Monday, November 28, 2005

‘Fish are friends, not food’

Fish are Friends, Not Food Thursday November 18, 2004
Intermediate +
BNE: New findings from the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reveals that fish have feelings, and are sensitive, intelligent creatures. From this they argue that we should treat fish the same as we do other animals, and not eat them. They started a new campaign yesterday called the Fish Empathy Project to increase our awareness of fish rights. They also deem other aquatic life forms such as crabs and seashells to have the right not to be eaten. PETA spokesman, Bruce Friedrich, director of vegan outreach, said “No one would ever put a hook through a dog’s or cat’s mouth … Once people start to understand that fish are just as intelligent, they’ll stop eating them.”The campaign has come under fire from major groups such as the American Heart Association, which recommends fish as part of a healthy and balanced diet. John Connelly of America’s National Fisheries Institute said, “It’s irresponsible to discourage people from eating fish at a time when doctors and dietitians advise eating it twice a week … If anything, we should be eating more fish.” The fears are that if fish welfare groups such as PETA encourage removing fish from our diets, the population will be left with too few nutritional choices and a whole spate of health problems will emerge due to a poor diet. Man cannot live on tofu alone.PETA highlight the health hazards of eating fish, stating a “toxic brew—bacteria, contaminants, heavy metals” reach us through the food chain. Dangers include PCBs, dioxins, radioactive substances, and cadmium, mercury, lead, chromium, and arsenic, which can cause liver and kidney damage, nervous system disorders, fetal damage, cancer and impaired mental development. Seafood is also the number one cause of food poisoning in the USA as fish eat human and animal feces carrying dangerous bacteria like E. coli. The Food and Drug Administration fails to test fish for many of these chemical and bacterial health hazards, which are stored in our body fat for decades.

Impromptu speech. Pick an issue that you would like to focus on:

Fish are friends, not food vs, Fish are food and pets; Fish are intelligent and sensitive creatures vs. Fish are as intelligent and sensitive as cabbages; We don’t need to eat fish vs. Fish is healthy and delicious; Fish are cold-blooded vs. Fish feel no pain;

FISH-TALK: Students ask each other the following questions based on themes taken from the article. Make things more interesting / fun / conversational by asking students to play devil’s advocate:
a. Have you ever eaten raw fish or sushi?
b. Would you like to be a fisherman / fisherwoman?
c. Have you ever been snorkeling or scuba-diving?
d. What is your favorite fish?
e. Could you give up eating fish?
f. Do fish have feelings, are they intelligent?
g. Do you agree with the arguments of PETA or the NFI?
h. Do you worry that the food we eat is becoming more contaminated?
i. Could you kill, gut and clean a fish to eat yourself?
j. If we gave up eating fish, many industries (fishing, sushi restaurants…) would die. Is this acceptable?
k. Is fish an essential part of our diet?
l. All fish-eating ‘vegetarians’ should immediately give up eating fish for moral reasons.
m. Your questions (especially if they are pertinent to the cultures of the students you are teaching).

Link to News, click here.


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