Monday, 15 August 2011

Commenting elsewhere: eating fish

Erik Loomis, in passing in a post about the destruction caused by tuna fishing:

how did fish become not meat? Whether Catholics or quasi-vegetarians who occasionally eat fish, how did we make a distinction between the dead flesh of a land animal versus the dead flesh of an ocean animal? It makes absolutely no sense.

It makes sense if, like me, your problem with eating meat is complicity with the suffering and premature death of creatures who understand themselves as selves over time, make plans, recognise other individuals, and love their children. ‘Fish’ is too broad a category to make judgements here, but I think it very unlikely that tuna have those capacities, and very likely that pigs do. So I’m OK with eating tuna but not pigs.
That doesn’t answer your main point about the destructive impact of fishing technology, which has given me pause. But the distinction between fish on one hand and cows, pigs, etc. on the other does make sense.

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