Factory farms are an animal rights and environmental nightmare. At these hellish farms, animals are packed close together, denied medical care, separated from their young, and brutally slaughtered. Animal activists have long decried these inhumane practices. However, for years the public has turned a blind eye and continued to consume factory farmed animal products. Now, a new nightmare is taking shape. Aquafarming, or the process of raising fish and other aquatic animals for food, is growing in popularity. However, just like other factory farms these are rife with horrible treatment, inhumane living conditions, and brutal slaughter.
Fish farms have been around for a long time. However, they are often overlooked when eyes are turned on horrific factory farming practices. There are no legal protections in place that set a standard for how fish are treated on these farms. As a result, the conditions farmed fish endure are horrifying. They are kept packed tightly for up to two years in unhealthy water. High levels of ammonia and nitrates may be present in the water at fish farms. Living in these horrific conditions, infections and parasites are common in farmed fish. These poor creatures may become infected with parasites that feed on their gills, blood, and organs causing them severe discomfort and difficulty breathing.
Additionally, fish are not protected by the Humane Slaughter Act. This means that there are no standards surrounding the way fish are killed. This means that fish farms may use extremely inhumane slaughter methods. These methods may vary from farm to farm, and fish species to fish species. In some cases, the fish are simply removed from the water and left to suffocate. This is a horrible and agonizing death for these creatures. Larger fish may be clubbed to death in an excruciating process.
Octopus are known for their otherworldly intelligence. Plans for the world’s first large scale octopus farm have been proposed. Nueva Pescanova plans to build a farm in Spain’s Canary Islands. A planned one million octopus will be raised there every year. These octopus will be slaughtered and sold as food. On the proposed farm, octopus will be kept in conditions that animal welfare advocates warn are so cruel that the octopus may be driven insane.
In the wild, octopus live solitary lives. Additionally, they spend much of their time in the dark. However, on the proposed farm, multiple octopus will be kept in the same tank. Additionally, they will be constantly exposed to bright lights. These unnatural and cruel conditions will prove extremely detrimental to the animals health and welfare.
Another horrific facet of the proposed farm is the method of death. Nueva Pescanova has proposed slaughtering the creatures using an “ice slurry” method. During this process, the octopus will be placed in freezing ice water. This is an extremely cruel method that is a slow and painful way for the creatures to die. Appallingly, it has been suggested that clubbing the creatures to death would be a more humane way of dispatching them.
How to Help Stop Fish and Octopus Farms
The best way to help avoid the cruelty of aquafarming is to avoid eating fish, cephalopods, and other sea creatures. Unfortunately, wild caught water creatures are also exposed to horrifying cruelty and suffering. Instead, try one of these Peaceful Dumpling recipes for Vegan King Oyster Mushroom Scallops, Corn Chowder, or this Vegan Cajun “Seafood” Boil. Additionally, be sure to remember fish, octopus, and other water dwellers when advocating for animal rights!
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Photo: Serena Repice Lentini via Unsplash