Animal Profile: Be Kind to Fish

Care of Bonnie Shulman   Photo care of Farm Sanctuary and Cindy Seigle Since the dawn of time people have been catching and eating fish without giving the fish a second thought, as though they were inanimate objects, as though being drowned in air was not a big deal to the fish. All that desperate flapping of their fins onboard fishing boats – that doesn’t mean a thing to many people. But now, the fish are talking back with more than just their fins. Their voices, mute for thousands of years, are being channelled by Peter Singer, renowned Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne. If you haven’t read his essay, “If Fish Could Scream”, then you really should. You can find it here. His thesis is that there is no humane slaughter requirement for wild fish caught and killed at sea, nor for farmed fish. The thing is, humans catch and kill over two trillion fish a year, dumping them on board trawler boats where they suffocate, or impaling them on live-bait hooks. And here’s where it gets really ugly, as if that number wasn’t bad enough. Nervous systems… Read More

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Do vegetarians eat fish?

Fish. It’s usually the last meat people give up. Maybe it should be the first. by Steve Hal North Americans have been swearing off beef, pork and chicken in droves lately. Most cite health concerns such as heart disease and cancer, while others express empathy for the environment and animals. But many still consume fish thinking it is healthy or at worst a relatively harmless indulgence. They couldn’t be more wrong! Fish’s dark side — pollutants, toxins and heavy metals Fish are very sensitive to the high number of pollutants in the water around them. As British social critic, Peter Cox says, “describing anything which comes out of this toxic environment as a ‘health food’ is clearly absurd.” Fresh water and inshore fish are the riskiest but pollutants are even showing up in deep sea fish as well. Chemicals gather in their fat and bio-accumulate as the fish ages. When one fish eats another the chemicals are absorbed in the flesh of the predator. The February 1992 issue of Consumers Report showed that PCBs were found in 43% of all salmon, 50% of white fish and 35% of deep sea fish like swordfish. High levels of PCBs are also found… Read More

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