can a fish have thoughts and feelings?
Probably. Just not as complex as a human though.
I eat a lot of fish. I sure do hope they don’t have thoughts and feelings cause that will make me feel real bad. I once heard that a fish’s memory lasts for only 2 seconds. Whether that is true or false idk.
I think fish are mostly instinctive, I don’t think they have much free thought
Even protozoans react to noxious (damaging or damage threatening) stimuli by an avoidance response. What they “feel” we do not know but it surely is something negative.
Unless sound science can clearly demonstrate that fish unequivocally are sentient (have the higher cognitive ability to process all stimuli and interpret them, i.e. are able to think, have emotions, etc.), their ability to “feel” pain is pure speculation. However, this does not negate the responsibility to treat fish humanely (i.e. with compassion and some empathy), and avoid purposeful, malicious cruelty.
In regards to treatment and fishing - again do fish feel a stress involved in fishing - yes I expect they do. Is a fishing hook painful - no I expect it is not. Should we use best practice when fishing - yes I think so (same applies to using fish in experiments).
Feelings yes… I think there thoughts are more reactive impulses to move.
Fish sit below reptiles in complexity… Not saying that haven’t had the time to evolve. Some might… but if you are just talking about a cod or goldfish… there isn’t a lot going on in there.
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