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Re: [APD] Disposing of Unwanted Fish
Vaughn Hopkins wrote:
> The difficulty I have in relating all of this to a fish is that I
> haven't the slightest idea whether or not a fish feels anything at
> all as we would think of it. Do they experience pain? Do they have
> emotions? Do they experience fear? I have no idea at all. And,
> given that I have never had any hesitation to kill a fish in order to
> eat it, it is hard for me to concern myself over killing fish that
> are sick, deformed, etc. I would never intentionally torture a fish,
> but if I have to euthanize one I generally use a garbage disposal,
> and don't give it a second thought. Over the years I have also
> flushed them and even tossed them into the flower bed outside. When
> it comes to tiny fish I am a sociopath!
I can't see any reason to cause undue suffering when there are perfectly
good, inexpensive, and convenient methods to do otherwise. If you aren't
sure if there is suffering why wouldn't you err on the side of caution?
I can't think of a good reason.
As an aside, if fish didn't feel pain they could not react to a
stimulus. Pain is the signal your body gives you in order to avoid an
injurious situation. Same goes for fear. Without a means to identify
threatening situations, and a concurrent physiological motivation to
flee them, no creature would flee from predators - a sure shortcut to
the demise of a species.
We can all wonder whether a fish's fear "feels" the same as our fear,
but that is a pointless and meaningless debate. We can demonstrate
logically that they perceive an unpleasant sensation in response to
injury, and also experience a negative sensation in the presence of
danger. The experiences cannot be anything other than negative or the
fish would not have any motivation to avoid them. Whether those
experiences feel the same as ours would in a similar situation isn't any
more relevant than a debate about whether blue looks blue to fish while
debating whether they can see.
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