(Might be helpful if you do a little
I'm not a Buddhist. I'm an atheist. (Owned up to that one ages ago.)
But I really like the way Buddhism works, if you know what I mean!
Without getting even slightly mystical about it, I feel compelled and, equally, determined to integrate every element of my life - work, relationships, eating, sleep, leisure - into a single, contiguous and internally consistent philosophy.
I'm not an expert on permaculture; I'm not even what you might call an adherent.
But I really like the way it works - and I use bits of it pretty much every day.
I appreciate efficiency, elegant design, appropriate technology, optimising resources, allowing 'nature' to do its thing … but helping it along if required.
It's an integrated, wholistic, systematic approach to making things work better - both Locally and Globally.
Back to shark fin soup!
The following extract is lifted from the 'homework' link above.
I've deleted a few points to avoid complexity - leaving us with only five (but plan to revisit these principles again).
Selected extracts are in italics; my comments are appended to each in Roman; 'shark fin soup' is abbreviated to 'sfs'.
Holmgren's 12 design principles
These restatements of the principles of permaculture appear in David Holmgren's Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability
Apply self-regulation and accept feedback - We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
Where is the incentive for the sfs industry to 'self-regulate' if consumers don't do anything to 'discourage inappropriate activity'?
The Market God is blind to all evils until the Market God itself - you and I - shoves a red-hot poker up its own backside.
This method shut down the ivory and fur trades so transforming the shark fin trade should be a doddle.
Use and value renewable resources and services - Make the best use of natures abundance to reduce our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources.
Produce no waste - By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
These two principles, both packed with value, merge.
Rather than controlling nature, we have every 'right' to manage its renewable resources in a genuinely sustainable fashion.
In doing this, we should waste nothing. If killing sharks is sustainable - and, under a quota system, it should be - then we have an an obligation to waste none of it. As matters stand, the market for sfs is anything but sustainable.
As for "our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources": refer to my earlier comments regarding Greenpeace's wasteful and indulgent activities.
It's run by smart, capable people who can and should do better once they get over their addiction to fame.
Integrate rather than segregate - By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
Refer to my opening statement.
Seriously, the only hope for our planet is "the getting of wisdom".
Every act we undertake as individuals has consequences. Most of them impact on others.
I feel we should seek, at all times, to ensure our actions offer a nett benefit to our fellow six billion "travellers" - even those yet to be born.
Let's make an effort to get these relationships right.
Creatively use and respond to change - We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.
It's great to finish on a positive note!
(I'm the first to admit that my posts contain a lot of criticisms. I use the analogy of "The Emperor's New Clothes": before a problem can be fixed it must be recognised as such.)
Just as the philosophy of Permaculture accepts and even embraces change, we all need to do the same.
Peak Oil has come and gone over the past few years and the reality is finally sinking in.
The knee-jerk reaction was bio-fuels as a solution, but - for a change - the Reality Check kicked in pretty damn quickly!
Dedicating agricultural resources to fuel means less food (and / or dearer food - for those who can still afford it).
Well, sorry, DUH!
It might be an idea to bite the bullet and start weaning ourselves off the teat of self-indulgence (a.k.a. overconsumption).
To close the current discussion for now …
In simple terms: if a large shark fin equates to a single meal for one wealthy, self-indulgent person, how many needy people would the whole animal feed?
Doesn't it make sense to meet the nutritional requirements as many as possible from a decreasing pro rata food supply?
Bottom line: let the tossers have their sfs under a quota system.
But make the bastards pay for it, Bigtime, ensuring the rest of the animal goes to the hungry at a subsidised rate.
(Could the Coalition of the Willing start doing something useful for a change, like maintaining an economic blockade along other than racist, ideological lines? I have my doubts.)