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Why Are fish Left Out of Our Love for Animals?

Fish are the most consumed animal in the world! Science tells us that not only are fish perfectly capable of feeling pain, but they can also feel fear.
December 19, 2015 Updated: March 20, 2023

They also possess the ability to feel pain. Maybe it’s something you’ve never thought about, but fish are the most consumed animals in the world. The numbers are astronomical. It is difficult to even visualize it: it is estimated that 1 to 3 billion fish are caught annually worldwide. These sensitive animals are caught in huge nets and suffer an agonizing death that can last several minutes to hours long. Many of them die after being crushed inside the nets, while the rest will die of suffocation, by freezing or being butchered alive.

These numbers also include those animals from fish farms. It is estimated that between 37,000 and 120,000 million fish die annually in fish farms around the world. The methods in which they are killed are slow and inhumane. Science does not only affirm that fish feel pain, it is now known that they also feel fear. Can you imagine the fear these animals feel when forcefully removed with fishing nets from their environment? Professor Donald Broom, biologist at the University of Cambridge, summarizes this by saying, “there are some sensory differences between fish and mammals because fish live in water, but fish feel pain very similar to the way mammals and birds do”. Professor John Webster, animal welfare researcher at the University of Bristol stated that “claiming that fish feel no pain cannot be defended by any scientist.” And what would animal lovers say? Are we on the side of these intelligent and sensitive animals? Are we going to listen to their silent screams asking for our help? These screams are as desperate as those of our beloved dogs and cats when they are abandoned or in pain.


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