Catholic Bishops Should Include Fish in "Meatless Fridays"

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Catholic Bishops Should Include Fish in "Meatless Fridays"

[Ed. Note: Read Fish As Food and Animals - Tradition, Philosophy, Religion.]

By Bruce Friedrich, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), May 2011

The Bishops still seem to think that fish are swimming vegetables.

Fish used for food are hooked, suffocated, crushed, impaled, cut open and gutted, all while still conscious, and they feel every agonizing second.

Catholic bishops in the U.K. are proposing reinstating year-round meatless Fridays for the first time in over 50 years, which sounds great to me, except for one thing: They still seem to think that fish are swimming vegetables.

Like all other animals killed for food, fish are sentient beings who value their lives. Research on fish intelligence abounds, revealing that fish use tools, tell time, sing, and have impressive long-term memories and complex social structures. Fish also create cognitive maps that allow them to navigate through vast expanses of water.

More importantly, like other animals, fish feel pain. Renowned scientist Victoria Braithwaite noted, "[T]here is as much evidence that fish feel pain and suffer as there is for birds and mammals."

Fish used for food are hooked, suffocated, crushed, impaled, cut open and gutted, all while still conscious, and they feel every agonizing second.

Not eating animals is a smart, compassionate decision, regardless of whether those animals are furred, feathered or finned. As actor James Cromwell is fond of saying, "We don't need to eat anyone who would run, swim or fly away if she could."