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Post Sushi

Curbing our insatiable appetite.
Post Sushi
Photo by Kenji Aoki

We may well be the last generation to eat wild sushi. A report from the UN Environmental Programme released in May 2010 states that 30 percent of fish stocks have “collapsed,” and it warns that unless we alter our fishing practices, in 40 years we’ll be effectively out of edible fish. Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, writes that globally we catch and consume 170 billion pounds of wild fish per year, an amount “equivalent in weight to the entire human population of China.” Greenberg points out that we would need four or five oceans to meet the appetites of the world’s seven billion humans.

If a human controlled demolition of wild fish stocks seems shocking, it would seem even more so to previous generations. Wild fish, to quote Greenberg, seemed “a crop, harvested from the sea, that magically grew itself back every year. A crop that never required planting.” For our ancestors, the very idea of us humans fishing the ocean to the point of collapse would seem preposterous. The oceans took months, even years, to sail across. The oceans were the very definition of vastness. But when a single bluefin tuna can fetch over $10,000, market forces become a deadly current that our oceans’ most delectable creatures must struggle against. Can we reverse that current somehow? Or is it too late now?

44 comments on the article “Post Sushi”

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JoeMabon

Hey people.

First off I'd like to state that when I refer to "we" in my comment I mean anyone who lives in an area where alternatives are available to us, NOT indigenous tribes or any other group that populate an environment that simply has no, or very little alternative to fish.

Such disclaimers feel mandatory these days as I've found that anyone with the slightest whiff of an opposing view to veganism, regardless of intelligence, will gleefully 'shut my hippy ass up' with allegations such as 'So you want EVERYONE ON EARTH to stop eating animals' and 'So you want small communities in the farthest reaches of the planet to just stop hunting and die' etc.

This brings me to my point / question.

As a Vegan I have always wondered how the consumption of animals fits into the ethics of say, just for example, anarchism, or whatever other Socio-political label that the 'good guys' (most Adbusters readers) subscribe to.

The easiest answer would be that we buy the ones with the buzzwords. Organic, free range, sustainable, local etc. In the case of fish, the latter two.

However, when we go a bit deeper, isn't the act of killing another animal, when completely aware of alternatives (many vegan spreads have Omega 3 etc. for the 'but fish are sooooo good for your brain brigade') which are readily available to us contradictory to our stance on anti-fascism? (hate to generalise, but if someone actively reads Adbusters on a regular basis they are more than likely anti-fascist)

My main query, however, is if we are so against the commodification of OUR being, why is it OK to accept the commodification of other living creatures?

We protest in disgust as big business insistently creates more and more materialistic, shallow and empty wants dressed as needs. We see through it, but we cant seem to see through OUR OWN selfish wants dressed as needs.

I'm constantly reminded that hierarchies are bad, everyone is equal. But aren't we all agreeing that WE are top of the hierarchy when we chow down on some flesh?

I cant help but think that in order to abolish oppression, we must actually abolish oppression - i.e., not prop up an industry (free range, sustainable or otherwise) that oppresses and then trades in blood, screams and flesh.

To quote the article; 'The oceans were the very definition of vastness. But when a single bluefin tuna can fetch over $10,000, market forces become a deadly current that our oceans’ most delectable creatures must struggle against. Can we reverse that current somehow? Or is it too late now?'

Can we reverse this current somehow? - How about just don't fucking hunt and kill fish?

I would love to hear some other peoples thoughts, and I hope no one takes offence to any remarks made. This is something I have a real interest in.

Can we really be anti-fascist etc. while eating the flesh of butchered animals, especially when there are plenty of healthy alternatives out there?

Can we really be against wants dressed up as needs and still make the same tired anti-vegan arguments that we always do to justify our want for say, cheese?

Again, just stop hunting the fucking fish.

JoeMabon

Hey people.

First off I'd like to state that when I refer to "we" in my comment I mean anyone who lives in an area where alternatives are available to us, NOT indigenous tribes or any other group that populate an environment that simply has no, or very little alternative to fish.

Such disclaimers feel mandatory these days as I've found that anyone with the slightest whiff of an opposing view to veganism, regardless of intelligence, will gleefully 'shut my hippy ass up' with allegations such as 'So you want EVERYONE ON EARTH to stop eating animals' and 'So you want small communities in the farthest reaches of the planet to just stop hunting and die' etc.

This brings me to my point / question.

As a Vegan I have always wondered how the consumption of animals fits into the ethics of say, just for example, anarchism, or whatever other Socio-political label that the 'good guys' (most Adbusters readers) subscribe to.

The easiest answer would be that we buy the ones with the buzzwords. Organic, free range, sustainable, local etc. In the case of fish, the latter two.

However, when we go a bit deeper, isn't the act of killing another animal, when completely aware of alternatives (many vegan spreads have Omega 3 etc. for the 'but fish are sooooo good for your brain brigade') which are readily available to us contradictory to our stance on anti-fascism? (hate to generalise, but if someone actively reads Adbusters on a regular basis they are more than likely anti-fascist)

My main query, however, is if we are so against the commodification of OUR being, why is it OK to accept the commodification of other living creatures?

We protest in disgust as big business insistently creates more and more materialistic, shallow and empty wants dressed as needs. We see through it, but we cant seem to see through OUR OWN selfish wants dressed as needs.

I'm constantly reminded that hierarchies are bad, everyone is equal. But aren't we all agreeing that WE are top of the hierarchy when we chow down on some flesh?

I cant help but think that in order to abolish oppression, we must actually abolish oppression - i.e., not prop up an industry (free range, sustainable or otherwise) that oppresses and then trades in blood, screams and flesh.

