Can a fish feel pain? Don’t be so sure

 “Why not at least eat fish? A fish can’t feel pain anyway.” Vegetarians with years of experience face this argument repeatedly. Can we be sure that fish don’t really feel pain? Research conducted in recent years completely refutes this dense delusion.

In 2003, a research team at the University of Edinburgh confirmed that fish have receptors similar to those found in other species, including mammals. In addition, when substances such as poisons and acids were introduced into the bodies of fish, they exhibited reactions that were not just reflexes, but were comparable to the behavior that can be observed in highly developed living beings.

Last year, American and Norwegian scientists continued to study the behavior and sensations of fish. The fish, as in the British experiment, were injected with pain-inducing substances, however, one group of fish was simultaneously injected with morphine. The morphine-treated fish behaved normally. The others were thrashing about in fear, like a man in pain.

We cannot, at least not yet, say for sure whether a fish can feel pain in the way we understand it. However, there is a lot of evidence that fish are more complex creatures than people have been willing to admit, and there can be no doubt that something is going on when a fish exhibits behavior that indicates pain. Therefore, when it comes to the issue of cruelty, the victim should be given the benefit of the doubt.



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