Woman to Hang Herself from Hooks in S.F. to Protest Shark Fin Soup

Alice Newstead, shark pasionaria
The debate over a proposed state ban on the sale of shark fins has involved plenty of shouting in San Francisco. Environmentalists note that shark-finning is a grisly practice that has devastated the animals' population. But shark fin soup is a prized delicacy among Chinese Americans, leading some in San Francisco to take up the cause of preserving the fin trade as a cultural issue.

AB 376 passed the California Assembly in May, and is now being considered by the state Senate. But just in case the argument over shark fin soup wasn't already emotional enough, a stunt is taking place in San Francisco tomorrow that is sure to provoke strong reactions (and perhaps some turned stomachs). Performance artist Alice Newstead plans to shove shark hooks through her skin and hang herself from scaffolding in a cosmetics shop, to "shed light on the plight of sharks and how their future is literally hanging in the balance."


Newstead is being sponsored in her endeavor by LUSH Cosmetics, a business that has taken up the anti-shark-fin cause and launched a commemorative line of soap, Shark Fin Soap, the proceeds of which go to support efforts to ban the fin trade. Newstead will engage in her act of self-mortification at noon at the LUSH store at 2116 Union St.

Be forewarned: Photos of Newstead's past exploits (including the above shot, taken in London) suggest that this demonstration isn't for the faint of heart.

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Margaret Dooley
Margaret Dooley

I have to ask, "would the sharks ever make a similar sacrifice for this woman?" No. They would eat her. I'm all for saving the sharks, but I think this is a bad choice for this woman's life. Let's stage a protest to protect her back!


We're not talking about eating or not eating sharks, but of the taking of their fin and then leaving them helpless within their environment. All this is is a little respect for a creature that's been around here a very long time, with or without any help from us. If we can feed our fat faces with just about every type of edible creature at our disposal, then at least give them the proper respect they deserve, in this case to be able to survive like it was intended. Eat the entire thing or leave it alone, or at least make every intent to do so! Such a big thing to ask? To equate what sacrifice a shark would do for another human is simply an assinine statement, specious is even more accurate--Sharks are sharks, and we are what we are. Sharks kill to eat and so do we, but not always, huh/ I think we call it sport. Put that in your next batch of soup!---raymind


Helpful that the gross-out warning is shown AFTER the photo.

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