The bluefin tuna is being grossly overfished, and is on its way to extinction. The reason? Fishermen can sell a single bluefin for $173,000. At first thought, you might feel like blaming the greedy fishermen (and I think there is some fault there), but here’s an article that assigns the blame more appropriately: fault the rich assholes who regard paying an obscene price for a small bite to be part of the cachet of the fish.
“People believe in their hearts that a piece of raw fish is worth $600. And one of the main reasons that it’s worth $600 is because you can’t afford it and I can’t, but they can. That makes it very special, and it makes people who eat it special.
“Any kind of luxury goods largely come from that sort of statement: I can afford it, and you can’t. I’ll drive a Maserati, even if I can’t drive it faster than 65 miles per hour in most of the United States. I can afford a $280,000 car, and you’re stuck with a Dodge Neon. I can fly private jet, drive a Maserati, do anything I bloody well please, including having a $600 piece of fish. And you can’t.”
And this is the brutal truth: bluefin, which beyond their intrinsic value as living creatures happen to be one of the universe’s more majestic species, a Platonic ideal of oceanic speed and grace, aren’t being extinguished by our greed. They’re being sacrificed to our vanity, pretension, and ostentation — the most pathetic of our vices.
Keep that in mind, rich assholes of the world. When you throw down huge amounts of cash for luxury items, the rest of us aren’t watching you admiringly. We think you’re vain and pretentious and, well, revolting, in the most pathetic sense of the word.