Friday, February 15, 2008

News, diet, and fishy guilt

On a near daily basis, I have access to the internet and use it as a between class mental recess. I like to check various news sites both international and local, to get a broader idea of what is happening in the world. When I am finished reading reputable sources, I go slumming.

Some things I have noticed lately:

CNN's IQ has dropped appallingly in the past few years. I am sure it has been a gradual decline, but having the time to check regularly has given me a front row seat to the perversion of news.

American media in general is completely obsessed with weight loss. I suppose all the other countries finally poked us in our flab enough times that we became ashamed. They try to sound "hip" and make dealing with obesity sound more like a trip to the circus rather than an actual SERIOUS matter. I offer you this article title I stumbled across this morning "How to Eat Like a Hot Chick". What? The article seems to realize it sounds like a twat when the first paragraph tries to dig it's way out of the hole it's firmly planted in. (just saw that this is taken from a book of the same title. It makes me sad for American women.)
We know that you're already hot and that you have the potential to be and feel even hotter.

It sounds more like "oh, shit... we called you ugly didn't we? Um... you are sexy? Yeah, and you don't need this article really, but you could be sexier maybe?"

Let's delve further. Upon reading anything along these lines, which I mostly do to amuse myself, wondering if something of value is hidden between the lines, I am instead met with repetitive Sex in the City references, and reminders that are completely unnecessary if one would just look at an ingredient or nutrition label. This particular article also manages to insult vegans, and all they really accomplish is saying condiments will make you a fatty.

My bastion of sanity for news comes from the BBC.

Why all this talk of food? What does ocean conservation have to do with this? Well, let me provide some cohesion. I haven't eaten meat for nearly 12 years now, and feel guilty calling myself a vegetarian. This is because I have eaten fish for the past 3 years. Before that, it was 8 years clear. It's still not a regular food for me, perhaps 3 times a week or so. Living in Japan as a strict vegetarian is possible, but you become a bit of a social pariah. I couldn't, for instance, go to a Japanese friend's home for dinner, without causing them dismay over what they could possibly serve me. I admit I have grown to enjoy a few types of fish. Shrimp are delicious, and I have a serious weakness for salmon onion mayo sushi.

My only problem is the guilt. I have been contemplating for a long time, what I will do when I eventually leave Japan. Will I stop eating fish again? Will I go back to my real vegetarian lifestyle? I always say that you should only be veg if you truly don't like eating meat/fish. I don't hold anyone's diet against them. Fish isn't that important to me, I could easily go without again. Plus, the above photo is a view of man's impact on the world's oceans. I live in a country that is renowned for it's fishy needs and whaling prowess. The demand for maguro (tuna) alone is astounding and since the stock in Japan has been pludered, we import from Mediterranean waters. National Geographic explains it far better than I could.

I realize that I am just one person, but really don't feel very good about myself if I order that plate of maguro.

It also makes me want to slap the hell out of Gal Sone. (they start wolfing down the Otoro, or fatty tuna in the middle of this clip.)

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