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eadinad's avatar

What, if any, animal cruelty is involved with wild-caught salmon?

Asked by eadinad (1265 points ) April 20th, 2009

I’ve given up meat, dairy and eggs because of the cruelty involved in the farming/slaughtering practices. I’m considering incorporating wild-caught (NOT farmed) salmon into my diet to make up for the losses.
I can’t find much on the internet about any unethical practices involved. Is there any? What should I know?

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15 Answers

crisw's avatar

I personally don’t eat salmon, wild or domestic, but if you choose to eat fish, wild-caught salmon from sustainable U.S. fisheries is a better choice than many as far as both cruelty and environmental issues go. This question has some good discussions and links for the ecological issues.

There is little bycatch involved with wild salmon, so the main potential cruelty involved is to the fish themselves. Much like in any other wild-caught fish industry, they do die by suffocation once pulled from the water.

Another potential cruelty issue is that laws have recently been changed to allow sea lions who hang out at dams and eat migrating salmon to be killed.

Mamradpivo's avatar

The main problem with wild-caught salmon, as I understand it, is rampant overfishing. There’s been no salmon fishing in California, Oregon and Washington the past couple years (though I think California will have a season this year) due to dwindling numbers from overfishing and hydro-power projects.

I don’t know, morally, how farmed salmon compares to wild-caught, but I do know that wild-caught salmon is highly unsustainable, at least on the West Coast, and that would be enough for me.

Garebo's avatar

Yeah, they suffocate the poor thing to death. The fish has diffused its little fishy adrenaline into its tissue making the meat less palatable.
Kosher, farm-raised is much better for you.

mrswho's avatar

No, they are killed with hugs and smothered in kindness. I eat meat but you can’t kill and eat nice.

eadinad's avatar

@mrswho – Well, I don’t know if that’s true. I suppose I should clarify, I don’t have anything against killing/eating animals or their byproducts per se, I just have issue with the inhumane, cruel, torturous, capitalistic way it’s often done, at least in the US and prolly most western countries.

So yeah, there’s a big difference to me.

The “overfishing” issue is a concern. I will look into that.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I don’t know anything about salmon, but I feel you on the wild-caught idea. There are hunters/fishermen and then there are ethical hunters/fisherman. The ethical ones – in my opinion – are the ones who practice their skill year-round to ensure they can take the animal in a split second causing no realization of pain or even fear. My problem is not with ethical hunting and fishing, but with mass-producing animals for factory farming and the grotesque practices associated with it that are legal. I see killing an animal instantly who has enjoyed a wild, natural life and artifically inseminating cattle to mass produce calfs who are mishandled their entire lives totally different.

btko's avatar

a) The part of the fish that we eat is called “meat”.
b) I think wild is certainly a better option than farmed fish, but don’t think that you need to eat fish in order to “make up for losses.”

crisw's avatar

@Garebo
“Kosher, farm-raised is much better for you.”

Not really. Those fish are pumped full of antibiotics and fed unnatural foods so they grow quickly. Their raising also causes tremendous environmental damage- see the thread I linked to above.

janbb's avatar

I think wild-caught salmon is a good way to go if you do want some animal protein. Farm-raised fish is bad for the fish and bad for the ocean, although I do eat it some. Like you, I’ve given up eating meat pretty much because of the cruelty involved in factory farming, but I don’t object per se to killing for food.

As far as dairy goes, do you have access to cage-free eggs and organic milk?

eadinad's avatar

@janbb – I probably could if I wanted to but I don’t miss or like eggs/dairy enough to look for them or pay more. I’d rather just skip them altogether so I do.

Garebo's avatar

@crisw; No, try the wild caught Lake Michigan Salmon-delicious, not!
I don’t know if there is kosher salmon, but if there were, I would probably buy it hook line and sinker, and I am not Jewish.

crisw's avatar

@Garebo
“I don’t know if there is kosher salmon,”

Sure there is. it’s called “lox” :>D

janbb's avatar

Actually, any salmon would be kosher since it is a kosher fish, i.e. not shelled. Lox is the cured version of it.

crisw's avatar

@janbb
I know. It was supposed to be a joke.

janbb's avatar

@crisw thought it might be – sorry. :-)

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