Lynne GoldsmithShark Finning for Soup: 150 Million Sharks Killed Yearly
Animal Rights Poetry By Lynne Goldsmith From

Poems of compassion dedicated to the non-human animals who share this planet with us and the people who fight for them.

Shark Finning for Soup: 150 Million Sharks Killed Yearly
By Lynne Goldsmith

Amputate each human limb,
then throw the body back to land.

That’s what you have—
that’s what you do—
in your shark fin soup
bowl of wealth
your worth to prove

from bloodied loss of sinking hard
to bleed to death or suffocate,
no more the gills to filter water,

no more the self protecting fate
on ocean floor to wait for prey
to feed off you, nothing more

than fin chopped dropped in food
as some show of generosity,
power bestowed, centuries ago

Emperor Taizu
of Song Dynasty
commanding approval

so easy for hard, non-nutritional
enough cartilage to give—

not to allow what was yours—

belonged to you in body, each fin
worn down to symbol of class
in a swirl, today still
amid clinking of glass,
dipping of spoons
to the reaching down,
unmindful removals.

©Lynne Goldsmith, 2020

Shark fin
Image by Derryn Williamson on Pixabay

NOTE: With a decrease in shark populations, the health of coral reefs and seagrass beds also decline.

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