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Top 10 Reasons Not to Eat Shrimp


Are you still throwing shrimp on the barbecue because you think that eating them is good for you? Nothing could be more skewered. In fact, the latest scientific research shows that eating shrimp may actually be hazardous to your health.

Here are the top 10 reasons to keep prawns off your plate:

  1. Poop Cocktail

During cleaning, shrimp’s legs are torn off and they’re decapitated and disemboweled. As their bowels are ripped out, poop spills out and often gets all over the shrimp.

  1. Extra Skin

Shrimp are bottom dwellers who feed on parasites and skin that they pick off dead animals. This means that every mouthful of scampi you eat comes with digested parasites and dead skin.

  1. Toxic Jambalaya

Most shrimp who are eaten come from places that have no restrictions on traces of illegal contaminants, such as dioxins, PCBs, and other banned chemicals, or on pumping them full of hormones and antibiotics.

  1. Dolphin-Safe Shrimp?

Trawling is taking a toll on the legions of wild creatures, including dolphins, who call the sea their home. Nets don’t discriminate.

  1. Farming Destroys Fish, Too

Shrimp farming is fatal to fish. Because it takes up to 3 pounds of wild-caught fish to feed and produce a single pound of farmed shrimp, fish populations are plummeting.

  1. Slave Labor

Almost all shrimp farms and shrimp processing plants are located in developing countries, where workers are forced to work long hours for minimal pay. Eating meat supports unethical employers.

  1. Too Neat to Eat

With more than 2,500 species of shrimp out there, scientists are just beginning to scratch the surface of these fascinating animals’ largely unknown behavioral characteristics.

  1. Cholesterol Bombs

With a whopping 152 milligrams of cholesterol per 100-gram serving of shrimp (four or five shrimp), just two servings would put you over the daily recommended allowance of 300 milligrams of cholesterol.

  1. Fished to Extinction

A study conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature found that at least 28 percent of the world’s freshwater shrimp species are threatened with extinction.

  1. Shrimply Fantastic Faux

Forget the “reel deal”! More and more vegan shrimp dishes are making their way onto restaurant menus. You can also trawl the frozen-food section of your local supermarket or specialty store to find vegan shrimp and dozens of other mock meats.

If you’re fishing for a heart-smart way of eating that’s fish-friendly and good for the environment, a vegan diet is the perfect catch. The consumption of plant-based foods has been linked to better cardiovascular health as well as a decreased risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

Take our Pledge to Go Vegan for 30 Days.

If you’re fishing for a heart-smart diet that is healthy, fish-friendly, and good for the environment, a vegetarian diet is the perfect catch. Plant-based diets have proved to actually reverse heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Take our Pledge to Be Vegan for 30 Days today!


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  • The Phantom says:


  • vanessa says:

    I learned a little more about shrimp from this article. It is an unclean food but Judaism (converts)did not set the standard, the Israelites were given a clean food diet to give them health and longevity by God (EloHym). There are three diets given in the Bible: 1) Adam 2)Noah 3)The Israelites

    The reason they are called unclean food and forbidden is because they are all scavengers. Their purpose is to keep the earth, air and waters clean. That means unclean (animals, fowl and fish) they eat or ingest toxins and waste but do not have the digestive systems to release them. That means they are absorbed into their flesh and cannot be cleaned of them, boiled, fried, grilled or baked out. You literally eat what they have eaten. A myriad of disease and other ailments are the result of people eating unclean foods that were never meant to be eaten. And no, I’m not a vegetarian. At least not yet. I simply avoid unclean foods.

    Plant foods (especially green foods) are living foods and created to be medicine to keep our systems clean and running optimally but the Bible does not forbid eating animal, fish and fowl if they are clean food as opposed to unclean. The problem in modern times is that the people who raise livestock and grow food inject chemicals and ignore the organic conditions that make them healthy to eat.

    Also the ancient Shemitic people did not consume meat, fish or fowl everyday. And, they were an agricultural people who lived off the land, raised and grew their own food where most of us today do not have the means to do this. Sorry for the longwinded response. Hope it will help someone.

