Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Documentary Watch: End of the Line

I watched this documentary over a week ago, and it got me so fired up and emotionally invested that I had to stop it halfway through.

I was a vegetarian who still ate the occasional fish before, but now, I cannot stomach the thought of continuing that way.

The film makes it perfectly clear that our fisheries are rapidly depleting fish populations to the point where they may never recover, like the cod in the East Coast. I was so shocked that I had been so ignorant on the subject. Somehow factory farming has become more on the public radar, and captive animal rights are in the foreground. But with wild animals, the abuse often happens without the slightest public attention. Whether that is due to our misguided belief that the oceans are bottomless, or simply a blase attitude towards creatures that physically are harder (not as cuddly as a baby chick) to find compassion for, I don't know.

Whether or not we can expand our compassion to the creatures of the sea, if we keep raping it for everything it has, the human devastation will be just as heart-wrenching. Countries like Senegal sell their fishing rights to Europe and North America, who send huge fishing fleets that leave nothing for all the people who depend on fish to live. For food, not for money. I can't be part of that. There is no reason why people should starve because I have a craving for sushi.

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