The Corner

The War on Fishing

Animal rights activists don’t want us eating fish or catching them recreationally. Fish may feel pain, don’t you know. Thus fishing is too cruel,

When the usual suspects advocate destroying a trillion dollar industry, it is one thing. But when an outdoors magazine sympathizes, attention must be paid. From, “Fish Have Feelings: Does That Mean We Are Torturing Them?,” published in Outside magazine:

If fish feel pain, then many of us may have to rethink our life choices. We catch and eat nearly a thousand times more fish than terrestrial animals, and fishing practices in much of the world are barbaric. Conventional fishing kills millions of fish unnecessarily and most certainly subjects the animals to pain. “It really can’t be considered humane,” says Mary Finelli of Fish Feel.

Why do some folks abstain from eating land animals but shovel down pounds of cod? Finelli’s not sure. The Humane Society Institute’s Balcombe is equally puzzled by pescatarians who forgo livestock for moral reasons. “There isn’t any justification for eating a fish instead of chicken,” he says.

Like hunters are prime targets of animal rights activists, sports fishermen are now in the target zone

When it comes to sportfishing, researchers who study fish pain are less understanding. “You’re talking about piercing an animal through the face,” says Balcombe. “Sometimes through the eye. Probably a sensitive part of the body—they need those organs to sense things and find food. Then you reel it in by its weight, and it gets hauled out by its weight if you don’t have a net, then there’s asphyxiation if it’s not put back into the water.”

“It’s not necessarily intentionally cruel, but from the fish’s perspective, it involves pain,” he says. Brown, the Australian researcher, agrees. “I think most people would be horrified of a picture of someone standing triumphantly on top of an elephant. But fishing is no different. You see trophy pictures of fish all the time. It’s just not treated the same way.”

Remember, this is an outdoors magazine. And note, the story does not present a strong “pro-fishing” perspective.

The irony here is rich. Sharks could care less about the pain of the flounder, the seal, or the bitten human swimmer, for that matter.

Yet, animal rights activists deny human exceptionalism. Then they turn around and promote the idea that only we are not allowed to cause suffering in the way to fauna, no matter how much that might harm human thriving.

The issue of our moral obligations toward animal as unique and exceptional humans is important. But increasingly in the popular media, the arguments against eating meat, hunting, fishing, and all animal husbandry are all going in one direction.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Derangement Syndrome

Can the republic survive Attorney General William Barr? That’s the question that has seized the media and center-left, which have worked themselves into a full-blown panic over an attorney general who is, inarguably, a serious legal figure and one of the adults in the room late in President Trump’s first ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Derangement Syndrome

Can the republic survive Attorney General William Barr? That’s the question that has seized the media and center-left, which have worked themselves into a full-blown panic over an attorney general who is, inarguably, a serious legal figure and one of the adults in the room late in President Trump’s first ... Read More
Elections

RIP Bloomberg 2020

I thought that Bloomberg’s confused half-defense of stop-and-frisk was going to be his low point. Well. His torturous response on his lawsuits and NDAs was truly awful -- beyond incompetent. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the end of Bloomberg 2020. Read More
Elections

RIP Bloomberg 2020

I thought that Bloomberg’s confused half-defense of stop-and-frisk was going to be his low point. Well. His torturous response on his lawsuits and NDAs was truly awful -- beyond incompetent. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were the end of Bloomberg 2020. Read More
Elections

Trouble in the Workers’ Paradise

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is precisely the sort of campaign surrogate you want, especially if you are Bernie Sanders: She is young, energetic, charismatic, popular (with the people she needs to be popular with, anyway), and, happily, currently ineligible to run for the presidency ... Read More
Elections

Trouble in the Workers’ Paradise

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is precisely the sort of campaign surrogate you want, especially if you are Bernie Sanders: She is young, energetic, charismatic, popular (with the people she needs to be popular with, anyway), and, happily, currently ineligible to run for the presidency ... Read More
Elections

At the Debate, Only Losers

To be honest, I’d almost forgotten what they were like. Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate was revealing: Mike Bloomberg was revealed to be unprepared, something for which a man with his resources has no possible excuse; Amy Klobuchar was revealed to be a stammering daisy, her big moment ... Read More
Elections

At the Debate, Only Losers

To be honest, I’d almost forgotten what they were like. Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate was revealing: Mike Bloomberg was revealed to be unprepared, something for which a man with his resources has no possible excuse; Amy Klobuchar was revealed to be a stammering daisy, her big moment ... Read More