Which is worse, eating fish or eating meat?

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boomchickawowwow
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I just went vegetarian for a variety of reasons including environmental, ethical and the fact that if you eat any meat it is difficult to all-together avoid battery-farmed, ritually slaughtered and other mistreated animals (especially at a catered university like mine). My choice to go vegie wasn't based on a very strong moral conviction, it was more 'on balance'.

However, now I face the dilemma of whether it is okay to eat fish. I made the usual assumptions about fish having low intelligence, low capacity for suffering and so on that made me think I could include fish in my diet (though I haven't yet). However, many people have challenged me on this and said fish is in fact treated worse, and a much greater number have to be killed than for a dish of meat. Some people have even said that on the grounds I became a vegie, it is worse to eat fish than meat.


So, is it okay to eat fish?
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User182034
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To avoid the factory farming thing if that's an issue you could buy fresh, local fish that's wild rather than farmed. I ate fish when vegetarian mainly for health reasons, I was only young and wanted to make sure I was getting a good protein intake (lots of people will slate me for this but, as far as I was concerned, eating less meat was better than having it every meal every day). That's another thing, morally it's probably about how much fish you eat-if you have it a few times a week and eat meat substitutes/bean and pulse based things the rest of the time you're doing your bit for the environment and animals in my opinion.
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Antiaris
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You have to be careful with fish. Many varieties shouldn't be eaten too often due to high mercury levels.

The entire thing of more lives for the amount of meat might have to do with fishing regulations, where if a boat overfishes they have to throw back the excess... even though the fish are dead.

Farmed vs Non-farmed... Up to you really. The amount of area that the fish gets to roam might be tiny. The chemicals they pump in might put you off too. Salmon isn't actually that pink naturally, they even use a colour chart.

Personally I feel more comfortable eating fish, morally at least. Fish don't dream and for me that is very important, though I don't quite know why.
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thecaterpillar
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Kurt Cobain would say it's okay to eat fish.

I would not because fish is disgusting, but that's just me.
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username549578
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Yeah sure, don't eat the cuddly farm animals but eat the stupid water-dwelling fish -_-
If you are going to be a veggie because you don't like living things being harmed, I think it goes for fish as well.
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Antiaris
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After rereading your post I must say it sounds more like you want to go free-range.

The idea of eating meat doesn't seem to bother you that much, it's just the conditions the animals are kept in. Maybe simply eat meat less often, but only eat meat from ethical sources?
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mahaneap
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Fish IS meat.
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boomchickawowwow
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(Original post by Lewroll)
Yeah sure, don't eat the cuddly farm animals but eat the stupid water-dwelling fish -_-
If you are going to be a veggie because you don't like living things being harmed, I think it goes for fish as well.
I'm not just taking a deontological view that harming any living creature is always completely wrong. I just want to minimise the harm that I will inevitably cause. I think the harm done to most land animals is too great for me to justify eating meat. The question is whether the harm to fish is also too great for me to eat them.
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Philbert
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If you do not eat meat, but eat fish, you are pescetarian. Just sayin'
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MizzCupcakes
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(Original post by boomchickawowwow)
I'm not just taking a deontological view that harming any living creature is always completely wrong. I just want to minimise the harm that I will inevitably cause. I think the harm done to most land animals is too great for me to justify eating meat. The question is whether the harm to fish is also too great for me to eat them.
Some species of fish are becoming an endangered species...then again many are as well due to the climate change. When the temperature in the water/ocean rises it increases the algal blooms which leads to even less oxygen in an environment that needs more of it already, this is bad for the fisheggs e.g. codfish. Then you have poisons released into the water etc which also endangers the environment they live in... Do you think about the environment as well?
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farhaz_j
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it's ok to eat fish and it's ok to eat meat. it's food. if you're a vegetarian due to ethical reasons, i suppose a fish wouldn't want his mummy to be pulled out the water from a hook to go from a net on a boat to die what i would presume to be a painful death lol. should the intelligence of an animal really come into it?
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TotoMimo
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I agree with the point that it does not matter the level of intelligence of a particular animal. You are eating fauna, regardless of where it dwells. I don't think life should be gauged in tiers, despite the fact there's a clear "chain of command" or typical "food chain" in this world.

