How can I cope with seeing people fishing whilst out?

Rory17

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Hi 👋,
I’m an animal rights person and a (near) vegan. I’m against fishing, including catch-and-release fishing.
However, when myself and my parents are out like by the sea or canal, we sometimes see people fishing. I think it’s cruel, even if they do put them back. I feel like going up and confronting them about it, but I don’t because of fear of my mum/the fishing people getting angry 😡. I can feel very upset about it. I don’t think it’s justified.
Fishing could be detrimental (at least) to the fish. They come along to take food off of a hook, only to have it thrust through them and be pulled out of their breathing zone, possibly in pain, to be handled by an animal much bigger than them who gets pleasure out of it and smiles. They then either die by having their heads bashed or something, suffocate out of water or are released back to the water, often dying later on. Many fish die within/after a few weeks of being released. Fishing is a blood sport. When they fish to kill, it’s like hunting but by water, with aquatic creatures instead of those by land/air.
If I’m right, scientific proof may say that fish feel pain.
Also, fishing can present a danger to other wildlife, via discarded hooks and entanglement, not to mention the effect of fishing, especially commercial fishing, on ecosystems, causing starvation to sea/ocean/coast wildlife.
Some of my family also fish. People fishing can get me very upset. There’s hardly any petitions/groups dedicated to fighting recreational fishing.
Please don’t tell me to just mind my own business or say anything else mean/pro-fishing.
Thank you 😊.
Best Wishes to all (including you, the fish, and all other sentient beings),
Rory.
Have the best day and night ever!
 

Lou

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This article is not specifically about fish. And it is a long article. Still worth reading but... if you want to skip ahead to the fish part - it starts about halfway down.

 

TofuRobot

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Hi 👋,
I’m an animal rights person and a (near) vegan. I’m against fishing, including catch-and-release fishing.
However, when myself and my parents are out like by the sea or canal, we sometimes see people fishing. I think it’s cruel, even if they do put them back. I feel like going up and confronting them about it, but I don’t because of fear of my mum/the fishing people getting angry 😡. I can feel very upset about it. I don’t think it’s justified.
Fishing could be detrimental (at least) to the fish. They come along to take food off of a hook, only to have it thrust through them and be pulled out of their breathing zone, possibly in pain, to be handled by an animal much bigger than them who gets pleasure out of it and smiles. They then either die by having their heads bashed or something, suffocate out of water or are released back to the water, often dying later on. Many fish die within/after a few weeks of being released. Fishing is a blood sport. When they fish to kill, it’s like hunting but by water, with aquatic creatures instead of those by land/air.
If I’m right, scientific proof may say that fish feel pain.
Also, fishing can present a danger to other wildlife, via discarded hooks and entanglement, not to mention the effect of fishing, especially commercial fishing, on ecosystems, causing starvation to sea/ocean/coast wildlife.
Some of my family also fish. People fishing can get me very upset. There’s hardly any petitions/groups dedicated to fighting recreational fishing.
Please don’t tell me to just mind my own business or say anything else mean/pro-fishing.
Thank you 😊.
Best Wishes to all (including you, the fish, and all other sentient beings),
Rory.
Have the best day and night ever!
It's funny (not laughing funny, weird funny) - I grew up fishing. The memories I have going to the beach to fish with my dad to fish are some of the fondest I have. I remember watching him gut and de-bone them... barely grossed out by it at all. Later I grew up loving fish and sushi, especially. Even when I used to eat fish, I never could understand catch-and-release. That seems almost more cruel to me than catching to eat. When you catch a fish to eat it, at least at some point you're going to put it out of its misery. But imagine if someone caught you , maimed you, cut open your face and left you bleeding, hurt, and injured, and tossed you on to the freeway? That's what catch-and-release is to me - *sick* - and not in the "good" way. The state of our oceans is not good, and in large part due to over fishing. And at the end of the day, for what? Something that has questionable health benefits.

I don't think I would have the guts to confront a person fishing, so I'm not sure how you should handle these kinds of situations. I have friends that brag about their fishing "adventures" on social media, and I have to hide those posts (and sometimes the friends) because I think it's pretty sick and twisted and even though I was once brainwashed, too, it's difficult to watch.

Maybe join Sea Shepherd? Perhaps there's something you can do on a volunteer level to help you feel like you're doing something about it. Not sure what else to suggest... *hugs* 💚
 

Forest Nymph

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It's completely normal to feel aversion to people doing terrible and unnecessary things. I have to read a book for my first grad school course that is about the difference in relationship native people in the Pacific Northwest had to salmon versus "white people" (or let's just say modern capitalists to emphasize this is about CULTURE not skin color).

While some natives fished to survive they respected the right of the salmon (as these particular Western tribes did towards all wild life) to be free to reproduce, to not be compromised or taken in greedy numbers, and to live happily in their habitat when not needed for food. All sorts of rituals reinforced to young people and even to tribal adults, to practice restraint and respect although the salmon was needed for food, they understood that other animals also needed to eat the salmon, and that the salmon themselves should be regarded with respect. The book is literally called Totem Salmon.

A heart wrenching statistic is that early capitalists had taken the most enormous, greedy catch from the Pacific Northwest before 1920. Before 1920 - and has been in steady decline ever since, due to greed, dams, pollution, logging, etc.

I often say that veganism is a rational response to corporate capitalism. While some people don't theorize it to that degree, it's basically true. We can't even say, well if the natives need fish that's ok, anymore. Because salmon populations are being driven extinct, the seas in general are overfished, and of course, now we have "catch and release" weirdos who are basically the trophy hunters of the river.

Your feelings are valid. Look into taking classes on wildlife or the environment, or just get involved with volunteer efforts as Tofu Robot suggested.
 
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Jamie in Chile

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I don't think you have to convince any of us that fishing is bad. I think we all agree on here!

I think this may be a case where you have to put up with it, or not go where there is fishing.

If you do talk to them, make sure that
1. You do it without your non-vegan family present
2. You don't immediately criticise but start by talking to them about something else, and then finally expressing your opinion only in a respectful and polite way once you've built up some rapport
 
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If I lived in the arctic circle in 1901, then fishing would be necessary for survival. I would call it eating to live.

Sport fishing or eating fish cuz it tastes good is something else.

======

I liked the article that Lou referenced. I never realized that a fish could have a theory of a mind.
 
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