April 27, 2011

Give Up The Soup!

Life with my boys is never dull. Just when I think there are no surprises lurking around the corner, I get clobbered in the head with something.

Apparently we have a budding activist in Nathan. We got our first taste of this when he was in the 2nd grade and decided to become a vegetarian because of animal rights issues. He actually stuck with it for about 6 months until the lure of a #1 at Whataburger was just too much to resist.

Then about a month ago during dinner, Nathan announces that he has been collecting money at school for a certain fund and will no longer be eating fish because of cruelty to fish. Especially cruelty to sharks in the making of shark fin soup which is a delicacy in this part of the world.

My initial reaction was slight irritation mixed with awe at his tenacity in getting out of eating something he didn't want to eat in the first place. Then he reminded me of how much he loves to eat tuna. It's his favorite Subway sandwich (and we happen to have one within walking distance of our apartment) and now he was going to have to pick something else to eat.

Like meatballs. That come from cows. And I'm sure they were loved on and treated very well until they took their last breath.

I digress.

As the story unfolded, and was later verified with Nathan's teacher, I was honestly shocked at the effort some 10 year old boys took to take a stand against something they had an issue with.

I expect fundraising in an effort to establish a fund to abolish chores to commence at any time.

I think the easiest way to describe what happened is to interview Nathan and let him tell it in his own words. And by own words I mean that he requested to keep all editing rights and to be quoted verbatim.

*insert an eye roll from mom here*

Me: Tell me when this all started.

Nathan: We were doing an Ocean unit in Science class. We all, based on our table groups, were placed into a group. My group was "The Way We Fish and Hunt". Within our groups we each had our own question which mine was "Who and What Suffer From the Way We Fish and Hunt?".

Me: Ok, buddy......so what in the world got you all worked up?

Nathan: Well, what got me worked up was first, my teacher pointed out something called The Cove in Taiji, Japan. Basically what they do is herd the dolphins into a hidden cove and slaughter them. When people found out about this they made a movie and showed it to the people on the streets in Japan.

Another thing that people found out was that they were giving away some of the dolphin meat to schoolchildren which was highly concentrated in mercury.

Me: What did you decide to do?

Nathan: My friends Jay, Lucas, and I decided to collect money to donate to Sea Shepherd which helps not only the dolphins in Japan but also the whale hunting stuff that happens in that Whale Wars show in TV. I also made a power point presentation about it to show to the class.

(Let me just comment here that a few weeks ago Nathan found himself in the principal's office for something that was a case of Nathan being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While he was in the office these same friends made signs that said, "Nathan is innocent" and held them outside the window to the principal's office. Nathan was quickly absolved of all wrongdoing.)

Me: So what was the deal with the Shark Fin Soup?

Nathan: I found out how they get the shark fins is by pulling up a shark and cutting off their fins and then letting them drown.

Me: They drown?

Nathan: Mom.....you know. They can't swim without their fins. I found out that Shark Fin Soup has no nutritional value and no taste.

(Interesting argument except he claims the same to be true with lettuce and most vegetables. Lost points for validity on that one.)

Me: Have you actually tried it?

Nathan: I was put in a situation once where I could have, but I denied it.

Me: How did you go about collecting money?

Nathan: We had jars and we would go around the cafeteria during snack time and we did a quick summary of what was happening and if they had any extra change we asked if they would donate it.

Me: You asked the kids?

Nathan: Yes......well, and any adults that were there. But then Mrs. Baildon interfered because she was all fine with it but didn't know if the office would approve. We had already collected over $75 and that money is still being held to be donated to Sea Shepherd.

Me: What did you hope to accomplish with all this research and collecting money?

Nathan: I wanted a good grade.

And there you have it folks. I think he is truly bothered by what he learned but at the end of the day, it was all about the A. You gotta love the honesty!

This issue with fish has gone beyond Nathan's class as evidenced by the stickers that covered his shirt one afternoon when he came home from school.

Oh, and yes, he is still boycotting the eating of fish.

I will tolerate it until he tries to convince me that asparagus is treated badly and wants to boycott that as well.


  1. MC 1 protests beef every now and again because cows are nto suppossed to be eaten, they are our pets. And we loved Whale Wars;) Wait till that passion matures and burns for the purpose Jesus has for him....hello....watch out!

  2. NO WAY!!! Gabe watched a documentary the other night about The Cove in Japan! He kept calling me into the living room to show me how they made fake rocks and hid video cameras in them to film people killing dolphins. I was like, dude, I love animal documentaries. I do NOT love people-killing-dolphins documentaries. That's crazy. Go Nathan!



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