To quote the article; 'The oceans were the very definition of vastness. But when a single bluefin tuna can fetch over $10,000, market forces become a deadly current that our oceans’ most delectable creatures must struggle against. Can we reverse that current somehow? Or is it too late now?'

Can we reverse this current somehow? - How about just don't fucking hunt and kill fish?

I would love to hear some other peoples thoughts, and I hope no one takes offence to any remarks made. This is something I have a real interest in.

Can we really be anti-fascist etc. while eating the flesh of butchered animals, especially when there are plenty of healthy alternatives out there?

Can we really be against wants dressed up as needs and still make the same tired anti-vegan arguments that we always do to justify our want for say, cheese?

Again, just stop hunting the fucking fish.

JoeMabon

ha ha, after reading my comment back, i realise in the second last sentance i should have said....

Can we really be against wants dressed up as needs and still make the same tired anti-vegan arguments that we always do to justify our want for say, fish?

Again, just stop hunting the fucking fish.

:)

JoeMabon

ha ha, after reading my comment back, i realise in the second last sentance i should have said....

Can we really be against wants dressed up as needs and still make the same tired anti-vegan arguments that we always do to justify our want for say, fish?

Again, just stop hunting the fucking fish.

:)

Anonymous

Is there proper alternatives for certain animal/animal products? I take whatever science I can and balance it all against each other and see what leans which way, and make health decisions based on that. I would love it if I could get away with going completely vegan, but from the research I've done and continue to do, from what I can tell, it would be dangerously unsafe for me to forgo all animal products.

An unfortunate thing about this science however, is its charge. I'm either caught reading pro-meat 'science' that for some reason seems to have an agenda against vegetarianism, and therefor lends itself to a bias, or caught reading anti-meat 'science' that has an equal bias in the opposite direction. Passionate science cant be trusted in my eyes, and that's really all that seems to be out there on this topic. It's pretty muddy.

Here's to proper nutritional science, and if you have anything decisive to share, please do.

Anonymous

Is there proper alternatives for certain animal/animal products? I take whatever science I can and balance it all against each other and see what leans which way, and make health decisions based on that. I would love it if I could get away with going completely vegan, but from the research I've done and continue to do, from what I can tell, it would be dangerously unsafe for me to forgo all animal products.

An unfortunate thing about this science however, is its charge. I'm either caught reading pro-meat 'science' that for some reason seems to have an agenda against vegetarianism, and therefor lends itself to a bias, or caught reading anti-meat 'science' that has an equal bias in the opposite direction. Passionate science cant be trusted in my eyes, and that's really all that seems to be out there on this topic. It's pretty muddy.

Here's to proper nutritional science, and if you have anything decisive to share, please do.

JoeMabon

Hey,

Good points. There are definitely biases.

I would recommend The China Study, look it up online.

I liked Bob Torres' book Making A Killing: The Political Economy Of Animal Rights.

I have only been Vegan 5 years. Im 26. For the best part of 21 years I ate ANYTHING. I started dating my now wife, didn't know she was vegan for the first while. Then when i found out I used to have heated debates with her claiming we are supposed to eat meat etc etc, i was a bit of a dick to be honest!

Anyway, I ended up reading some of her books (Eternal Treblinka) and watched the movie Earthlings.

It was the movie Earthlings that done it for me, because once you see the shit we do to other living animals it sticks. seriously sticks. I made the decision to switch myself, i had never even been vegetarian before - i ate ANYTHING - so it was a BIG jump! I gave it all up.

I have never slipped and have enjoyed every moment. I feel healthier and am at the docs less often.

It is definitely worth educating yourself before the jump.

My thoughts are though, that its all good and well fighting the injustices of the world, buying recycled rubber shoes and shunning big industry - but the animal industry remains one of the biggest in the world. And it is hard, as a vegan, as we are told we are BIAS against meat.

It saddens me as the simplest way i can put it is, why is it bad to be bias against an industry that oppresses, enslaves, lies to us and makes a fuck ton of money selling flesh, stomach lining and fur?

This isnt a dig at you, but i am constantly amazed at how reluctant people are to give up meat.

JoeMabon

Hey,

Good points. There are definitely biases.

I would recommend The China Study, look it up online.

I liked Bob Torres' book Making A Killing: The Political Economy Of Animal Rights.

I have only been Vegan 5 years. Im 26. For the best part of 21 years I ate ANYTHING. I started dating my now wife, didn't know she was vegan for the first while. Then when i found out I used to have heated debates with her claiming we are supposed to eat meat etc etc, i was a bit of a dick to be honest!

Anyway, I ended up reading some of her books (Eternal Treblinka) and watched the movie Earthlings.

It was the movie Earthlings that done it for me, because once you see the shit we do to other living animals it sticks. seriously sticks. I made the decision to switch myself, i had never even been vegetarian before - i ate ANYTHING - so it was a BIG jump! I gave it all up.

I have never slipped and have enjoyed every moment. I feel healthier and am at the docs less often.

It is definitely worth educating yourself before the jump.

My thoughts are though, that its all good and well fighting the injustices of the world, buying recycled rubber shoes and shunning big industry - but the animal industry remains one of the biggest in the world. And it is hard, as a vegan, as we are told we are BIAS against meat.

It saddens me as the simplest way i can put it is, why is it bad to be bias against an industry that oppresses, enslaves, lies to us and makes a fuck ton of money selling flesh, stomach lining and fur?

This isnt a dig at you, but i am constantly amazed at how reluctant people are to give up meat.

Anonymous

I recently went vegan and I'd be interested to know from what research you derived it would be "dangerously unsafe" to not consume any animal products?

Anonymous

I recently went vegan and I'd be interested to know from what research you derived it would be "dangerously unsafe" to not consume any animal products?

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