Plenty of “vegetarians” still eat oysters, reasoning that it’s OK to do so because they believe that shellfish don’t feel pain. But is that really true? And more importantly, what right do we, as humans, have to interfere with the lives of others? Well, these fun facts may just help you see bivalves (mollusks such as oysters, scallops, clams, and mussels) in a whole new light:
1. Scallops’ eye-game is on point! They have eyes all over their bodies to help them see and escape from predators.
2. Similar to turtles, when oysters sense danger, they hide inside their shells, which snap tightly shut. Fear much?
3. Fight or flight: Like most animals, scallops flee when they’re threatened. They swim away from predators by flapping their shells.
4. They like to show off. Mussels have been known to flex their muscles and move around to find a better location.
5. We don’t know yet if they can feel pain, but if they do, an order of oysters by the dozen means a lot of suffering on one plate. Why risk it?
6. Dredging is a drag. Messin’ with oysters means messin’ with the ecosystem! Dredging oceans (dragging a device across the sea floor) to harvest oysters damages the reefs that provide other animals with habitats and disrupts the ecosystem.
7. Clams can live to be 35 years old, but most are harvested at just 2 years of age. So young …
8. Hurting oysters means possibly hurting turtles, too! Sea turtles can be injured or killed by the dredges and trawl nets (large fishing nets) that are used to harvest scallops.
9. Mussel farms are ocean litterbugs. They produce “marine litter” that includes broken shells, rope, floats, and other debris that are often ingested by marine animals.
10. All we are saying is give seas a chance. As oysters, clams, and mussels suck in ocean water to feed on bacteria and phytoplankton, they also ingest pollutants and other harmful chemicals and send the clean, filtered water back into the sea. One oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day!
Just like any other animal, oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops play a crucial role in the ecosystem, and by eating them, we risk causing major damage to the environment. So how about we leave ‘em alone and avoid messing with Mother Nature, eh?
Love seafood? Check out all the meals you can make with Gardein Fishless Filets!