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Top 10 Reasons to Not Eat Tuna

Do you still eat tuna because you think it’s good for you? In fact, the latest scientific research shows that eating tuna is hazardous to your health. Here are the top 10 reasons to let tuna off the hook.

1. Brain Rot!
Tuna fish accumulate toxic mercury in their flesh as a result of industrial pollution, and the side effects of mercury poisoning  include finger curling, cognitive impairment, and coordination problems. A California boy, who was the subject of a front-page Wall Street Journal article, went from being a star athlete and honor student to being unable to concentrate or catch a football because he ate canned tuna. Even if he had eaten only half a can of albacore tuna a week, he still would have consumed 60 percent more mercury than is considered “safe” by the U.S. government.

2. Tremendous Tuna
The largest tuna are bluefin tuna, who can reach 15 feet in length and weigh more than 1,500 pounds. Even “small” tuna species, such as yellowfin and albacore, can grow to be 6.5 feet long and weigh hundreds of pounds. Tuna aren’t exactly couch potatoes—they can swim more than 100 miles in a day—with a top speed of 40 miles per hour.

3. Heart Attack on a Hook
Eating fish is not healthy for your heart! Heavy metals  are concentrated in tuna because of the contaminated fish they eat. Tuna flesh is loaded with heavy metals that attack the heart muscle, so the toxicity outweighs any possible health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. According to a recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, men with the highest levels of mercury increased their risk for heart disease by 60 percent and their risk of dying of a heart attack by 70 percent. Do your heart a favor—put down the fish fork and pick up a safer source of omega-3s, such as walnuts and flaxseeds.

4. Would You Eat Your Dog?
How about a fish who’s as smart as a dog? Dr. Theresa Burt de Perera, an Oxford University scientist, recently published research showing that fish learn faster than dogs. And University of Edinburgh biologist Culum Brown says, “In many areas, such as memory, their cognitive powers match or exceed those of ‘higher’ vertebrates, including non-human primates.”

5. Sorry, Charlie
Unlike a certain cartoon tuna, fish aren’t begging to be caught. Tuna are chased until they move into a tight group, and then a net is lowered around them. They are dragged against rocks and debris, and some fish suffocate from the sheer weight of other fish pressing against them. Large tuna are impaled on longlines—which are miles of barbed hooks that are left in the ocean for days at a time.

6. Death, Sopranos-Style
Think “swimming with the fishes” in reverse. “Hit men” dump smaller tuna onto ice, where they slowly freeze to death or are crushed when thousands of their schoolmates are piled on top of them. Tuna caught on longlines are beaten until they become unconscious before they are thrown into the freezer—and that’s if they haven’t already bled to death while struggling to free themselves!

7. Factory Fish Bowls
Because fishing trawlers are increasingly emptying the seas of more and more of their inhabitants, fish are now being raised on “farms.” Small tuna are captured and dumped into netted pens. They are fattened on pellets of concentrated fish flesh and killed when they get big enough—if they don’t die first from the parasites and diseases that thrive in extremely crowded conditions.

8. Sickening Sashimi
Stay away from the sushi buffet if you don’t want to spend the next day at the porcelain palace. Seafood is the number one cause of food poisoning in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 75 million cases of foodborne illness every year, including hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths.

9. Dolphin-Unsafe Tuna
Tuna is about as “dolphin-friendly” as a boat propeller. Even if dolphins aren’t “accidentally” trapped in tuna nets, they are still killed intentionally by Japanese tuna anglers because they prey on tuna. Entire pods of whales and dolphins are rounded up and driven into shallow water where all but the youngest (who are captured and sold to aquariums) are slaughtered with knives and machetes.

10. Tuna-Safe Tuna
Vegetarian tuna, available from Veggie World is a double-take fake tuna that is perfect for sandwiches, casseroles, and “fish” cakes. It is packed with protein and has an uncanny “tuna” flavor and texture, but it’s free of mercury, harmful bacteria, and suffering.
If you’re “fishing” for a heart-smart diet that has been proved to actually reverse heart disease while also reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity and that is good for the environment as well as fish-friendly—a vegetarian diet is the perfect catch.

Order a free vegetarian starter kit  and we’ll send you great-tasting recipes, nutrition information—and everything else you’ll need to make the easy switch to a healthy vegetarian diet.

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  • Anyone says:

    About #7, they are now using chicken by products to feed farmed fish, including feathers and bones, possibly poo. There is an npr show about it, this American life I think.

