First they came for the large, sugary drinks, and I did not speak out as I am not a large, sugary drink. Then they came for the novelty lighters, and I did not speak out as I am not a novelty lighter. Then they came for the styrofoam, and I did not speak out as I am not a styrofoam. Then they came for the shark fins, and I did not speak out as I am not a shark fin. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
All of which is a long, stupid way of saying, yes, state legislators Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn), and Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) have reintroduced a bill that would ban the sale of shark fins in New York. All things considered, this is probably a good move. Though the fins are considered a cultural tradition among some Chinese-Americans, they often come from very endangered species, and sometimes contain “harmful toxins,” according to Humane Society grassroots director Patrick Kwan.
Chinatown City Councilmember Margaret Chin doesn’t support the argument that fins should be kept legal for tradition’s sake. “I have no sympathy for that argument. Who can afford shark fin soup?” she asked, of the dish, which can cost up to $638 per pound. “Not normal working people. So what traditions are we talking about?”
(Photo: Chris 73/Wikimedia Commons