The Social Lives of Fish


Written by Dalton Sweet

Fish are complex creatures, and recent studies reveal that they are capable of complex coordination, precise memory, decision making, and feeling pain. Scientists have also concluded that fish exhibit “sophisticated social behavior.” Obviously, fish cannot speak. However, they can still communicate with each other using squeaks, squeals, and other low-frequency sounds, as well as rubbing up against one another for physical contact. 

Although they might look and act differently than other animals commonly farmed for food, fish are also exploited, and are just as worthy of reducetarian efforts. Some scientists estimate that we could see fishless oceans by the year 2050. This is mostly due to the concept of “bycatch”. Fisheries seek to catch specific types of fish that can make them the most profit. If a different type of marine life gets caught in the net, it’s more economical for the fishermen to simply kill this bycatch than to sell it separately or to even throw it back.

However, most fish are farm-raised, where they are subjected to even worse conditions because of the suffering they endure. Small fish, such as trout, are packed into tight containments where they have no room to move.

By reducing your level of seafood consumption, you can spare fish from enduring this unfortunate existence. Take the pledge here on our website to see benefits of a reducetarian diet. But don't fret if you're still craving that seafood taste! Several plant-based alternatives exist, such as Gardein's fishless filets and crabless cakes.