Over one trillion fishes are killed by humans every year. This violence is condoned and endorsed by our laws and our society. Children are even encouraged to take part in the killing.

Because they live in a foreign world we rarely visit, most of us never get to know individual fishes or other aquatic animals. But scientists and others who take the time to get to know them confirm that fishes are individuals with unique personalities, complex social lives, and the ability to suffer and feel pain.

Recent scientific findings show that fishes have far more in common with land animals than previously thought. It has also been proven that fishes have pain-specific nerve endings — especially on their lips and mouths — that are similar to those of mammals. Science has also confirmed that when pulled out of the water and unable to breathe, a fish’s stress hormones react the same as do those of a drowning human.

Nearly half of the fishes consumed in the US are raised in captivity. Like other farmed animals, they are badly abused. Confined in overcrowded, filthy enclosures, many individuals die of injury, disease, and parasites.

Fishes in the wild are impaled on sharp hooks or trapped in nets. When dragged from the depths, many are crushed in the nets or die from the rapid pressure change which can cause their organs to rupture. Those still alive when pulled out of the water — in the wild or on fish farms — are beaten to death, cut up alive, or slowly suffocate. Commercial “fishing” methods also destroy ocean eco-systems and injure and kill huge numbers of whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles, sea birds, and sharks.

Reproduced with permission from Monica Ball

Header image: Unparalleled Suffering