Fish are smart, and salmon are no exception. Did you know that fish can learn to avoid nets by watching others in their group and that they can recognize individual “shoal mates”? Some fish gather information by eavesdropping on others, and some—such as the South African fish who lay their eggs on leaves so that they can carry them to a safe place—even use tools.
Scientists who study pain are in agreement that a fish’s response system is basically identical to those of mammals and birds. Sadly, the U.S. fish industry slaughters more than 6 billion fish each year, and sport fishing and angling kill another 245 million animals annually.
The good news is that you can stop eating fish! By trying vegan salmon and other fishless fish recipes, you’re choosing compassion over cruelty. Here are some delicious ways to fool all your fish-eating friends (because plants can totally taste like salmon):
1. Vegan New York–Style Bagels with Tomato Lox
Add this to your brunch repertoire and never look back.
2. Spicy Carrot Lox and Avocado Sushi
This colorful roll uses carrot lox (see number 5) as the base and adds Sriracha sauce, vegan mayonnaise, and avocado to the mix.
3. Vegan Salmon Blinis
How gorgeous is this appetizer? It’s made with smoked carrot “salmon” and a homemade garlic and herb cashew cheese. To impress your friends even more, top each blini with a tiny dollop of vegan caviar pearls.
4. Vegan Smoked Fish Spread
This ingenious recipe uses cashew cream cheese, artichoke hearts, Old Bay, and other ingredients to mimic the texture and taste of a salmon spread. Pair it with crackers for a tasty appetizer.
5. Carrot Lox
There are no murdered fish in this healthy carrot lox recipe.
6. Raw Vegan Salmon Pâté
This pâté can be used in sandwiches, wraps, and sushi rolls or eaten by itself.
7. Vegan Cream Cheese and Beet Tart
The candy-cane beet beautifies any dish that it touches.
8. Vegan Salmon Pâté Sushi Rolls
Using pâté is another great way to incorporate vegan salmon into any sushi situation.
9. ‘Salmon’ Patties
Serve this with horseradish vegan mayonnaise, potatoes, and coleslaw for a Scandinavian touch.
10. Vegan Smoked Salmon Spaghetti Carbonara
Let the fish swim free and still enjoy a bowl of salmon spaghetti carbonara. (This recipe also uses carrot lox as the key ingredient.)
Whether the fish are raised on aquafarms, caught in the ocean by giant nets, or hooked at the end of fishing lines, eating them supports cruelty to animals. Order PETA’s free vegan starter kit for great tips and recipes to help you make the switch to a fish-free vegan diet.