Woodside, California
Last night I went to the Roxie Cinema in San Francisco to see Sharkwater, a new documentary due to open in cinemas on November 2 (click on the link to see the trailer).

It is the first documentary film by Rob Stewart, and draws attention to the practice of shark-finning, in which sharks are caught on long lines and hauled aboard the fishing vessel where their fins are cut off. The mutilated shark, still alive, is then returned to the ocean where it sinks helplessly to the bottom and, unable to swim to keep the water moving over its gills, slowly drowns.

The reason for this practice? So that people can dine on shark fin soup, considered an exotic and power-enhancing delicacy in some cultures.

An estimated 100 MILLION sharks are killed in this way every year.

I am not a vegetarian (although I do eat organic and free range as much as possible, even though it is unfortunately much more expensive to do so), but even to a meat-eater shark-finning seems barbaric. If we are going to kill animals for their flesh, we at least owe them the courtesy of using every last part of the carcass. Nature abhors waste. The natural food chain can seem brutal, at least most predators eat every morsel of their prey.

Although humans generally regard themselves as more civilized than other animals, there ARE times when I really wonder…

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