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Every so often when I talk about aquaponics someone brings up issues around either the captive culture, or humane slaughter of fish.  These are important, relevant questions that we are going to need to wrestle with in aquaponics.

 

Here is a link to a short PETA editorial that just came out in our local paper about this subject.  Treehugger.com regularly brings this up.

How do you answer these questions?  Are fish humanely treated in aquaponics?  How do you humanely slaughter a fish?

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Hi Gina,

I'm sorry.  I guess I'm not understanding what you are taking issue with.  It seems to me the old post from Feb of 2011 you revived addresses all of your points of concern quite well.  Am I missing something?

I don't know, it's kind of catchy.  Imagine sitting in front of the fire with a good book and a cold slimy baramundi curled up, purring warmly on your lap.

Or imagine when friends visit and notice your adorable tilapia sleeping lazily on your couch cushion- literally basking in the glorious rays of summer sun.

Or imagine having to kick open the back door at 1AM and scream at the neighborhood perch yowling at the moon on your back fence.  

I think PETA might actually have a good chance at making that new nomenclature work!



Gina Cavaliero said:

But come on, you don't want to refer to your Baramundi as Sea Kittens?

 

Nope... I call mine "breakfast", "lunch", "dinner", "sushi" etc....

 

I agree totally that we have an ethical responsibility to all living things, especially those that feed us... and that includes plants... which for all we know probably scream with pain as our knives severe them from their roots....

 

But heck... I didn't crawl to the top of the food chain... just to eat lettuce all the time...

 

Hi Kellen,

Perhaps I still am misunderstanding what point it is you were making in that post.  I just reread it (again!)  It seems that you are questioning if PETA is aware of how harsh nature is?  I guess I don't understand what the logic is in that.  Why compare nature with factory farming and slaughter methods.  Two different animals, IMO.  Pun intended!  So, what was your point?  Lol! 

Yea, the fact that nature is cruel doesn't mean we should be.  So it's kinda beside the point though an interesting debate tactic.

I'm still going to kill and eat animals, I'm an omnivore, but I want their life to be as cruelty free, happy and comfortable as possible before I must do the deed.

I think Nates point about fish and pain, well I can't really agree.  Just because they may not have the higher reasoning to choose and such, that frustration over not being able to follow instincts is still a feeling.  Injury causes pain or some form of sensory reaction otherwise animals wouldn't react to preserve themselves.  Now we work hard to keep our fish from experiencing stress since stressed out fish don't eat and grow well and many types of fish get sick and start dieing if the stress is too much no matter what the stress is from so we have a kinda built in thing here.  We wouldn't get to eat our fish if we were being too cruel to them since they would be dieing before getting big enough to eat.  I also like that a good aquaponics system means we have good water quality for our fish unlike the strict aquaculture where they have to balance water changes with how much water they are allowed to dump/waste with how hard they are going to try to keep their water quality good (since they have to pollute nature in order to keep their water quality tip top.)

PETA is not concerned with "animal rights".... there real agenda is that we should all be Vegan....

 

They explicitly state...

 

"PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."

 

"We uphold the rights of individual animals to be respected. For most, that means simply leaving them alone. "

 

I wonder what they do when a mozzie starts to bite them... do they swat the bloody thing.... or sit it down, put on some soothing pan pipe music... and give it a gentle talking to... and a big hug...

I'm from a cattle ranch in Colorado.

We raised and cared for around 2,000 head most of the time.

I wonder how the fact that most of the cattle are killed and eaten by humans

(remembering that ALL animals die one way or another)

weighs against the fact that if humans were not breeding them

these individual animals would never exist in the first place.

And the fact that, unlike their wild cousins,

these cattle were protected from predators,

were given assistance with illness and difficult deliveries,

were assured of ample water and grazing,

and that when the winter storms made grazing impossible

we humans worked twenty-hour days with tractors and trucks

to deliver high-protein feed to them?

It seems to me that sustainable animal husbandry

is a net benefit to the animals involved.

And that includes the fish in our care, as well.

Right on Rupert.  The ultimate irony is that the only way we could actually "leave them alone" would be for us not to exist ourselves.  When we build roads, erect houses, cut trees, plant grass, farm row crops, cut down trees, plant trees, explore the wilderness, and so on and so on... We impact animals.  The very idea that we can just "leave them alone" is complete and total nonsense.

Humans belong to the animal kingdom too.  Depriving a human of their natural instinct to eat other animals seems a bit contrary to their mission as well.  Yet, they have no interest in leaving other humans alone who do not believe in their version of humane, a version that is, and will remain, unattainable.

