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Yao Ming on ‘finning’

I was delighted to see an advertisement on CCTV Beijing where a legendary Chinese basket baller, the 7 foot 6 inch, Yao Min, rejects a plate of shark’s fin soup.  In fact, as I later found out,  he has been pursuing a campaign against the appalling practice of ‘finning’ (removal of a shark’s fin and then dumping the live shark at sea) since 2006. The advertisement was my auspicious start to New Year’s Day as they had the TV on when I took breakfast this morning in a cafe in Beijing.  The advertisement opens with an image of a finless shark in its death throes at the bottom of the ocean. Yao Min is seen sitting in a restaurant pushing away a bowl of shark’s fin soup. All the other dinners follow.  

The irony, of course,  is that the wealthy Yao Min owns the Shanghai Sharks basketball team.

What would really make me happy would be if China enacted a general law against animal cruelty.  Current laws protect endangered species but do not protect the welfare of animals in general.  There are private groups in China seeking to improve the status of animals in China.

3 comments to Yao Ming on ‘finning’

  • conrad

    “What would really make me happy would be if China enacted a general law against animal cruelty.”

    One of the curious things about this sort of claim is that we’re hardly better than the Chinese — it’s not like battery chickens, pigs, or cows are living a great life (although I believe Australian cows at least are better off than their European counterparts). It seems to me the main difference is really just in the openness of it all — the Chinese don’t much care about it, whereas people in Western countries like to think that their meat appears from magic in nice plastic packages far removed from the real source.

  • hc

    Indeed inflicting miserable lives on animals can be worse than ending their lives with a painful death. So, no disagreement from me, factory farming must end.

  • I’m really against shark finning, it has to stop! I’ve seen what happens to them. I’ve seen studies on how fish actually feel pain and how it affects their actions. This needs to stop and someone has to take a stand. I’ve got a petition running at the moment, I’ve currently stopped 32 restaurants from selling shark fin soup. The more people that are reached the easier it will be to stop this cruel act, a stand needs to be made! And it starts here and now! Please anyone that is interested in this matter do not hesitate to email

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