Sunday, July 13, 2014

Having Realisitic Expectations

Last night I saw the documentary Sushi: The Global Catch.

While I thought the film was supposed to be about the history of sushi and its growing popularity around the world, it ended up turning into a film more about the sustainability of blue fin tuna and the ecological concerns about it.  (My personal disappointment in the film is for another discussion.)

During the film, there was a debate between a Greenpeace activist who believes in educating people to not eat blue fin tuna and (what I believe to be) a scientist who supports sustainable farming of blue fin tuna.

At some point in the conversation the Greenpeace activist said something to the effect that "The best thing to do is to teach people to just not eat blue fin tuna, that's the best thing to change the industry."

The other fellow basically said, "There's no point, people won't stop eating it."

This is argument is nothing new.  It's a classic "moral/logical" vs "realistic" debate.  For the Greenpeace dude, I completely agree, it's the most logical thing to do.  However, with a worldwide population of 4 billion people and a growth in sushi consumption, educating people on blue fin tuna just isn't going to happen.

I was trying to think about an analogy to this, and the analogy I eventually thought of was safe sex and the spread of STDs.

There are those that believe in teaching about abstinence and no sex before marriage.

I can't argue with proponents of it.  It's unquestionably safer and will put your chances of getting STDs at literally zero.

However, I think most people out there believe that it's not a realistic goal to teach this.  People are not going to stop having sex before marriage, and this isn't a way to expect STD infection rates to go down.  So we take the more realistic goal and teach about safe sex with condoms.

So I'm all for the sustainable farming of blue fin tuna and look forward to it growing in popularity down the road.

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