Editorial Comment. — This poem describes the emotional response of coming face-to-face with live softshell turtles being sold in a meat market in Chinatown, San Francisco, California. The commercial trade in turtles for food, medicinal products, and pets continues on a huge scale around the world, and this scene is repeated millions of times (see the article on trade in turtle shell for medicine in Taiwan by Chen et al. in this issue of Chelonian Conservation and Biology [CCB]). The Asian turtle trade has gradually expanded to include Oriental communities around the world, and huge quantities of turtles, both wild and farmed, are harvested for that trade. Originally confined primarily to China, the turtle consumption trade has spread in widening circles of destructive unsustainability through Southeast and South Asia and has also reached the United States, where softshell turtles and other species are harvested in huge quantities and either...

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