Fish have brains and nervous systems that sense pain just like other animals do. Period.
Mercury, arsenic, lead:
Actually, that’s three reasons, and those are just a few of the poisons found in sea animals (thanks to human pollution). Fish can have extremely high levels of chemical residues in their flesh and fat, thousands of times that of the water in which they live. Leave fish off your plate for their health and your own!
Eating fish is dumb:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are synthetic chemicals known to cause cancer and affect neurological development—including short-term memory and learning—the endocrine system, the immune system, and reproduction. Despite being banned in much of the world, our oceans are polluted with PCBs, and they are concentrated in the flesh of fish. Be smart, and skip the salmon sandwich.
For the seas’ sake:
In Scotland, fish farms produce more nutrient pollution than humans. That’s a lot of crap—but it’s more than just feces. It’s also antibiotics, chemicals, cage materials, excess food, and more. The problem isn’t just in Scotland, though—it’s in oceans all over the world. Nutrient pollution causes a fertilizing effect that results in algal blooms, which eventually reduce oxygen levels and increase ammonia and methane production, thus poisoning local marine life.
Fish have personalities:
Some fish are playful or shy, whereas others are aggressive and domineering. (Actually, fish sound a lot like my family at a holiday dinner.)
Scientists estimate that by 2048, all fish stocks will have totally collapsed because of overfishing, a potentially irreversible blow to the marine ecosystem. Commercial fishing has caused the extermination of 90 percent of large predatory fish populations. Industrial fishing methods, such as “bottom trawling,” catch and kill thousands of fish at a time and wreak irreversible havoc on the sea floor.
Save the whales and dolphins and turtles and … :
Fish aren’t the only victims—sea turtles, sharks, whales, and dolphins often end up dead at the hands of the fishing industry. Dolphins are often killed intentionally by Japanese tuna anglers because they prey on tuna. Entire pods of whales and dolphins are rounded up and driven into shallow water, where all but the youngest (who are captured and sold to aquariums) are slaughtered with knives and machetes.
A fish is like your mother:
Or your brother or your best friend—they’re a lot like humans in many ways. Fish talk to each other with squeaks and squeals. Some fish use tools. Others woo potential partners by singing to them!
It’s a waste:
More animals are raised on aqua-farms than are raised for beef worldwide. Fish on aqua-farms suffer from disease, severe crowding, predation, and other forms of cruelty. As many as 40 percent of farmed fish die before they are slaughtered.
Because it feels good to fake it!:
Luckily, there are yummy alternatives to eating fish. Head to a Chinese grocery, and you can usually find delicious faux fish elaborately decorated in the frozen foods section. You can also try making your own versions with seaweed and seasoning.
Posted by Edwina Baier