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I've recently become vegan. I'm seventeen years old, and still living with my mom, and so, she's had to process this change; she's at last fine with everything, except one thing: not eating fish. My family is big on eating fish; we used to travel to an island every summer, going fishing and eating clams on the dock. Now, of course, I'll miss this, but I understand now that eating fish does not go along with being a vegan; fish are sentient beings, and I don't want to eat them.

However, when I tried to explain this to my mom, she didn't understand. She still cannot fathom any reason why I wouldn't eat fish/shellfish/etc.. Does anyone have a better way to explain the reasoning for not eating fish to her? Any good articles, etc., that I can send her? She thinks that, because fish are not "tortured", they're just caught and eaten, that I should be able to eat them without problem.
 

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Even if you don't believe fish are sentient, there are good reasons to not eat fish. The marine ecosystems are in a lot of danger because of the fishing industries. (I don't think this applies to lobster or other sea-life that are caught in small traps in shallow water, though?)

Many of the fish that people eat are actually endangered. Others (like shrimp) produce tons upon tons of "by-catch," collateral damage fish that are caught along with the target fish and that just die for no reason.
 

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The environmental consequences a7dk talked about might be the best way to explain it to your mom. Wikipedia is not a scientific article nor is it perfect, but I think it's generally pretty good for info. Here's its page called Environmental Impact of Fishing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environ...act_of_fishing

Now, that might not really be applicable to the kind of fishing your family does, but it's still something you can use to explain your reasoning to your mother if you wanted to.

One thing I'd recommend is to be careful that you don't come off sounding holier-than-thou about it, or get angry and defensive. It's very easy to do those things - I'm guilty of it sometimes - but usually ineffective.

Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by a7dk View Post

Even if you don't believe fish are sentient, there are good reasons to not eat fish. The marine ecosystems are in a lot of danger because of the fishing industries. (I don't think this applies to lobster or other sea-life that are caught in small traps in shallow water, though?)

Many of the fish that people eat are actually endangered. Others (like shrimp) produce tons upon tons of "by-catch," collateral damage fish that are caught along with the target fish and that just die for no reason.
What about fish/shrimp/clams raised in captivity? Personally I just like to err on the side of not eating animals whose level of cognizance is a mystery to me. That and for the sake of philosophical consistency (because I really don't think clams and shrimp are at all self aware).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainWinthrope View Post

What about fish/shrimp/clams raised in captivity? Personally I just like to err on the side of not eating animals whose level of cognizance is a mystery to me. That and for the sake of philosophical consistency (because I really don't think clams and shrimp are at all self aware).
I'm not aware of any environmental reasons to not eat shrimp/clams raised in captivity. I'm no expert though. Maybe someone else will chime in.
 
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