Fish are not animals? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-11-2006, 08:43 PM
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This incident happened to me a few months ago and I've been wanting to talk about it, and I figure with all the recent fish posts now's a good a time as any to ask about it.



So what happened is that I was in Mississippi doing hurricane work, and another volunteer asked me if I ate fish so she could tell our hosts who were providing dinner. My group had been carrying on much dialog about vegetarians and fish that week, so I answered, "Vegetarians do not eat any animals at all" to sort of set the record straight once and for all.



The woman replied, "Well, fish are not animals. I just need to know if you eat them or not". I was so stunned that I just said, "Whatever they are, I don't eat them".



Has anyone ever heard this before? Could some perhaps clue me in as to what exactly a fish is, since it's not an animal? If this is a common belief (or even if I'm wrong and a fish is NOT an animal), I want to be prepared to handle it the next time someone throws it at me.
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#2 Old 06-11-2006, 08:46 PM
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Fish are animals. People are so weird and so far into denial, it's sad.

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#3 Old 06-11-2006, 08:53 PM
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Fish are animals. Next time it happens, ask them to show you the fish-trees

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#4 Old 06-11-2006, 08:54 PM
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Fish are animals because "animals are multicellular organisms that obtain energy by ingesting food. All animals are capable of moving at least some parts of themselves". If they're not animals then there are only four other options for what they could be, and they're not plants, or fungi, or protists, or monerans, so they have to be animals.

They're in the same kingdom (Animalia) and phylum (chordata) as mammals.
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#5 Old 06-11-2006, 09:00 PM
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Ahhhh, thank you Gas. I was looking for something like that. I know the woman doesn't think they're plants, that's entirely ridiculous. But I figured she probably thought they were in some different group than the one birds and mammals and reptiles and amphibians and the things she considers animals are in. Or maybe she doesn't think some of those are animals either. Hmmm.



Now, so can a vegetarian eat protists and monerans?
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#6 Old 06-11-2006, 09:23 PM
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I was at a graduation party for one of my best friends. Her parents had ordered way too many sandwiches and they were urging me to eat one. But I told them that I was a vegetarian and didnt really want to eat one (I would have eaten one without the meat but they had mayo on them and it grosses me out). So her stepdad replies "Well we have chicken, chicken's not meat right" I just went uhhh and my friend was like "of course its meat!"



I just shook my head, I cant believe people sometimes.
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#7 Old 06-11-2006, 09:24 PM
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Would a vegetarian want to?
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#8 Old 06-11-2006, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elibrown View Post

Ahhhh, thank you Gas. I was looking for something like that. I know the woman doesn't think they're plants, that's entirely ridiculous. But I figured she probably thought they were in some different group than the one birds and mammals and reptiles and amphibians and the things she considers animals are in. Or maybe she doesn't think some of those are animals either. Hmmm.



Now, so can a vegetarian eat protists and monerans?



Protists are organisms that are neither plants nor animals nor fungi. Organisms like algae and seaweed go in this category. Monerans are bacteria. Yes, vegans can eat both of them. In fact, with every breath one inhales 000s to 000000s of bacteria.



P.S. If someone says fish are not animals, tell them that you eat "fishrooms".
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#9 Old 06-11-2006, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by USFveggie View Post

I was at a graduation party for one of my best friends. Her parents had ordered way too many sandwiches and they were urging me to eat one. But I told them that I was a vegetarian and didnt really want to eat one (I would have eaten one without the meat but they had mayo on them and it grosses me out). So her stepdad replies "Well we have chicken, chicken's not meat right" I just went uhhh and my friend was like "of course its meat!"



I just shook my head, I cant believe people sometimes.





haha.. yeah i always get the 'chicken is not meat' thing from my grandma, to her chicken is not meat, its poultry, lol
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#10 Old 06-11-2006, 11:08 PM
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A fish is an animal. I was surpised to learn that insects and worms are technically animals as well, so if you ever get hit with the old "do you eat insects?" question, you can say no, they are animals.
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#11 Old 06-11-2006, 11:12 PM
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Just tell her you don't eat anything that used to be alive (simple answer, I know. But it gets the point across).



I'm sure they'll tell you that plants are living things also. But I'm sure you know where to go from there...



