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Why Vegans Don't Eat Fish? The Best Reasons to Stop Eating Fish and Seafood

Why Don't Vegans Eat Fish? 10 Good Reasons to Stop Eating Fish and Seafood

Do you want to know why vegans don't eat fish and what generally speaks against the consumption of fish and seafood? Then you've come to the right place! We humans have been eating fish for thousands of years. It's tradition and habit. But you can certainly question that.

I have noticed that many people - like myself in the past - do not regard fish as sentient, intelligent creatures. And that is probably the reason why we kill around 2.7 trillion marine animals worldwide every year and "only" 60 billion land animals in comparison.1 Both figures are of course alarmingly high and should really give everyone food for thought.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to the reasons why you should reconsider your fish consumption. You'll also find out why vegans don't eat fish and why they generally avoid eating seafood. Let's go!

10 reasons: Why don't vegans eat fish or seafood?

Vegans do not eat fish - why?

Many people are Pescetarian. This means that they do not eat any animal products, except fish. The impact on the environment is, of course, much more environmentally friendly than a generally meat-free diet. However, this is of no use to the fish themselves.

So perhaps I can make you aware of the extent to which each of us can do even more for animal welfare and our planet Earth with the following reasons why vegans don't eat fish.

1. because fish do not want to die

Pisces are emotional beings, can feel pain and remember things from the past - this has been scientifically proven.2 If they are attacked or otherwise sense danger, they try to escape. And when they get stranded or pulled ashore, they instinctively try to get back into the water. That alone shows that fish don't want to die. (who does?!)

2. because fish are sentient, intelligent creatures

We no longer have to argue about whether fish feel pain or not. Fish have a central nervous system - just like cows, pigs, chickens and us humans. They are extremely intelligent and can build trust with other creatures and show communal behavior. Fish feel pain. We just can't hear their pain because they suffer silently. At least too quiet for our ears.

This knowledge is a key reason for vegans not to eat fish. But assuming they could not feel painthat would still not, in my opinion, make our reasons for eating them any more morally justifiable.

3. because overfishing of the oceans is an extreme environmental problem

The Overfishing the oceans means the excessive decline in fish stocks and other marine animals in the world's oceans. Around 58.1 percent of the world's fish stocks are considered to be maximally fished and 31.4 percent overfished.3

Simply put, overfishing means that more fish taken from a body of water than can "grow back" through natural reproduction. Overfishing is one of the reasons why the marine ecosystem is under threat. biggest environmental problems of our time - and, in addition to ethical motives, is a major reason why vegans do not eat fish.

4. because fish come from factory farming

Like any other form of energy that is not essential for human survival Factory farming, industrial fish farming is also extremely resource-intensive. Fish mostly eat fishmeal, which is made from other fish. This is why fish from aquaculture has no species-preserving effect. On the contrary: other fish have to die to get this fish on our plates.

They are kept in sea cages or concrete pools, for example. Stress and deformations are just some of the serious consequences of this cramped, sedentary posture.

Tip: For more information and understanding, I can recommend the vegan documentary "Seaspiracy", which you can watch on Netflix and elsewhere.

5. because the killing methods are brutal

Some fish are simply left out to dry or placed alive on Ice cream so that they suffocate in agony for hours. Other methods of killing include Electrical flow, the Headshot, the Salt bath or Carbon dioxide.4 There is simply no "humane" way to take the life of someone who does not want to die.

Others are even brought ashore before arrival crushed under the weight of their conspecifics. And unfortunately it's usually not just one species of fish that ends up in the nets.

6. because fishing causes more victims

Fishing net - Why vegans don't eat fish

Strictly speaking, of course, not a single fish would have to die for us humans. Quite simply because the Fish consumption not essential for our survival is.

