Checking out my own links

“Dear Umbra,

While I usually love your column, I have to take issue with encouraging people to eat sushi. This is the second ‘green’ site I have seen that proposes the solution to overfishing is to eat different fish.

Saying ‘of course you can continue to eat at sushi restaurants without feeling guilty’ amounts to pandering to people who are concerned about environmental problems but are not willing to make meaningful change to improve them. If you are truly concerned about the health of the world’s oceans, you should be encouraging people to stop eating sushi and any fish. I do not believe these ‘conscientious meat-eaters’ truly exist. No matter how you change the system (grass-fed, organic, free-range), animal agriculture is innately harmful to the ecosystem.

According to Umbra, you can have your fish and eat it too. I say if you want to save the fish, stop eating them.

Benjamin Martin
Wallingford, Conn.

Dearest Benjamin,

I take umbrage with your excellent letter. (Ha. I’ve written this dang column for what seems like 32 years and not once have I used that terrible pun. Oh, wait, I did use it one other time. What a fab search engine we have.)

I didn’t say the solution was to eat different fish. I said the solution is to learn about the fish you are eating, become disgusted by some of it, and revel in the atmosphere at the sushi restaurant. Sushi isn’t all fish — in fact, the Japanese word only refers to the rice, she said defensively.

You do have an excellent point about fish-eating. If one truly cares for all the fishes of the world, one should stop eating all the fishes of the world. In theory. But if that were the sum total of my approach to advice, I would shortly be out of work. Picture the crank-fest that would be this downer of a column: Umbra, what should I do about light bulbs? If you were truly ecological, you would never need new light bulbs because you would never turn on the lights. What about green movers? Sorry, nothing requiring internal combustion engines can truly be “green.” What about bathroom mold? Why is there mold in the bathroom? Are you using water, you wastrel?”

There’s MORE.


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