Whether non-human animals suffer pain has long been debated. Comparative brain physiology and behavioral reactions have been used to argue the point.
Scientists in relevant fields have been able to make the case that all vertebrates experience pain, and also some invertebrates, such as octopi. In 2012, many noted specialists signed the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness, which states that many non-human animals have consciousness not unlike our own. This implies that they can also suffer pain as we do.
This is an important finding because animal protection advocates have raised concerns about the possible suffering of fish caused by angling. In fact, Germany has banned specific types of fishing because of the infliction of pain upon the fish.
Looked at logically, it seems absurd that anyone could think that getting a sharp metal hook caught in your lip or in your gut would not hurt terribly. Not to mention the pain caused when it is ripped out, and then the fish is left to suffocate in the open air.
Recognizing that fish do indeed feel pain is a long overdue acknowledgement, and ideally, should lead to banning angling worldwide. We think this is a good beginning towards a more humane society.
We promised that we would continue to publish writings by Eileen Fay that have no expiration date. Eileen was passionate about all species. Seafood is another area of concern as our consciousness expands to all beings. It is also clear that our choice to become vegan is the only way we can help to stop the suffering of "food" animals.
By E.M. Fay (Published posthumously)