Commercial Fishing and Fish Farms
Many people who are otherwise opposed to meat-eating seem to exclude fishes from their equation of compassion – hence an entire term, “pescatarian,” for those who will not eat the flesh of land animals but will eat fishes. The commercial fishing industry, however, practices its trade in ways that are horrendously cruel to fishes, destructive to the environment, and worrying for our health.
Factory trawling vessels, which rake the sea floor with huge nets to catch specific breeds of commercially desirable fishes, destroy ecosystems and result in the deaths of millions of animals per year. Approximately 8% of fish caught by such methods are “by-catch” and are unwanted by the industry. This process is highly damaging to our oceans, and some scientists estimate that most fish species will be extinct within the next century if current fishing trends continue.
In the rapidly growing fish farm industry, life is no better for fishes than it is for their four-legged cousins in factory farms. Animals are kept in overcrowded and dirty conditions, which necessitate the use of chemicals to kill bacteria and prevent the growth of vegetation. The polluted waste produced by such practices damage coastal estuaries and other nearby bodies of water. Finally, the process used to slaughter fishes is extremely cruel, who are treated as if they feel no pain, a belief that has been thoroughly debunked by modern science.
- Why Should We Care?
- Animal Testing
- Companion Animals
- What to Do?