It does seem like you're less interested in the "what", but the "how", in that you seem to be eager to know the sourcing of the food. I will also concur that with both land-dwelling and water-dwelling animals, regardless of which flesh you consume, there are shades of grey with all industries. Bernard Matthews is no more cruel than Captain Birdseye, I'm sure.
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abc101
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Of course it's not ok to eat fish. I really don't understand why some people have this warped idea that fish aren't alive, that they aren't sentient beings. If you don't think any living being, a being who can feel pain, should be forced to suffer and die for your stomach, then you won't eat fish.

Death is probably worse for fish than for cows and sheep. It's bloody horrific for them, but at least they're not left to suffocate to death.
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abc101
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(Original post by Antiaris)
You have to be careful with fish. Many varieties shouldn't be eaten too often due to high mercury levels.

The entire thing of more lives for the amount of meat might have to do with fishing regulations, where if a boat overfishes they have to throw back the excess... even though the fish are dead.

Farmed vs Non-farmed... Up to you really. The amount of area that the fish gets to roam might be tiny. The chemicals they pump in might put you off too. Salmon isn't actually that pink naturally, they even use a colour chart.

Personally I feel more comfortable eating fish, morally at least. Fish don't dream and for me that is very important, though I don't quite know why.
How can you possibly feel morally comfortable about eating a dead creature? Fish can feel pain, you know. Your last statement is utterly absurd.
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abc101
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(Original post by boomchickawowwow)
I just went vegetarian for a variety of reasons including environmental, ethical and the fact that if you eat any meat it is difficult to all-together avoid battery-farmed, ritually slaughtered and other mistreated animals (especially at a catered university like mine). My choice to go vegie wasn't based on a very strong moral conviction, it was more 'on balance'.

However, now I face the dilemma of whether it is okay to eat fish. I made the usual assumptions about fish having low intelligence, low capacity for suffering and so on that made me think I could include fish in my diet (though I haven't yet). However, many people have challenged me on this and said fish is in fact treated worse, and a much greater number have to be killed than for a dish of meat. Some people have even said that on the grounds I became a vegie, it is worse to eat fish than meat.


So, is it okay to eat fish?
Re-reading your post, goodness me you're ridiculous. 'Low intelligence'? That's not true but even if it was, you think fish not being as clever as another creature means it's ok to inflict hideous pain upon them? It doesn't matter what a creature thinks about, it matters that he or she can feel pain. So we can inflict pain upon mentally-challenged people because they're of low intelligence?
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Antiaris
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(Original post by abc101)
How can you possibly feel morally comfortable about eating a dead creature? Fish can feel pain, you know. Your last statement is utterly absurd.
I eat meat too!

What a monster I am!

Personally I just try and go for meat that is ethically raised, I have no issues with eating meat in most instances. The same goes for fish. I brought up the fact about dreaming as it may sway some people's mindsets. Dreaming is often associated with the soul, etc, so it may be an issue in some people's minds and so they should at least know about it.

Please, be less aggressive in your posts.
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metro2610
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You are not a vegetarian then. Just sayin'.
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Marshyy
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Go eat a KFC and shut up
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ellakrystina
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Uh? If you're an animal-lovin' vegetarian then surely you feel that all animals are of equal importance.
It's the same as saying 'I want to stop being a cannibal because it's wrong to murder, but I think it'll be okay if I eat a couple of black people because they don't matter as much'.
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ash92:)
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How I see it, we have carnivorous teeth as well, so it's simply meant tio be that we also eat fish and meat, instead of being vegetarians. OP do you know that the body needs 20 amino acids from the protein we get from food? 8 of these can't be made by the body - the ESSENTIAL amino acids. Fruit & veg proteins are nutritionally incomplete, in that they don't provide all of these essential amino acids. It just makes sense to me that humans were meant to eat meat and stuff
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