Oysters: A Super Sustainable Food, And Perhaps Vegan?

Oysters could be the only farmed animal that gives back, rather than taking away during their production, and more surprisingly, they could actually be considered vegan. Stick with me on this one…

Oysters are part of the bivalve family (as are mussels and scallops). They're incredible creatures that not only clean and protect their environment, but also don't have a central nervous system, which is where the vegan thing comes in.

When researching, the positive environmental impact oysters have I happened across an ethical debate that didn't seem to have a conclusive ending.

Some vegans eat oysters, and some vegans don't.

It is important first to understand why one would avoid eating meat, or in my case, cut down meat consumption.

The consumption of meat is responsible for the destruction of land, grazing land for livestock already covers 26% of the planet's ice-free regions.

Agriculture no only effects land but livestock also produces 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than planes, trains and cars combined.

These statistics are the reason I made a solid plan to cut my meat consumption down by 50%, Cutting out 150grams of red meat a week can save approximately 195kg of C02 emissions per year.

So where do oysters come into this?

Oyster farms account for 95% of all oyster consumption, And oyster farming is possibly one of the most sustainable farming methods.

This is because there is little danger of overfishing, no forests being cleared, no grain needed for feed, no fertiliser to sustain them, and when harvested, they're picked off planks so there is no damage to other sea life to harvest them.

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As a stark opposition to agricultural farming and livestock that use land, water and resources, heightening the carbon footprint, oysters have minimal impact on their ecosystems.

Oysters actually improve water quality. There are even non-profit projects devoted to cultivating oysters to clean the environment and boost biodiversity.

Time lapse of oysters cleaning water

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Not only do oysters have a positive impact on the environment from an agricultural perspective, But a lot of people consider them to be a vegan food source.

Oysters do not have a central nervous system or a brain which is often the reason behind our justification for eating plants.

No brain no nervous system no pain, no pain, no suffering.

In fact, the reproduction and life cycle of an oyster is incredibly close to that of a plant. External fertilisation occurs in the water as sperm and egg meet. A larvae forms and swims around until it finds a hard place to settle and that's it.

An oyster farm in France

Like plants, oysters reproduce with external fertilisation and then live in a fixed position for the rest of their lifespan.

So as a quick recap, oysters don't have the ability to feel pain and improve their environment by cleaning the ocean.

You're improving the environment without hurting or causing pain to a living organism.

There isn't a right or wrong way to live your life. Every planet-strong action counts, and making changes to your everyday life is not a competition but a way to learn and grow while protecting your environment.

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We believe that when we are talking about seafood, we need to be conscious of making sustainable seafood choice.

The ocean gives us life, providing around 50-60% of our oxygen and its facing danger from overfishing, climate change, plastic waste and human pressures.

So if Oysters are having a positive impact on our lives, with the same nervous system about say, broccoli, should we be eating more of them?

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Paloma Brierley Newton Former Content Creator Suggest an article Send us an email

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