Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkVegetarian & Vegan · 7 years ago

can vegetarians/vegans eat shellfish and oysters?

Thinking rationally, unless people have health issues and cannot eat meat or simply don't want to eat meat, we all become veg*ns because of two main reasons - animal suffering and pollution of nature caused by meat industry.

The sentiment among scientists is that neither oysters nor shellfish feel pain, and if they do, their pain isn't like what you'd feel if someone sliced you up alive, but due to their nervous systems being very simple don't feel even as much as when you cut your finger. Neither do they pollute nature that much - even some crops and fruits contribute more to the pollution.

So, to sum this all up I've decided that I can eat them and it won't be abuse of any of my two principles.

What are your thoughts about all of this? Do/would you eat them? Why?

Update:

LOLwut - I don't really call myself a vegetarian, so don't worry about that. I try not to contribute to such stereotypes as vegetarians being people who eat chicken etc.

9 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You;d do better to read the posts in the following forum as it is not composed of the majority of forum users acting dogmatic about a definition & hating on somebody challenging the line by a gray area in this ethical issue, but a discussion of the ethics of eating bivalves.

    http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?34...

    If one is to enact the idea of "lessen suffering" then by all means bivalves do that as opposed to commercial agriculture. If one is to enact animal rights, then the usual criticism applies of how animal rights only apply when they suit a vegans criteria. ie insects & "accidental" killing of animals in crop production through pesticides, plowing & shooting feral species is fine, or displacing animals for land etc. But killing an animal for meat is not.

    Even Peter Singer one of the most influential philosophers in this area & considered the father of animal rights finds it hard to ground a reason to not eat bivalves. He merely gives the idea that as we do not know for certain their pain & sentience capacity, he avoids eating them....But their lack of evidence for sentience can easily be given as a reason for eating them just as it can for not eating them.

    In terms of health, there is no doubt they are extremely healthy sources of many micronutrients & the accumulation of toxins is little to none as far as i'm aware due to them being so low on the trophic level. If vegans/vegetarians did eat them, I'm of the opinion that it'd MAJORLY clear up what defines an ethical vegan/vegetarian (ie the sentience of the animal) & you'd stop hearing stupid things like "plants are living things too yet you eat them without a care"

    Source(s): ex vegan Watch me get thumbed down for this response because it's agains the grain of this forum but nobody will call my points out & challenge them.
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  • grham
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Do Vegetarians Eat Shellfish

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  • 7 years ago

    No "we" don't.

    There are spiritual reasons, ethics based on killing living beings being wrong, not necessarily the adoration of animals.

    No, a vegetarian does not eat a sea animal. Which by all standards, an oyster is. It has a brain of sorts and an ability to feel.

    What you say about the oyster not feeling pain the same as when you cut your finger- um, are you serious? It takes my niece 5 minutes to feel it when she accidentally smacks herself with a table corner . When she's asleep she doesn't register things at all. What does it matter her degree of recognition of pain, or an oysters?

    WHen you've been talking to the oyster, how did it explain this lack of pain to you? You really have no idea how shocking a blow would be to that oysters, who's whol ebody is earthquaked when you decide to rip it up from its home.

    "They don't even feel as much as when you cut your finger".

    YOu know what, catch a deer when it's asleep and it won't feel a thing. So, you're golden.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I won't speak for anyone else. I am vegan and I would not eat shellfish nor oysters. They grossed me out before I became vegan.... but even if they did not, I still would not eat them. Boiling lobsters alive is one of the most cruel practices there is... why would I want to eat a being that has been treated like this?

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  • Suzy Q
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Actually the jury is still out on shellfish sentience.

    Of course I can eat them. But I choose not to because:

    1. The issue of the jury still being out on that one.

    2. I know myself. Once I think 'mussels are stupid animals anyway' I know I will draw a new line again and again until cows are 'stupid animals anyway'. It's just easier for me personally to have one clear line around animals, period.

    Anyway, no, one can't be a vegetarian or vegan while eating shellfish. No matter the underlying principles, vegetarians and vegans by definition do not eat animals.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    "Thinking rationally", you're incorrect.

    Veganism is opposition not to animal suffering but to animal commodification, and this is by DEFINITION, whereas vegetarianism is not at all concerned with animal commodification, and in some cases not even animal welfare. But even vegetarians do not consume animal flesh, oysters being animals, regardless of what your personal motivations are.

    That the foundational logic of veganism or ethical vegetarianism is contingent on the sentience of animals (IE, capacity to suffer) is well-understood, but the fact that not all animals have a comparable degree of sentience is not a nuance easily-explained to people who are ignorant about what an ethical interest even means.

    I agree that your motivational reasoning is sound, but every time you eat animals and call yourself vegetarian, you make it that much harder for vegetarians and vegans of all stripes to succeed because all of society already jumps at a chance to rationalize their own flesh and animal-product obsessed ways.

    Logic for your personal behavior: impeccable

    Accounting for how that behavior reflects on vegetarianism and veganism: no-so-good, eh.

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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    they actually don't know for sure that they don't feel pain. Yes, their CNS's might be primitive, but they used to think octopi and squid were incapable of feeling pain because they couldn't identify their brains either. Now they know that's not true. I draw the line at fungus, personally. Ecologically speaking, I couldn't condone removing them from their environment due to the fact that they are known to act as filters and clean the water. Which makes me concerned about how polluted their flesh is - and sorry, but I haven't looked into it. Their bodies are meat, and as far as I'm concerned it's meat end of story.

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  • m.e.m.
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    No, vegans/vegetarians cannot eat shellfish and oysters. You're illogical.

    Source(s): I've been vegan for 4 years
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  • Akash
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    No, they cannot eat them as they are animals. Whether they can feel pain or not is not a criteria. The only criteria is that they are animals.

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