SEASPIRACY: 4 Positives You Can Take Away
Since its release on March 24th, Seaspiracy has been causing quite the splash (pun intended) amongst audiences. Whilst the devastating and depressing scenes don’t come as a surprise to many, there is no denying how impactful this documentary has already been.
Despite watching the majority of the documentary through my fingers, I have found myself confused by the reaction. The only reactions being to either despair, or to deny. But is this really a constructive way to look at it? It seems counterproductive, so let’s take a step back, ignore the stubborn sceptics and pick out 4 positives that everyone can take from Seaspiracy.
1) People care
What stands out most about the release of Seaspiracy is the vocal response and attention it has garnered. Obviously, whenever these tough-to-watch documentaries get released, there is always the “propaganda!” yelling contingent, desperate to ignore the effect that their food choices have on the planet. But conversely, there is an ever-growing group of people beginning to realise how desperately change is needed. People are beginning to care more and more, and the film's constant presence in Netflix’s Top 10 Trending list since its release proves this.
The Seaspiracy filmmakers, Ali and Lucy Tabrizi, have subsequently launched a petition to protect 30% of oceans across the globe by 2030. With over 100,000 signatures in 3 just days, it is safe to say that people want change, and that the UK government, and other global governments need to start taking note.
2) The Ocean's ability to bounce back
Perhaps the most uplifting part of the documentary came courtesy of George Monbiot, a well-respected environmentalist. In what was a brief moment of respite from the intensity of the rest of the film, Monbiot expressed how hope is not completely lost, and that when left to its own devices, the ocean has a remarkable ability to bounce back, and thrive.
3) Sea Shepherd
The third positive to take away from Seaspiracy is the existence of Sea Shepherd, a marine conservation organisation that protects the oceans from illegal exploitation. Whilst watching Seaspiracy, the feeling of helplessness seems unavoidable at times. So, seeing the direct action being taken by Sea Shepherd, who seize illegal fishing vessels across the globe, is inspiring and uplifting.
4) The rise of plant-based alternatives
Another positive to take away from Seaspiracy is the wide range of plant-based alternatives and their benefits. The main example used was regarding fish oil. Long have fish oils been branded as healthy and necessary supplements to take. Yet as the film explains, it is entirely possible to gain this oil without any fish involvement. And that is simply because, Omega-3 “fish oil” is not produced by fish. Fish are merely the middlemen and instead it is algae that are the producers of these Omega-3 fatty acids. With companies such as New Wave Foods releasing products such as vegan algae-based “Shrimp”, it is clearly perfectly possible to create exciting, innovative alternatives that don’t disturb fish or the marine environment. And if that doesn't appeal to you, surely the lack of cholesterol, Mercury and PCB's do!
Even now, in the UK, you are able to go into any major supermarket and get your hands on amazing plant-based seafood alternatives. Quorn and Good Catch are just two examples of these, which will make you utter that classic vegan line: “you definitely couldn’t tell it’s vegan”.
Image credit: Unity Diner's Tofish and Chips
Seaspiracy is a documentary that feels painful to watch. As it absolutely should be. Nobody enjoys watching these films, and that’s a good thing. As more people watch these documentaries, more people start to realise that the issue of the meat and fish industries aren’t the grey area they are made to seem. Rather, they are very black and white, damaging industries, in need of deep inspection.
All in all, there are several shards of hope seen throughout the film and the response to it. Yes, we are destroying the oceans, but as a collective, people are waking up to this, and starting to take action, whether it be direct action or through lifestyle changes. As long as the issues are continuously kept at the forefront of public debate, and the ever-improving plant-based options continue to gain popularity, the oceans will have a fighting chance. If we act now, the oceans will have this chance to thrive once again.