  • rosa says:

    To all those who said animals can feel and kept crying about it; plants can feel too, and they are living creatures. actually you can be sure that the animal is dead before eating it, but how you are ever sure the plant is dead before you freeze it or cut it harshly?
    why don’t you just stop eating all together?
    I myself always found shrimp to be disgusting, however am adding it to my diet because it’s healthy.

  • david says:

    Im not a vegitarian, I never will be though I respect those who are a great deal. That said shrimp are, for omnivors, an excellent choice for dietary protien. The cholesterol is largely mitagated by the omega3 oils, it is low fat, low mercury, high b12 food. Now I realize this is a peta site so im not going to sway readers to my view, the only reason I decided to post here is to attempt to gentrify a food choice that stands apart in an otherwise deplorable public food market. You just can’t put shellfish in the same box as chickens living with their beaks grounded off or cows packed togeather and intravenously pump fed. I fish and live off the sea, not as a profession. PETA does alot of good in the world but its these types of overshoots that erodes its power and larger appeal. Don’t respond just consider it.

  • PhillyFever says:

    Google the following: Genesis 1: 20-23

  • Drakorus says:

    Food Chain, nuff said.

  • Vegetarian says:

    You know, I’ve been a vegetarian for over a year now, and when I found this article today my mom is fixing shrimp tonight. *sigh* Guess I’m grillin’ some vegan burgers from Morning Star. Not like that’s a bad thing! 😀

  • Ekateryna says:

    I agree, it is disgusting, it is nasty,I’m vegitarian and I havent eaten shrimp for many years,+

  • Maggie says:

    I never eat these creatures, mainly because I have always called them ” insects of the sea”…because that is what they are. Bottom feeders eat garbage, another good reason not eat these wee things.

  • Alison Sterling says:


  • Selena says:

    I had no idea till now that they do this to them!
    Its so horrible.
    Good thing im allergic to them!

  • mark j. kapec says:

    #11 – 57 shrimp were caught in a 5,00 mile radius in the gulf from NOAH. They tested a total of 12, then determined that gulf shrimp were safe to eat. I even heard the announcement in my giant eagle supermarket. Wake up America!

  • Bubula says:

    I have to admit that I have eaten shrimp many times, and thought they were delicious.. but after reading this, I seriously never going to touch them again!!

  • BETTY HAASE says:


  • Jessica says:

    I won’t dare to touch anything like shrimp or lobster. Dena is soo right, they do look like roaches. I have no idea wy anyone would like to eat that, gross. Plus the thought of the lobsters been cooked , basically burned to death makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Garth Stevenson says:

    I haven’t eaten one since I saw some live ones in the aquarium at Seward, Alaska, and they reminded me of insects. Thanks for providing the additional arguments. I regret, however, your childish vulgarity in using the word “poop”. Civilized adults don’t use such terminology.

  • Earthling says:

    Linkfx, are you a monk? Do you sweep the ground in front of you so as not to kill any insects? If not, please stop with the judgment. What would you suggest to the Humane Society for the flea-infested dogs they rescue? Let the fleas live? What would you do if you caught a virus or bacterial infection? When you’re taking the medication to kill it off, imagine that soul’s last minute on earth, and how it died so that you can live disrespectfully.
    I’m not tryin’ to hate, but come ON people, be reasonable.

  • Doc says:

    I’m Jewish and kinda eat Kosher. But when I was a kid I experimented eating shrimp. The allergic reaction was totally horrible. That was the end of shrimp eating for me!

  • Earthling says:

    Anita, cats are carnivores. They must have meat to survive. Your heart is in the right place, but you need to accept the facts of life. Before you adopt a pet, I strongly suggest doing some research on that animal’s natural diet (I personally advocate raw diets for dogs and cats) and yep, I’m vegetarian, I believe humans are herbivores, but if you’re trying to convert your cat, you’re going to make it sick.

  • You failed to mention says:

    Not mentioned was the way these creatures are cooked alive like lobster and crab-unbelievable-unacceptable.

