This one struck too close to home.
Despite being raised vegetarian/vegan, I became a pescetarian in college. Paul, my husband, is what he calls “a committed omnivore” and we have had more than one passionate debate about the food we consumed. This was our compromise. I would add fish/seafood, he would give up red meat and poultry. And despite the occasional lapse at a burger restaurant, it’s a lifestyle that has suited us, and then our girls, fairly well.
I have a confession to make. I adore lobster. You’d think the veggie girl would have the most issues with a critter who is cooked by being plunged live into boiling water, and at first I did balk at the idea. Then Paul showed me how he humanely killed “the sea cockroaches” before dipping them in their final bath. I think it was his plan all along to shock me with the most graphic element of my new diet, instead of gently easing me into a plate of fish sticks, or a bowl of clam chowder. Maybe it was all that butter, or the fact that it kind of had a texture like firm tofu, but I found it heavenly sweet and delicious.
Yet now I find myself questioning my choices again, faced as I am with some glimpse to come from this voicemail we just decoded:
The lobsters are almost gone. What I’ve learned to love as a treat will, in some possible future, become a rare relic, a leftover icon of a much more diverse ocean than the one this future will get. Of all the possible futures, this one is more upsetting to me, because I see evidence all around me that this is one of the real, true possibilities we face. Extinction. Loss of ocean habitat. A sea boiled to the point where we may not be able to continue our current commercial fishing practices. Our lives will change. The imperative is how we will respond and adapt.
The immature, selfish part of me is wailing that lobsters should be dinner, not museum exhibits. The more mature me is dusting off her old, dog-eared copy of the Moosewood Cookbook and joining the local CSA in the spring. The choices we make matter. I can’t decide for anyone else, but I can control my own actions. It starts here. We need to save the planet. Come along, or get out of the way.