I cannot accept the premise in the April 27 letter “Fish Have No Fear” by Chris Rupert that fish cannot feel fear or pain, no matter how much scientific proof Mr. Rupert says there is supporting this totally unrealistic conclusion. If fish do not feel pain, then how can they feel pleasure? That is to say creatures can live with half the sensations that create life! And if they do not feel pleasure from their graceful glides and serpentines (so like birds in their element) and their natural ways of feeding, then they are numb, and where does that leave them?
Also, I know firsthand as a fifth-grade teacher (now retired) that some children do not take to fishing — from the minute they see the fish struggling and the hook piercing its mouth. I know this because some parents have shared stories with me.
Of course, I am under no illusion that an organization like Fish Feel, explained in an April 20 letter by Mary Finelli, or my opinion will stop such a widespread activity, but I can hope that Ms. Finelli’s compassion is contagious (her letter also claims scientific backing) and will help more people to feel the truth.