  • kate says:

    we learned many years ago when traveling to the galapagos islands, that shrimp were not at all environmentally friendly nor healthy to consume. My teen age kids are on their own decision, becoming vegetarian….there is definitely hope in younger people who see not eating animals is far more important than just losing weight

  • Lucy says:

    I read that many farmers in Vietnam gave up their rice patties to farm shrimp instead because it is so much profitable. They buy so-called shrimp farming kits online which contains a lot of toxic chemicals to get it going. They end up getting if not skin irritation but skin diseases from it. These kits are sold by mostly American companies – some European- promising poor Vietnamese farmers much better income.

    In an interview I found online, a Vietnamese father said “After this harvest, I am going to use the money for my daughter to go to school.” His daughter is beside him mixing chemicals for the shrimps. They use their bare hands.

    That is really sad. These farmers farm for the sake of their family but they are not educated about the consequences of what they are even doing.

    Some people might think shrimps are roaches-like therefore, they are better to eat compared to eating the meat of cow, lamp, chicken etc.

    Thank you PETA for pointing out the human ethical concern behind shrimp farming.

    As for faux shrimp, so far, I have only seen it in Vegetarian restaurants like Loving Hut. They are surprisingly good, better even according to my non-vegetarian friends.

  • Susan says:

    Well, I agree to a large extent; nothing would make me eat shrimp after reading this – not that I do anyway. I’m veggie. However, please remember, when shedding tears over the sadness and cruelty of eating small sea creatures…. they eat each other. Just a warning not to go into overdrive sentimentality. Nature is cruel. We don’t have to be.

  • Linkfx says:

    I cannot understand how some people can call themselves vegetarian but still eat fish and animals from the sea. Every living creature is precious, including ourselves. We should only consume what we need to cunsume and never in excess. Love to every shrimp, every fish and mammal and insect in the sea and on land. The alternatives to meat are so good to eat too, and much healthier and nutritious than meat itself. Next time you bite into a shrimp or fish, imagine that soul’s last minute on earth, and how it died so that you can live disrespectfully.

  • Linkfx says:

    I understand the power of compassion. I would never consume anything produced by an animal.

  • coco newbie says:

    I am allergic.

  • Andirabel says:

    ok, I am convinced now thanks for the details and knowledge I will stop shrimps from today onwards. Although I stopped all other meants 2 years ago. what about mussels?

  • Scott in Boca says:

    It’s not kosher for all of the reasons state: scavenger, eats dead animals, waste. Disgusting, give it up, you’ll feel better. Cockroaches of the sea.

  • Goo says:

    A vegetarians confession:

    I love shrimp. Most shellfish, actually. Before I went Veg, they topped the list of my favourite food. But the above reasons (the ethically-oriented ones, at least) are important. I think you’ve left out the most important reason to not eat shrimp: Shrimp are living, sentient (they feel) creatures.

    And quite frankly, my own love of a particular taste and texture is not worth the death of any sentient being.

  • Liljimmies says:

    I wish everyone would educate themselves about the benefits of not eating meat. One question…what is “faux shrimp”? I would like to try some of recipes that follow the shrimp article, but do not know what “faux shrimp” is or where to purchase it. Please educate me 🙂

  • Anita says:

    I’ve had pets all my life until they passed away. I am now vegan and have yet to find pet food that did not contain animal ingredients.
    There are sheltered animals needing homes, but I haven’t adopted anymore because of being unsure how to feed them with what’s out there in the pet food market. I had a cat that refused to eat anything unless it had fish ingredients. Suggestions would be extremely helpful.

  • Ruth says:

    I hve been a Vegetarian for 15 years and a Vegan for 5 years and
    I am Happy with myself because I do not eat Animals, they have the right to live just like I and anyone else does.


