Jul 01 2014

Do Fish Feel Pain?

Many people that are pescactarians justify their reasons for being so by saying that they do not wish to inflict pain on other living creatures to obtain their food. People have the concept that because fish are near the bottom of the evolutionary scale that they do not have thoughts or feelings near to humans or other animals, or even feel pain.


Most scientific claims state that most common fish either do not feel pain, or that it is questionable. People often use this information to justify the severe mistreatment of fish.

Cooperation, reconciliation and other behaviors, such as building organized nests, are signs that a new study says are signs that fish do, in fact, have intelligence and feelings. Culum Brown, an associate professor at Macquarie University in Australia says that he believes the senses of fish are just as good as those of humans. He continues that they have very good memories and live in social environments in which they keep track of one another separately and learn from each other.


If fish actually do have the cognition and feelings that this study promotes, the treatment that fish receive from humans may seem cruel. People fish for sport, catching fish and throwing them back in the water, simply for a tally. Farmers leave fish in tiny, crowded containers feeding them garbage to produce mass quantities of meat. Pet stores sell them to people where they are taken and placed in a tiny bowl to spend their entire lives. If this new study promoted by Professor Brown has merit, the way fish are treated may become rather problematic.

fish farming

Many people would say that fish may have the appearance of lacking feelings, and many past studies by neurobiologists have come to the conclusion that fish lack the neuro-physiological capacity for a conscious awareness of pain and other such cognitions. Culum Brown sticks by his claim stating that fish have feelings, memories and strong senses.