Are we wrong to assume fish can't feel pain?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
The Guardian

I have cast my rod into the tidal current flowing around Montauk Point in New York and my lure is chugging across the surface when a bluefish swirls and fails to grab it. There is a heavier swirl. On a third appearance, the fish grabs. The hook pierces. The fish swims one way and abruptly changes direction. It darts deep. Comes up. The fish is struggling. I have never seen a free-swimming fish leap and wriggle as if to dislodge something. But this fish suddenly bursts through the surface, shaking its head energetically. It works. My lure goes flying. The line goes slack. The fish vanishes; escaped.

Was that fish feeling pain? Fear? If a sociopath is someone who disregards the pain of others, and if someone who ignores evidence is in denial, what does that make me? Such questions plague me. I cast again.


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