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Do Invertebrates Feel Pain?

Science & Tech  (tags: ethics, abuse, cruelty, animal rights, suffering, diet, vegetarian, veganism )

- 1577 days ago -
"Boiled alive and torn limb from limb; it's time we took seriously the question of whether animals like squid, octopus and lobsters suffer" pain, and other invertebrates, no matter how they are killed. (Pic credit: Boathouse at Sunday Park.)

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Jordan G (37)
Thursday February 20, 2014, 1:20 pm
A SCIENTIST and a seafood chef walk into a bar. "We have a mutual interest," says the scientist. "I study crustaceans and you cook them." But the chef wanted to know just one thing. Do they feel pain?

Michela M (3964)
Thursday February 20, 2014, 2:35 pm
Abraham Lincoln: "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."
Albert Einstein - "If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals."
Albert Schweitzer, Physician/Nobel Laureate: "The great fault of all ethics hitherto has been that they believed themselves to have to deal only with the relationships of man to man."

Carl Sagan: "If chimpanzees have consciousness, if they are capable of abstractions, do they not have what until now has been described as `human rights'? How smart does a chimp have to be before killing him constitutes murder?"

Carl Gustav Jung: I found Vivisection horrible, barbarous, and above all unnecessary

Christiaan Barnard: I had bought 2 male chimps from a primate colony in Holland. They lived next to each other in separate cages for several months before I used one as a [heart] donor. When we put him to sleep in his cage in preparation for the operation, he chattered & cried incessantly. We attached no significance to this, but it must have made a great impression on his companion, for when we removed the body to the operating room, the other chimp wept bitterly & was inconsolable for days. The incident made a deep impression on me. I vowed never again to experiment with such sensitive creatures.

Michela M (3964)
Thursday February 20, 2014, 2:39 pm
"One can easily imagine how much money and effort we would be willing to devote to preserve an animal species on the moon if the astronauts had found one.
No species on earth is less precious. No effort should be spared to save unique and irreplaceable products of millions of years of evolution with which our small planet has been endowed."
- U Thant, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Past Member (0)
Thursday February 20, 2014, 6:46 pm
Of course they do. No question about it. I'm still horrified watching my mother putting live lobsters into a pot of water--not even boiling yet. The sounds+struggles of the poor lobsters to get out of the pot has stayed with me+will always. She stopped the cruelty years ago--thank god. Best decision i ever made was to stop eating anything with eyes. Thanks

Lona G (80)
Friday February 21, 2014, 8:59 am
Thanks Jordan, for a very interesting article. There is still a lot we don't know about pain, reacting to a painful stimulus and what feeling pain actually is.
Perhaps the way we pulling our limb out of harms way is a good place to start to show how difficult th concept of pain is. When we step on something sharp we quickly raise that foot away from the sharp object. This is a reflex and executed through a short cut across the back bone before the signal has time to reach the brain. To feel pain, however you need the brain. That is why you have lifted your foot from the sharp object before you actually feel pain. But sometimes we have this reflex and lift our foot and then put it down again because it was a false alarm, there was something under the foot that elicited the reflex, but it didn't really hurt us.
And then there are people with a normally functioning neural system with normal reflexes, but who feel no pain when they're injured. They do not feel pain because their brains do not process the neural signals correctly. The signals arrive there al right, the brain just seems to ignore them.
People can experience pain, even be in agony, while there is no underlying cause for it. Phantom limb is a good example of that. In these cases the malfunction is restricted to the brain which is "processing" signals that aren't (out)there.
Finally people can decrease the pain level in many ways, from yoga to medication, or completely block it, by an adrenalin rush through fear or arousal.

So even in the animal we know most about, namely us, pain is a very complex concept. In other animals it becomes much harder to ascertain what they feel or if they feel if they react to adverse stimuli. The less similar the animal is from the 'known' animal, the harder it becomes to study it, because analogy is all scientist have. There is no way of measuring pain, even within our own species, so if an animal doesn't have a backbone (for reflexes) and only has what scientists call a rudimentary brain, who is to say who is right or wrong?

A lot of sportsmen maintain that fish feel no pain, some believe plants feel pain. It'll be a long time before we know either for certain, so it is best to assume that all animals register great discomfort in some way or other and act accordingly.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday February 21, 2014, 10:14 am
Thank you for sharing this information that had some research behind it.

Nancy C (806)
Friday February 21, 2014, 11:39 am
thank you so much Jordan. I have an enhanced memory now of my brother and I "playing" with softshell crabs that we and our family had caught and then feeling a bit sick after realizing what was happening next. We were children, but like so many, I was always rescuing animals. In our back yard, I'd discover and care for abandoned birds and bunnies and our kitten that lived to 20 years! So, I thank you for the info and I'm glad that I'm a vegetarian!

Roger G (154)
Friday February 21, 2014, 12:24 pm
noted, thanks

Birgit W (160)
Friday February 21, 2014, 12:52 pm
Why would we ignorant human beings think that they would not feel any pain?

Anne K (139)
Friday February 21, 2014, 5:05 pm
I don't know why anyone would make the assumption that invertebrates do not feel pain. It seems counterintuitive. At least give them the benefit of any doubt you may have!

Nelson Baker (0)
Friday February 21, 2014, 5:10 pm
Of course they feel pain.

Sheri Schongold (7)
Friday February 21, 2014, 5:33 pm

Why wouldn't they???

Angela J (61)
Friday February 21, 2014, 6:18 pm
Thank you.

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Friday February 21, 2014, 7:01 pm
Yes they do.

Lloyd H (46)
Friday February 21, 2014, 9:44 pm
And plants scream and react to predation by herbivores, I. e. feel pain, so lets all just starve to death.

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Friday February 21, 2014, 10:37 pm
Plants do not have a brain, they do not have a neural network, they do not have a cerebral cortex = they are not capable of feeling pain.They react to stimuli and that is all they are capable of doing. The torture and slaughter that humans put animals through is painful and real. And wrong.

Past Member (0)
Saturday February 22, 2014, 1:29 am
Thanks for the Article.
I don't think they feel pain Only human feel the pain while Boiling this creature Alive

Ruth C (87)
Saturday February 22, 2014, 5:37 am
I totally agree with you Nimue.

Patricia Martinez (63)
Saturday February 22, 2014, 4:57 pm

I can't bear to see animals slaughtered, lobsters thrown in boiling water. Horrible.

Octopuses are intelligent animals. We need to re-think these things. Thanks for the info, Jordan.

Kathleen R (138)
Saturday February 22, 2014, 5:16 pm
Noted & read ... thanks.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday March 5, 2014, 9:18 am
Thank you Jordan for reminding us that invertebrates do feel the pain, as every living being do.

Edgar Zuim (47)
Saturday March 8, 2014, 4:43 am
Thanks. Very interesting article.
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