‘Fish are sentient: proposed memorial is justified’

Posted on November 1, 2012


Today (1st November), an item was posted on the US Psychology Today web-site titled ‘Fish are sentient: proposed memorial is justified’, written by Professor Marc Bekoff.

‘… Fish are known to be sentient and conscious beings who feel pain (see also). In her book called “Do Fish Feel Pain?”, noted scientific researcher Dr. Victoria Braithwaite concluded, “I have argued that there is as much evidence that fish feel pain and suffer as there is for birds and mammals — and more than there is for human neonates and preterm babies.” (page 153).

On October 11, 2012, a truck carrying around 1600 pounds of fish crashed into two other vehicles in Irvine, California. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that a memorial be built in honor the lives of the fish who were killed. It’s difficult to know just how many individuals were killed but there can be no doubt that there were a staggering number of casualties to account for the 1600 pounds.

Some may think PETA’s and other requests for a memorial to be erected is a ludicrous request, however, there are precedents for building memorials to nonhuman animals (animals) who have been killed due to human activities (see also). Surely, if the fish were dogs, there would be no resistance to building a memorial. However, at least one Irvine city official, spokesman Craig Reem, has been quoted as saying, “I do think it’s fair to say we have no plans to erect a memorial,”

People often forget that fish are sentient beings and indeed they were excluded from the recent Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness. This declaration needs to be revised. And the city of Irvine should erect a memorial to the countless fish who were killed. You can contact officials in Irvine here and Mr. Reem at (949) 724-6077 and at creem@cityofirvine.org …’

Read the item and add your comment online at www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201211/fish-are-sentient-proposed-memorial-is-justified


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