Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I now have to write 3 follow-up diaries on:

a) the impact of dairy cattle on the environment, and their treatment in the industry
b) why it's important to only eat fish from pisciculture
c) why not eating meat can kill you when you're an eskimo

I'm looking forward to your diary on fish, which is a very important issue for me coming from Madrid. Now, how is it better to eat farmed fish than farmed beef? I understand that eating wild fish is like eating game for red meat, but still, the same appalling feeding practices used by the beef industry are used in pisciculture. I'm afraid we should just eat phytoplankton and algae.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 07:02:47 AM EST
Just a quick reply, we can farm species of fish that like promiscuity (and there are quite a number of those, contrarily to the land animals we eat, that may like to hang out in groups but not to the point of stepping on each other's hooves/claws). We can also focus more on vegetarian fish species, like carps, instead of focusing on fish that need to be fed with wild fish (which is currently a common scenario in aquaculture, to the rate of >1 kg of wild fish per 1 kg of farm fish produced).

The main argument in favour of pisciculture is that the current rate of trawler fishing is expansionist while edible fish stocks in the oceans, are, well, diminishing.

Pisciculture may not have to be a permanent feature, but could be construed as a temporary measure, alongside a moratorium on massive fishing that could be implemented to give the ocean some time to replenish itself, after which better fishing regulations could be implemented.

This is just off the top of my head, I will have to write a diary on this after studying this issue some more. Maybe I'll end up with the conclusion that eating fish is evil too, though for now the issue about whether fish actually feel pain or not has not yet been unambiguously resolved.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 07:36:43 AM EST
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It seems pisciculture is not without problems either.

Susan Lark, M.D. writes the following:

I recently made a disturbing discovery about farm-raised salmon, which is the kind you find at most grocery stores and restaurants. We've all heard that salmon is one of nature's super foods. It's full of wonderful omega-3 fatty acids that keep our hearts, brains, joints, and skin supple and youthful. I eat salmon at least twice a week--my personal favorite is wild-caught sockeye salmon from Alaska.

But almost all of the salmon sold today is farm-raised. Farm-raised salmon contains about the same amount of omega-3 fats as wild-caught salmon. But it also contains extremely high levels of a highly inflammatory compound called arachidonic acid. In fact, the inflammatory effect of the arachidonic acid in farm-raised salmon more than cancels out the anti-inflammatory benefits of the omega-3 fats it contains. That's right: Unless you are eating wild-caught salmon, you are better off not eating salmon at all.

I don't know how reliable this source is, the information was send to me in a e-mail a friend.

by Fran on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 09:10:31 AM EST
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I think it's accurate, there has been chatter about farmed salmon toxicity over the past few years.

I think fish farming has lots of problems, and I'll be happy to read on this topic and write a diary soon enough.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 09:15:19 AM EST
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I seem to recall that, after cattle brains were banned from cattle feed they made their way into farmed fish feed. Because you still have to dispose of the cattle carcasses somehow, don't you?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 09:19:57 AM EST
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"there has been chatter": watch out, there is a commercial battle between farmed salmon (essentially European) and wild salmon (essentially N. American), in which we may hear allegations of high toxicity levels in one or the other kinds. Specifically, that farmed salmon concentrates toxins because the sea-bottom small fish etc used to make feed are polluted; wild salmon because the N. Pacific is polluted with industrial toxins from Asia. There may be truth in both, but there's probably a certain amount of commercial disinformation going on.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 09:24:10 AM EST
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Ahhh, there are so many spin-off diaries to be written here that I won't be able to handle it all on my own. Besides, I'm not impartial, so I may not be the best candidate. Maybe you could write something about the salmon wars, afew?
by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 09:31:00 AM EST
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Am seconding a call for a diary on wild caught vs. farm raised salmon. In my doctor's office, one of his journals claimed that wild caught carnivorous fish such as salmon, tend to be high in mercury. Pacific salmon have the highest concentrations because of China's coal fired factories and power plants. The same article claimed that farm raised salmon from Northern Europe had a very high PCB level because they were given North Sea feeder fish for food. The magazine suggested Chilean farmed salmon as being the safest.
I have also heard the rumor of a North American versus European trade war on salmon and am intrigued.
by northsylvania on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 11:49:27 AM EST
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I'm switching to phytoplankton, I tell ya...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 11:51:10 AM EST
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By the way, any of us could write such a diary: I hold that the best diaries are often written not by those who know the most but by those most eager to learn about the topic. It's just a matter of finding the time to research and write. Those who already know the most have the advantage of shorter research times, but that's about it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 11:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
are you talking exclusively about sea-pisciculture?

my intuition (as a vegan yet!), is that aquaculture will play a big part in feeding an 'overpopulated' planet, as the fish-shitty water is of value to plants, and can fit into a planned eco-setup, such as people try to do in 'arks', biosphere experiments etc.

i use inverted commas around 'overpopulated' because especially after reading this, i am reminded that the earth can support many souls, if, as alex mentioned, we redirect the fruits of the land more to humans, without wastefully putting them through livestock first.

i don't think veganism is for everyone, but the chinese model, where a few thin slices of meat are found in a tumble of other veggie ingredients, often high-protein such as mung sprouts, will probably even out as sustainable, once we in the west downscale our excessive, cancerous habits, more to the ratios employed by our great-grandparents generation.
tthe chinese do have a lot of experience feeding huge numbers of people, (and starving a lot too).

interesting comment about veganism and insomnia.

i had noticed a correlation, but tended to ascribe it to less energy needed for digestion, therefore more available for wakefulness, and linked to the claims of many who practice yoga for need of much less sleep to refresh the cells.

perhaps a lot of sleep in the torpor created by fatty, rich, uric acid-inducing, over-sugared. alcohol-laced meals which require more downtime for the body to repair equilibrium.

till my early 20's raised on meat, fish, eggs, and/or dairy at every meal, i was sick a lot of the time, fatigued easily, and took a long time to wake up in the morning, with terrible clogged sinuses needing hospitalisation once, very painful and traumatic.

i wake up alert and very quickly now, and while i still love to sleep- the best natural high of all!- i am amazed how my energy runs on and on now, stamina wise, especially on the mental plane.

having eschewed formal education at the tender age of 18, the internet and late night bbc prime are manna to this self-educating polymath.

blogs like this are beyond my powers to describe in their usefulness to a lonely intellectual, addicted to living in the deep country, though i am born a child of london, in the coke-smoked peasoup winscale'd 50's, so perhaps the rest of my life i will be paying for that by breathing cleaner air.

cities stress me heavily, 3-4 days tops and i'm gone like a cool breeze, and even when i'm there, i'm always scanning for a green hideway, such as the very lovely cemetary at the bottom of fulham road, going to earl's court.

if the pollution weren't there, i might return, as getting 90% of one's cultural stimulation from the internet doesn't seem quite right, somehow.

jeez i'm rambling, sorry guys, this diary cuts deep and brings up a bunch of stuff for me.

so very stoked to read such a well-presented diary, and see how much attention it's getting.

there is NO more important issue/solution on the planet.

your bloodstream is a tiny river, what do you want to throw into it daily?

leave a bucket of veggies to putrefy, next to a similar one of animal products. visit after a few days of warm weather.

imagine your nose - perhaps your greatest discriminatory survival organ (no funny jokes here!), - INSIDE your body, instead of outside it.

nuff said

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 01:40:58 PM EST
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