Many people believe that giving up land animals and continuing to eat fish is doing a good thing. But these facts prove eating “only fish” is not the solution.
Fish Are Smart
Fish are intelligent beings. A study published on Vox.com detailed a multitude of fish abilities, including their ability to "learn from each other, recognize other fish they've spent time with previously, know their place within fish social hierarchies, and remember complex spatial maps of their surroundings."
Overfishing Is Killing Our Oceans
Overfishing is depleting our oceans of various species on a daily basis. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about 32 percent of the world’s fish stocks are being exploited beyond sustainability. That’s right: Almost one-third of all the ocean’s fisheries are being overfished.
Fish Farming Is Cruel and Disgusting
Factory-farmed fish endure crowded, waste-filled pools and lives of misery. These pools are so filthy that many fish suffer from sea lice, a deadly parasite that feeds on blood, skin, and slime.
As if that weren’t terrible enough, fish at factory farms are deprived of everything natural. A study published in 2016 noted that factory-farmed salmon become “so depressed they give up on life.”
Fish Meat Is Filthy
According to MIT researchers, mercury levels in tuna are 10 million times higher than in seawater, with human activities since the Industrial Revolution to blame. Just recently, Swedish scientists found that rising temperatures from climate change could boost mercury levels in fish by up to seven times the current rates.
What’s more, fish meat has plastic in it. Researchers at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that a whopping 25 percent of fish tested had plastic in their guts. Additionally, researchers from the University of Ghent in Belgium recently found that seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year and dozens of particles become embedded in tissues.
Fish Isn’t a Health Food
Somehow the recommendation to eat less meat has translated into a message to eat fish. But just like chicken and pork, fish and other seafood are devoid of fiber and loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol.
What about omega-3? Fortunately, you don’t need to eat fish to obtain omega-3 fats. Instead, you can get them where the fish do—from plants.
Eating Fish Kills Other Marine Life
Countless unwanted animals are swept up in massive trawling nets along with targeted species. These animals are known as “bycatch.” According to The National Journal, an estimated 20 percent of all fish caught by commercial fisheries is bycatch. This means animals like sea turtles, seals, small whales, porpoises, dolphins, and sharks are caught and often die.
Seafood Workers Are Horribly Exploited
The seafood industry is horrible not only for fish, the environment, and your health, but also for workers. Reports have shown that in the U.S. and elsewhere, seafood workers are exploited and often enslaved. The National Guestworker Alliance, a group representing temporary workers in the U.S., claims that “the exploitative conditions that shackle migrant workers in America are the equivalent of forced labor.” Whether animal or human, no one deserves to be taken advantage of.
Fish Feel Pain
Fish are feeling animals. In fact, scientists worldwide have noted time and again that fish experience pain in much the same way as land animals. Fish are even comparable to dogs, cats, and other animals in the way they feel pleasure.
Sadly, the seafood industry treats fish as mere objects. In 2011 Mercy For Animals conducted an undercover investigation at a fish slaughter facility that exposed fish being skinned alive. As the fish gasped for oxygen, their skin was ripped off with pliers. They thrashed and fought for their lives to escape the workers' knives.