The reason I love The Fins United Initiative is the diversity in people it has and because it allows a platform for guest writers to talk about important issues regarding the oceans (which, in turn, will in some way affect sharks). Recently I read Margaret's "Less meat = More Sharks" and I love the idea behind reducing one's meat intake to better the environment (which can lead to a healthier ocean). She has some really good tips........ I say this as a fellow vegetarian!!!
But I wanna say something to further the conversation: being a meat eater and also a dedicated environmentalist/conservationist is not a contradiction (not that M ever said it was...... just stating it as a separate opinion altogether). I say this as someone who has been a vegetarian for more than 20 years!!! If you want to continue to eat meat (including seafood), I want to encourage those people who are eating meat to continue to enjoy it....... in moderation. One can eat less meat and eat better meat to help our oceans!
What do I mean by "better" meat???
An essay in the New York Times called "The Carnivore's Dilemma" talked about how for each of the major greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) the emissions varied depending on how livestock was raised. If you don't want to read the article, the jist of it is this: industrialized meat production is supper intense on emission production while well managed, non-industrialized meat is not.
As Margaret stated in a previous piece showcased by TFUI, eating sustainably-caught and sustainably-bought options are possible.
Some sustainable seafood apps I've seen are the Seafood Watch, Ocean Wise, and the Audubon Gulf Seafood Guide to name a few!!! Do YOU have any favorite sustainable seafood apps??? Share away!!!
As she finished off in that piece, "Choosing sustainable, environmentally-conscious seafood is worth doing when considering the future of Chondrichthyans and the ocean as a whole."
What an amazing statement............ one I 100% agree with and think can be applied to meat, as well.
I like learning about ecologically sound food production. The fact of the matter is this: ALL food production has global warming impacts, and some of the worst emitters have nothing to do with meat. Wetland rice fields are responsible for almost 30% of our self-produced methane. Potato crisps??? Have pretty large carbon footprints! Soy products??? Often created by clear-cutting rainforests in Brazil.
We are part of a beautifully complex and wonderful food web, in which all life has a role in the nutrient cycle. I applaud those who want to become a vegan or vegetarian but I also applaud those who consciously reduce their meat intake and make smarter food choices in all aspects of their diet. THAT is what I believe is the best way to help our oceans, and our sharks, when it comes to eating............ because even meat-free options can not be environmentally-conscious.
No doubt, the "best" method to helping our oceans/sharks when at the dinner table will be debated for many, many years to come. I applaud Fins United for the platform to discuss this topic freely and in a polite manner, I thank Margaret for her wonderful article which opened the discussion and I thank you for your time in reading this. I look forward to talking with you all.
guest blog post writer: gerald f.
TFUI Founder Melissa C. Marquez is author of all animal bios and "Behind the Fins" segments.
SEE MELISSA'S TEDx TALK HERE:
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