This is by no means me getting up on a soapbox and declaring the eating of fish a moral outrage. I love fish. I even love Filet O' Fish. I don't much care whether the lobster suffers when it's thrust head first into boiling water. You would feel the same way, too, if you were lucky enough to have partaken of the lobster roll at Pearl Oyster Bar. A crustacean's fleeting pain and suffering is secondary to my love of delicious seafood.
But how's this for a slap in the face: I was at the Shedd Aquarium not long ago, and right next to the Caribbean Reef was a chef doing a cooking demonstration. She had a portable burner set up and was sauteing fish.
Of course, I'm thinking "They can see you!" referring to the angelfish and reef sharks watching as their comrade in arms (perhaps a sea bass?), now just a filet of his former self, sizzled away in a non-stick pan.
I'm fairly sure fish don't have feelings. But it just seemed....callous. Shouldn't an aquarium be a safehouse where we embrace conservation, not tartar sauce? Isn't the appropriate place to eat fish Shaw's Crabhouse or The Lobsterbox or Legal Seafood, and not the John G. Shedd Aquarium?
If a fish and chips place opened up right outside the front doors of the Shedd, I'd be first in line. But when I'm inside the aquarium, I'd like to keep the illusion alive: you're beautiful and amazing, and no, I'd never eat you. Ever.