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Fancy some endangered fetus soup?
July 21, 2009 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Endangered pangolins (scaly anteaters) have been heavily hunted in China to supply a large demand for food, particularly fetus soup (warning: graphic photos), and Chinese medicine. "Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia" [PDF] a report from TRAFFIC (Wildlife Trade Network) was released yesterday. More on pangolins previously on MetaFilter
posted by booknerd (33 comments total)

 
That soup looks....disturbing. Do they serve it that way so the buyer can rest assured that he/she is getting a real pangolin or is there some psychosomatic value in consuming it whole? Either way, GAH!
posted by Burhanistan at 3:11 PM on July 21, 2009


PDF doesn't work for me.
posted by agregoli at 3:11 PM on July 21, 2009


It's easy for Westerners to treat all Asian cultures as hopelessly weird, but that's wrong. And I will resume holding this opinion very strongly, just as soon as I forget about that "fetus soup" picture.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 3:12 PM on July 21, 2009


c'mon guys, at least it's not MANgolin fetus soup...
posted by auralcoral at 3:16 PM on July 21, 2009


Crap, yeah, maybe a mod can fix that. PDF should point here.
posted by booknerd at 3:19 PM on July 21, 2009


tastes like manatee.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:19 PM on July 21, 2009


Probably more like armadillo.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:20 PM on July 21, 2009


Waiter! There's a naked mole rat in my soup.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:20 PM on July 21, 2009


you're so topical
posted by auralcoral at 3:21 PM on July 21, 2009


from Marianne Moore’s “The Pangolin

Another armored animal–scale
lapping scale with spruce-cone regularity until they
form the uninterrupted central
tail row! This near artichoke with head and legs and
grit-equipped gizzard,
the night miniature artist engineer is,
yes, Leonardo da Vinci’s replica–
impressive animal and toiler of whom we seldom hear.


[. . .]
That is all.
posted by mistersquid at 3:45 PM on July 21, 2009


These endangered animals would probably be less endangered if they weren't so gosh-darn delicious. Or should they be more delicious, so we begin to farm them and let the wild ones go free?
posted by filthy light thief at 3:53 PM on July 21, 2009


I'd never heard of pangolins until this. Then I found out the site wasn't for real.
posted by Obscure Reference at 4:06 PM on July 21, 2009


Some poem--she didn't even try to rhyme 'pangolin.'

Here's a little Ogden Nash:

The Turtle

The turtle lives 'twixt plated decks
Which practically conceal its sex.
I think it clever of the turtle
In such a fix to be so fertile.
posted by box at 4:15 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember looking at the many boxes of dried animal penises and horns that filled a pharmacy window in Singapore and and coming to the firm conviction that traditional Chinese medicine was a load of BS.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:25 PM on July 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Arabs : gender inequality :: Asians : animal cruelty. Not every cultural difference is worth respecting.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:31 PM on July 21, 2009


the firm conviction that traditional Chinese medicine was a load of BS.

And responsible for the decimation of hundreds of animal species. It's like:

"Hey there are only five breeding pairs of this exquisite monkey in the entire world! Hmmmm. I wonder if I grind up it's testicles and eat them if it will make my dick harder?" [Shoots monkey.]
posted by tkchrist at 4:35 PM on July 21, 2009


Bye bye, pangolins.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:47 PM on July 21, 2009


Why is every Asian dish involving endangered animals used to enhance male virility? Somebody send 'em some godamn Viagra.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:22 PM on July 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


This near artichoke

Sorry, Salads With Meat are a few threads up.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:27 PM on July 21, 2009


I remember showing my grandmother a picture of a pangolin - this fascinating creature! - when I was little and she corrected me and said there was no such animal. I believed that for years. Of course, my grandmother didn't believe the moon landing was real, either.
posted by memewit at 5:40 PM on July 21, 2009


Man, where is mattdidthat when you need him?
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:01 PM on July 21, 2009


tkchrist: "the firm conviction that traditional Chinese medicine was a load of BS.

And responsible for the decimation of hundreds of animal species. It's like:

"Hey there are only five breeding pairs of this exquisite monkey in the entire world! Hmmmm. I wonder if I grind up it's testicles and eat them if it will make my dick harder?" [Shoots monkey.]
"

"Boy, this bird sure is stupid, and it makes for some fine eatin'. Sure there aren't as many as there used to be, but who'll miss them?" [Shoots dodo.]
posted by TheNewWazoo at 7:47 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


See, I just read Alastair Reynolds' The Prefect, where "Pangolin" refers to a specific type of very-high-up security clearance in a far-future state. Finished it last night. Meant to look up the word, see if it meant anything or if it was fabricated. And now this! Thanks, Metafilter, for being convenient.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:32 PM on July 21, 2009


i will remember this to every dippy moron i meet who claims that chinese medicine is better than "western" medicine.
posted by klanawa at 9:32 PM on July 21, 2009


Truly amazing creatures. The first time I ever saw a picture I refused to believe it was real. How could such an awesome prehistoric looking creature exist and I not know about it?

They curl up like armadillos. And there are several varieties. There are tree pangolins and ground pangolins. It would be such a crime if they got hunted to extinction in Asia and Africa, as it may already be in India and Malaysia.
posted by eye of newt at 10:33 PM on July 21, 2009


I find it sad that every animal purported to enhance virility and/or fertility seems to be an animal on the brink of extinction. Yeah, that makes sense.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:32 PM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


its mildly ironic that creatures failing to breed are thought to harbour fertility.

what is this, homeopathy's guerrilla division?
posted by breadfruit at 4:30 AM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Arabs : gender inequality :: Asians : animal cruelty.

Good thing this wasn't on my SAT cause I most certainly would've gotten it wrong.
posted by breadfruit at 4:34 AM on July 22, 2009


I just want to meet the guy that saw a pangolin and thought, I bet its fetus will taste awesome cooked in a onion and carrot broth.
posted by dov3 at 9:19 AM on July 22, 2009


I just want to meet the guy that saw a pangolin and thought, I bet its fetus will taste awesome cooked in a onion and carrot broth.

the wiki link says scales aren't yet formed on newborns. i would assume this is why they go for fetuses.
posted by breadfruit at 9:48 AM on July 22, 2009




Cool pdf. I love it when conference proceedings like those are available online for easy distribution and reference. The info-hog in me is sitting on a mountain of informational goods, gleefully rubbing its hands together.

The article mentions that a lead poacher has been sentenced to life in prison, with others in the smuggling ring getting significant sentences as well. Which makes it sound like the toughy law and order repercussions are already part of the scene, on the books at least. But because of the way the appetite for exotic meats have risen in China, it seems to me that what (and who) gets criminalized is ass-backwards. The meterioc rise of a super-affluent class after economic liberalization makes conspicuous consumption very much socially acceptable, if not actively desirable. The quickest way to change whether eating exotic wildlife is a wildly acceptable aspect of those patterns of consumption is to slap fines/criminal charges on anyone willing to sell or buy those items.

Of course, that's about as likely as the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods getting charged with animal cruelty.

And oh, the recommendations from Traffic also sound pretty good.

Lessee: smattering of jokes about The Mysterious Orient and Their Unvirile Men, vaguely topical poetry, unfounded generalizations, and some yummy islamophobia to boot. All in the name of decrying the brutal culling of the nerd equivalent of SeaKittens. Oh white liberals. What would the world do without you?
posted by dustyasymptotes at 2:57 PM on July 22, 2009


Oh white liberals. What would the world do without you?

...think libertarian-techie fetus soup.
posted by bonobothegreat at 3:35 PM on July 22, 2009


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