Aquaponic Gardening

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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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Sorry, Ryan, but that method also developed after the advent of tools.  Even if they could chase an animal to exhaustion, they still had no way of tearing into it without even a simple tool derived from some flint rock and used as a cutting implement.  Hmm, but there's that pesky need for fire again because without tempering the flint, it was too fragile to actually be a good cutting instrument.  Also, they still did not eat the raw flesh because their teeth was not capable of it any more than their digestive tracks could process it or the likely parasites that they consumed with it.  

A more common way to chase animals was to force them over a cliff or chasm for a large kill, but still they had tools to process and fire to cook.  Not to mention over time they likely began to figure out that less of them were dying after consuming cooked meats as opposed to somehow managing to eat it raw.  

Kellen, 

Actually here is PETA's statement regarding pets.  See http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/pets.aspx   Here they state, 

Contrary to myth, PETA does not want to confiscate animals who are well cared for and "set them free." What we want is for the population of dogs and cats to be reduced through spaying and neutering and for people to adopt animals (preferably two so that they can keep each other company when their human companions aren't home) from pounds or animal shelters—never from pet shops or breeders—thereby reducing suffering in the world.  


There's nothing wrong with that at all.  The reason PETA has such an issue with using pets for entertainment is because of the past abhorrent treatment of many animals in the entertainment industry. Did you know that when an animal is used on a set, a representative from the Humane Society now has to be present to insure there is no abuse?  Why?  Because people will abuse them all in the name of making money.  No different then an inhumane slaughter method to save a few cents but to equate their stance on animal use in the entertainment industry with the entertainment derived from having a pet is a stretch.  

It is obvious that many find fault with PETA because of the extremity of their measures, but why be so against an organization whose interest is to protect animals?  Look at the list of victories they have enacted for animals over the years.   http://www.peta.org/about/victories/default.aspx?PageIndex-11751104...  There are over 60 pages.

Sorry Gina, but my understanding and background in biology leads me to disagree with your statements.

There are some intelligent arguments for vegetarianism, but claiming that humans are "naturally" herbivorous isn't one of them. The broader scientific community agrees that man is an omnivore, capable of eating both meat and vegetables and has been eating meat for at least 2 million years, and probably much, much longer.

Herbivores have a variety of specialized digestive organs/systems capable of breaking down cellulose, which is the main component of plant tissue. Cellulose is totally indigestible for humans, and even strict herbivores have to process it over a very long period of time. For instance, if you were a ruminant (like a cud eating cow), you'd have a stomach with four compartments, enabling you to "cough up" last night's hay and relish it again, to make it more palatable. A different approach is seen with rabbits, who have an enlarged cecum (a bag attached to the intestines), where they store their food until bacteria in the intestine have had time to work their magic. This is digestion through a process of fermentation. Bacteria actually "eat" the cellulose allowing the animal consume/digest the byproducts.

Biologists will suggest our "gut", when compared to other animals suggests we're omnivores. Much like strict carnivores, we have relatively simple digestive systems, well suited for consuming/digesting animal protein. The small intestine of an average adult human is roughly 23 feet, which is a little under eight times the "mouth-to-anus" length. Most well known carnivores are around 3-5 "mouth-to-anus". For instance, carnivores like cats and dogs (3x "mouth-to-anus" and 3.5x "mouth-to-anus" respectively) have short guts, again, typical of carnivores. Plant eaters (herbivores) such as cattle are about 20x and horses are about 12x. Omnivores generally fall somewhere in between, which we (humans) do.

With regard to our teeth, we are considered to be equipped with an all purpose set of chompers that are equally suited for chewing up a steak or a green bean.

On the topic of evolution, the famous and highly respected primatologist, Jane Goodall, observed that wild chimpanzees would hunt, kill and consume other animals from time to time... and eat the meat with extreme enthusiasm. Evolutionists believe we diverged from the apes around 14 million years ago, so that's a long time to have been eating meat, considering our ancestral history.

The facts argue quite strongly against humans being natural vegetarians/herbivores.



Gina Cavaliero said:

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.

From that same page... and it's typical of most of their "pages"....

 

"Because domesticated animals retain many of their basic instincts and drives but are not able to survive on their own in the wild, dogs, cats, or birds, whose strongest desire is to be free, must be confined to houses, yards, or cages for their own safety."

 

Pure bullocks.... domesticated dogs, cats, and birds... can happily become wild... if set free...

 

Heck, the reason that cats are suggested to be confined... is because their natural instincts to hunt and kill.. are so strong... that they threaten native wildlife..

 

They don't have to be "confined to houses, yards, or cages for their own safety..... we, and PETA owners do that for our enjoyment....

 

And most cats and dogs... even if allowed to wander freely... will come back home... for a meal... that's because... we've domesticated them...

