After around a month of wrangling, Disney has at last agreed not to offer shark fin soup at Hong Kong Disneyland. (news on 25 June 2005. I'm keeping this thread, partly as may be of interest as record of the arguments against serving shark fin soup (Disney mustered only feeble arguments in favour); there is plenty of info relevant to broader campaign, aiming to get shark fin soup off menus everywhere.
Here are two emails I've received, which have been sent to Disney executives including Michael Eisner re reported plans to include shark's fin soup on banquet menu.
Dear Mr Eisner, I was more than a little upset to find reported (http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Metro/GE18Ak03.html[/url]) that it is planned to serve shark fin soup at banquets in the Hong Kong Disneyland. Could I say that I think this is a mistake of the highest order, no matter that such soup is perceived as prestigious by some consumers, from whom you simply wish to make money, I suppose. Shame on you. Frankly, I find it surprising that you should be unaware of the issue, it having received wide publicity over many years.
On the other hand, I am frequently astounded by people's resistance to doing the right thing - as you can tell from correspondence documented here: http://www.scdc.org.hk/hongkong/sharkfin.html[/url] - and links contained therein, although we have had some notable success in reversing such bad decisions, as you will see. I would be delighted it if we can add your change of heart to that page. Otherwise, we can only encourage everyone to boycott Disney globally, pointing out crass and cynical profiteering. What makes it far worse, of course, is the fact that Disney makes a big point of espousing conservation and environmental awareness and protection. Certainly, from http://corporate.disney.go.com/environmentality/index.html[/url] we read that 'As Jiminy says, "Every little bit makes a big difference," reminding each person that we all play a critical role in promoting Environmentality. '
And your policy ( http://corporate.disney.go.com/environmentality/environmental_policy.htm... ) says, inter alia: Laws and Regulations Make every effort to understand and adhere to, not only the spirit, but the letter of environmental laws and regulations. Work to identify issues that may not yet be identified in the law, but could result in adverse environmental effects. Strive to exceed required levels of compliance wherever feasible. - which all suggests that your public heart is in the right place.
Oddly enough, the "Environmentality" link for http://disney.go.com/disneyhand/environmentality/index.html on the side bar on http://disney.go.com/disneyhand/environmentality/dwcf_organizations.html is broken - perhaps reflective of the company's attitude internally? There is no doubt, as judged by global scientific consensus, that sharks are in trouble. You are, quite overtly and directly contributing to their demise. I will not rehearse the voluminous evidence, the harrowing effects, and the ghastly future prospects, but should you need I will be happy to provide this material. No doubt others will be doing this anyway.
Could I suggest a more positive approach? Admit that it was an error, remove shark fin soup from all menus, advertise the fact - and why. Turn it to educational and PR advantage. Or would you rather be seen to be trying to profit shamelessly in a classic example of internal contradiction? After all, if MasterCard and Cathay Pacific can do it, so can you. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and a prompt change in the menu in HK - and elsewhere in the world if other sites serve shark fin at present. Many thanks, BWD Prof. Brian W. Darvell Reader in Dental Materials Science, The University of Hong Kong
To: Mr. Michael Eisner, Chief Executive Officer, Disney World, Hong Kong. Dear Mr Eisner, Earthcare and her members were surprised at your recent promotion of the expensive banquets and the menu that would cause adverse consequences to the already depleting ocean resources. Earthcare and international groups have been working hard to stop the wasteful and cruel practices of live sharks finning for years.
Nowadays, advanced corporations put "Corporate Social Reponsibility" and "Ethical issues" high up on their agenda. Recent reports of local newspaper about your plans to serve shark fin soup at banquets in the Hong Kong Disneyland are not socially responsible/ethical acts. As part of your proposed plan is to attract both local and Mainland Chinese customers, no doubt, it is of utmost importance that you do not give the wrong message to some Mainland Chinese people who may not be alerted to the shark fin issue.
As the shark fin issue had received wide publicity over many years, we hope that Disney would not just pay lip service to the principles of conservation and environmental awareness and protection. In fact, this is the best opportunity to tell the world and people from both Hong Kong and Mainland China that sharks and ocean resources are in plight. I look forward to hearing from you soon for a positive remedial action about the issue.
Yours sincerely, NG Wai Yee Director Earthcare
Post edited by: martin, at: 2005/06/25 15:55