What if fish really can feel pain?
They say fish don’t feel pain, and I don’t know if I buy that or not. But one thing I do know is that I’m glad fish don’t think the way we do.
Imagine being really hungry, or even just a little hungry, for that matter, and heading for the kitchen to do something about it. You nose around the fridge and the cabinets for a while, then you see the leftover birthday cake. You could really go for a slice of that. So you cut off a chunk, throw it on a plate, then wander over to the table. You sit down, pick up a forkful of your tasty morsel, bring it to your mouth, open wide, and cram it into your pie-hole. But just as you start to savor the taste, it bites you back.
Something sharp jabs you through the lip, and it won’t let go. Worse, it pulls you out of your chair, over the table, and through the window. You fight the pull as best you can, but it’s too much for you. Eventually, you’re in a place you can’t get a breath, being squeezed by some giant, hairy monster that’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And at this point, your fate is determined by three possibilities. If you’re lucky, you could have the sharp thing yanked out of your lip and get thrown back into your house. But it could be worse. You could be stuck onto another rope and dangled teasingly back near your home, but unable to get back in before you eventually lose the will to live; or the monster could whomp you on the noggin with a rock.
It’s a good thing fish don’t have the same level of intelligence as humans. The PETA weirdos keep trying to put human emotions and feelings on animals, but the fact is, we’re different. If we weren’t, I could sort of see the animal rights people’s argument. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Fish just swim around until they’re yanked out of the water and eaten, and that’s that.
I still have that dream just about every night after I’ve been fishing, though. I’m just biting into that piece of cake, and then I’m dragged out the window by my upper lip. Die-hard angler or not, it does sort of make you think.