Shark Fin Soup Banned by Marriott; What’s Next?
I f you find shark fin soup served at a Marriott hotel property, you are asked to report it, as “Marriott announced a total ban on shark fin soup partnering with the Yao Ming Foundation to increase awareness on this issue”, according to Jay Hamilton, senior director of digital public relations of Marriott International who is also known as FlyerTalk member JHam.
I apologize for not reporting this to you sooner, as the announcement was posted on April 25, 2014 to be in effect as of July 1; but reading this article — asking us to think before we eat whale meat — by Ric Garrido of the Loyalty Traveler weblog earlier today reminded me of the article I originally wrote on June 12, 2013 asking you if shark fin soup should be banned from the menu at Marriott. The opinions posted in the comments section of that article were mixed; but the topic was controversial.
The controversy behind shark fin soup is that the shark population is supposedly being significantly decimated because the fins are usually harvested inhumanely by removing them before the sharks are then dumped back into the ocean alive — but unable to swim without their fins.
I asked before if food whose main ingredients consist of endangered species — such as shark fin soup, bluefin tuna and Chinook salmon — should be banned; or should the cultural and religious beliefs of people who regularly dine on the food in question prevail? Can a compromise between ethical and traditional values to both preserve endangered species while still allowing humans to continue enjoying delicacies be reached — as long as that consumption is limited within reason?
What about food obtained in a manner in which the treatment of the animal in question was inhumane? The first food which comes to my mind as an example is veal — where calves are supposedly raised in and confined to cramped crates for the entire 16 weeks of their lives before being slaughtered — according to this article from The Humane Society of the United States.
When I read Ric’s heartfelt plea and reasoning for not eating whale meat, I must admit that I at least wanted to try it before vowing not to eat it. Am I wrong for thinking that?
For what it is worth, I have no problem not eating delicacies from many of the endangered species on this list, which include giant salamanders, primates and manatees…