It’s that time of year again—time to decorate the Christmas tree and litter the floor with presents. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it means days full of sunshine without a cloud to be seen. For the other half of the world, though, it involves blankets of snow, vegan hot chocolate, and huddling together beside a fireplace. Whether the temperature is hot or cold, people love to go fishing at this time of year. It takes place on sunny beaches but also atop frozen lakes—which means fish need our help now!
People enjoy being in the great outdoors when the weather is warm (or cold!), and many consider fishing to be a recreational and social pastime. What many fishing enthusiasts don’t realize, though, is that despite how strange and unfamiliar they are to us, fish feel pain. In fact, they feel it just as much as cats or dogs do.
Fish have nerve structures similar to humans and other mammals. A fish’s lips and mouth—the very area targeted by fish hooks—are particularly well supplied with pain-specific nerve endings, causing fish excruciating pain when they are caught and forcibly removed from their habitat.
Recent studies also show that fish are more intelligent than people realize. Fish will avoid painful stimuli, and older fish have even been recorded teaching younger fish about dangers—for example, the sound of trawler engines! That’s incredible, right?!
What’s also astonishing is that people still fall victim to the “fish is a brain food” myth. While there is no recipe for intelligence—regardless of what ingredients you use—fish flesh has been proved to contain many harmful chemicals and toxins.
Retire your fishing pole in favor of more animal-friendly pastimes. And leave Nemo off your plate, and opt for a more animal-friendly diet. Pledge to go vegan today!
Posted by Samantha Pulsford