I am responding to a very small portion of the letter to the editor April 21, 2021 despite the many avenues open for discussion and dispute. I support the workers in this industry and believe they deserve well-paying and meaningful work – as do all workers – and hope they can find it in life- affirming, rather than destructive employment.
My response is to the chosen word ‘mundane’. The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers these definitions for mundane
1: of, relating to, or characteristic of the world
2: characterized by the practical, transitory, and ordinary
I take exception to the assumption that any concentrated animal feedlot operation (CAFO) – in the ocean or on land – is ordinary or characteristic of the world. The inhumane and unnatural conditions these animals are forced into should not be common; should not be ordinary; should not be accepted – whether we eat them or not. We (in North America anyway) react in horror and with donations to stop the bush meat or dog meat trades in other countries, yet blithely accept and purchase animals raised in horrific conditions. Animals not allowed to roam or migrate, squashed into crowded enclosures and then treated with pharmaceuticals to decrease the effects of the inevitable pathogens. And the drugs and chemicals do not stay in the open-net pens, thereby affecting many other species and ecosystems…so not transitory..
I want the readers to imagine even four times the occupancy limit of the Tidemark Theatre, forced into that space and not allowed to leave – or use the bathrooms. Even if we did go into the space healthy (and that’s debatable), how soon do you think, before the stress, the boredom, the accumulated waste, took some and then all of us down – unless we were ‘harvested’ before that?
The industry is crying that they may be forced to ‘euthanize’ millions of smolts if they can’t re-stock the pens. Why is that any different than raising them to maturity and killing them then?
There will likely always be cognitive dissonance in humans. We can cherish a four legged family member like a dog or cat and then barbecue a cow, or a pig, a chicken or a fish. Survival sometimes makes this compartmentalism necessary. But most of us here are not in a fight for survival and have lots of choices. An informed choice includes all of the information.