In a 2010 essay titled “To eat or not to eat,” Jason reflected on the Cantonese culture of eating shark’s fin soup at weddings and other celebratory feasts:
“The debate over the political correctness of eating shark’s fin annoyed me. I was miffed because a slice of our cultural heritage is under siege. Once again, the Chinese ingenuity that turns the most improbable of ingredients into haute cuisine has been vilified as third-world savagery. It made me want to order the soup even more just as an act of defiance against Western prejudices.
That was until the ghastly reality of finning hit me like a ton of bricks, shattering all romanticism and sentimentality surrounding our culinary tradition. Look up the phrase ‘shark finning’ on YouTube and you will find hundreds of graphic videos of fishermen hacking the fins off live sharks before the finless things are unceremoniously tossed back into the bloodied ocean to die a slow death. You would think humanity has made enough progress not to tolerate such cruelty even to animals. It makes me wonder why finning remains legal in most international waters when equally condemnable acts like tusking elephants and beheading gorillas are banned under conservation laws.”
After that essay was published, Jason began working with the Hong Kong chapter of Shark Savers, a global organization founded in 2007 to save the world’s dwindling shark population. In 2012, he became an ambassador for Shark Savers HK’s “I’m FINished with FINS” campaign, joining dozens of local celebrities and public figures in a call for citizens to stop eating shark’s fins with the ultimate goal to end the fin trade.
To date, many restaurants and hotels in Hong Kong, including the Shangri-La and the Peninsula, have heeded the call and gone shark free. By 2015, 29 airlines around the world along with UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, have committed to not transporting any shark’s fin on their fleets.
To find out more, visit www.sharksavers.org.