The great taste of shark’s fin soup

Epic write-in from a certain Paul Chan at


WHILE I appreciate Associate Professor Thomas Menkhoff’s concern for shark’s fin traders (‘The cluster effect and shark’s fin trade’; last Wednesday),

I disagree that artificial shark’s fin can ever replace the real stuff.

Honestly, and in fairness to shark’s fin soup lovers, environmentalists should take the trouble to understand why diners are drawn to the dish.

I love it because the taste can be described only as heavenly – a gift from the gods.

Artificial shark’s fin made out of gelatin has not been able to replace the genuine stuff despite years of efforts.

Added to that is the cultural link: Shark’s fin has been on the Chinese menu since the Ming Dynasty more than half a millennium ago.

The exponential surge of the world’s population has put a strain on ocean resources. It is natural that shark populations have shrunk due to loss of their feeding habitats.

Large-scale fisheries have also depleted global fish stocks, and made sharks an unfortunate by-product of its exploitation, by killing them in the search for other fish like the blue-fin tuna.

So let us be clear about who is to blame for the significant depletion of the world’s shark populations. It certainly isn’t shark’s fin soup lovers like me.

Paul Chan


And some epic comments…

Please try eating it by itself without boiling it in any broth, then say again if the taste is a gift from the gods? And which god is it that allows innocent creatures to be slaughtered for the sake of “show thy wealth”… yes, it’s NOT the taste that creates the demand for fins…. it’s the need for some to show that they can afford it. If it’s the taste, just have a bowl of the broth, the fins are as tasteless as your fingernails.
Does it hurt you to stop eating it? Cos another whole innocent living creature will have to die, just to make u another bowl. We are wiping out entire species to tantalize our tastebuds with tasteless & nutritionless cartilage?!?!
I’d seriously consider the intention of this god of yours.

You sure luv that bowl of heavenly shark’s fin soup, don’t you ? A grand feast will be incomplete without such a grandiose dish, would it ? And no Thomas Menkhoff from the other ‘side’ is going to shake you off your Ming dynasty based tradition to believe that ‘environmentalist’ hype, could he ? You’re right, that’s half a millennium tonnes of ‘heavenly shark’s fin soup’ eaten, isn’t it ? Don’ tell me, you’re probably more ‘blue’ than those Ming porcelains, eh ?

Keep your ears and eyes firmly shut. Don’t let them play with your mind, sir. Enjoy your bowl of ‘heaven sent shark’s fin soup’, concentrate on every spoonful of this delicacy, as them fins slide down your throat and titillate your taste buds, bringing such addictive pleasure to generations before you. Do that sir, and do it quietly.

Humans kill for food, fashion, sport, etc because we CAN – including cannibalism in tribal societies before laws intervened – un-needing of additional reasons/justification.

Isn’t it ironic that the slightest cruelty to species designated as pets merits legal punishment – while daily slaughter of ‘meat’ animals go unpunished when it is even more cruel?Ideally – possibly in the next century – cell-multiplied meat production would obviate slaughter. Then only would I eat meat – too late for me – with relish and a clear conscience.”Humane slaughter” is an oxymoron in some sense – designed to assuage the conscience of some meat eaters, right? Like painless execution via drugs in some nations and states of the US.

No one should impose his belief on others, no matter which group he belongs to.

If you like to eat shark’s fins, eat lor. But do not criticise those who believe they should save the shark.

If you find it cruel, then don’t eat lor. Don’t preach your belief & make it sound so cruel.

Since we have 2 different groups, the shark will reproduce just enough for consumption.

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