  • Gali says:

    I also agree, I became a vegetarian when I turned 15 and I really can’t imagine myself eating meat again. its harsh, I wish more people could see this the way we do. much love and respect — Gali

  • Wisper Softly says:

    Huge question for fishers and fish eaters. If fish don’t feel pain why did God create sea anameis and give them the power to sting to keep fish away, why is there fire coral, why do the poor shrimp jump when you put a hook in them, and finally why does the poor worm squirm and try to get away when you pierce them? YES IDIOTS THAT HOOK HURTS, YES THEY DO FEEL FEAR WHEN YOU PULL THEM OUT OF THERE HOME, AND NO THEY DON’T WANT TO DIE!!! Fishing sucks sea life is abused horribly. Vegetarians take note!!! Fishing is cruel! Its not only cruelty for the animal on your plate. Fishing is cruel for the bate used to catch it, the 10 thrown back after being caught before him, and the poor souls caught and killed in the net to get him. Those included in the net are tutles, manatee, dolphin, shark, and anything in the vicinity! Sea food makes your breath smell like you know what anyhow! Give it up!!!

  • Emily says:

    I remember hearing someone say “I don’t eat anything w/eyes” and after that visual, it put me over the edge and made me not look the other way. Books like and just made me so sad for farmed animals, how horribly they are treated. Why don’t humans see those eyes and realize that they are living creatures?

  • Veggie Chick says:

    I never liked shrimp anyways. I knew that they were living beings and still know this today. I wasn’t raised vegetarian (my whole family are meat-eaters) but I have been a veggie for 3 years now. Shrimp may be small but they are no less alive than people, and the way they’re killed is just horrible to me. Plus, all of that stuff said about them above just reassures me that I made a good decision when I said I didn’t like shrimp.

  • Mari says:

    I wasn’t aware that shrimp had a lot of cholestoral. One of my favorite dishes has a lot of shrimp :/
    This is actually very informative and will definitely try out the faux fish.

  • Elgrit B. Russell says:

    What is it with so many people, especially those in other countries, who work with the byproducts of animals that they are so cruel, totally lacking compassion, etc. for living being? Why are they like this. How did this get started? Does anyone have any ideas how to stop this or is it impossible. I can’t stand the terrible suffering of their victims. And,with all the alternatives to leather today, why can’t laws be passed to stop using leather.

  • Joseph Springer says:

    Would eating roaches be OK? Grasshoppers? John the Baptist fed on locusts and honey while living the wilderness. Locusts fly, making them “fowl” by Mosaic law. However, roaches fly too.

  • Anonymous says:

    Most of the shrimp consumed comes from places that have no restrictions on traces of illegal contaminants such as dioxins, PCBs, and other banned chemicals or on pumping the shrimp full of hormones and antibiotics!

  • itsmetee says:

    this article is pretty educative. i like it. but i think, shrimp is the most delicious seafood, at least for me. i kinda love shrimp. i think it’s fine to eat, as long as we not eat it excessively

  • Sarah Kendall says:

    I don’t understand why you feel it is unethical to eat shrimp, yet you agree that invertebrates are a good alternative to vertebrate animal testing in laboratories.

  • Charlotte says:

    After the BP mess. I wouldn’t dare touch a shrimp. They claim it’s safe to eat…yeah right!

  • Veggie Love says:

    I agree totally! Shrimp totally and absolutely like ought to live healhty and safe lives like all of our animals. You wouldn’t eat an elk that your brother brutally killed with a FIREARM so why would you eat shrimp? I agree so much.

  • Sara Mae says:

    I have been vegan since childhood and I remember one night when i was 7 my older sister took me to dinner and I remember nothing about the meal or where we went, all i remember was seeing all these pretty live fish in a tank by the kitchen. My parents never talked about eating meat or that other people ate meat so I really didn’t know that people did. I asked my sister why they were there, and she told me the truth. “Some people eat fish sara” i just remember the overwhelming feeling of sadness for those beautiful animals who would be on someones plate later that night.
    i personally feel that if people were not raised to eat meat, they would feel the same way me and my family do. if you look at an animal and really see that it is more than just an object for us humans to use and depose of, you will live a much happier and loving life.

  • Shebeen says:

    I had some shrimp once that tasted like mouldy dirt (product of Taiwan) (which I returned to the store). That & the cholesterol level turned me off!

  • Dena Crane says:

    I always thought they looked like roaches anyway