As I become more educated (or is it just aware) about the intelligence level of the animals that I eat (even the humanely raised ones) and start to see them on the same level as my dog and cats, I find myself salivating less and less often over those juicy steaks and pot roasts.
At times it is unfortunate because I really do enjoy eating meat, at times its inconvenient, especially for my husband who does all the cooking, but it’s never anything I intend to do as a statement, it just doesn’t taste as good when I’ve mentally equated my beagle with the burger I’m about to eat. I have lots more to think about and to share about this whole phenomenon, but I will save it for my “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat” book discussion, as many of the thoughts are being driven by this latest addition to my library.
The question for this post, and one which I cannot answer, is about fish discrimination. I understand and believe the research that proves that while fish are not going to be fetching or learning tricks anytime soon, they are much smarter than we give them credit for. And yet because they live under water, have no legs, and “insert your explanation here”, I have little to no guilt and LOTS of enjoyment dining on tuna sashimi and baked seabass. Without doing extensive research I feel comfortable accepting the fact that cow and fish may exist at a similar intelligence level and yet because the latter look very different from us or what I consider “animals”, I eat them quite indiscriminately. And even when the consequences of eating fish are discussed, conversation usually has to do with how fish farming practices affect the environment (and ultimately us) not their own well-being.
And from my readings and discussions it sounds like I’m not the only with such double-standards. I’ve come across many stories where one goes to great lengths to eat humanely raised meat or opt for a ‘vegetarian’ lifestyle and yet has no qualms about ordering seafood dishes. Call it ignorance or unfair, but it is reality.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on why fish get the short end of the stick (pun intended) when it comes to humane eating and if you find yourself in a similar dilemma of fish discrimination.
There are numerous, great, thought-provoking articles that talk about animal intelligence, fish included, which I’ll share in future posts, but today I’ll leave on a more lighthearted note, with a post from the Mercy for Animals Blog.