When you tell someone you’re a vegetarian they always seem to give you the “do you eat fish?” question. But honestly, how is that a question at all? Fish are animals, just because they are a certain kind, doesn’t make them any different. People always tend to disregard fish or marine life when it comes to feeling pain. Whether it’s because they live in water and we live on land, or because they plainly believe that fish just don’t feel pain. It amazes me on the amount of people who could argue that they don’t feel pain.
For me, it must have been the experience of seeing a fish slowly die. Seeing it suffer and not be able to live with the exposure of direct air, that really captured my attention. Sometimes we tend to put aside the things we don’t see really happen; like the slaughtering or skinning of a precious animal whose lives we simply take for granted and don’t put as in equivalent to our own. A lot of people go on a vacation close to the sea, ocean, lake, to fish. They see this as recreational or as a sport. A sport? Fun?! Yeah, that’s the last thing I think of when I think of a fish being taken out of it’s natural habitat or being left on a ship to slowly lose its circulation of air. Whether this is released or not, it’s pretty obvious that the damage being down to that fish is not fixable and something that is down right wrong. Just because a fish cannot scream, doesn’t mean it’s not on the inside. Forcefully taking a fish out of water is like forcefully drowning a human in water.
Going back to the idea of seeing of the pain in an animal’s eyes, it’s obvious the pain and agony these fish go through when they gasp for air, the same as you would if you stuck underwater. It’s sad, really, how people can view an animal suffering like that, trying to escape to the sea, as perfectly fine. This is far from fine. It’s torture and it’s not only devastating to watch, but to know that they can’t escape. This goes back to the speciesism idea of how humans believe they are better than another creature because of the power they have to make one suffer. Because they feel a sense of accomplishment or pride from being able to catch a living thing, they believe that they are simply bigger and/or better, but that’s just not the case. The only thing it makes you is cold. And a heart so cold could never show mercy. Just imagine having a hook jabbed into the side of your mouth. Or, when someone is removing it just to set you aside to run out of air, or burn you over a fire. It’s just sick how anyone could so blindly refuse to realize the resemblance of feelings that all animals share, including fish.
Maybe, it’s the delusion of size that gets people to really look past empathy towards fish. How could anyone with a heart see blood from a fish and not have a flashing light that an animal is in fact suffering? What makes the blood from a fish so insignificant but the blood from an injured child so heartbreaking? Is it because you were once a child yourself to know the pain it felt? If so, what makes the suffering of another creature nonexistent? Both the creatures are suffering equally, in fact one is suffering worse.
Unfortunately, it’s the creature in which others refuse to help because they don’t even take the time to acknowledge their pain. They simply see right past it. It’s traumatizing seeing any creature in pain, and it’s hard to see how because a creature is from a different kingdom, that it makes it socially accepted.
To be honest, I can’t stand seeing those pictures of people holding a fish in their hands, smiling, while the blood is pouring out from the fish’s mouth onto the boat. What are you smiling for, seriously? You’re sick and what you’re doing is sickening and not only harmful to the fish, but yourself. You’re making yourself look coldhearted and delusional. Delusional to the logic that fish can feel pain, and, they do. Fishing is NOT a sport. It is down right cruel. You have blood on your hands and you look like a murderer. Not only are those pictures upsetting, but those plaques people put on their walls. Really, what does that prove? Does that show you’re some kind tough, almighty human? No, not at all. All it shows is that you have an extreme disconnect from reality.It always seems that when it comes down to animal rights and human rights, it’s always about pride. Whether it’s honor in helping those animals who others blindly see as incapable to feel, or strictly self importance of the opposing side. But, it’s not about importance or power. It’s about realizing that all animals are capable to feel pain and that we are responsible for the deaths partaken every hour by those who illogical choose to do so… it’s about life. Life is irreplaceable, and something all animals, fish or not, should be able to live, meaningfully.
Watch below to see how the fairy tales of fishing are a myth, and just how these fish live “happily ever after;” whether it’s commercial, sport, or pure entertainment… Warning, this is graphic and may cause extreme discomfort, especially to young audiences.