Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sand, shrimp, and sharks

Originally posted Aug. 5 2009:

This past Monday was a civic holiday here in British Columbia (yay sleeping in) so my dad and I decided to go have lunch. We went to Aberdeen Mall in Richmond to look at the terra cotta warrior display, which was really cool. It's funny that I appreciate it more, having been to Xi'an in China to see the real terra cotta warriors myself, which seems counter-intuitive. But I guess it's because I remember how amazing the actual site is, that seeing the replicas in a small mall in Canada reminds me of that.

Terra cotta warriors in Richmond:

Real terra cotta warriors in Xi'an:

At Aberdeen mall, they also had a really amazing sand sculpture featuring a variety of aspects of Chinese culture: the Great Wall, fireworks, pandas, lanterns, a dragon, etc. The detail was breathtaking:

Afterwards, we had lunch in a seafood restaurant called the Fisherman's Terrace. Judging by the 30 minute wait, it was a popular place. The food was excellent, we had dim sum with all my favourites: har gao, cha siu bao, cheong fun with shrimp, lo mai gai, and mango pudding.

However, on our way out I noticed something sad. In a display window outside the restaurant were two giant shark fins wrapped in red bows. I sort of wanted to throw up. I'm not a vegetarian by any stretch, as my dim sum addiction will vouch for. But I try to eat cruelty-free whenever possible, and I try really hard to eat sustainable foods - no bluefin tuna or farmed salmon. And the thought that two huge, beautiful sharks had to die just so their fins could sit and gather dust in a window really upset me. I can't think of a death much more senseless than that - killing something just because you can, not for any principle or belief no matter how twisted - just for prestige and status and to put its fins in your window and leave its body to rot.

I don't think I'll be having dim sum at this particular restaurant again.

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