Besides the great nutrition you recieve from a plant-based diet, there are other great reasons to become vegan! Today I am going to zone in specifically on how being vegan is not only great for fish- but great for the environment.
Fish are now all the rage, not only do they have lower saturated fats than poultry and red meat, but also they have everyones favorite essential fats- omega 3. Nations that live the longest, found in blue zones, tend to have fish in their diets, and fish can deliver a bunch of different textures and flavors.
Unfortunately, fish are not the vision of perfect health. With the industrial dumping of chemicals into the ocean, many fish have taken up mercury and plastics, such as BPA. Additionally, some muscular fish, like tuna, can actually carry more cholesterol than their land-based counterparts. Even the healthy omega 3 fats are not there anymore in the farm fish that are now being fed pellets of processed soy and corn. So from a nutritional point, you can definitely do better than fish.
Most people just will not give their fish up though! In fact, with sushi becoming more popular and fish consumption on the rise, people are eating more and more fish. Combined with our technology today, we are scraping the ocean bare. Looking at a few examples from Paul Greenberg's book Four Fish we have cut out the salmon population from everywhere except the Yukon river. Bass is being farm raised since the Meditterranean has been nearly drained of them. Cape Cod should just be called Cape with the overfishing there that have depleted the cod populations there. And lastly, the bluefin tuna in the oceans have become so rare that fishermen are lucky to catch one of these magestic fish a week!
Fish, unlike plants or land animals, are not easy to track. If we ran out of sheep it would be easy to set up a pen and raise more, but in the ocean you cannot count how many tuna, or salmon, or bass are left. Even if you could, adding more by farming fish destroys the years of natural selection that made these fish need to be lean to swim and reproduce, instead of growing fatter to feed more people.
This has happened in the past before with whale, but the same actions have not taken place to protect fish like tuna, most countries resist this because of the high demand for it. But nature has demands for tuna as well. With small tuna populations, you are changing the ecosystems. The dolphins that work with the tuna to eat smaller fish are now starving to death. The smaller fish swell in populations and end up eating more algae and plankton. With this system unravelling the once powerful ocean becomes calm and clear- without its impressive fish working under the surface.
So save the fish- and the future- and eat your veggies instead! Follow me to stay tuned in for future articles and recipies, otherwise if you enjoyed it please like it.
Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)