What I can't understand most about all animal cruelty is the state of mind of the person (or people) committing all these things. I mean, what can such a person be thinking while hurting ANY living being? Don't they have any conscience whatsoever? Really can't get it.
PETA has nothing to do with it! From a scientific perspective anything that has a nervous system is capable of feeling pain. Pain is an electrical impulse sent to the brain when tissue is damaged. Fish definitely have a developed enough nervous system to qualify under this definition. However from a more metaphysical perspective; all life deserves respect. As a dyed in the wool carnivore I eat meat so that certainly separates me from the PETA crowd but to subject ANY living thing to stress, torment or pain for ones own pleasure is, by definition sadistic. Life, in any form, is a gift and should be treated as such. If we were to judge creatures solely based on their intelligence or their progress along the evolutionary ladder then several of the humans that I know would be in BIG trouble. Humans believe themselves so superior to other "lesser" creatures and yet they are the only animal that needlessly inflicts pain upon others. There is an abundance of violence in nature but it is always with reason, wheather it be for food, territory or mating. Man is the only animal that inflicts pain simply because he can. This is not a trait to be proud of.