Field of Science

Cruelty towards animals all around

I posted this video of some humans having fun poking a half deep-fried and half alive fish on Facebook the other day:

Here's one that isn't better (though I am not saying that it makes no difference whether one is having fun with cruelty, or not):

To erase any doubts, I am am by no means at all saying that things are better in Denmark; the way pigs, for example, are treated there is often downright despicable.

There was a big case some years ago in Denmark about transportation of live pigs. Here's a similar one somewhere else in Europe:

So, it seems to me animals are treated with unnecessary cruelty no matter where we look. I am no vegetarian, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with killing animals for consumption. However, I would like to insist that they are treated well on their own terms while alive, and that they are killed without excessive or unnecessary suffering (though I personally think that some moments of suffering in death at the end of an otherwise enjoyable life is acceptable).

Eat less meat. Choose the more expensive meat of animals that have been treated well. Don't eat halal. Don't mistreat animals - especially not for the fun of it.


  1. I didn't watch the fried fish video, but just from reading your comments, I have to say, if I thought it was being done for culinary reasons, or even for food safety reasons, I'm not sure it would bother me. It's a fish; I'm not sure their suffering is all that meaningful. Inflicting suffering for its own sake is messed up regardless of the organism, but if you have a legitimate motivation for it, I'm not really sure the suffering of a fish is on my radar.

    I had thought this when you first posted it, but I was motivated to say something today since my wife and I had oysters last night. (I finally got the hang of shucking them, hooray!) Of course it is quite important -- for safety issues -- that the little guys are still alive when you stab in a knife into a gap in their shell and sever their major muscle... Of course oysters have no central nervous system, so it's not the same... but still!

  2. Why "but still"? I think the question of whether they can feel the pain or not is imperative. I don't think culinary reasons is sufficient to justify hurting an animal - we do know they can be eaten dead.

    Also, how can a half fried fish be done for safety?

    I also posted this on facebook. Comments:

    Appalling. I don't get the weird mythology that suggests that fish don't feel pain. What bit of sophisticated nervous system don't they get?

    gross. dislike.

    Insane and cruel

    This is cruel & disgusting and shows what depths of insensitivity some people can plumb.

    I've seen it here...Disgusting.

    I find this lack of understanding unbearable - it's prevalent in all cultures. I hear otherwise compassionate people in this country on various media expressing a complete lack of feeling for animals. Where does this start? In South Africa, lack of understanding between races was the result of separation - perhaps we have become too separated from other animals?

    Similar to drunken shrimp.

    i don't think this is any more cruel or disgusting as say, a cat toying with a mouse before eating it. Top of the food chain, baby.

    I'd say there is a significant difference in moral agency of cats and humans.

    "The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way it's creatures are treated." Mohandas Gandhi.


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