 

Even cattle, goats, sheep and horses... will readily revert to the wild...

 

What complete bullocks...

 

And "spaying and "neutering" an animal.. isn't exactly natural... or for the benefit of the animal... it's for our human benefit....

 

Talk about hypocracy, and inconsistancy....


 
Gina Cavaliero said:

 

Actually here is PETA's statement regarding pets.  See http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/pets.aspx   Here they state, 

Contrary to myth, PETA does not want to confiscate animals who are well cared for and "set them free." What we want is for the population of dogs and cats to be reduced through spaying and neutering and for people to adopt animals (preferably two so that they can keep each other company when their human companions aren't home) from pounds or animal shelters—never from pet shops or breeders—thereby reducing suffering in the world.  


And to show their hypocracy.. and inconsistancy..  even further... re : cats...

 

http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/outdoor-cats.aspx

 

http://www.peta.org/about/why-peta/feral-cats.aspx

 

As much as I would love to respond to you Kellen, as my background in applied anthropology strongly suggests that your premise is not correct either, I don't have time to answer both you and Rupert.  

Rupert, to say that spaying and neutering is for the human benefit and not the animals is incredible shortsighted and irresponsible thinking.  Tell that to the 3 to 4 million animals euthanized in American shelters every year and yet breeders keep breeding.   Perhaps cats can become ferral, but dogs do not easily transition from domestication to being fully wild.  Most would starve to death, but realistically few ever get to that point as they are captured and euthanized before then. Horses absolutely could not be just released and miraculously revert to being wild.  They starve.  Sorry but I have seen far too much of that first hand as a result of a depressed economy and people releasing their horses into the state forests when they can no longer afford them.  It happens all too frequently.  

So here you go, we not only have an immense responsibility to the animals we raise to eat, but also to the ones we raise for companionship and if that means spaying or neutering to spare a bunch more from suffering then so be it.  I have never heard a logical argument against spaying and neutering and I still haven't.  Really Rupert, your arguments just seem like nothing more than a predilection against PETA  and a refusal to acknowledge that their campaign has been necessary to help insure animal rights and lives.  

Great info :-)

God bless,

Kellen Weissenbach said:

Sorry Gina, but my understanding and background in biology leads me to disagree with your statements.

There are some intelligent arguments for vegetarianism, but claiming that humans are "naturally" herbivorous isn't one of them. The broader scientific community agrees that man is an omnivore, capable of eating both meat and vegetables and has been eating meat for at least 2 million years, and probably much, much longer.

Herbivores have a variety of specialized digestive organs/systems capable of breaking down cellulose, which is the main component of plant tissue. Cellulose is totally indigestible for humans, and even strict herbivores have to process it over a very long period of time. For instance, if you were a ruminant (like a cud eating cow), you'd have a stomach with four compartments, enabling you to "cough up" last night's hay and relish it again, to make it more palatable. A different approach is seen with rabbits, who have an enlarged cecum (a bag attached to the intestines), where they store their food until bacteria in the intestine have had time to work their magic. This is digestion through a process of fermentation. Bacteria actually "eat" the cellulose allowing the animal consume/digest the byproducts.

Biologists will suggest our "gut", when compared to other animals suggests we're omnivores. Much like strict carnivores, we have relatively simple digestive systems, well suited for consuming/digesting animal protein. The small intestine of an average adult human is roughly 23 feet, which is a little under eight times the "mouth-to-anus" length. Most well known carnivores are around 3-5 "mouth-to-anus". For instance, carnivores like cats and dogs (3x "mouth-to-anus" and 3.5x "mouth-to-anus" respectively) have short guts, again, typical of carnivores. Plant eaters (herbivores) such as cattle are about 20x and horses are about 12x. Omnivores generally fall somewhere in between, which we (humans) do.

With regard to our teeth, we are considered to be equipped with an all purpose set of chompers that are equally suited for chewing up a steak or a green bean.

On the topic of evolution, the famous and highly respected primatologist, Jane Goodall, observed that wild chimpanzees would hunt, kill and consume other animals from time to time... and eat the meat with extreme enthusiasm. Evolutionists believe we diverged from the apes around 14 million years ago, so that's a long time to have been eating meat, considering our ancestral history.

The facts argue quite strongly against humans being natural vegetarians/herbivores.



Gina Cavaliero said:

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.

Maybe if we could find a great recipe for dog and cat we wouldn't have the over population problem we have in America. Just sayin'...


Gina, Im not against "spaying or neutering"... I think it is an essential part of pet ownership...

 

And I'm not against PETA and/or even it's sometimes radical actions... with regards to cruelty, or mistreatment of animals...