  • Jacob says:

    Whether you’re a meat eater or a vegan you can’t win. Food companies are owned by corporations that just want to sell you the cheapest product for the highest price. Heck Peta is probably run buy a bunch of organic food brands trying to steer the masses away from meat lol. I doubt that there is a way to escape all of the negative factors of any food whether it be organic, gluten free, canned tuna or what have you. From radiation in the water to chemicals in soil, pesticides etc you’re getting screwed somehow. At the end of the day you just gotta choose what you enjoy, don’t judge others for doing the same. Whatever makes you happy man, you can’t change the world no matter how much you want to. Take a look at those who tried to change the world John Lennon, Ghandi look where they’re at right now. The goodness of man was bought and sold a long time ago, food is food. Bon appetite

  • Abid says:

    I think one cannot justify not-eating non-veg because it involves killing/suffering of other life form. Why don’t these guys stop eating veg also-plants got life too but it is other thing that they cant move like a dog or fish.

  • exploit says:

    I am a new vegetarian and i feel energetic and healthy. I just hate how their is vegan food in the supermarket where tofu is smushed with other crap to make it look like a hotdog or whatever. I prefer to eat what grows in the ground not what is man made. But regarding this article , im sorry I love to fish I have caught alot of bluefin tuna its a fun fight. I have also learned to respect them because they are smart. But thanks for telling me how much crap they have in them i’ll have to eat another kind of fish now. ps: im only vegan to loose weight and be healthy but i cant stop eating fish.

  • Bowiefung says:

    Abuse to animals is a bad thing but I also think if everyone stopped eating meat it would be unsustainable from eating just plants. Farming fruits and vegetables for human consumption introduces a LOT of problems in terms of deforestation and soil degradation. With climate change being more relevant we should be more efficient in producing all kinds of foods for consumption.

  • Steffi Thompson says:

    As a life long vegetarian I have never eaten any sort of fish, reading these Reasons why not to eat Tuna just confirms my feelings of how cruel this world is. I believe everybody has the right to choose what they want to eat but there is never any need for suffering and killing these beautiful fish in such a brutal way.

  • Karen says:

    Well said Becky, you tookk the words right out of my mouth!

  • Mango says:

    I will not consume a can of tuna in response to this article.

  • Bluefin Mike says:

    being a middle aged bluefin tuna myself and being smarter than most primates I have constructed a waterproof computer from kelp, rocks and various items from a nearby shipwreck. finding a power source under the sea was indeed difficult but I managed to black mail an electric eal into providing me with adequete energy. This of course all in an effort to join the compelling conversation here, I for one agree with the article 100 percent. Humans should cease in abusing my race or we will eventually get angry enough to seek revenge. That is all, I bid you good day.

  • TopsieB says:

    If one more nut says “what about killing plants?” I will scream! Plants such as tomatoes are annuals and will die after dispersing their seed in fruit…we are helping them to disburse seeds. Plants like apples and walnuts drop their fruit…we don’t chop down the tree…plants like lettuce, also annuals, can be harvested a leaf at a time and not killed…only a few, potatoes fir instance, are dug up, but more will be planted from their tubers or seeds…NOT the same as murdering an animal!!!

  • I love tuna says:

    As long as tuna is on the shelves, I will continue enjoying them 🙂

  • Becky says:

    Wow! I am a pretty strict vegetarian and animal lover; however, I am also a writing teacher. The first rule of finding evidence that I teach my students is to watch out for fanaticism. Your first reason: brain rot. Really? That’s your strongest point about why we shouldn’t eat tuna. How many people are dying of mercury poisoning? You lost me there. I will do my research somewhere where I can likely trust that the information is actually researched and credible. If you are turning off people with like beliefs, do you really think you are convincing anyone who disagrees with you?

  • Sherry says:

    I’m a fan of PETA, and I support just about every idea they throw at us. I’m big on animal rights and have been known to have heated words with people when I see something done that I consider cruel or inhumane. And as I said, this article makes me sad… but come on and be reasonable

  • Sherry says:

    I feel really sad about the methods people are using to capture and kill these wonderful fish, and the effect it has on the rest of the sea world. That said, it is unreasonable and silly to expect people to stop eating tuna because of it. You might as well cut out all fish and plants too while we’re at it. The murcury and heavy metals argument is a valid one, but a balanced diet and moderate consumption all but eradicates the potential risk. “fish is bad for you” … please, that’s just nonsense. Moderation people. Moderation. Enough said!

  • Eat More Tuna says:

    This made me want to make a tuna sandwich. I find it ironic that PETA advocates killing plants, which are living organisms just like tuna.

  • ronaldinho says:

    I’d eat my dog. Yeah, No problem. Peta get a life. I see no problem killing fish and rats to save starving malnourished children in need.

  • Anna says:

    Reading this article makes sense to me, and I learned a few things and knew about the rest. It makes sense, that is if you have common sense. I guess not whole lot of people have common sense. These are just facts. For example, pregnant women are not supposed to eat tuna since it contains mercury which is toxic for the baby. Comparing the tuna fish to a dog also makes sense, since they are both living things but look different from the outside. We are all living things but each of us are different from the outside. I have not eaten red meat for two years now, haven’t eaten chicken for a year now and couldn’t be happier. I am nothing special for those innocent animals to die a horrible death just for my taste buds. I will never go back to eating meat, ever! I do still eat fish from time to time, but have to work on that as well. They are living things, and as far as my omega 3s, I can get them from the flax seed that I buy regularly. Thank you PETA.

