This video is for KIDS! [but adults can watch too] We’re going to talk about FISH FEELINGS! We’ll learn about whether fish can feel pain and how even though they look really different than us, they have families, friends, and feelings!
Hi there! If you’re a kid and you like the Little Mermaid, love to listen to a good Shark Tale, want to Free Willy or Find Nemo—by the way I totally find him in the video above, so be sure to watch!—or maybe you’re a fan of fish sticks, goin’ fishin’, or just think something fishy’s going on, then this video is for you! [tweet this]
I’m so excited to be making another video just for you. So far in my videos for kids we’ve talked about why we don’t drink milk, or eat meat or eggs, or honey, or wear wool, how you can be a superhero for the planet, the people and the animals by being vegan, and even heard from real vegan kids! You can watch all of those videos later if you want linked right here and below!
Now just like in my other videos I promise that I’m not going to show you anything scary, that I’ll tell you the truth no matter what and that I won’t talk down to you, cause you’re super smart!
Now in one of my other videos for kids we talked all about why we don’t eat meat. When most people think about meat, they think about animals like cows, pigs, chickens and other birds, maybe even goats and sheep.
Strangely enough fish are often left out altogether. So you may hear someone say they’re vegetarian (meaning they don’t eat meat), but they do eat fish, which is pretty silly when you think about it. I mean, does that mean fish are plants?
Have you ever seen a fish tree, cause I certainly haven’t! If you…do find a fish tree…definitely let me know! [tweet this]
Well vegans certainly don’t eat fish. If you don’t know already, being vegan means you don’t eat animals or anything that comes out of them like milk, eggs, cheese or honey or wear anything from their bodies, like wool or leather or silk.
And the truth is fish are animals! Just like dogs, cats, cows, pigs, chickens, and us!
But being basically called plants isn’t the only way fish get a bad rap. Many people think that fish can’t feel pain. There are even teams of scientists who argue back and forth all the time with their big words and charts and graphs about whether or not fish feel pain. [tweet this]
If you’re super into science, I have a whole video all about the battle of brainiacs, but to make it simple, studies show that fish do, in fact, feel pain! And like I’ve talked about in my other videos for kids, if someone can feel pain, then it’s not right to hurt them, even if they live underwater and don’t look or act anything like we do. [tweet this]
It’s hard to know what a fish is thinking or feeling because they do look so different from us!
When dogs are hurt or sad, they whine. When cows are really scared, their eyes get all big. When cats are happy, they purr. And even though we don’t speak dog or cow or cat—or at least I don’t…if you do…that’s pretty awesome!—we still can still understand what they’re feeling.
But how do you know if a fish is happy or sad? If they’re excited? Scared? How can you tell if they hurt? Sadly, what scientists usually do to find out of someone can feel pain, is they hurt them. And we humans have a habit of not believing something until we prove it. So even though fish have always felt pain, scientists keep hurting them.
It’s kinda like if the Earth was invaded by aliens from the planet Fishtonia, who looked totally different than us and couldn’t understand what we were saying. And just because we look different from them, the aliens decided that we probably weren’t very smart and definitely don’t feel pain or emotions. How scary would that be trying to tell them in the best way we know how that we do hurt, but being ignored because we’re so different?
That may seem like a silly concept, but sometimes the best way to know if what we do to animals is right is to imagine ourselves in their place.
Of course what’s worse for fish than scientists hurting them to see if they feel pain is the whole rest of the world hurting them for dinner! A ton of people all around the world eat a ton of fish, and I mean actual tons and tons of fish. And because people think fish can’t feel, there are no laws about how they should be treated.
It’s kinda like finding your favorite food on your kitchen table but when to take a bite, suddenly your mouth hurts really bad! And before you know it you’re pulled out the front door and underwater.
That would be pretty scary, right? Well that’s what it’s like for fish when they bite onto hooks. And just like we can’t breathe underwater, fish can’t breathe when they’re out of the water, so after they’re caught, whether by a hook or by a net, they die very slowly and very painfully.
The worst part is fish are even skinned and cut up alive. I can’t even imagine how terrifying and painful that would be!
Fish may not look like you or me. They may not scream or cry like we do. But even you and I don’t scream the same way or cry the same way or about the same things. Different people laugh at different jokes. Some people will hide when they’re scared while others will act tough and pretend they’re okay. In some countries shaking your head means yes and nodding means no.
And I don’t have to tell you that different people look..well…different!
But when it comes down to it, no matter what language we speak or how we shake our heads, we all feel. We can feel joy and happiness, we can feel fear and sadness and we can hurt.
And so can fish. And cows, and pigs, and chickens, goats, sheep, dogs, cats, monkeys, camels, parrots, rabbits, iguanas, elephants, zebras, whales, rhinoceroses, platypuses, dragons, unicorns, jabberwocks and bandersnatches…oh I…got a little carried away there…
But here’s the important thing. Fish can feel pain. And hurting anyone who can be hurt is a pretty awful thing to do. They may not talk like Nemo and Dori, but they do have mothers and fathers and sister and brothers. They even form friendships, watch each others’ backs, and are a whole lot smarter than we’ve always thought!
But every year we humans kill about 2.8 trillion fish for food. That’s a pretty huge number! Just think about this. This is an inch. If you walked for 2.8 trillion inches, you could go to the moon and back almost 94 times, or around the world almost 2,800 times!
It’s hard to even imagine a number that big! And it’s not only hurting the fish, but also our planet. Pretty soon there won’t be any fish left in the sea!
But here’s the good news. You can be a friend to fish and choose not to eat them! And you don’t even have to give up your favorite fish dishes! There are vegan fish sticks and vegan prawns and other options to chose from. [tweet this]
No painful hooks, no being pulled from their home, no slow and scary deaths, and no being cut up alive. You can save them from all of that. And even though they may not be able to thank you in a way you can understand, your choice will keep little fish families together. And that’s pretty amazing!
I hope this was helpful. Let me know what you thought of the video in the comments and if you have other things you’d like me to cover, feel free to tell me!
If you liked this video, do give it a thumbs up and share it around to help other kids learn the truth! [you can use the share buttons below, and the tweet links throughout this post!]
If you’re new here, I’d love to have you as a subscriber. I put out awesome vegan content every Monday, Wednesday, and some Fridays!
Now go live vegan, ditch the fish sticks, and I’ll see you soon!
— Emily Moran Barwick