Producer and DJ Christopher Comstock, better known Marshmello, prepared a vegan fish and chips with British singer James Arthur in a YouTube episode of “Cooking With Marshmello,” a series the producer hosts often with his musical collaborators. Arthur, who went vegan last year, appears in the new Marshmello single, “You Can Cry.”
The duo prepares a tofu-based fried fish along with fries and onion rings, which involves cutting a fresh onion — the perfect segue to cue up the new single and Marshmello, who dons a marshmallow head mask, sheds a few gratuitous tears that Arthur comforts him through. Vegan fish is also comforting a growing segment of diners, particularly in Arthur’s homeland, where UK fish and chips shops are adding vegan options to meet the growing demand from ethical consumers seeking vegan options.
A recent investigation by animal rights organization Mercy for Animals highlighted egregious cruelty in driftnet fishing, a common practice notorious for catching protected species including dolphins, whales, and sea lions. But the global fishing industry is being criticized for more than just its bycatch; studies show fish have complex emotions and can feel pain. The health of the world’s oceans is also in question as overfishing continues to lead to imbalances with some populations on the brink of extinction while others flourish as their natural predators die.
Other issues threatening the world’s oceans and marine life include the massive amount of plastic debris. Efforts to ban plastic items such as single-use straws have gained momentum in recent months as the amount of plastic in the ocean reaches staggering heights. Some estimates put it at eight million tons of plastic entering the oceans every year.
A growing number of vegan seafood companies are poised to protect the oceans while providing consumers with cruelty-free seafood. New Wave Foods is making waves with its plant-based shrimp and Ocean Hugger Foods is redefining tuna with its tomato-based “ahimi” raw tuna. Later this year the U.S. will see the launch of Good Catch Foods‘ plant-based crab meat and tuna.
While Arthur says he gave up meat and dairy initially for his health, citing the problems dairy poses for his voice, the singer has spoken out as an ethical vegan, encouraging his fans to support activists like Joey Carbstrong. “I can tell you everything [Joey] is saying is 1000% legit on all levels.”