If you follow this blog, you'll probably know that I've gone from being vegetarian (most of my life) to eating some meat (blinkered period), to being vegetarian again (principles couldn't stay down) but trying to cut out dairy (Conklin Farms horror), to being pescitarian but only choosing MSC fish (it suffers marginally less) and now?
Well I've gone and bought myself Jonathan Safran Foer's book 'Eating Animals', and I'm really starting to think the fish - and even the prawns - have to go.
I've cut down immensely on eating fish, I have to say, and I have been working at eliminating fish from my diet completely. But I never really saw any reason to give up prawns, ever, on the basis that I didn't think they suffered (which might not be true anyhow), as well as the fact that when there's nothing else on the menu that's veggie, there's usually a prawn dish I can eat. Yet I hadn't really considered the environmental impact of my prawn habit.
In Eating Animals, Safran Foer says that "shrimp trawling devastates sea horse populations more than any other activity". Sea horses are actually quite marvellous little creatures, with very complex natures (they live in long-term monogamous relationships and the males become pregnant, for crying out loud!), and they are being wiped out by the fishing industry. And while the prawns I buy from supermarkets are only ever the ones that say 'responsibly sourced' on them, what does this really mean?
Can I guarantee a sea horse has never died from the prawns I eat? I doubt it. And what really shocked me in reading Eating Animals (though I'm so busy I haven't actually got that far in the book yet, though it's already having an impact) was how much sea life altogether is killed as 'bycatch', for just one piece of fish on your plate.
Safran Foer says "Imagine being served a plate of sushi. But this plate also holds all of the animals that were killed for your serving of sushi. The plate might need to be five feet across."
And these animals don't just include other fish. In tuna fishing, they include whales, dolphins, sharks, and sea birds of all kinds. Now that's something for me to think about, I reckon.