Kellen, I agree that it is impossible for us to coexist with animals and not affect them on some level, however I strongly disagree with your statement that humans have a natural instinct to eat other animals.  Humans started out foraging and gathering what they ate until they discovered fire and tools.  Until then, man did not have the capacity to consume animal flesh.   Our teeth, bone structure and strength are not compatible with chasing down an animal, jumping on its back and digging our canines into its neck for the kill, let alone actually sitting down and chomping through our fresh, raw kill.  

Evolution has played a sizable role in what and how humans get food, cook food and grow food, but originally we were just scavenging around looking for nuts and berries.  I would hardly consider devising a blunt instrument which looked like a rock on the end of a big stick to slug something in the head a display of a natural instinct.  That is definitively on the nurture side of the equation, not the nature side.  Odds are early man watched animals eat other animals and likely tried it only to find out they couldn't.  Then somehow they got the idea to cook it and that cooking it made it possible to eat.  We obviously don't know for sure, but that transgression was likely accidental as was a lot of early evolution.  

It is the inherent nature of evolution that it actually necessitates more evolution, Darwin said that.  So if we consider that premise, if it wasn't for the evolution of man and the lack of humanity of that evolved creature, PETA wouldn't have needed to evolve into existence either.

Totally agree.  However, PETA believes you are a cruel person based on the fact that you eat other animals at all.  The point of bringing up the obvious fact that nature, and the animals that live in "nature" are cruel, while done a bit tongue-in-cheek, is merely to demonstrate that living as a domestic animal often "aint so bad" compared to the contrary.

PETA's stance is that even KEEPING animals is abhorrent, not just the slaughtering of them.  Yet, how many of them have house pets?  They'll argue that those house pets were bred to be domesticated and are happy human companions.  Okay, but the original stock came from the wild, and they were, and still are, manipulated over time, through selective breeding, to have traits we humans find desirable.  Kind of resembles an "experiment", something PETA is strongly against.  They were essentially "designed" to make humans happy, and the reason we keep them is to "entertain" us, something (the use of animals for entertainment) PETA is strongly against.  Some even treat their animals (purse dogs for instance) as fashion accessories, something (wearing animals) PETA is strongly against.  Further, how many of those house pets eat animal based foods to meet their nutritional needs?  So, it's "okay" to kill animals and feed them to a domesticated house pet, but not for humans to kill and eat animals.  Again, hypocrisy.

PETA's version of "humane" just doesn't cut it.


TCLynx said:

Yea, the fact that nature is cruel doesn't mean we should be.  So it's kinda beside the point though an interesting debate tactic.

Early humans didnt need to use big tools to kill animals. They simply chased their prey and without the ability to sweat, and without being able to stop under large trees to pant and cool down the prey anumals would eventually fall over dead from heat exhuastion. They still hunt this way in primitive african settlements.

Sorry Gina.... but almost all primates (although apparently not gorillas) do eat meat, at least occasionally. It's true chimps and other apes eat a mostly veggie diet...

 

And primates and humans have essentially the same dental structures... both molars and canines...

 

And studies have shown dnetal development of early homo sapiens to be essentially comparable to modern humans at the same stages of life..

 

Humans have been eating meat since the dawn of time... albeit, probably not a lot... only what they could catch....

 

And before fire... they just ate it raw...

Kellen, I agree that it is impossible for us to coexist with animals and not affect them on some level, however I strongly disagree with your statement that humans have a natural instinct to eat other animals.  Humans started out foraging and gathering what they ate until they discovered fire and tools.  Until then, man did not have the capacity to consume animal flesh.   Our teeth, bone structure and strength are not compatible with chasing down an animal, jumping on its back and digging our canines into its neck for the kill, let alone actually sitting down and chomping through our fresh, raw kill.  

Evolution has played a sizable role in what and how humans get food, cook food and grow food, but originally we were just scavenging around looking for nuts and berries.  I would hardly consider devising a blunt instrument which looked like a rock on the end of a big stick to slug something in the head a display of a natural instinct.  That is definitively on the nurture side of the equation, not the nature side.  Odds are early man watched animals eat other animals and likely tried it only to find out they couldn't.  Then somehow they got the idea to cook it and that cooking it made it possible to eat.  We obviously don't know for sure, but that transgression was likely accidental as was a lot of early evolution.  

It is the inherent nature of evolution that it actually necessitates more evolution, Darwin said that.  So if we consider that premise, if it wasn't for the evolution of man and the lack of humanity of that evolved creature, PETA wouldn't have needed to evolve into existence either.

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