Reducing Fish Consumption

So the latest thing I’ve been trying to focus on is my consumption of fish.

You probably don’t know many people who cut out fish but not other meat for moral reasons – a lot of vegetarians cut out beef, pork, chicken and other meats but continue to eat fish for nutrition. (Not only is it a good source of protein, but deep sea varieties contain essential fatty acids).

However lately I’ve been feeling prompted to cut out fish rather than other meats. Of course, it would be great to be able to cut out all meats completely (the goal is to be vegan again!) but if I must make a start, fish is what I want to stop eating first. My main reason for this is I discovered the most recent stats on what overfishing has done to our oceans.

Firstly, the oceans cover 70% of the planet and contain 80 per cent of all life on Earth. Not only large and small fish, planktons, and mammals such as cetaceans and seals, but an array of plant life and a whole host of creatures that are completely undiscovered. Knowing that the oceans have the overwhelming majority of life on our isolated little planet should encourage anybody to care about it’s health.

What’s very alarming though, is the fact that 80% of the world’s fisheries (fisheries referring to any area where fish live) are overexploited and depleted. (See overfishing.org). On top of that 90% of large predatory fish are gone. A lot of people are unaware what large predatory fish actually are, but a few examples are tuna, perch, shark, sea bass and salmon.  

90% are gone! 9 out of every 10 large fish are taken away – just taken. Why are we not freaking out about this? 

With modern fishing methods – trawl nets that literally sweep the sea clean, trapping cetaceans, turtles, even sea birds who get caught in the nets when they try to fish – how much longer do we realistically have before these species are gone forever? The answer is, not very long. Experts’ predictions range from 25 years to less than 10.  I’m personally even less optimistic than that.

Is it any wonder that we have wound up in this situation? There are apparently enough fishing fleets in existence to cover 4 Earths. I think we’re kidding ourselves if we think the situation is going to change on it’s own, without the average person taking some sort of action.

So first and foremost, we can make better choices with what we eat. I have personally cut out all tuna – which was admittedly painful, I love sushi! – and am trying to drastically reduce my servings of salmon. I also highly recommend doing a bit of research on what other seafood is ok to consume. The Australian Marine Conservation Society has created a smartphone application that I am loving so much right now; it lists what seafood is ok, what you should avoid, and what you should think twice about.

So although I do eventually want to stop eating all animal products, I feel like this is the best start I can make, as we have no shortage of cows, pigs or chickens, but we do have a shortage of fish. I personally would like my children to be able to enjoy a tuna sandwich, or some sushi, on rare occasion. I’m also trying to get a little more involved in some other projects in the hopes commercial fishing vessels will change their methods, but that’s probably a topic for another blog.

I’d love to hear what you all think on the topic and if you have any tips regarding better seafood choices, do share.

Welcome

Well hello there and welcome to my new blog.

It’s been quite a few years since I blogged, having being immersed in the (somewhat mindless) ocean of Facebook all this time. But prior to that I did blog for several years over at good old Livejournal, which, though it had it’s ups and downs, enabled me to connect with a lot of people who had some really great ideas about a lot of things.

In those days I was a missionary in Thailand, and had just discovered bellydancing. So my journal was mainly about the ins and outs of working at an orphanage, looking after 50+ children whilst doing admin for other arms of the organisation (which spanned 4 countries!) by day, then at night devoting myself to the art of bellydance. A rather juxtaposed existence and not particularly enjoyable when it boils right down to it, but by blogging I was able to document the transformation I went through.

It really was a metamorphosis, as shortly after I moved back to Australia and was able to further immerse myself in the world of bellydance, I had what had been bubbling away for a long time; a change of religion. A few years on, and I’ve gone from being a born again Christian to a pagan witch, and while I don’t bellydance anymore (long story…I might get to it one day) my point is, the blog was the map of the start of my journey.

So here I am, on the start of another journey, hoping a blog will help me make sense of things, and hopefully help a few other people too.

I’m 29 years old, and am engaged to a wonderful man. We live in Melbourne with my fiance’s father (henceforth referred to as my father in law, even though it’s not strictly true yet). I work in a call centre and in my spare time run a small business creating blends of herbal teas. My fiance is between work at the moment but has worked in radio for several years. Yes, I’m a witch, and yes this means I do spells, and no it doesn’t mean they’re the kind of spells you’d see in a Harry Potter movie. I, and fortunately most of my witch friends, have what I think is the rather delightful trait of being spiritual but at the same time very cynical. We believe in evolution and science as much as we believe in spirit and magick (they’re kind of the same thing if you think about it) so I’m certainly not one of those airy-fairy type people that you see around psychic fairs and so forth.

My fiance and I live in Melbourne but we are planning a move to the Gold Coast – or at least somewhere sunny – because I really struggle with Melbourne’s cold, gloomy winters. We have chosen to buy, so this move will also involve the purchase of our first home. And then there’s our wedding. We aren’t the type to have a big lavish affair (eloping has been really tempting at times!) but once we’ve bought a home we would like to tie the knot finally. So there’s a lot in the works for us.

On top of this, I have always had the feeling that there is something not quite right about how the most of us in Western society live our lives…the competition, the consumerism, the using up of resources we just don’t have, working our fingers to the bone to end up with nothing but bills. I guess I am a born hippie (I had dreadlocks to my butt until I cut them off because of the headaches, and used to be a vegan). So I am always trying to find a way to live ethically. But, like most people, I’m constantly falling off the wagon here. I’ll give meat up then take it up slowly because it’s just so darn yummy and I need the iron anyway. I’ll get passionate about a cause then forget about it when the next cause comes along. And so on.

I’m certainly not going to pretend I’m perfect, and I think most people fall into this same trap. We do care, we really really do, but our lives as they have formed in this society can sometimes outweigh our desire to make a better choice. Our day to day requirements can mean that it’s too hard to do that thing we vowed to do, or avoid that thing we vowed to avoid. Or sometimes people get so overwhelmed they just say, “I give up!’ and do nothing.

I think that, at the age of 29, I’ve become rather conventional now. I mean, if you don’t take into account the whole witch thing, or the facial piercings I still have (can’t quite bring myself to part ways with my labret or nose rings yet). So what this blog will also be about is just one normal chick trying to live a normal life, but trying to do it in a better way.

Trying to find the way of living conventionally without destroying the environment, or overusing resources. Is it even possible? Time will tell. When I make discoveries I want to share them with you, so in your own lives, with all the things you have to think about and all stresses that are involved, you can know you are making a little bit of a difference. Likewise if you also have a discovery please tell me so I can give it a shot.

Here’s to a great blog. *clink*