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Fish and Omega Fatty Acids

Sea-dwelling animals are not unfeeling objects to be commodified, any more than your dog or cat is

Americans kill and eat 18 billion marine animals every year. Some are genetically engineered on fish farms, while the rest are hooked by the mouth or netted by huge trawlers that catch and kill everything in their path. Contrary to the biased statements made by meat, dairy and egg-eating addicts, there isn't one shred of doubt that fish experience a wide-range of emotions from fear and pain to excitement and happiness, and everything else in between.

Here's an analogy to help you empathize with fish: imagine you are walking down a country road lined with apple trees. Hungry from the walk, you reach up to grab a piece of fruit. Suddenly, your hand becomes impaled with a large, metal hook that pulls you out of the air and into an atmosphere in which you cannot breathe. We drown fish and other aquatic animals in our atmosphere the same way we drown in theirs.

Furthermore, if you're bent on continuing your pescatarian habits because you think fish is good for you, or you believe the old saw that “fish is 'brain food',” I've got some news for you. Contrary to the slick advertisements of the fish industry, or the misinformed American doctors who only receive around THREE HOURS of nutrition information during their eight-year medical programs, fish is not a health food. And neither is fish oil! When you add mercury, dioxin and PCBs to the mix, fish meat is the most contaminated food product available. (See also the section on omega fatty acids below.)

For an excellent visual summary of reasons not to eat sea animals, I recommend watching the bluefin tuna slaughter at the top of this page, as well as the left and center videos just below. All provide excellent accounts of the complex physiology of fish and other marine creatures, which confers upon them a capacity to feel pain that is at least on par with that of land animals. (To understand how and why oceanic pollution and overfishing are threatening all life on earth, watch the Empty Oceans video just below.)

I also want to destroy the misinformation surrounding the sentience of clams, oysters, shrimp and other mollusks and crustaceans. THEY ARE ALL ARE SENTIENT BEINGS who possess nerve ganglia, which means they have a central nervous system giving them the capacity to feel pain and experience fear or happiness, and many other emotions. Only a modern-day Neanderthal would think otherwise. I am perpetually amazed that humans never get tired of denying OBVIOUS truths; that disenfranchised beings – animal AND human – are cognizant and intelligent, and don’t want to be enslaved, raped, commodified and murdered. Must a few enlightened folks always have to explain to the masses that the minority possess the same consciousness?

Here’s a simple and highly informative excerpt from Mary Oliver’s book “What Do We Know” focusing on clams. “Like us, they have a heart and a stomach. They know hunger, and probably a little satisfaction, too. Do not mock them for their gentleness. They have a muscle that loves being alive. They pull away from the light. They hold themselves together. They refuse to open. But sometimes they lose their place and are tumbled shoreward in a storm. Then they pant. They fill with sand. They have no choice but must open the smallest crack. Then the fire of the world touches them. Perhaps, on such days, they too begin the terrible effort of thinking, of wondering who, and what, and why. If they can bury themselves again in the sand, they will. If not, they are sure to perish, though not quickly. They try very hard not to die.”

“But...but...I Need My Omegas!”

Claims about omega fatty acids being found solely in fish are absolute lies. Some fish have omegas because they've eaten algae/seaweed or consumed other fish who have already eaten algae/seaweed. Every vitamin, mineral and nutrient comes from the earth in the form of fruits, vegetables (sea or land), nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. Animal products only contain trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients because animals eat plants (sea or land). Meat is, at best, a secondary source of essential elements.

Açaí (fruit), beans, black currant seed oil, blue-green algae, borage seed oil, cabbage, canola oil, flax (oil/seeds), chlorella, corn, green vegetables (leafy), hemp (oil/seed/powder/milk), pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy, sprouts (all), squash, vegetable oils, walnuts and wheat all contain omega fatty acids WITHOUT cholesterol, WITHOUT enormous amounts of saturated fat, WITHOUT trans-fatty acids, WITHOUT animal protein and, most importantly, WITHOUT cruelty!

If someone told you to smoke cigarettes because they contain trace amounts of omegas or calcium (they do not), would you do it? Of course not. Yet those who consume animal-based foods engage in exactly this kind of behavior by eating meat, cheese, milk and eggs, putting these deadly products into their bodies on the pretense of obtaining trace amounts of secondary nutrients! As the great philosopher Pythagoras said, "Men dig their graves with their own teeth, and die more by those instruments than by all weapons of their enemies."

Artwork by Roger Olmos • Courtesy of Roger Olmos, FAADA (http://www.faada.org/) and Logos Edizioni

Since there’s an enormous amount of misinformation concerning omega fatty acids (also called "essential fatty acids" or "EFAs"), I asked UK-based health expert Mark Kimchi (mark@natureistheanswer.com) to clarify this for everyone:

“I research food science in relation to disease and have been immersed in the topic of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) for quite some time now. First, we need to understand that the media and their reporters are not any form of authority on subjects such as these. We should discard what the media have told us about omegas, and about omegas being available only in fish products, because everything we need can be found in plants (land and sea). DHA and EPA are two forms of EFA that have been cited as ‘responsible for healthy brain-function/cognition’ and this has gained a great deal of attention in the media, and has consequently been responsible for the killing of even more fish.

