't ventured far along the pattern-writing path. Maybe next year? :)

    Thanks for being so encouraging about the blog! I love working on WooWork :) And you're right about the shame I deserve for eating shark fin soup for all these years. That bowl was my last! This Reuters article suggests that young Asians are refusing to eat shark fin soup, so there may be happier times for sharks in the future.

  10. I accidently ordered sharkfin soup when I went to yum cha once. I tried it and the texture of the fin reminded me of eating salty, soggy fingernails. It was really gross.
    I'm sorry Sherman. I shall only stick to eating BBQ pork buns when I got to Yum Cha.

  11. Super funny and cool blog, I love the stories, the photos... and, of course, the crocheted works! ^^

  12. Mel Makes Pretty: Next time at the banquet table, I'm going to repeat that "Shark fin soup tastes like salty, soggy fingernails!" :) That would discourage everyone from sipping the soup! Sherman says you are officially a "Friend of the Shark" :D

    elewa: Thanks! I hope you stick around for the upcoming nuttiness :D

  13. Glad you are raising awareness about this awful practice; I certainly had not know about it before your post.

    As you know, I really enjoy your blog. So I am passing the Kreativ Blogger award to you!

  14. WOW!! I have just found your blog, its BRILLIANT!!!! love your style and humour, especially the dynamite and bubble gum gun - my 7 year old son was fixated -he's a fledgling crocheter, and at last a male role model for him!!

  15. Serendipity Handmade: Yes, I'm also new to the horrors of shark finning. Sherman the Shark is especially proud to be raising some awareness :)

    Thanks for the sweet Kreativ recognition!

    Elaine: I'm happy you found the blog, and I'm extra happy to hear that your son is going to be a crochet king! He must be having so much fun learning to make anything he imagines :) He has my full support and congratulations!

  16. oh.. that makes me sad.. and even more sad that I go to lots of weddings and eat it.. ;_; there's so many horrible things out there! I watched the first few minutes of a movie called Food Inc.
    I couldn't finish it. It goes through how meat is made and how the animals are treated and raised before becoming food.. :/


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