A couple of weeks ago, I was treating myself to sushi with some friends and I also happened to be on one of my “trying-not-to-eat-meat” streaks. There was an item on the menu that I was unfamiliar with, so I asked if it was MEAT?! Who knows!? I don’t read Japanese and am not the most poised sushi eater, so for all I knew it could have been some kind of crazy fruit, special sauce or meat – well, what I consider meat to be at least. The answer I got was shocking to me and it lead to quite the debate over a good portion of dinner. Let me just preface this with the fact that I am thinking, if it’s sushi and there is meat involved, it’s going to be fish! To my surprise, everyone at the table answered, “No, no meat. It’s fish.” After the argument of whether or not fish is meat was well on the table, another friend said, “I guess they do have eyeballs.” To be having this conversation, to me, was completely insane.
Though, I did come to find out that regardless of whether or not one considers fish to be meat, there has been a debate regarding pain felt by fish and shellfish. In fact, Science Daily recently reported on a study done at Purdue University regarding pain felt by fish. Again, something to me that seems so obvious it’s hard for me to believe there is even discussion on the topic!
How you choose to eat, meat or not, is a personal decision whether it be for your health or some deep-seeded ethical belief. However, there is something else to consider when thinking about what you put into your body. Recent studies have shown that how and what you eat clearly have an impact on the planet. The food production industry, including livestock, has significantly contributed to the global warming epidemic we find ourselves in. Vegan Society offers up information regarding the correlation on what we eat and how it affects the environment. Get healthy while helping the environment. Go to the source!
Of course, making the shift from carnivore to vegetarianism, veganism or well…pescatarianism is a big change that will probably need easing into. There are some other interesting and alternative ways to make the changeover if you are just starting to think about the change and don’t want to dive-in head first. NPR's article released on earth day has some great ideas on how to do this and also includes some interesting earth-friendly recipes. Good luck!