When I became vegetarian a few decades ago, I still partook in the occasional fish meal. Either sauces that were made with fish, stews that had fish stock or fish directly. I had eliminated all red meat, but there were still the occasional fish products that remained in my diet.
Most of it was my lack of knowledge. However, an in depth study brought me to the path of veganism. Now, it seems horrific to me that I had actually ingested these poor aquatic animals.
Here are 5 reasons to get off the fish-eating bandwagon immediately.
Chemicals and other contaminants: Fish absorb anything that is in the water. Anything that is absorbed is eliminated, but back into the same water they live in where it is eventually absorbed by other fish. The bottom line is, water contaminants and poisons in the water are continuously being shared and passed around. The fish become highly concentrated in these chemicals called POPs (persistent organic pollutants). Some of these dangerous chemicals include PCB’s, DDT, dioxins, and PBDEs (flame retardants) among others. One US study showed that fish had the highest level of these flame retardants than any other animal. Diseases such as cancer, nervous system damage, behavior problems, Parkinsons’s disease, reproductive disorders, immune system disruption and autoimmune disorders, diabetes and allergies can all result from exposure to POPs.
Mercury: We have all heard that pregnant women should not eat fish for the risk of mercury poisoning. However, nobody should be eating anything with mercury. There is no safe level of it in our bodies. It does not play a role in the health of an individual; it serves no purpose or function in our body. Therefore, it must not be ingested: EVER. There is no safe level of it in your body and almost all fish are contaminated with this toxic metal. For “food authorities” to state that fish with low-levels of mercury are OK to eat would be the same as saying that food with small amounts of rat poison is OK to eat. Skip the fish. Go Vegan now.
Parasitic worms: Just the thought sounds disgusting, but the fact is that parasitic worms are extremely common in fish, including the fish muscle that most people eat. One study showed that out of 50 salmon that were caught, all 50 had the larvae of the parasitic worm Anisakis simplex. And 87% of it was found in the fish muscle, again, the part people eat. Tapeworm has also been found in fish. In fact, officials say to overly cook your fish and do not eat it raw or undercooked. But even if it’s thoroughly cooked, how appetizing does it sound to eat parasitic worms?? And if, by chance, you eat the bite that was not cooked well….watch out. These worms can infect humans and grow inside your intestinal tract up to sizes of 30 feet long causing anemia and intestinal blockage. Gross.
Omega 3 from fish unnecessary: Most people make the argument that they eat fish to get Omega 3’s. Although it is true that fish contain it, they get it from eating plant-based algae. No animal has the capability of producing Omega-3’s. In addition, unhealthy fats come from eating fishy Omega-3’s. For example, by eating the fish salmon with Omega-3’s, you would be getting the same amount of saturated fat, which is unhealthy. Plus, salmon has cholesterol that your body does not need because it can make it on its own. Therefore, skip the fish and go directly after plant-based products, like flax seeds, that naturally contain Omega-3’s.
Extinction: 90% of the large fish in the ocean have already been killed and oceans are being depleted at an alarming rate. The oceans are on the brink of extinction. We may think eating one fish does not make a difference; but it does. Because if I think eating one is OK, and you think eating one is OK, and they think…and he thinks…and she thinks…and that person thinks….get the point? Every time we eat we either choose survival or extinction. Which do we want?
If we had been made to eat fish, we would have been given the tools to do so. True fish eaters, such as seals, dolphins, pelicans and grizzly bears eat their prey raw and whole. If we were meant to eat fish, we would have the teeth and digestive system to enable us to do this. We would consume the eyes, skin, bones, fins, guts…everything. Does this even sound like a good meal to us? And even if we did eat fish like this, how long would it be before the parasites inside the fish ate us? Think about it. Go vegan.by