The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

27 December 2007

SOS ALERT: Save Our Sharks

Chinese New Year is nearly here (which is on 7th February in 2008, the Year of the Rat), and no doubt sharks fin soup will be on the menu in many households and restaurants….

Every year, in oceans around the world, tens of millions of sharks are hunted to meet the demand for shark fin soup. Sharks’ fins are often removed when the animals are still alive; the sharks are then thrown back into the water to endure a painful death from suffocation, blood loss, or predation by other species. Sharks are apex predators who play an essential role in marine ecosystems. The cruel and ecologically devastating practice of shark finning endangers their survival.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Never consume or serve any products containing shark fin. You should also be aware that consuming shark fin can have health implications, especially for children and pregnant women.

2. If you see shark fin on a restaurant menu, ask the management to stop serving it. Ask the restaurant to sign a No Shark Fin pledge. Download Consumer Cards and Pledge Forms from the Humane Society which you can print out and hand to restaurant managers. Give the Humane Society contact information of any business you come across that offers, markets or promotes shark fin.

3. Distribute brochures on ending the cruel practice of shark finning, downloadable in both English and simplified Chinese from the Humane Society website.

9. You yourself sign the Humane Society International’s No Shark Fin pledge and sign up to receive action alerts from the Humane Society International.

These are some of the other campaigns run by the Humane Society:
Animal cruelty and fighting
Factory farming
Fur and trapping
Puppy mills
Chimps in research
Seal hunting
Horse slaughter
Pets for life
Wild neighbours

Check out the animal channel at:

Humane Society:
Humane Society International:

Also check out People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with 1.6 million members. They aim to “establish and protect the rights of all animals. Like humans, animals are capable of suffering and have interests in leading their own lives; therefore, they are not ours to use – for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation or any other reason. PETA-named affiliates around the world educate policymakers and the public about cruelty to animals and promote an understanding of the right of all animals to be treated with respect.”

PETA in the UK:
PETA in the USA:

Make a New Year’s resolution. Going vegan not only protects animals, but also reduces your carbon footprint considerably, thereby contributing towards action against global warming. If you can’t manage going completely vegan, try it once a week or go vegetarian (when you can eat animal products such as milk and cheese.

Make an animal-friendly New Year’s resolution for 2008 to go Vegan or to go Vegetarian. Download the Top Ten reasons to go vegetarian in 2008 and order a free vegetarian starter kit. Do all of this at

Check out these affiliate websites:

Take a look at Irene Schleining’s animal website which focuses on whales and other endangered species at:

And Have a Whale of a Time. And best wishes for the New Year, and for doing your bit in 2008 to change the world.


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