NO PUN INTENDED, har har. See, this week’s cover story is all about sharks. Specifically, the debate — and the data — surrounding shark fin soup, which current legislation aims to ban on the grounds of animal cruelty, but which some argue is an important Chinese cultural symbol.
Much of the defense of the soup centers around the argument that the fins are a natural byproduct of the shark meat industry, and that banning fins would constitute not only an assault on Chinese-American culture, but an unfair attack on shark fisherman and a waste of food, plain and simple. Not so simple, as it turns out: as reporter Hannah Dreier discovers, scientific and trade studies suggest that shark finning isn’t actually just a fundamental fact of the larger shark meat industry, but that it’s a cruel and unnecessary practice that effectively leaves sharks for dead in the water. Get all the sad, gory details here.