In our last blogpost about environment we talked about how animal agriculture harms our environment in more than one way. We especially tried to point out the water consumption needed to entertain animal agriculture, so we can have so much meat and dairy products in our stores, we can’t even consume all of it.
A further aspect of going vegan for the environment is for our oceans. We’re destroying our water quality by channelling all the waste these animals produce on these factory farms into our water system, which eventually flows directly into our oceans. The increased volume as well as the antibiotics and other veterinary drugs fed to these animals are a massive problem. This is leading to environmental as well as public health problems. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of water pollution and ocean dead zones.
Not only is this one way we humans destruct the most important source for our lives. We also overfish massively, due to “demand of constantly available seafood”. You might be asking yourself why overfishing is a problem? Unfortunately one of the largest problems is, that fishers use extremely large nets. A single net can hold 500 tons of fish and the opening of this net can be as large as 4 football fields (equivalent to 2’300m2). They don’t just catch fish, but when the nets get heavier and heavier, they start dragging them along the floor of the ocean or along reefs. This destroys the ground story.
So now these fishers are going on and about their business, throwing out nets that can catch 500 tons. Of course they are not just going to catch 500 tons of the specific fish they’re trying to get. The percentage of bycatch is usually 50-90%! Can you imagine?! For 1kg of shrimps, 8-9kg bycatch is produced. Fish, they don’t want or can’t sell to make a profit. So either they just leave them out to die or toss them back into the water. For example: 50% of all swordfish caught are tossed back into the sea. 77% are dead! And for what exactly did they die? 77.9 billion tons of fish are caught annually, which are actually sold as food. 40 billion tons are thrown away – yearly.
It’s tragic, that due to overfishing, 90% of all large predatory fish, including sharks, whales, tuna, swordfish, cod and Halibut are gone. 60% of the smaller whales have been killed as well. And yes, governments are proud, that they are working on a solution for this problem. Unfortunately only 1.6% of the world’s oceans have been declared as “marine protected areas (MPA’s). But 90% of these existing MPA’s are open to fishing. That means 98.4% of the ocean is NOT protected. On top of the regulated fishing, we’ve got illegal fishing. Pirate fish products sum up to 10 to 23.5 billion dollars.
So let’s talk about what happens, when we’ve exploited all the fish. Cause according to scientists, they predict that if we continue at the current pace, the oceans could collapse entirely before 2050. That’s in 32 years. Earth has a very balanced eco-system. If we exploit one kind of fish up to extinction, there will be an imbalance. We’re killing off so many kinds of animals – and with that a whole system of micro-organisms. What humans don’t seem to get, is that when our oceans collapse, we won’t be able to survive. The ocean regulates the earth’s temperature and produces more oxygen than all the rainforests combined. Which means:
No more fish – no more eco-system – no more oxygen – no more humans.
Of course people will argument, that killing of some fish won’t harm us too much, cause hey, they reproduce. Actually only 1% recovers from depletion. And what about the rest?
Not only do human beings fish for food. There are people who actually slaughter over 2000 whales brutally in a so called “traditional ritual”. It’s heart-breaking! These whales come close to shore to give birth. And these people think of it as a sport. The pictures are so shocking, it took us quite a while be able to deal with it. And we can’t unsee it. The ocean coloured red with the blood of so many whales. Men standing on top of whales while cutting them open and smiling. It hurts to see people capable of such a crime. We will not show you these pictures here, because they are extremely disturbing and you need to decide for yourself, if you want to see it. But if you want to read more about this, click on this link.
Why does veganism help with this problem? It’s simple: If you stop eating fish, you won’t be spending money on fish. And unfortunately money is so much louder than any activist’s voice. The demand will shrink and so will the exploitation. And no, there won’t suddenly be “too many fish in the sea” – cause as we already covered: the oceans and our planet are a very clever eco-system. They’ll work it out. Don’t be afraid to act like you care.
“Pollution, climate change and massive overfishing are destroying an eco-system in only 50-70 years, which was built in the las 400 million years.”
If you’re thinking about going vegan and have some questions, you’re more than welcome to contact us for tips or check out this blogpost on “How to go vegan“.
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Sources: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Cowspiracy WWF National Geographic YouTube: Overfishing – Revolution World Issue