By the Shark's Blood We Are Saved!

Remember the shark cartilage cancer “cure” a few years back? Well, it looks like folks are going to be drinking shark’s blood now.

Let’s wait for the scientists to come up with synthetic versions, m’kay? Sharks are declining rapidly enough as it is.

As it stands now I agree for the most part, but if it goes from ‘possible drug use which requires research’ to ‘sharks blood prevents cancer,’ then it’s time for some shark fin soup. Still, to go from a to b probably requires some responsible experimentation on sharks.

Anyway, are there enough dummies in the world who don’t know an iota of basic biology to really think that drinking shark’s blood will somehow transfer shark antibodies? Upon second thought, don’t answer that…

First shark parthenogenesis, now shark blood could possibly save you. The Sharkpocalypse is upon us! Jawsus is coming back!

But is a medicine derived from shark kosher?

I worked with a guy who was in the AAF in WWII. He told me a story that I’ll try to remember. There were five or six of them on a late, nasty night in England. As I recall, he said it was extremely stormy. One guy braved the storm to get some food. He came back after a while and apologised to the one Jewish guy, ‘I’m sorry. All they had was ham sandwiches.’ The Jewish guy took one of the ham sandwiches, lifted the top slice of bread, and pronounced, ‘Ham nothing! That’s fish!’ And he ate the sandwich.

Isn’t there an exception in Jewish doctrine that allows people to deviate from the rules in order to survive?

(And is shark kosher?)

I must say, I’m a bit worried about this new development.

Yes. Survival trumps almost all of Jewish doctrine.

No, shark is not kosher. Shark (1) does not have scales, which is a primary criterion for kosher aquatic life, and (2) is a predator. Kosher animals are never predators nor scavengers.

There seems to be some difference in opinion on this. Some people are comfortable referring to dermal denticles as scales, others presumably regard it as misleading. I don’t know if anyone in the shark community has formally asked a rabbi for a determination though.