Why bother with fish pain?


Why, why indeed, should you be interested in a book on fish pain when you know from experience that such is not the case. When hooked, fish pull: they try to get away from you: if the hook hurt like it would hurt a human being there would be a completely different reaction.


Or consider catch and release: you hook a fish, for example a perch. Hardly have you released it turns back and attacks your hook again. Fishing experience tells you that fish do not feel pain.


Yet what do we find in the real world? The exact opposite, the absolute opposite. Animal / fish welfare legislation all over the world is based on the dogma that fish feel pain. Britain, Spain, France, New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, Colombia and other countries declare fish to be sentient. ‘Sentience’ means among other things that fish are capable of feeling pain. If you go out fishing in any of those countries you’re guilty of cruelty to animals because cruelty is the voluntary infliction of pain. That is exactly what you do assuming, of course, that fish feel pain.


If the people who promoted, voted and succeeded in establishing the fish feel pain dogma in law could have it their way you would be reeling in now and forever. Their clout to enforce the logical consequence of their fish feel pain claim is not yet sufficient for a ban on recreational fishing but they have enough leverage to make your life difficult with all kinds of ideology based restrictions.


The nice people who want to change you and the world for the better on the basis of the fish feel pain dogma are pessimistic, misanthropic and their ideas are really, really ugly. Their demands target all fish use by humans (commercial and subsistence fishing, fish farming etc.). Bad for fish, bad for people.


The ‘Scrutiny’ gives you the whole story behind the evolution of anti-angling ideas. It enables you to fully appreciate the bullshit that is thrown at you on a regular basis. A word of warning though: the ‘Scrutiny’ doesn’t help you to catch more or bigger fish. No way. Nevertheless it helps you to stay in the game and might help you to contribute to stem the rising tide of nefarious and ugly ideas. Scrutinise the ‘Scrutiny’ and I assure you, you will look at things differently afterwards.