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Activism for Sharks Includes Self-Mutilation and Soap

I lamented the apathy with which the American public has reacted to the plight of the Cook Inlet beluga whale last night.

This morning I will counter that story of apathy with short news about remarkable dedication to activism on a similar cause: Opposition to shark finning. Populations of sharks are crashing all around the world, and part of the problem is that immense numbers of sharks are caught by fishing operations that haul them on board, cut off their fins for use in Asian soups, and then throw their bodies overboard as waste.

protesting shark finning with a sharp kind of cleanIn England, Alice Newstead decided to confront this immense waste with a protest worthy of remark. She hung on hooks used to catch sharks in a storefront window in London, the hooks piercing the skin on her back.

The store, LUSH, sells cosmetics, icluding a limited edition bar of soap – shark fin soap. (explanation: it’s not soap made from shark fins. It’s a “cruelty-free” bar of soap with a fake shark fin coming out of the top of the bar of soap) The profits from selling shark fin soap will all go to Sea Shepherd, an organization that confronts illegal fishing and whaling.

Strong action. It’s refreshing to see.

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