I Bet You Do.
Not only was he an 8 time NBA All-Star, but he’s also over 7 and a half feet tall. A guy like that tends to leave a big impression on you.
Well, these days Yao Ming is still an All-Star, off the court.
Ten years ago, Ming became the face of a massive shark conservation movement in China. Shark fin soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. The tradition goes back to the 14th century and the soup has deep roots in Chinese medicine and cultural events including weddings, banquets, and ceremonies.
The problem is, in most cases, the sharks are caught, their fins are removed, and the sharks are then thrown back in the water to die. According to Oceana.org, around 73 MILLION sharks are killed every year just for their fins.
In the past ten years, since Yao started leading the charge, shark fin soup consumption in China has dropped by a staggering 80%.
He didn’t stop there. Yao partnered up with WildAid and launched what has been called one of the largest public awareness campaigns of all time. The target? The Ivory trade.
The campaign was so well executed and received that it is now illegal to buy ivory in China.
Yao Ming and his team were able to successfully drive change in China by simply making the general public aware of the damage caused by these two animal trades.
Often times the key to changing people’s behaviors is just by increasing their knowledge and understanding.
Check out some of the other successes that WildAid was apart of last year.