Do Vegetables Swim?
The following was first published on the Huffington Post:
Catholic bishops in the U.K. want to reinstate year-round meatless Fridays, which sounds great to us, except for one thing: They still seem to be hung up on the idea that fish are swimming vegetables.
|Clicksy/cc by 2.0|
|What am I, chopped rutabaga?|
Like all other animals killed for food, fish are sentient beings who value their lives. Research on fish intelligence abounds, revealing that fish use tools, tell time, sing, and have impressive long-term memories and complex social structures. Fish also create cognitive maps that allow them to navigate through vast expanses of water.
More importantly, like other animals, fish feel pain. Renowned scientist Victoria Braithwaite noted, “[T]here is as much evidence that fish feel pain and suffer as there is for birds and mammals.” Fish used for food are hooked, suffocated, crushed, impaled, cut open, and gutted, all while still conscious, and they feel every agonizing second.
Not eating animals is a smart, compassionate decision, regardless of whether those animals are furred, feathered, or finned.What better time than World Week for the Abolition of Meat to let fish off the hook?