Monday, June 8, 2009

The End of the Line

Some people wonder why, as a vegetarian, I don't eat fish. A simple, snarky answer is that fish are animals too, and have meat on their bones, and therefore eating them means I would be eating MEAT, which is--duh--not what a vegetarian does. But, like I said, that's pretty snarky. I see the logic in asking, actually: we don't hear about cruelty in regards to the fishing industry the way we do for domestic species like cattle, pigs, chickens. And fish is much 'healthier' than most meats, by comparison; so it might make sense for a health-conscious veg-head to eat a healthy protein. Actually, I know several people who call themselves vegetarian and still eat fish. (they should technically call themselves pesca-vegetarians, indicating that they only eat fish and plant matter).

Anyway, the reason I don't eat fish is because we are overfishing our oceans. I became acutely aware of this in 1992 (the year I became vegetarian) when we sailed up to Maine and Nova Scotia. All the fishermen, whose livelihoods and family history lie in the catching of fish (we're talking generations and generations of fishermen), were dawdling on the coast, playing on their boats instead of out on the ocean. Why?, we asked. Because, they told us, the oceans are overfished--there are too many big Industry type trawlers that scoop up everything in their path and leave nothing for more traditional (and more sustainable) type fishermen to catch at all. So overfishing leads to job loss! To say nothing of the barren maritime wasteland they leave in their wake too--whales and big ocean predators are scarce when the big fishing fleets swipe up all that food before the migrating creatures have a chance to get to the big schools of fish.

The End of the Line is said to be "An Inconvenient Truth for the oceans". I do hope that it comes sooner than later to a cinema near us. If you see it, please let me know in the comments below how you enjoyed it/thoughts/etc.

Via . For more discussion on this movie, click here.

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