Although not my wife’s favorite, one of my favorite foods is seafood. I have been intentionally not buying farm fed fish and seafood, choosing wild instead. When I realized that today is World Ocean Day, I found myself being grateful for the intentional choices I have been making about my own purchases of fish and seafood. Normally, when I am at the seafood market, I hear people asking about how much it costs and complaining about the prices. Sometimes I hear them ask about how to prepare something, but usually it is about the price.
One might wonder what this has to do with spirituality. For me, our approach to the environment and the sustainability of those that live in the ocean is part of my responsibility as a human and spiritual being. Like so many other aspects of our environment we tend to consume materials and foods as if there is an unending supply. In doing some research, I learned that we are consuming more seafood and fish then our oceans can produce on their own. To compensate for the demand, companies have created fish farms. These fish farms have a negative impact on the environment. Overfishing can mean that some of the seafood and fish we are able to catch today may cease to exist. Seafood Watch has come out with a list of sustainable fish
I am all too often reminded of how we carefully select the scriptures and sacred writings on which we build our lives. Genesis, for example, instructs Adam to preserve the environment. So as I think about treating myself to shrimp cocktail for my 61st birthday this year, I am mindful that the shrimp I choose are wild, not farm raised. I do not want to consciously or unconsciously contribute to the inhumane ways the shrimp are raised before I eat them.
Thinking about the small things I can do to enhance the sustainability of seafood and fish on this planet has made me begin to think about what other ways I can make food and eating choices which are more consumable. What can you do in your life to make our ocean and environment more sustainable? How can we be better stewards of the planet we inherited?