Ethical consumers

A famous columnist on Strait Times was recently blasted by eco-warriors on her article “You’re what you eat” 5thFeb 2012.

Chinese cuisine-Shark fin soup

Image via Wikipedia

In it , she talks about how as a young child she had so much shark fin that as an adult she would not eat one unless it was offered to her by her host. At the same time, she also lambasted the hypocrisy of people who chose not to eat shark’s fin because they find shark defining cruel.

I don’t actually blame her for venting her frustrations at people I like to call eco-naggers.

I, myself, have boycotted eating shark’s fin since I was in my teens. I have read National Geographic’s articles about the issues with shark defining and the over hunting of sharks which is causing the rapid rush to extinction for several species. Sharks are known to be an important predator in the ocean eco-system. Take out one of the lead actor and there will surely be an over-population of another predator leading to the extinction of several other species of seafood.

I love food.

Especially seafood.

It is for purely selfish reasons that I refuse to touch shark fin.  I will be ok with it if I can be sure that rules were enforceable that ensure that the species does not get over poached, but thus far, efforts have shown to be futile.

Ethical , as it may be to not eat shark, I do not believe that adopting a higher than thou sniff of the nose while others are enjoying their full of flour broth is a good way to educate them about it. It is actually pushing more potential converters to indulge in more nutrition-less fins.

This sniping back and forth between the eaters and non-eaters has also caused people to be extremely condescending and sarcastic when I reject my brown delicacy.

I often do not explain why I boycott things.

News articles are brought to my concern, I will read them, explore various perspectives and think about the pros and cons of a boycott before doing so.

When shark’s fin soup is offered to me, I will quietly place it back on the round roulette in the middle of the table and say “I do not take shark’s fin.”

I do not lecture others enjoying their food nor give them the evil eye. Yet , without fail I will get condescending smirks and remarks that goes along the line of “ So do you take chicken or pork or other meat? Don’t you find it cruel?”

I cannot understand whether this came from their guilt of eating something that they probably know they should not eat or they have been heckled, scolded or nagged at before by eco-naggers that they feel they need to get it back at someone.

Whatever the case, just leave me to my boycott, thank you and enjoy your expensive soup.

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