But if you still want to eat tuna, for example, you have to live with the fact that other marine animals also die for it. According to WWF, about 40 percent of the world's fish catch is bycatch. Every year, 300,000 dolphins and small cetaceans, 250,000 hawksbill turtles and leatherback turtles and 300,000 seabirds alone die unintentionally. The bycatch amounts to around 38 million tons of unintentionally caught marine life.5

In addition to the bycatch, the fishing method of the dragged along the seabed also demands Trawling more deaths. Whoever wants to eat a fish therefore accepts not only a single, but several victims.

7. because fish is not automatically healthy

Yes, fish is rich in high-quality proteins and health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids. However, this does not make it healthy per se. Because the use of Antibiotics is unfortunately commonplace in aquaculture fish farming - as is the residual meat. In addition, fish is often contaminated with harmful substances such as Heavy metals encumbered.

For most vegans, however, the thought of eating something that suffered for hours until death plays a significant role in the decision not to eat fish.

8. because the MSC label is not a guarantee

The MSC seal is actually supposed to certify products from sustainable fisheries and give consumers more certainty when making sustainable purchasing decisions. However, in a study, the organization "BirdLife International" rated only 3 out of 23 certified companies examined as "good".6 Only one of the fisheries was able to demonstrate that bycatch rates are declining as defined by the MSC label.

Tip: To give you a clearer picture of the background to the MSC label, I can also provide you with this YouTube documentary recommend

9. because we don't have to eat fish to survive

Eating fish - why do without?

At least the consumption of fish is not essential for survival in the western world. Essentially, there are only four reasons for us to eat fish. Taste, Habit, Convenience and Tradition. In my opinion, none of them justifies the death of even one innocent animal - whether fish, crab, cow or dog.

Nevertheless, there are of course people on this planet who both depend on fishing and the consumption of fish both financially and as part of their diet are. In the end, vegans refrain from consuming fish because it is not necessary. But also out of respect for the people who are currently really dependent on it.

Tip: Please also have a look at my article "Stopping world hunger" inside to find out how you can join the global famine can counteract every day.

10. because there are plant-based alternatives

Many vegans also like to avoid fish because the Table richly set with delicious, similar-tasting alternatives is. Here are some examples for you that are already available in most supermarkets today:

I have most of these plant-based fish alternatives already tried out of curiosity. The fish sticks were shockingly similar to their animal counterparts in terms of taste, appearance and chewing sensation.

Can you think of any other vegan alternatives for fish? Then feel free to drop me a comment with your ideas!

Vegans don't eat fish because they don't have to

We are taking their lives, even though we don't have to. And in doing so, we are endangering the planet we live on. All just for the taste, the luxury or the habit of eating fish. I don't blame myself for eating fish for 30 years of my life without questioning it and knowing better.

I lacked the knowledge about the background. But now I know better - and I'm adapting my habits so that my values and actions are in harmony again. We all have no choice but to rethink and see fish for what they really are: sentient, emotional and intelligent beings like you and me.

"The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery."

Charles Darwin (more at Animal welfare quotes)

Do you have any questions, suggestions or other reasons why vegans don't eat fish? Then, as always, feel free to write me a comment.

Stay animal-friendly and sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Have a look at my article about this, Why vegans don't eat honeyover. After all, there are good reasons why many people do not eat honey.


  1. Earthling Ed: Is there actually an ethical reason to not eat fish, YouTube, 24.08.2020, Web, 11.01.2024 at 11:30, in: ↩︎
  2. F. Jabr: It's Official: Fish Feel Pain (as of January 2018), available at [11.01.2024]. ↩︎
  3. H. Vesper: What we need to do to save the oceans (as of April 2018), available at [11.01.2024]. ↩︎
  4. DU UND DAS TIER (issue 01/2011): Aquacultures - Killing fish, available at [11.01.2024]. ↩︎
  5. WWF Germany: BEIFANG - EIN TRAURIGES THEMA, available at [11.01.2024]. ↩︎
  6. BirdLife International: Bycatch and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), available at [11.01.2024]. ↩︎
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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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