Animal Rights Zone

Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism

Cognitive Evidence of Fish Sentience

Commentary on Key on Fish Pain

Written by Dr. Jonathan Balcombe

Abstract:  I present a little-known example of flexible, opportunistic behavior by a species of fish to undermine Key’s (2016) thesis that fish are unconscious and unable to feel. Lack of a cortex is flimsy grounds for denying pain to fish, for on that criterion we must also then deny it to all nonmammals, including birds, which goes against scientific consensus. Notwithstanding science’s fundamental inability to prove anything, the precautionary principal dictates that we should give the benefit of the doubt to fish, and the state of the oceans dictates that we act on it now.

Please click this link to view and read the .pdf:  Cognitive Evidence of Fish Sentience


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