Much has been made of the shark-fin soup issue, from the perspective of animal rights to the rights of consumers to eat specific foods, and now to cultural differences [“Restaurant owner says ‘bananas’ don’t get importance of shark-fin soup”, web-only]. I don’t believe the controversy around this city decision [to ban shark-fin soup] has anything to do with the above; rather, it’s a matter of equality and discrimination.
As a locally born Canadian who is ethnic Chinese, I have long been a personal advocate of animal rights. I have saved birds and small animals that have been injured and donated to wildlife-rescue funds, and I abhor hunting, trapping, foie gras, seal clubbing, caged chicken coops, and the wearing of furs.
Yet I abhor even more the city’s decision. Why? Because in the face of all the above-mentioned animal abuses, only the practice specific to Vancouverites of Chinese ethnicity was targeted. So again, the ethnic Chinese of Vancouver and Canada are being used as a scapegoat, as if they are the only guilty party.
The city decision is racially discriminatory. And Coun. Kerry Jang has proven once again that he is using his ethnicity as a guise to target ethnic Chinese Vancouverites in an attempt to blend into his voter base.
So the real controversy is not about animal rights at all—or even “bananas” versus new immigrants—but simply about racial discrimination in Vancouver and how the city is promoting it.
> Edmond Wong / Vancouver