Conversion Therapy Is Still Legal In Most States
Conversion therapy, in which the beatings continue until the heterosexuality improves, is rapidly becoming unpopular because of, you know, its inherent barbarism straight out of 19th-century sanatoriums. But in the same way there are still people listening to My Chemical Romance, being frowned upon by polite society is far from being illegal. When Colorado banned conversion therapy for minors in June 2019, it was only the 18th state to do so.
The medical evidence against conversion therapy is on par with the medical evidence against drinking mercury. It's been known for decades that it doesn't work. Not only is there a consensus that someone's sexual orientation shouldn't be changed, there's also a consensus that it can't be changed. It's like inducing nausea in someone until they change their eye color. A staggering 42% of LGBTQ minors who underwent conversion therapy in 2018 reported a suicide attempt. It turns out that trying to talk teenagers into believing that they're abnormal and need to be "cured" isn't super great for their mental health, especially once drug cocktails, electric shocks, and outright physical abuse enter the mix.
Organizations ranging from the APA to the WHO therefore oppose conversion therapy, citing the important medical precedent of "It isn't the goddamn 1940s anymore, you assholes." But an estimated 16,000 minors will be subjected to conversion therapy in the 32 states where it's still legal, and licensed practitioners will make good money applying it. Progress is being made. Even more conservative states like North Carolina are starting to move against the practice, and in states where no ban is in sight, individual cities like Kansas City and Miami have acted instead. As those efforts continue, perhaps it should be rebranded with a less medical-sounding name. How about straightwashing?
Related: 5 Horrifying Things That Should Have Been Illegal Way Sooner
Serving Shark Fin Is Only Illegal In 12 States
Finning sharks in American waters has been illegal since 2000, as the wasteful and cruel process involves cutting the fins off the creatures before dumping them immobile to suffocate or bleed to death. An estimated 73 million sharks are killed each year just for their fins, and when combined with their slow reproductive rates, some species have been pushed to the brink of extinction. Gordon Ramsay calls it "the worst act of animal cruelty I've ever seen," and that dude has a black belt in cruelty. Trust his word.
Despite all of this, serving shark fin is only illegal in 12 states. There are rarely enough resources available to effectively police fin sales, and more serious efforts can be countered -- by hiding sales and storage sites, by making the soup a secret off-menu item, by claiming that the fin is a legal alternative that forces the government to decide whether they want to deal with the cost and hassle of a DNA test, by claiming the shark in question was terrorizing Amity Island, etc. And if you're caught in, say, Texas, a typical punishment would be a fine of less than $1,000. A single pound of shark fin can sell for $400, so that's a worthwhile risk for many dealers.
Harmon/flickrAll of that for soup, the worst possible food delivery system.