 

I just find their arguments, as presented on their website... to be often ill-informed, illogical...or non-sensical... and frankly often counter productive to their cause...

 

A lot of the stuff reads like it was written by a bunch of 14 year old emos sitting around in a candle lit bedroom eating marshmellows...

 

And sorry, but I grew up, and walked the bush all my life in New Zealand... and here in Australia.. and apart from native habitat destruction by humans...

 

The greatest threat to native wildlife, flora and fauna... is feral domesticated animals....

 

The greatest losses of sheep... aren't from dingos or foxes... but wild dogs...

 

Species of birdlife, reptiles, marsupials, penguins... have been brought to the edge of extinction... by feral cats (in particular) and dogs...

 

Immense damage is done to native parks and habitats... by herds of feral cattle, "brumby" horses, camels and water buffalo....

 

Other than the dingo, here in Australia... neither NZ or Australia had any native species of any of those mentioned above...

 

The problem with the over-breeding/population of cats and dogs... and subsequent euthanasia... is completely a human problem....

 

I realise, acknowledge, and applaud... your history of animal rescue, particularly of horses...

 

And perhaps it is somewhat more perculiar to the habitat/climate here in Australia, and NZ.... but believe me... horses, and the others listed above... don't have too much trouble reverting "wild"... and breeding and thriving.. to the detrement of the native wildlife...

 

Again, it's not the fault of the animals... it's a human problem... and I have no problem with anyone, or organisation that deals with the problem... and/or pursues the perpertrators...

 


 Gina Cavaliero said:

.  

Rupert, to say that spaying and neutering is for the human benefit and not the animals is incredible shortsighted and irresponsible thinking.  Tell that to the 3 to 4 million animals euthanized in American shelters every year and yet breeders keep breeding.   Perhaps cats can become ferral, but dogs do not easily transition from domestication to being fully wild.  Most would starve to death, but realistically few ever get to that point as they are captured and euthanized before then. Horses absolutely could not be just released and miraculously revert to being wild.  They starve.  Sorry but I have seen far too much of that first hand as a result of a depressed economy and people releasing their horses into the state forests when they can no longer afford them.  It happens all too frequently.  

So here you go, we not only have an immense responsibility to the animals we raise to eat, but also to the ones we raise for companionship and if that means spaying or neutering to spare a bunch more from suffering then so be it.  I have never heard a logical argument against spaying and neutering and I still haven't.  Really Rupert, your arguments just seem like nothing more than a predilection against PETA  and a refusal to acknowledge that their campaign has been necessary to help insure animal rights and lives.  

Many forms of animal food are caught without tools

(insects, grubs, eggs, baby birds, fish, marine invertebrates...)

and many are eaten without cooking.

All of the great apes are omnivores,

and humans are no exception.

My first degree is in Developmental Biology

and I'm unaware of any science that challenges this.

            "And most cats and dogs... even if allowed to wander freely... will come back home... for a meal..."

Yes, if they can.

Our ranch was located about thirty minutes from the nearest town,

and people continually drove their unwanted dogs and cats out there

and kicked them out of the car.

No doubt a few did the 'Lassie come home' thing,

but most of them were simply lost

and either came begging and stealing to the ranch

or starved or formed packs (the dogs, of course).

 

The cats devastated the native bird population,

especially pheasant and quail,

and the dogs killed many baby calves, piglets, sheep, goats, etc.

With little fear of man and much understanding of human habits,

the dogs were far more dangerous and costly than the coyotes.

 

One one memorable day my brother and I went after a pack

and killed twenty three dogs;

German Shepherds, Collies, retrievers, and even a poodle.

That was a sad day,

but we slept better in the nights that followed.

 

In my opinion, the issue is one of responsibility.

And aquaponics is a wholesome step in the right direction.


I knew that would get the fur flying! Gina, many are against PETA because the are radical extremists, they are short-sighted, and they are terrorists. In the name of doing what is morally right, they do many bad things, and they force their opinion of right and wrong on others. Sea-kittens? That is sick and disgusting. Let's brainwash children to support the future of vegan terrorism. It is no different than would be a carnivore terrorist organization campaining against the eating of plants, and then pass legislation that plants may not be cultivated or eaten as food, displaying posters of plant slauterhouses with defenseless sugar canes lying in pools of sap. It does not belong to man to enforce one's belief on another. The Taliban is a good example. Those twisted freaks brainwash their followers into carrying out wicked deeds to enforce their views, and all the while they think they are doing the "right" thing. PETA are terrorists, just the same.

My point, since you asked, is that Kellen's logic was, and is, not flawed. This is an aquaponics forum. No users are torturing their fish or plants, and every method of kill listed is more humane than nature. That's all. And I like starting trouble.

We have a name in Australia for guys like you Jon... it's Rupert shit stirrer...

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