Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I was listening to Science Friday on my ipod, (I'm pretty behind on listening to it so its a couple weeks old) today and was struck by what Sylvia Earle had to say about eating fish.  She said something to the affect of the fish that we eat would not be eaten if they lived on land.  For example, Tuna can live up to 20-30 years, and are a top predator in the oceans.  We would not imagine raising for food lions, tigers or bears, for example, but we will eat tuna. 

Her point was that its ultimately unsustainable for us to eat tuna and many other fish (orange roughy she says can live to 200 years old) that we eat on a regular basis.  The kinds of foods that we do eat, cattle, chickens, and such take very little time to mature and are low on the food chain (they only eat plants).  We should seriously consider eating lower on the ocean's food chain as well...  if not stop eating from the oceans all together. 

I think there is something to be said about what she's advocating here.  This is significantly different from how we eat terrestial animals.  We usually  farm them and only hunt them occasionally.  Ocean animals are almost exclusively hunted, and in mass quantities, and only farmed occasionally.  When I was a demi-veg I would advocate hunting, since factory farming is much worse than hunting.  But when it comes to the oceans, perhaps aquaculture is the way to go?  (It probably isn't the way to go because of the pollution that they create, not to mention the possible suffering that is inflicted on the animals.)

Either way, I think I've found my winter break read.

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