EXTINCTION

WRITTEN BY DS
I have wanted to write my thoughts on extinction for a long time, but guess it takes Sumiko Tan recent article on the consumption of shark’s fin to spur me on. Well, she really was asking for trouble for writing her views on such a controversial subject.  On one hand we have the diehards that are against the consumption of shark’s fin due to the cruel technique of cutting off the fins and releasing the finned sharks to die, and on the other hand people who are not so sympathetic, ignorant or just loved their delicious soup too much.
 

What would my stand be?  Probably not surprising that it is the same as Sumiko’s.  I won’t order shark’s fin at the restaurant (that’s easy as it is expensive), but neither will I turn down a bowl that is offered to me.  I wonder if many would share this same position.  I remember asking a friend on this, and I got a very interesting answer that he didn’t consider himself that “noble” to do such a thing as not eating shark’s fin.

Nobility is indeed a class of its own, its members supposedly of high ideals and excellent moral characters.  This begs the question, whether the advocates of these sharks are truly empathizing (ie share the feelings) with them or they just want to feel “noble”?   Guess no one can be sure, but one thing for sure is they must be a very emotional lot.  And when we talk ‘emotions’, you can expect logic to be thrown out the window.  Isn’t it true that only in the current modern times can humans become so sophisticated and noble to choose what food they think can be humanely eaten?  In ancient times, and even in current primitive tribal societies, you will just eat anything nutritious that you can lay your hands on, including seemingly unpalatable organisms like rats, worms & spiders.  It can’t be denied that humans got here today by eating lots of other organisms in the past.  And strictly speaking, everything edible is fit as a source of food regardless whether it is a fish, chicken or an insect.

And there is supposedly no such thing as cruelty in nature.  The operating rule for nature is “indifference”!  It doesn’t care whether lions eat hyenas or hyenas eat lions, and it doesn’t care if you have nothing to eat and die.  I think human kind is just another animal biologically, and the law of nature is to eat and live.  If one species eat another to the point of extinction, doesn’t it seem natural?  Nature does not have any built-in rule to prevent extinction, and it is probably meant to be.  For example, only after the dinosaurs had gone extinct can other type of creatures survive and propagate, right?.  Do we need sharks in our lives?  It probably doesn’t matter to most people. If the minority don’t agree, then to be consistent and logical, shouldn’t we have some tigers and leopards in our forests too?  And let them eat some humans sometimes just to be fair?  Oh no, I don’t think anybody in the right mind will agree to that.

Well, much as I understand that extinction is permanent and can cause serious ecological balance (although a new balance will likely to be achieved), I think it really doesn’t bother me.  I am just not that noble and don’t intend to be one.  It just seems too ‘unnatural’ to me.

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