Jackie Chan: I turned down shark fin soup
Jackie Chan, the martial arts star, describes the importance of challenging the beliefs in traditional remedies which is leads to the trade in rhino horns and how he turned down shark fin soup at a government dinner
Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan says it was a documentary, that changed his childhood beliefs in traditional remedies and made him realise "how important it was to save the wildlife".
The 58-year-old Chan, now a spokesman for wildlife charity WildAid, said: "When I was younger I thought shark fin soup was good for the skin, for collagen. I thought tiger bone oil was good for when you get hurt.
"When I see [the documentary] I say 'Wow!' and realised [I was] so wrong. Then I told my friends. I told my son.
"I asked the doctors – is that true that rhino horn helps people? They said no, it’s nonsense. It’s the wrong message."
He is not afraid to stand up for convictions, refusing food at government functions if it comes from endangered animals.
"Ten years ago, when I was making a film in China, the government brought me a dinner.
"I sit down; boom – they give me shark fin soup. I said put it away. I said can I have some other soup, I just don’t like shark fin soup.
"They buy a dinner for me, one person, but [but there are] 20 people [eating] around with me. If I stop, 20 people stop."
Chan says it will take time to change attitudes that date back millennia, but he hopes that now the Chinese government is backing his projects the situation will rapidly improve.