Vegetarians and Mollusks

Why don’t vegetarians eat mollusks? I thought of this question at dinner with Lisa several weeks ago. Lisa, who is a vegetarian, couldn’t think of a good answer. I mean, there isn’t much of a difference between a mollusk (clam, oyster, scallop) and a plant is there? Neither have brains, therefore they do not experience pain. Why don’t more vegetarians eat mollusks?

6 comments

  1. There aren’t any good reasons for being a vegetarian over being a conscientious omnivore so, the answer to your question is clearly ‘vermillion.’

  2. That post was obvous flamebait, but yes, there are plenty of good reasons for being a vegetarian. They range from the moral to the healthful to the simple convenience of accomodating a loved one.

    I don’t impose my mostly vegetarianism on others, don’t impose your anti-vegetarianism on me.

  3. um, avoiding the ethics of eating critters issue entirely, I’ll just mention that mollusks do have brains. Depending on the species, the nervous systems range from fairly rudimentary to complex (cephalopods like octopi are relatively intelligent animals).

    Regardless of this, they still fall into the very generic rules some vegetarians use, mainly, don’t eat anything with a face, or that had a mom and a dad.

    Besides, even if they had no brains, felt no pain, and were not animals, how likely is it that someone who couldn’t eat Bessie the cow would be happy to munch down on a slug?

  4. I just looked up the anatomy of a bivalve, and it turns out that not only do they have hearts, stomachs, and intestines, but they also have anus’. That’s right… bivalves have buttholes. Maybe that has something to do with it? Now, I’m no vegetarian, but when you put it that way… that protabella burger doesn’t sound too bad.

  5. The only animals i used to eat were oysters and muscles becuase I couldn’t see any reasons to stop and I wanted to get plenty of omega 3. I have now decided to become vegetarian because I don’t think that it’s necessary for humans to eat animals. Without going into the morality of eating molluscs, if we were all to stop eating meat and only consume selected animals, there would be (within capitalism) large and unsustainable burdens on selected species, particularly in developing countries. We would put at risk important links in aquatic eco systems, which would be the wrong thing to do assuming our intentions are altruistic and our method to not take more than our fair share.

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