First thing you should know is that enviropigs are not pigs that care about the oil spill. Second thing you should know is that they are not creatures of God.

So why am I writing about them?

It all started with the tuna. The New York Times had an incredible article about the death of the blue fin tuna by a writer named Andrew Pollack. God works in mysterious ways when it comes to delivering the news.

We are fishing and sushi-ing them to death. Pollack writes that they may be only 9,000 left of the most vital breeders in the North American stock. Along with the Mediterranean, it is one of only two stocks of bluefins in the world. And it just so happens that the very place that BP has spilled its oil in our Gulf Coast is only one of two spawning grounds for the Atlantic bluefin.

The bluefin is an amazing creature, growing up to ten feet and a thousand pounds. It can navigate thousands of miles reaching speeds of forty miles an hour and raise its temperature to survive arctic waters.

Read “Tuna’s End” and you’ll think twice about what you’ve got between those chopsticks.

Anyway, one fish led to another. And I quickly found my way to another article in the Times. Not in the fish section, because they don’t have one. Not in the science section. But in Business Day. This time Pollack wanted to talk about new salmon.

Not God’s salmon, but man’s. Man being AquaBounty Technologies. God’s salmon take too long to grow. And we can make more money sooner if we just cut out God, the middleman, and make our own.

The problem is that SHE allowed the salmon to rest a little when it gets really cold in Arctic waters – and the salmon growth hormone goes on sabbatical.

AquaBounty Technologies is helping us farm the suckers. And just because God never thought of fish farms is no reason not to build them.

We can improve the bluefin’s genetic structure by stealing a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon, and add in the genetic on-switch from the ocean pout. No more cost-ineffective time outs for the cold. It’s grow, grow, grow!

A few of you might be wondering whether or not you’ll even know what kind of salmon you might be eating in the days to come. But Mr. Stotish of AquaBounty Technologies wants you not to worry: “Our fish is identical in every measurable way to the traditional food Atlantic salmon. If there’s no material difference, then it would be misleading to require labeling.”

Now to be fair to AquaBounty Technologies they’re not going to be growing their bio-salmon. They’ll only be selling the fish eggs to the fish farmers. And, in case, anybody is worried about these perfect replicas escaping and interacting with God’s salmon, these guys will be farmed in inland pens, not the ocean pens where they might make a break to daylight. Good news. Unless, of course, you’re a faux salmon. Because I’m betting no matter how crafty these genetic engineers are, they probably haven’t been able to completely erase the genetic memory of swimming home in an open sea. There has got to be some karmic price we’ll pay for eating deeply depressed not-quite-salmon-salmon.

Before we wend our way out of the water I want to urge you to take a moment to get out your computer and head over to Youtube to watch this extraordinary helicopter footage of the Gulf Waters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxDf-KkMCKQ

This burning ocean is man’s work. And I must say contemplating the unknown numbers of dead and dying dolphins, pelicans and whales makes me more than a little suspicious when it comes to evaluating the claims of the fish and animal-makers.

Because for every deep-sea AquaBounty technologist, there’s a land-based guy or gal. Which, just in the nick of time, brings us the enviropig, genetically engineered to produce 65% less phosphorous when he goes to the bathroom. This phosphorous from presumably large-scale pig farms produces algae blooms and depletes the oxygen in our rivers and streams. Years of research discovered that pigs are missing an enzyme called phytase, which luckily is found in the in the genome of the bacterium E. coli. And works with a mouse DNA promoter.

I can only wonder why God didn’t think of that.

The Berkshire Record, Thursday July 1, 2010. © Mickey Friedman. All rights reserved.