The vegan diet is often criticized by those who know no better for not containing adequate amounts of various proteins, fats and other goodies which meat does have. Carnivores would have us believe that we should also be eating vast quantities of fish as this is chock full of brain-boosting Omega-3.
So why not eat fish?
Here are 4 good reasons why not.
1. Oceans in crisis
Our seas are in crisis. Overfishing has decimated stocks of cod and other once plentiful fish; trawling has totally destroyed or damaged beyond recall reefs and great swathes of seabed causing catastrophic damage to the undersea environment and wiping out species of coral and the fish and other creatures who depend upon it. We must stop fishing completely in vulnerable areas to allow the environment to recover and the only way this will happen is if demand for fish drops appreciably.
2. Toxic cocktail
Unfortunately our oceans and rivers are no longer pristine environments and consequently their residents reflect this. Fish contain dangerously high levels of a number of chemicals including arsenic, mercury, dioxins and even lead. Yummy – not!
3. Factory farms
In order to conserve and protect stocks of wild fish, much of the salmon, sea bass and trout on offer in shops is farmed. On the face of it this seems like a good idea but the reality is far from it.
Farmed fish are kept in huge numbers, packed into small pens made of netting. Many are afflicted by sea lice and other parasites or are injured due to the overcrowding. The fish live in an environment polluted by fish waste, dead fish corpses and uneaten food sludge. They are fed antibiotics and hormones which are still present in their flesh when it is consumed by people.
Farmed fish, particularly salmon, contains very high levels of artery clogging cholesterol and fat. This is because fish reared in farm nets are unable to move around freely unlike their wild counterparts. Wild fish are fit, muscular and lean; albeit full of chemicals and toxins.
4. Pass it on …
Pregnant women should NEVER eat fish. All the toxins contained in fish flesh consumed by pregnant women are passed to the baby developing in the womb. Scientific research carried out at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that eating fish while pregnant causes the baby irreversible brain function impairment resulting in slower development. The children of fish eating mothers are slow to walk, talk and are not as sharp mentally as those whose mothers preferred a vegetarian diet.
As for the myth that your diet will be lacking in Omega-3 if you don’t eat fish; not true. You can find plenty of vegan-friendly Omega-3 contained in walnuts and flax seeds.