Everyone understands that ‘essential’ means we must consume it and that our bodies cannot synthesise it. But current research is looking at whether or not the body can actually synthesise certain fatty acids. I am a firm believer that our bodies are doing far more than we can even comprehend at this time.

The original research that led to DHA being named as necessary for human brain function was based solely on the discovery that the human brain contained DHA and therefore, humans must consume DHA. This is actually a falsity that has pervaded not just the general understanding of this area of biochemistry but through persistent repetition via television commercials for fish oil supplements and fish flesh has actually subconsciously and unwittingly programmed most people into accepting it as fact when it is NOT! The meat, dairy and egg industries are experts at convincing the masses to believe lies so everyone commits atrocities simply so they can profit from living beings they have forcibly commodified. We are told that the human body is made up of protein, fat, etc. so we must consume them in those particular forms. But this is not how the human body works.

When you eat a chicken’s breast or drink cow’s milk, the body doesn’t just move that protein to your biceps and bones. The body has to break down whatever is consumed and then try to work with it to manufacture what it then needs. The argument for DHA/EPA from fish has never been a viable one because it suggests that from the moment you consume fish oil/flesh the brain uses what you have eaten in that form. But it does not because it cannot. The DHA/EPA consumed will - just like everything else - get broken down and what the body does after that is a different subject.

The meat industry convinced everyone through insidious subconscious programming that since we are made of protein, we must consume animal-based protein at every meal. The dairy industry convinced everyone that since our bones are rich in calcium, we must consume something rich in calcium. But animal products are NEVER the proper source for protein, calcium, or any other nutrient that we need. For the last 20 years or so, the latest mass advertising campaign was borne of the fishing industry. They told us that since our brains are made of DHA fatty acids, we must consume DHA from guess where: THEIR product (fish)!

As far as the bioavailability of EFA from fish, they are very delicate, meaning they are not stable when exposed to heat, light or air. And depending on the oil, it will generally turn rancid after around 15 minutes of exposure! With that in mind, remember that most fish/fish oil is cooked at obscenely high temperatures and will then be exposed to light and air many times before it reaches anyone’s mouth, rendering the EFA bereft of the very benefits desired! At this stage, it actually performs the opposite function it was intended for. In other words, fish/fish oil strip EFA from cells and interrupt regular respiratory processes of the cells.

I want to stress this fact again: Fish oil supplements have been exposed to enormous amounts of heat, light and air by the manufacturer (they actually heat-treat the oils).

The EFA found in flax, chia, or hemp seeds are rich with all of the omegas, and will aid in the assimilation of other nutrients made by the body that are obtained from fruits and vegetables, which is precisely what we need for exceptional wellness. These seeds also are superior in terms of bioavailability. And contrary to what the meat and dairy industries would have us believe, there are EFA in fruits and vegetables, too. Moreover, they are in perfect proportions with the remainder of the plant’s nutritional profile, which is perfect for human consumption.

Do not succumb to the insidious methods of distorting true science for profit perpetrated by huge corporations. These industries have done this for decades by infiltrating hospitals, schools and universities. In fact, it is quite remarkable how doctors and professors will say that “fish oils are good for the brain” yet if you ask them to qualify their statements, they are unequivocally unable to do so.

Keep in mind that there are hundreds of thousands of compounds and substances that we do not hear of but are essential for our existence. I could list fifty for you here and none of them would be ones that have made it to mainstream media because none of them can be linked to a product that can be exploited for mass profit.

When one begins to shift the basis of understanding from what we have been sold by the mainstream sources of info (media, doctors, govt., religion, parents) to a more honest and well-researched starting point, then things will be very different indeed.

Another enormously important point to consider is that allopathic (i.e., conventional) medicine routinely seeks to understand the human body by dissecting it into its parts right down to microbes and DNA. This may be okay for getting an understanding of the parts, but it is not by any means a reliable indicator of how the human organism functions. For example, if the test subject has a diet rich in a particular food that has a substance that inhibits the body’s ability to convert ALA into DHA, then this will be missed by conventional testing methods. The only thing that would be observed is what they would be testing for which, in this case, would be a reading on how much DHA was present before and after the test. There are thousands of variables that allopathic medicine simply cannot consider because their methods are to dissect first and try to make sense of it later and then take the findings from the dissected parts and publish them as though they relate to the whole when they do not. This point is not neutralised by the introduction of more people into a given study. If anything, it highlights it more.

Humans should eat vegan food. We were born this way and we do not need to dissect the human body to prove it. If scientists, researchers and doctors wish to study each body part individually in order to understand whatever they can, I welcome that in principle. But it should not be in lieu of studying the human organism as a whole. And it should not preclude nor delay the transformation of people into the vegans they innately are.”

(The linked thumbnail image showing a fish impaled by a fishhook is courtesy of Occupy for Animals.)

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