Jan. 14th, 2009

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PETA is a more openly reprehensible organisation than most. When they aren't killing puppies at their no-kill shelters, brainwashing children, and demeaning women for being mammals, however, they apparently come up with delightful nonsense like this: sea kittens. They want people to start calling fish sea kittens. They drew pictures of fish wearing cat suits, and produced a children's book about fish playing with balls of yarn. I suppose it must be quite the shock to people for whom fuzziness is a central component of their ethical decision-making process. If I wore tee shirts, I might want one of these.

If, on the other hand, you'd like to make adult decisions regarding the ethical consumption of seafood, I might recommend Taras Gresco's Bottomfeeder. It catalogues fish populations that are at risk and explains in detail, with real scientific evidence, why they ought to be avoided. Better than that, it also recommends fish that are not only currently in no danger of being overfished, but species like the oyster for which their cultivation for consumption actually represents sophisticated ecological stewardship. Gresco is as much a gastronome as he is an activist, which makes the book a surprisingly adventurous and enjoyable guide to saving the world's fisheries from imminent collapse.

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