They’re trying to make farmed trout eat “vegan”
It doesn’t get much weirder than this.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on how research at the Aquaculture Research Institute at the University of Idaho is bent on disrupting fish diets. The research, headed by Dr. Ron Hardy, takes rainbow trout off their natural diet of insects, shrimp, and smaller fish, and forces wheat, soy, and corn in to them. The inclusion of some fish oil means the word “vegan” should be left out altogether, but that’s not the issue here.
Why do they want to engineer plant-based farmed fish? Easy – it’s cheaper than feeding fish other fish (vegan diets aren’t just cheaper for humans). It’s not better for the fish, and it’s likely going to oddly suggest to people that it’s better for them. With “vegan” rainbow trout billed as a hot topic at the International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding in Idaho,this could go from research to reality.
But because “vegan” can’t be the only buzzword thrown around with this team, the researchers admit that the switch is because the old feeding methods are ‘unsustainable.’ Hardy told OPB, “Aquaculture has grown rapidly over the last 25 years — and now supplies over 50 percent of fisheries products that people consume around the world — and if we look to the future, at today’s per capita fish intake around the world, we would need to double aquaculture production.” Can someone remind him that ending these fisheries would be even more sustainable than a diet swap? Feed won’t change the demand for fish, something fish and our planet at large relies on seeing an end to.
Apparently the project has improved over it’s trial year, producing bigger fish than it did initially, with some already being sold in a niche market in California. It’s big business, greed, and deception all bundled in to one exploitative package. Billions of fish and other aquatic animals are killed for human use each year. We shouldn’t be looking for new ways to tamper with our production of them – we should consider fish no different than the pets we love, or the farm animals so commonly the focus of misguided charitable donations. It’s speciesist ranking at best, and a complete disregard for life at it’s worst.
I wonder if labelling fish “fish cannibals” would turn more people off than “vegan” fish would. For the fish, and all animals, go vegan.