Whether we should continue eating seafood is a hot topic this week. While I was arguing (again) that we should give up eating seafood, Mark Bittman at the New York Times had a nice piece on how seafood has changed through his lifetime and how the days of “see it/eat it” are over. However, he stops short of a strong stance and tries to justify his continued seafood consumption:
One could argue, as I sometimes do (mostly to myself), that one shouldn’t eat fish at all, fearing that if fish lovers begin consuming those few remaining species that are not in trouble — sardines, mackerel, squid — we might just make quick work of them, too. But though that may be the easiest argument to phrase, it isn’t likely to be popular, nor will it help the cods and flounders.
Similarly, the debate (which is not particularly compelling since no one argued we should stop eating seafood altogether–again, fish need a wide spectrum of voices) rages on at the NYTimes blog. I prefer the one Randy Olson and I had on the Shifting Baselines blog back in 2007 since it presents a dichotomy (as one might expect in a debate).
We need stronger positions. And we need them soon. I believe people are realizing that the “choose this but not that” approach to seafood is a paltry one coming from the old guard. There is a new guard who has grown tired of this moderate (and therefore unexciting, however realistic it might be) stance.
After seeing the film End of the Line this week and seeing the devastating effects of overfishing, a good friend of mine wrote to me:
I have decided to give up eating fish though now. And meat only at weekends. You see that your good influence is (finally) having its delayed effect.
There will be more people who sign on to give up seafood altogether. And soon. I look forward to raising the profile of the Stop Eating Seafood movement.