Are you still throwing shrimp on the barbecue because you think that eating them is good for you? Nothing could be more askew. In fact, the latest scientific research shows that eating shrimp may actually be hazardous to your health—but that isn’t the only reason why you should leave these animals off your plate.
Here are the top 10 reasons to not eat shrimp:
1. They Don’t Want to Die
Shrimp, like all other animals, share a universal desire to live. Studies have shown that crustaceans have central nervous systems that can generate pain sensations and release stress hormones that help alert them to certain dangers.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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. No plant food in the world contains any cholesterol.
9. 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.
10. 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 vegan seafood options.
Take our Pledge to Go Vegan!
If you’re fishing for a heart-smart way of eating that’s fish-friendly and good for the environment, going vegan is the perfect catch. The consumption of vegan foods has been linked to better cardiovascular health as well as a decreased risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and obesity.