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Unlike numerous other animal rights groups, non-governmental organisation WildAid aims to combat the problem of illegal wildlife trade – most notably the killing of sharks for their fins, elephants and rhinos for their precious ivory, and tigers for their skins – by attacking the problem at its source: the people whose money encourages it. The group’s message is simple: “When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

With the help of numerous high-profile figures like footballer David Beckham and even Britain’s Prince William, WildAid puts pressure on the people providing the demand for these “luxury” items. This week, world-famous actress, animal rights campaigner and, in our opinion, full-time babe Maggie Q appeared in the group’s newest commercial, which aired in China. The ad, titled “Impress”, aims to dissuade wealthy Chinese from eating shark fin soup, with Maggie telling both her date and TV-watching China that although there are many ways to impress a woman, shark fin soup is definitely not one of them.

Despite tasting decidedly bland, shark fin soup is seen as a symbol of wealth in China and some Southeast Asian countries, and is often served on special occasions such as weddings and formal ceremonies. Campaigners have warned for years that, as well as being tremendously cruel, shark finning is having a devastating effect on marine ecology, but vast numbers of sharks – and often juveniles, thus threatening their numbers even further – are pulled from the water each day by fishermen, who receive barely a fraction of what their employers make selling the fins on.

Although a number of hotels and organisations in China have turned their backs on the controversial dish, public awareness remains worryingly low, so ads such as WildAid’s are required to help hammer the message home. And having a beautiful star on board like Mission Impossible 3 and Die Hard 4‘s Maggie Q undoubtedly helps.

He was no good for you anyway, Maggie; you should find yourself a man who is neither able nor feels the need to shower you with expensive trinkets to win your love. Someone on an average wage with a web-based job, perhaps…

Source: YouTube, WildAid