Fish are smart and clever social animals with unique personalities—and just like dogs, cats, and humans, fish can be hurt and have the capacity to suffer. According to scientists who study pain, their pain response is virtually identical to that of mammals and birds.
Because of this, fish deserve our consideration and kindness. When these sensitive animals are yanked from the water by people who are fishing, they begin to suffocate—their gills often collapse, and their swim bladder can rupture because of the sudden change in pressure. There’s no excuse for the suffering and death that results from fishing, and no child should be taught that it’s an acceptable thing to do.
Using TeachKind’s A Fish’s Life comic book, you can teach your students that fish are friends—not food (or a prize they can win while fishing for fun).
This full-color comic book, which is designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, uses lovable characters to help students see what fishing is like from the perspective of sea animals and to help them understand why doing anything that harms animals is bullying.
Order copies of A Fish’s Life now using the form below!
If you’d like to supplement the comic with some discussion points, share the following fun facts about fish with your students:
- Fish talk to each other using squeaks and squeals. They even listen in on others to gather information!
- Using their mouths like we use our hands, fish collect food, make nests for their babies, and gather rocks to build hiding places.
- Some fish like to garden! These gardeners with gills allow tasty types of algae to grow, while weeding out the types they don’t like to eat.
- Fish are smart, interesting animals who make friends with their “schoolmates” and enjoy spending time with their families—and they don’t want to be hurt any more than we do.
Drive home the themes explored in A Fish’s Life by sharing the following action steps with students and offering extra credit:
- If someone asks kids to go fishing, they can say, “No, thanks.” Explain to students that fish feel pain, so they deserve the same respect and protection that we give to cats and dogs. Snorkeling, biking, canoeing, or hiking are great activities to do instead.
- Kids can stop eating fish and tell others not to eat them, either.
- Have students make a “sea kitten” to help them realize that fish are just as intelligent as cats and dogs. Instructions for making one can be found at PETAKids.com/SeaKitten.
- Work with students to create a “Fishing Hurts” display in your school’s library. Include pictures, facts, and reasons why people shouldn’t fish—and discuss ways to have fun outdoors while helping animals, such as by holding a trash pick-up.
- Order PETA Kids’ fish stickers by filling out this form.
Order free A Fish’s Life comic books for your class!