Thank you to Peter and the folks at Vancouver Humane Society for speaking out in solidarity and bringing light to an important topic that needs to be discussed in all movements – whether that be animal rights or conservation – that involve multiple communities.
Any animal lover who has seen photos or videos of caged dogs being sold for meat in Chinese or Korean markets will know the rage that such images provoke. And in any discussion about the issue you will often hear that rage expressed in attacks on the cultures of those countries and, too often, in outright racism toward Asians. It’s common, for example, to see racist posts on social media in response to news stories about incidents of inhumane treatment of animals in Asia. While the anger is understandable, the racist hatred is not and it discredits the compassionate values that underpin the animal rights movement.
There is certainly nothing wrong with criticizing or condemning a country for its policies or cultural activities that cause animal suffering. But to condemn an entire race or to allow anger to turn to hate is not only wrong, it does nothing to address the issues. It’s also hypocritical, as no nation or race is without examples of animal cruelty. Canada, with its factory farms, trophy hunting, seal clubbing, fur industry, rodeos and circuses is no paragon of animal rights virtue.
Aside from being offensive, tarring a race with animal cruelty is just nonsensical. Here in Vancouver, a number of Asian Canadians are at the forefront of the animal protection movement.
It’s finally happening! Come and celebrate the launch of Hua Foundation (parent organization of Shark Truth), hosted by Chinatown’s Bao Bei Brasserie. And because celebration for us is synonymous with sharing a delicious meal together, we are proud to be collaborating with Winner Winner Chicken Dinner to be serving a five-course homestyle dinner featuring local ingredients that will take your tastebuds from Taiwan to Singapore to Beijing!
Seats are limited, get your tickets while you can http://hualaunch.bpt.me/
($68 includes a drink and a five-course dinner!)
Can’t make it? Sponsor a ticket for someone like youth.
❝ABOUT HUA FOUNDATION❞
With origins in our cross-cultural conservation work at Shark Truth, we’ve expanded to a new organization called Hua Foundation. We are a youth-driven non-profit based in Vancouver dedicated to bringing together the worlds of cultural heritage and social change with an environmental lens. Some of you may have heard about Shark Truth – one of our (now-)programs that works on cross-cultural shark conservation. We have stopped 80,000 bowls of shark fin, empowered hundreds of wedding couples to go Fin Free, and expanded our work to Hong Kong. Now we are looking at other environmental issues that impact our community around food. Come find out what we have planned for 2014 around food security, including a seasonal Asian produce guide and sparking a conversation around organic Asian produce.
❤ SHOUT OUTS TO OUR SPONSORS ❤
Bao Bei is a modern Chinese restaurant in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown that cultivates intimate dining experiences by providing small plates meant to be shared amongst a close group of friends and family. Influences are taken from Taiwan and Shanghai as well as the Sichuan province but we continue to look for ideas and inspiration from other cultures that results in a style of cuisine unique to Bao Bei.
Today, we are excited to announce that we’re expanding. Since the beginning of our work at Shark Truth – working with wedding couples and families to go Fin Free – we knew we were on the cusp of a new kind of activism: one that simultaneously embraces culture *and* change.
Throughout our work these past four years, we’ve begun to see how much our community wants to participate in environmental action but beyond going Fin Free, they – like ourselves – are stuck at the question, “I already stopped eating shark fin, now what?” Moreover, many Hua youth struggle with how to straddle the worlds of tradition and sustainability. Where do we draw the lines, where do we keep them open?
This is why we’re thrilled to announce that we’re expanding to a new organization called Hua Foundation that aims to bring together the worlds of cultural heritage and environmental action. The name Hua is a play on words of Hua Ren [Cantonese: Wah Yun] 華人 – “peoples of ethnic Chinese descent,” Bian Hua [C: Bin Faa] 變化 – “change,” and Wen Hua [C: Man Faa] 文化 – “culture.” Our new Intercultural Food Literacy program looks at what healthy, local eating means for the Hua community. Part of our work will also involve reconnecting youth to their traditional foods and practices using an environmental lens.
Shark Truth’s Work Continues
Our work at Shark Truth will continue as a program under Hua Foundation. The pilot we implemented with Hong Kong Shark Foundation last year was a tremendous success – bringing our total count of shark fin bowls stopped to 80,000. For 2014, we’re going to focus our energies on securing funds to open-source the Happy Hearts Love Sharks wedding contest so ally organizations around the world can use this proven conservation action model for free.
On the legislative end of things, we will continue talking to our organizational partners on how to bring forth effective shark conservation policy in Canada and around the world.
Our Team & What’s Next
To support our expanded work, we’re welcoming in a new Board of Directors as well as some stellar leaders to our Advisory Board. This time around, Kevin and I will be the Co-Executive Directors of Hua Foundation. We’ll be sharing the responsibility of strategy, planning, and development of the programs. Right now we’re working hard to fundraise for our Intercultural Food Literacy program and open-sourcing the Wedding Contest. Next month, we’ll be holding a fundraiser at Bao Bei Brasserie (tickets available here).
Thank you for your unwavering support – we hope you’ll continue to be a part of building this beautiful community that supports sharks, culture, and our planet.
With gratitude and excitement,
Founder & Executive Director
Shark Truth Society
#1) Aeromexico goes Shark Free on all their domestic and international routes!
#2) EVA Air Cargo (Taiwan)
2013/09/13 EVA Airways will abide by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) restrictions and regulations.EVA Airways will not accept cargo booking of shark fin and related products, effective OCT 1st, 2013.Marketing
EVA Airways will abide by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) restrictions and regulations.
EVA Airways will not accept cargo booking of shark fin and related products, effective OCT 1st, 2013.
Great work to MyOcean & Shark Rescue!