Saturday, 5 January 2013

Anyone for shark fin soup?

One of my new year's blog-olutions was to focus a little more on animal welfare issues. In the past few days, I've read about about two shocking stories of greed and cruelty, which I wanted to share, to raise awareness. I know not all of you are vegetarian or vegan, but I hope that this doesn't stop you from joining me in outrage at these recent events.



Firstly, I saw
these photographs taken by Gary Stokes (also see video above), of thousands of shark fins drying on the roof tops of Hong Kong. Although the trade in shark fins (for the infamous shark fin soup) is apparently in decline, there is still a high demand for the product in China. Incidentally, something I didn't realise before, was that the fins are harvested from live sharks which are then thrown back into the sea to die, as the rest of their meat is not nearly as profitable.

The second story was featured in the Daily Mail and involves the beautiful and undeniably intelligent dolphin. You may already have heard of the annual dolphin massacre at Taiji cove on the south coast of Japan? Well, those dolphins which are caught but not slaughtered for their meat, may end up being sold to aquaria for our entertainment in "abusement parks". 

a sea of blood - dolphin slaughter in Japan
photo courtesy of the dolphinproject.org
Whilst the UK no longer has any captive whales or dolphins, many UK holidaymakers flock to see dolphin shows or to swim with captive dolphins in other countries. Although many are now captive-bred, some including those in other European aquaria, may have been caught from the wild. Please do consider the plight of these amazing animals before booking your tickets to any zoo or aquarium which still has captive whales and dolphins.

Read more about the campaign to stop shark finning here. Read more about wales and dolphins in captivity here.

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