Vegan Alert: Lobsters, Starving, Fish Feelings, and Other Thoughts

Norman Weiss, Purchasing Manager, and Jeannine Kienzle, Weavers Way Programs Coordinator

Recommended products:

  • Nori sheets and dried seaweed (various brands)
  • Tony’s Chocolonely dark almond sea salt bar
  • Field Roast Celebration Roast

Join us on Tuesday, Jan.14 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Mt. Airy Nexus for a vegan potluck hosted by the Weavers Way Vegan Meet-Up group.The group is open to all, from the veg to the veg-curious. All dishes must be vegan — no meat, fish, dairy, eggs or honey. Stay tuned to the Weavers Way Event Calendar for more details!

Two vegans, one an old-timer (Norman) and another newer to the scene (Jeannine), exchange banter on all things vegan, from products to events to controversial topics to the shelf life of rutabaga fondue. 

N: I’ve always wondered who first looked at a lobster and said they’d like to eat that.

J: That could be said for most animals and creatures, for that matter. I mean, who would want to eat something covered in fur?  

N: Probably the early humans saw animals eat other animals and saw there was meat inside the fur.

J: So it is just human instinct to want to eat flesh?

N: I don’t know.That’s why I wonder if the sight of a lobster ever made someone salivate.

J: Perhaps the early explorers traveling by sea didn’t have enough food on board and decided to eat whatever popped out of the ocean.

N: Have you ever been starving hungry?

J: I think my definition and experience of starving hungry is in no way comparable to actual starvation since I’ve led a relatively privileged life. Have you ever experienced true hunger?

N: I don’t think so. Although growing up, it seemed like I was constantly hungry but there was plenty of food. I wonder what I would do if the only food available was non-vegan. Would I eat it or starve?

J: My hunch is you probably would eat a non-vegan item after a certain amount of time.  

N: Because the drive to live is so strong?  

J: Partly. Plus, I’m sure the discomfort and pain of starvation would take over both physically and mentally.

N: So, at that point I’d become obsessed with finding food — a little like you are all the time.

J: Yes. Being vegan has also made me plan meals and identify vegan-friendly options I can eat when I go out. Going back to starvation, you need nutrients and energy from food to survive, so I’m sure the drive is strong.

N: Maybe if I couldn’t find vegan food, that’s when I would try the breatharian diet.

J: Now that’s a true whack job! Sounds more like an eating disorder.

N: You don’t think you could live on light and air? 

J: No, I think I’d die pretty quickly. Am I allowed to drink water?

N: I’m not sure. I think some breatharians drink water and some don’t. I don’t know any breatharians, so I can’t ask them. If you meet one, you better ask them your questions quickly.

J: Yeah, you probably don’t know any because they’re taking a dirt nap — although dirt is where all the precious B12 is. But thinking back to these early explorers, they could have chosen sea vegetables over the crusty lobster.

N: I heard sea vegetables are really healthy. They have this substance called fucoidan which is apparently good for all kinds of things — oxidizing cells, strengthening the immune system, metabolizing fat, aiding nerve communication, and more. But I don’t know if sea vegetables have much protein.

J: Ahh — the old protein myth.  

N: Guess the explorers got their protein from fish. They probably did some fishing.

J: The suffering that fish endure from being caught doesn’t seem to be as prominently exposed as factory farm animals.

N: Some people think fish feel pain because they have a nervous system, sensory receptors, and display protective motor reactions. Did you ever go fishing?

J: A few times when I was little but never anything regular. I experienced more crabbing than fishing and we always let them go. Did you?

N: Yeah, my Dad loved to go fishing. Most we threw back, but if we caught a flounder my Dad would save it and eat it. I remember the fish would flop around awhile on the boat and then stop flopping. It never occurred to me they were suffering. 

J: I wonder why it is that some people have less compassion or empathy toward sea creatures. They’re not viewed the same as land animals or something fuzzy you can pet.  

N: I guess maybe it’s suffocation and the fact that fish can’t run away and scream in pain. We’re not aware of the suffering.  

J: Well, perhaps not with smaller fish. But what about in the case of dolphins, whales and larger sea mammals? They’re also hunted in other countries.  

N: Yeah good point.  

J: Well, humans are the ones to decide everything. After all, we are the most intelligent species. We feed our oceans plastic and trash, which the sea creatures are consuming unknowingly.  

N: Maybe we’re seeding the ocean for the next species to evolve — one that can eat plastic.

J: Actually, I heard that mushrooms can break down plastic. Plus, some mushrooms are high in B12. I think mushrooms are the future.

N: Mushrooms are magic. They have special powers. Maybe we should try being mushroomivores.

J: You just keep on making up new diets. I’m all for it if it ends suffering! 

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