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[经济学人] [2011.10.01]Conservation in China: Lone sharks 孤独的鲨鱼

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发表于 2011-10-10 15:17 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Conservation in China
中国野生动物保护
Lone sharks

孤独的鲨鱼
Persuading the Chinese to give up shark’s fin soup

谨劝中国人弃食鱼翅汤


Some nets he doesn’t like 他喜欢篮网,不喜欢渔网

IS THE tide turning against shark’s fin soup? Conservationists certainly hope so. On September 22nd in Shanghai WildAid, a charity, launched a campaign to persuade Chinese people to give up eating the delicacy. Celebrity support for the bid was provided by Yao Ming, a Chinese basketball star, and Sir Richard Branson, a British business star. In California, meanwhile, a ban on the sale, trade and possession of sharks’ fins has been passed by the state senate, and awaits only the governor’s signature to become law.
鱼翅汤是否即将失去市场?野生动物保护者当然希望如此。9月22日,一家慈善机构——野生救援协会在上海发起了一场旨在劝说国人放弃食用鱼翅汤的活动。这次活动请来了中国篮球明星姚明和英国商业巨星理查德•布兰森做代言人。同时,在加利福尼亚州,一项禁止非法持有、销售、交易鱼翅的法案已通过了州议会的审议,只要州长在该法案上签字,便立即具备法律效力。

The booming Chinese appetite for shark’s fin soup is known to be the driving force behind the depletion of shark species worldwide. Matt Rand, director of Global Shark Conservation at the Pew Environment Group, says that more than 30% of shark species are at risk of extinction. Marine ecosystems depend on the presence of high-level predators to keep other species in check, he says. Yet many Chinese accuse the campaigners of double standards. Why should shark’s fin, an important part of certain Chinese feasts, be banned, they ask? Why not ban bluefin tuna, which is also critically endangered, but more widely eaten by Westerners?
中国人对鱼翅汤不断增长的饮食需求,使得全球范围内鲨鱼物种濒临灭绝。全球鲨鱼保护协会隶属皮尤环境组织,该协会会长马修•兰德指出,超过30%的鲨鱼物种面临着灭绝的危险。他还说,海洋生态系统需要高等级的食肉动物来保持物种间的生态平衡。然而,许多中国人谴责活动倡议者,认为他们在野生动物保护的问题上采取双重标准。他们质疑道,为何要禁食中国人常吃的鲨鱼翅,却不禁食西方人常吃的金枪鱼呢?金枪鱼难道不是也面临着绝种的危险么?

Lacking any inherent flavour, shark’s fin is treasured in China for its strandy, gelatinous “mouth feel”, its centuries-old status as a prized dish and its astronomical price. Serving it honours both host and guest. Most Westerners, unschooled in its pleasures, consider it a pointless delicacy. Juliet Eilperin, an American author, sums up the general Western viewpoint in “Demon Fish”, a book about sharks. A frond of fin, she says, is “a translucent, tasteless bit of noodle” and shark’s fin soup “one of the greatest scams of all time”. Eating it, Ms Eilperin suggests, is even more reprehensible than eating other morally objectionable foods such as delicious foie gras, because there is “no gastronomic pay-off”.
鱼翅虽无特有的味道,但却由于其爽滑的口感、百年来备受推崇的地位和高昂的价格而受到中国人的青睐。在餐桌上呈上鱼翅这道菜,不仅彰显了主人家的高贵地位,也体现了主人对客人的尊重。大多数西方人由于没有吃过鱼翅汤,认为它是一种毫无意义的食品。美国作家Juliet Eilperin在她的著作《魔鬼鱼》中总结了西方人关于鱼翅汤的普遍观点。她说,一叶鱼翅“就像是半透明的、无味道的面条一样”,而鱼翅汤是“史上最坑爹的食物之一”。她认为,食用鱼翅汤是应受到指责的,比食用鹅肝那些在道义上不应食用的食品更甚,因为鹅肝好歹味美,而鱼翅汤“毫无美食意义可言”。

Celebrity endorsements and well-meaning Californians aside, the question now is whether wealthy Chinese in Asia can be persuaded to stop eating shark’s fin. Sceptics abound. Being lectured by Westerners on cultural or moral issues gets right up the noses of most Chinese. But if disapproval of the consumption of shark’s fin encourages the Chinese to see it as luo hou (backward), one of the most dreaded of all Chinese epithets, they might want to renounce the stuff anyway.
除却名人广告和善意的加州州民,目前的关键问题在于中国的富人能否听得进劝说而不再食用鱼翅。对此,许多人持怀疑态度。西方人对中国人进行文化或道德上的说教,常常使大多数中国人感到十分恼火。但如果对食用鱼翅汤的不认同能够促使中国人将其看作一种“落后”的行为,他们无论如何也会放弃这一美味,因为在中国人眼中,“落后”是一个令他们感到十分厌恶的词语。

This has already happened with spitting in the streets, which many Chinese now regard as a backward habit. Eating dogs, too, is increasingly viewed as barbaric (a 600-year old dog-eating festival in eastern China was cancelled in September after public uproar). If the new Chinese elite can be persuaded that deliberately eating endangered species ill befits their aspirations to cosmopolitanism, there might be some hope for the sharks. Other threatened creatures that find their way, legally and illegally, into Chinese cooking pots could also be spared.
这一心态可以从在大街上随地吐痰中看出来,如今,许多中国人都将其视为一种落后的习惯。同样,吃狗肉也逐渐被认为是一种野蛮的行为。吃狗肉的习俗在中国东部的一些地方沿袭了600年,然而今年9月份,狗肉节却在一片公众的骚乱声中取消。如果新生的中国精英阶层能被说服,相信蓄意食用濒危物种违背了他们对世界主义的渴望,那么鲨鱼还有生存的希望。其他被端上中国人餐桌的濒危动物,无论是通过合法途径还是非法途径,也可以幸免于难。

Already, farms are springing up outside Chinese cities to cater to more sophisticated Chinese consumers seeking out “green foods” such as free-range meat and poultry, or organically grown vegetables. Ethical and environmental concerns will surely follow. There are precedents for the disappearance of classic Chinese dishes on conservation grounds. Bear’s paw, for example, is no longer eaten openly. Instead, you may be offered imitation bear’s paw made from mutton pushed into a paw-shaped mould. Imitation shark’s fin is already available should anybody want it. And when the social cachet of a fabulously expensive delicacy is required, these days a bottle of Château Lafite might do.
在中国城市的周边地区,已经兴起了许多农场。这些农场旨在迎合中国人对“绿色食品”的需要,如家养肉禽,有机蔬菜等。人们对道德和环境问题的担忧必将接踵而至。为了保护野生动物,许多传统的中国菜已经从餐桌上消失。例如,熊掌已经不再在公开场合下食用,喜爱熊掌的食客可以选择用羊肉为原料制成的仿制熊掌。如果有人需要仿制鱼翅,现在也可以在市场上买到。如今,如果人们需要通过价格不菲的美食来显示自己的优越地位,一瓶拉菲酒就足够了。

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