  • Cowboy says:

    I was lost at #2. What does a fish’s size have to do with eating it or not eatiing it???

  • Susan says:

    Ryan most certainly has his finger on the pulse. The solution is not cutting out meat (fish, beef, chicken, whatever; doesn’t even have to be meat really). It has been shown meat is quite good for the body and there is no substantial danger to either species…as long as it done RESPONSIBLY. By the way, the amount of mercury in 3 whole tuna fish cannot harm you. So unless you eat 7 right out of the grocery shop one by one (Chain-Tuning? LOL), you are just fine.

    Our goal should be to choose our products responsibly and encourage more humane tactics, not rid ourselves of the benefits that ARE there.

  • Ka dog says:

    For the record plants are living organisms just like us and animals! Enough said!

  • Richiexlx says:

    Is this for real? i eat tuna all the time (body builder) and it works wonders high in protien no fat just what i need and i have no brain rot…..

  • Djson1 says:

    You lost me with reason #4 above. I thought some of the arguments made sense, but then comparing eating tuna to eating your dog was just too desperate of a move for me to lend any credibility to this whole article. I don’t think I need to elaborate why. Sorry, Charlie.

  • Ryan says:

    I really think that vegetarians and vegans have missed the point a bit. It’s noble to care how animals are slaughtered for their meat, and it’s quite sickening to see how the majority suffer so much before death. However, choosing to not eat meat is not the solution. The solution is to choose meat which is killed in humane ways. The solution is to understand that it’s perfectly healthy and natural to eat meat, but at the same time, you should behave as an intelligent human being and know that causing suffering is unethical.

    Instead of just not eating meat, why not try to find out where and how the meat you eat was produced? It makes more sense that going all out about how “meat is bad for you”, which CLEARLY it’s not.

  • yumyumvegan says:

    Its sad to see that people are so cut throat about what they believe, or don’t believe. Because you eat meat, you have a biased opinion.. your own. Does that not mean Vegans have their own? The most frustrating thing about this is, most of the people replying are barely considering the reality of the matter. Or even if you are taking the time to see, but find a way differently.. it doesn’t mean fellow veg-heads don’t see another way. It is all a matter of choice and action. Truth is, everything is killing us. Meat, soy, poison.. its all a matter of time. Live the way you want. I choose Vegan, because I enjoy it.. I enjoy the sensation of overall clarity.. also, I am too much of an animal lover. If you choose differently, so be it!

    PS The only difference between a dog and a fish, are the structure.. the life is still there. Just as a human and an animal! We are all alive. Eating raw, natural, whole foods is how I picture the way of life should be. It grows from the earth, most suitable for our body design, and creates an amazing experience for anyone who lives this way! I could rant for hours..

    For now :3

  • joe says:

    Im a tuna fishermen. ive never heard of tuna being caught with nets, we troll for them, as soon as they bite the line and are brought aboard we make a cut across there man artery so the bleed out and die as fast as posible. ive never seen a tuna flinch or show any signs of feeling pain in all the years ive been fishing.

    obviously dolphins would never bite our tuna gear. i see thousands of dolphins every year i go fishing, they have very few predators except for the japanies.. and the odd shark that can get one, they have sonar to catch their food and their supper smart, theres so many more problems in the world we could focus on rather then dolphins which have it relatively easy.
    i eat my tuna raw and ive never been sick its very flavorfull and i feel good after i eat it. i think its natural to eat fish, and natural anything is better then modified fake food thats not compatible with your body and cant be properly assimilated so its stored in your tissue as toxins.
    the part about the dog doesnt even need to be addressed.

    but i think in a perfect world and one day my job wont even exist and if you want tuna you can go catch some yourself

  • Jared says:

    Guys I really don’t mind if you want to preach healthy eating habits; that’s cool. My only gripe is that you’re just scaring people away from a food that is all around healthy. I love eating tuna, and that’s fine. If you don’t, you probably didn’t need this article to help you get to that decision. Agree with the person who said you should focus more on the alternatives for the people who are looking for them. Just a friendly suggestion from a meat eater who agrees to disagree.

