More and more people all around the world are choosing to give up beef, chicken, and pork in the name of health and environmentalism…only to substitute with fish.
However well-intentioned, choosing to go pescetarian might not be as beneficial as you think.
While fish can seem like a healthy alternative to leaving other animals off of our plates, the science says otherwise. Here are the most common myths you may believe about pescetarianism and the truth behind them.
The term pescetarianism comes from the Latin word “piscis” and from the Italian“pesce” and means “fish”.
The difference between a vegetarian diet and a pescetarian diet is that vegetarians do not eat meat or fish, while the pescetarian diet makes an exception for animals that live in water.
Pescetarians reject the consumption of meat from land animals – instead, in addition to plant-based foods such as vegetables and pulses, they eat various types of fish such as salmon, trout and the like.
Often with this form of nutrition, marine animals such as squids, mussels and other ocean dwellers are on the menu, which are either industrially bred for consumption or caught in the wild and sometimes tortured to death.
Other animal products such as eggs and dairy products can also appear in a Pescetarian diet.
There are various reasons why some people choose not to eat meat from land animals but instead eat meat from fish and other marine life: these include health considerations climate reasons and animal welfare.
Health reasons refer to the supply of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to the body.
But both proteins and omega-3 fatty acids are found in plants. Eating fish, on the other hand, can have negative health effects due to the high level of pollution.
As far as the climate and environmental aspects are concerned, you need to know the following:
American researchers studied the effects of fishing on our environment in 2015.
The data showed that industrial fishing is practiced in around 55 percent of the world’s oceans.
At around 90 million tons per year, fishing has remained at the same level for thirty years.The kilometer-long trawls used in industrial fisheries destroy the oceans significantly by plowing up the seabed.At around 90 million tons per year, fishing has remained at the same level for thirty years.
The kilometer-long trawls used in industrial fisheries destroy the oceans significantly by plowing up the seabed.This destroys habitats such as coral reefs underwater.
Trawling releases more CO² than the entire aviation industry. Pescetarians continue to harm the environment by eating fish.
The third reason why some pescetarians choose not to consume meat are animal welfare reasons, for example because they do not agree with the cruel methods of the animal industry.
Rightly so: pigs, cattle and chickens can never live out their natural needs in the mostly miserable keeping conditions – even in organic farms.
They have to endure long animal transports in the scorching heat, only to be tortured and killed in the slaughterhouses under stress.
These are all good reasons to turn your back on meat consumption.
Industrial fish farming is factory farming
Every year 51 to 167 billion fish are raised and killed in aquaculture for human consumption.
Fish farming is nothing more than a form of industrial animal husbandry in which sensitive creatures are cooped up by the thousands.
Often the water is polluted meters high with excrement.
As with chickens, pigs and cattle, the administration of antibiotics is the order of the day with fish.
Waste, parasites, chemicals and antibiotic residues from the fish farms get into the fjords and oceans, which further decimates free-living aquatic animals and damages the environment.
The decision to kill some sensitive creatures to eat but not others is speciesist.
Fish feel pain like dogs, cats, cattle, chickens, and reptiles. There are no logical reasons to eat fish and other marine animals such as mussels, lobsters and the like.
And I mean…We get it.
It’s easier to make an empathetic connection to cows and pigs than it is to fish, which is why many people excuse pescetarianism as a cruelty-free diet.
But the reality is that fish are sentient beings, just like us, capable of fear, pain, and suffering.
No matter your reasoning, when you leave fish off your dinner plate you are helping your own health, as well as you save the live of others.
After all, each of us can make an impactful drop in the ocean—no matter how small.
My best regards to all, Venus