08/26/2011 01:56 pm ET Updated Oct 26, 2011

Shark Finning Protest Suggests Industry's Horrific Animal Treatment (GRAPHIC CONTENT)

Performance artist Alice Newstead recently showed her support for ending the practice of shark finning in a unique way.

Shark finning, which involves killing sharks by slicing off their fins, is conducted in large part to provide the main ingredient for shark fin soup, considered by some to be a Chinese delicacy. A bill banning shark fins is currently in the California State Assembly.

WARNING: Graphic photos below.

Newstead chose to protest the brutality of shark finning with a gruesome act that few would fail to notice. In a LUSH Cosmetics store in San Francisco, she was hung by two hooks -- the same hooks that are used in shark fishing.

The Associated Press reports that the proposed ban on shark fins has raised some controversy in San Francisco, whose population is nearly one-third Asian. Some Chinese-Americans in California say shark fin soup, which can sell for up $80 per bowl, is a "cherished cultural tradition."

A number of celebrities have endorsed the ban, including basketball player Yao Ming and actress Bo Derek.

Although California's bill banning shark fins does not ban shark meat, The Food Network recently took a stand against shark meat and discontinued any recipes featuring shark meat on its shows and website.

Actor and HuffPost blogger Ian Somerhalder says, "Sharks are beautiful creatures that need our help if they are to survive."

Last year, a report from Oceana explained that "up to 73 million sharks are killed each year to satisfy the demand of the international shark fin market."

The organization reports:

During the finning process, a shark is hauled up on deck and its fins are sliced off. The shark -- sometimes still alive -- is thrown back into the water to bleed to death. This brutal practice is also incredibly wasteful; shark finning only utilizes one to five percent of the shark’s body weight, removing an essential food source from many communities.

Check out photos from the protest:

Shark FInning Protest