junipearl Posts: 326 Member
Some vegans are okay with eating these as they do not have a central nervous system and are therefore thought to be "sentient," i.e. incapable or feeling pain or emotion.

I never liked seafood even before becoming vegan so I have no interest in eating these, just thought it was an interesting topic.


  • junipearl
    junipearl Posts: 326 Member
    OOPS thread title should say mussels, not shell fish
  • wild_wild_life
    wild_wild_life Posts: 1,334 Member
    I've seen that too. And supposedly plants emit a specific signal when being damaged, so clams are less sentient than plants.

    Not really tempted, but it is interesting.
  • ShrinkingShelley
    ShrinkingShelley Posts: 6 Member
    Wow! I never knew that! You learn something new everyday. I've never been big on oysters etc, but I still don't think I could bring myself to eat them. But, to each his/her own!
  • junipearl
    junipearl Posts: 326 Member
    and original post should say NOT sentient lol
    I was obviously in some sort of trance when making this thread.
  • gingerb85
    gingerb85 Posts: 357 Member
    Personally, I do not eat them. Milk doesn't have it's own central nervous system, nor do eggs and I don't eat those. It is in the kingdom Animalia and I personally think if you are vegan, then your diet excludes anything that falls therein.
  • junipearl
    junipearl Posts: 326 Member
    I don't disagree with you ginger, however the comparison with milk is not an adequate one as obtaining the milk and eggs causes a great deal of suffering to the dairy cows and egg hens which are indisputably sentient beings. So there lies the question of what other creatures are harmed when we take the oysters/mussels/clams, which someone did bring up and is an interesting point as well.
  • wild_wild_life
    wild_wild_life Posts: 1,334 Member
    For me it is the fact that we really don't know how other living things experience the world and feel (or do not feel) pain or aversion or stress. We extrapolate from knowledge of physiology or by observing behavior that other vertebrates probably feel pain like we do. When it comes to plants, who knows how (or if) they experience the world? Then it comes down to a cost-benefit ratio, for me -- what is the potential cost to the animal/plant (and my conscience in desiring not to harm others) vs the benefit to me. It's just not worth it to me to eat animals, even those that look very different from me, but I have to eat something so am OK with eating plants. Don't know if that makes sense but that's how I think of it.
  • junipearl
    junipearl Posts: 326 Member
    that makes complete sense, jsl!
    I think that is the mindset of a lot of fruitarians, who will only eat parts of the plant that (1) do not cause the plant to die and (2) fall off the plant naturally.

    ideally that'd be the way for us to live, but I don't know if we are advanced enough in our nutritional knowledge to make it viable or even sustainable.
    definitely see where you are coming from. interesting perspective; thanks!
  • EndOfCycle
    EndOfCycle Posts: 12
    The only seafood I've ever had in my life was fish sticks growing up. I was always disgusted for some reason by seafood so I never wanted to try salmon, crab, shrimp, oysters, and so forth. But as a vegan, just no way. It's so easy to avoid it guessing games, no gray area.
  • junipearl
    junipearl Posts: 326 Member
    haha i always felt the same about seafood as you are describing! I finally started incorporating some salmon and tuna in to my diet right before i became vegan but it was really hard for me to stomach... seafood has always grossed me out!!

    thanks for your perspectives all.
  • AnnaMaus
    AnnaMaus Posts: 167 Member
    No. I wouldn't eat an animal born brain-dead and thus incapable of suffering either, though.
  • _Zardoz_
    _Zardoz_ Posts: 3,987 Member
    If you are a vegan you don't eat animal product. So if you eat shellfish you aren't a vegan. Simple really
  • theundead
    theundead Posts: 51 Member
    Ewwww no.