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Some Things Fishy

When I was in grade school, in the mid-60s, I recall vividly a short film I watched in class one day, portraying fishing ships full of grinning, brawny lads hauling away at nets filled with their quivering piscene bounty. In the background the narrator warbled pridefully about how the oceans were "an inexhaustible supply of fish".

New research, however, indicates that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish.

(1) That's a lot of plastic we're dumping into the oceans.

(2) That's a lot of fish yet to grind into animal food.

Setting aside for the moment the mountains of garbage we toss into the ocean stocks of wild fish are declining at a possibly irretrievable rate due to over-fishing and the careless and wasteful way we do it. Industrial fisheries generally only keep the good stuff and kick the remaining, often damaged and dying, creatures back into the ocean. Though some is kept to feed our dogs and cats, while some is used to fatten cattle. Yes, cattle.

"So what?" you say, "We have plenty of sustainable farmed fish, right?"

Well, yeah, but farmed salmon has to be fed wild fish in order to stay healthy. They can't live on just cornmeal. And guess where all that wild fish comes from? Uh-huh.

Tilapia? Don't get me started on that bottom-feeding trash fish. They'll happily subsist on the poop that comes out of the farmed salmon. Seriously. Bon appetit.

"But if we stop catching fish, where'll I get my omega-3 pills?"

One, fish oil pills are a scam. Two, humans are subject to the "herd instinct" and would happily chow down on baby panda hearts if someone claimed they'd cure diabetes. (See: rhino horn) Three, man did not evolve on a steady diet of fucking salmon. Primitive man no doubt ate fish but it certainly wasn't a mainstay of the diet.

I love sounding strident here but you don't need meat or fish in your diet, you just need a healthy variety of vegetables. You're not a carnivore, never were, never will be.

But, hey, guess what? Someone's planning to manufacture real honest-to-goodness meat from culture. Meaning no antibiotics, no fecal matter, no corn subsidies, no cow farts, and no murder of millions of innocent, sentient creatures every day.

But, you know, blah-blah-fucking-blah. I'm just one guy with an opinion. But a guiltless conscience.


end rant

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