Some of you ‘kats will have heard of a product, popular in parts of Asia, known as shark fin soup. This product costs the lives of approximately 72 million sharks, of various species, every year, with the finned sharks being tossed back into the waters, whether alive or dead. The ones that are alive for the finning process will suffer terribly, before eventually succumbing to their injuries.
Shark fin soup is sought after because it is believed to have medicinal properties, but there is no evidence to support this. It is in fact quite ironic that the soup is believed to boost sexual potency, yet it may actually render men sterile. Alongside this undesirable side-effect, there are in fact increased risks of degenerative brain diseases that come from eating shark fin soup.
Often, these ‘alternative’ medicinal products do not in fact have any beneficial medical features. If they did, they’d be recommended, and wouldn’t be classed as ‘alternative’ medicines. Instead, because someone, many many years, ate the soup and got an erection, there’s become this ridiculous link between the two, and because ignorance and superstition somehow still outweigh common sense and proven fact, millions of sharks get slaughtered every year.
Sharks are not the only victims of barbaric, ignorant practices. Tiger penis soup is another dish served up in the belief that it can boost virility. There is no evidence that it does so. Once again, a beautiful animal is being placed at the risk of extinction, for the disproven notion that its body can convey health benefits.
As I have said before, if you wish to make use of alternative practices, go for it. I am not a believer in stuff like holistic medicine, and prefer to place my stock in what is proven to work. If you force others to make use of your alternative medical practices (such as when parents force children into faith healing, and even let them die), you are both cruel and stupid. Slaughtering animals in the belief you’ll get hard? Also cruel.
The sooner we move away from these practices, the better.