Far be it from us to tell President Donald Trump what to eat. But the rumors that he recently indulged in shark fin soup while visiting Vietnam made us do a double-take.
This food may once have been considered a delicacy amongst royalty. But today, it’s just indulgent cruelty. Here are five reasons President Trump should consider avoiding it in the future.
5 Things Donald Trump Needs to Know Before He Eats Shark Fin Soup Again
- There are more than 400 species of sharks in the wild. But sadly, more than 100 million sharks are killed for their fins every year. It can take sharks up to 20 years to mature, and at the rate they’re being killed off, they simply can’t keep up. Populations have been riveted by finning – decreasing 60 to 90 percent in the last 20 years.
- Sharks are so tuned into their environments, they can sense movement in the water through lateral lines. It may seem obvious, but dragging sharks out of the ocean to fin and kill them is a markedly cruel and painful practice.
- Shark finning is big business. That may make a businessman like Trump happy. But the brutal numbers are staggering. Because of demand for shark fins – it’s no longer just food for royalty – it’s now a multi-billion-dollar industry, fetching more than $300 for a pound of shark fins. Because it has become so popular, it’s harder to crack down on illegal operations, and protect species in jeopardy. Sharks are used in other industries, too—they’re often killed for teeth, liver oil, and cartilage, despite any science showing these have any exceptional health benefits. And as long as there’s demand for shark fins, it’ll by default keep these other industries alive as well.
- Sharks aren’t (usually) dangerous. The myth instilled by “Jaws” that sharks are just out to eat us all up has led many to believe finning is doing us a favor by removing these creatures from the oceans. But not only is it not true — shark bites often occur when we’re mistaken for their preferred food–it’s critically flawed. At the top of the food chain, sharks keep many other fish and marine species populations in check. Without healthy shark populations, ocean life will be thrown out of balance fast.
- Sharks want to live. Despite the belief that these creatures are just laser-focused killing machines, numerous studies have pointed to sentience among fish. Sharks, for example, like to have their bellies rubbed, NPR reported last year. Some estimates suggest a shark can live 100 to 150 years…that is, unless he or she winds up in a bowl of soup.
Feeding the leader of the free world anytime soon? Here’s a vegan shark fin soup recipe you can make for him instead.