Here’s a well-written and well-argued piece in Slate.com, that takes the position that everyone should follow a vegan diet plus oysters.
I think a lot of vegans would just turn off their brains and get angry about this piece without thinking it through, but the guy’s making some reasonable points. There’s only one glaring weakness in this article: he doesn’t discuss the percentage of oysters that are taken sustainably.
The piece makes some great points, but it won’t convince me to eat oysters for two reasons. First, animal flesh of any kind grosses me out, even if there’s not a whit of suffering involved. And second, all bivalves get their nutrients by constantly filtering seawater, and are thus especially prone to becoming contaminated.
Having said that, this piece will inform my animal advocacy. Just as I tell egg eaters that avoiding eggs is best, but cage-free is a significant improvement if you are unwilling to stop eating eggs, I think I’d be very happy to tell shrimp, lobster, and fish eaters that oysters are a more compassionate and likely a far more sustainable seafood choice.
To me, if there’s a bad guy in this issue, it’s not someone like the writer or like Peter Singer who engages the topic reasonably and on its merits—it’s the knee-jerk vegans who come out of the woodwork spewing venom, and who put veal and oysters on the same playing field. Life is complicated, and so is effective animal advocacy. (Via Smitty.) Link.