  • Madeyedscreamer says:

    what a load of lies … would eat anything if you were hungry enough and tuna are not caught in nets ,and what about all the pollution in the ground that goes into the veggies we eat not too mention the sprays that are used … what you like …don’t believe the rubbish so called scientific research says

  • Yummy Fishes says:

    Reason 1 is appliccable when the fishing occurs in high mercury environments combined with high levels of fish consumption. Eat responsibly. Reason 2 forgot to mention why it is a reason, lol. It’s essantially the same as saying “cows grow big”. Reason 7 is a “for” reason rather than “against” as intended. Eating foods that are farmed is preferential. Reason 8 “forgot” to mention that eating at a buffet in general increases the risk of food poisoning and wasn’t the cause of all 75 million cases; sounds like propaganda to me. All of the other reasons try to make me feel sorry by personifying fish. To continue that theme: “Sorry fishes, but a tuna sanga will be luncheon of choice for years to come.”

  • Nia says:

    I just think it’s funny how people who don’t agree with PETA or animal rights waste their time commenting on here and bashing everyone who doesn’t think like them. Hey, at least they’re reading the articles, right?

  • james says:

    i actually just started eating tuna now im moving to veggie tuna

  • Karmah says:

    Thank you, so much, for rightfully referring to them as “who”! It’s long past time human animals stopped calling other animals it.

  • Tracey says:

    I will never eat fish again!

  • 06johansenad says:

    I love to eat meat. That’s a fact. And if I liked tuna I’d probably have eaten it now and then before I saw this.

    Guys, stop babbling on and think. Do some research on tuna and actually see if what these guys are saying.

    I’m not saying become a vegetarian, but if you know a food is dangerous for you, then only a stupid moron would eat it.

    Its all I’m saying on this – animals are great.

    (I AM a meat-eater but I’d never be able to eat something if I saw it’s source. If I saw an adorable little piggy then I was handed a plate of that cute little guy’s sausages I’d have to turn it down.)

  • Diana says:

    “Brain Rot”
    That’s funny, considering it actually helps your brain remember and hold memories, so long as you don’t overload on it.

  • John says:

    It is remarkably sad to see how ignorant and insensitive the people are who look at animals as food…and to know how they are destined for suffering and premature death due to the consequences of thier thinking. LMAO about the fact they learned this thinking from parents who are of course equally ignorant…and/or businesses which have been able to manipulate them into thinking that eating animals is a healthy thing to do. They are lemmings and are owned by others who manipulate them.

  • L says:

    Well done, Marty.

  • Henry says:

    Tuna is gooooooooood.

  • Misa Misa says:

    you meat-eaters can just be the most ignorant closed minded species. to be honest i would probally eat one of you before i touch a burger.

  • marty says:

    Typical yank over enthusiasm. If I was to beleive half of this especially reason 3, I should of died around 20yrs ago! Have been eating tuna reguarly for about 30yrs and feel a lot better for it. Never read such rubbish. Hope your over inflated statistics can be proved in a court of law.

  • A Portillo says:

    I have a tuna sandwich for lunch at least once a week and will continue to do so. This website is silly.

  • B_bowers says:

    LOL comparing a dog and a fish because they may have the same cognitive abilities? Woww

  • dani says:

    Ryan McGivern, i very much enjoyed your comment… i agree with adding a substitutions for tuna

  • Hugh Man says:

    Peta People Eat Tasty Animals

  • puck feta says:

    ok thats gay

  • realist says:

    dave and eric, just read again and to drop your prejudices this time. it’s surely easier to ignore unpleasant facts than to question your own behavior, but are you really okay with eating creatures that have been treated like this? you know, this discussion doesn’t have to turn religios every time… but just sit down for 30 seconds, shut up and think about what you’ve read and if you’re really okay with all this. after all, it’s a simple question of dignity and appropriateness, not military vegetarianism ( i don’t think you have to be a 13 year old little girl who likes dolphins to agree that it might not be the greatest human accomplishment of all to treat animals this way…)

  • humblebumble says:

    dave and eric, just read again and try to pay attention and read it without prejudices this time. it’s surely easier to ignore unpleasant facts than to question your own behavior, but are you really okay with eating creatures that have been treated like this? you know, this discussion doesn’t have to turn religios every time… but just sit down for 30 seconds, shut up and think about what you’ve read and if you’re really okay with all this. after all, it’s a simple question of dignity and appropriateness, not military vegetarianism ( i don’t think you have to be a 13 year old little girl who likes dolphins to agree that it might not be the greatest human accomplishment of all to treat animals this way…)

  • Ryan McGivern says:

    Thank you PETA for creating this list.
    I would suggest that you create a links or citations list at the bottom for those who wish to follow up and research more.
    I also feel that many people react better to positive statement and frames. So I would suggest that you include more “foods that you can safely swap for tuna” (that are also gluten free) and give tips on how to prepare tofu or other protein-y foods once folks stop tuna.

  • eric pitcock says:

    I love animals. They are a wonderful part of God’s creation, and they taste sooooooooo good. Eat meat.

  • dave says:

    You guys have to be joking … you dont want us to eat anything , you would rather see cannibalism than an animal get killed for the purposes of food , go try and convince a lion to not eat meat.

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