About fish being animals or not, other people have already answered it...
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#12 Old 06-11-2006, 11:20 PM
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Um, actually I wouldn't really know where to go from there if I said that. I know plants aren't animals, but they aren't any less alive than animals.
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#13 Old 06-11-2006, 11:47 PM
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I'm sure she was just confusing "animals" with "mammals" as some people use them interchangeably.
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#14 Old 06-12-2006, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by elibrown View Post

Um, actually I wouldn't really know where to go from there if I said that. I know plants aren't animals, but they aren't any less alive than animals.



Then you could say that you don't eat anything that had a face, or had a Mother, or had consciousness (though some people will dispute that animals have consciousness). Or you could say that plants don't feel pain, and don't suffer like animals can.
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#15 Old 06-12-2006, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by elibrown View Post

Um, actually I wouldn't really know where to go from there if I said that. I know plants aren't animals, but they aren't any less alive than animals.



Well, that's a question I could answer. But I will leave it up to you.
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#16 Old 06-12-2006, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by gas4 View Post

Then you could say that you don't eat anything that had a face, or had a Mother, or had consciousness (though some people will dispute that animals have consciousness). Or you could say that plants don't feel pain, and don't suffer like animals can.



Well, modern science hasn't proved it at least
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#17 Old 06-12-2006, 09:52 AM
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Fish are animals, of course, in the sense that they are classified in the animal kingdom by biologists. However, the word "animal" is also sometimes used in a colloquial, nontechnical sense with a narrower meaning - referring to mammals or sometimes to land animals and distinguished from fish and birds.



It's similar to the way "meat" is sometimes used narrowly to mean red meat, as distinguished from fish and poultry.
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#18 Old 06-12-2006, 10:08 AM
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my mother (a fully fledged meateater unfortunately) has this belief as well.



i never understood how she (or anyone else) could think a fish is anything other than an animal.
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#19 Old 06-12-2006, 10:31 AM
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I had a similar thing happen yesterday. I was talking with my Dad on the phone yesterday. I told him that I decided to become vegetarian this week. The first thing he said was "Well, you are still going to eat chicken and fish though, right?" I was like, "No, they're meat too." I was surprised that he said that. I guess he thought I was just giviing up red meat.
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#20 Old 06-12-2006, 10:51 AM
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Even as a meateater, I've never understood why people would consider meat, poultry and fish as separate things. Sure, beef, poultry, fish, etc are all different kinds of meat, but they're all meat.
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#21 Old 06-12-2006, 11:33 AM
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"Meat" was once a term for any food, just as "corn" was once a word for any grain. So a family who would sit down to meat might actually be sitting down to corn. Language usage shifts. Common usage changes. I myself think in meat/fish terms, but since I have general biology, I know that anything other than a mineral or a plant is an animal. Def from dictionary: A multicellular organism of the kingdom Animalia, differing from plants in certain typical characteristics such as capacity for locomotion, nonphotosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth, and fixed bodily structure. (this includes, worms, insects, bugs, bivalves, and some planktons). So, an animal can move on its own, does not photosynthasise, reacts when you touch it, grows in certain ways only and not all over the place, and is only in one place (i.e. a cow is in a cow,) at one time. What that woman was showing was only a deficit in basic science education.
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#22 Old 06-12-2006, 11:48 AM
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The second definition in my dictionary is "an animal organism other than a human being, especially a mammal". This is a fairly common usage, so it is not necessarily a marker of inadequate education.
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#23 Old 06-12-2006, 11:52 AM
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General question: If somebody insisted to me that fish aren't animals, would it be rude of me to respond: "Maybe they're not on YOUR planet, but they are on this one!"

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#24 Old 06-12-2006, 01:24 PM
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Everything on the planet is one of 3 things:



1) Animal

2) Vegetable

3) Mineral



So, with this in mind, how can anyone say a fish is not an animal? Is it a vegetable? Is it a mineral? Hmmm, without much thought, I would think that anyone could make the decision that a fish is an animal. Yup.
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#25 Old 06-12-2006, 01:47 PM
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There are some marine invertabrates where it's hard to tell that they're not plants. I can't imagine anyone trying to eat corals. Some people eat some crazy stuff though so I wouldn't be surprised.
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#26 Old 06-12-2006, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post

Everything on the planet is one of 3 things:



1) Animal

2) Vegetable

3) Mineral



So, with this in mind, how can anyone say a fish is not an animal? Is it a vegetable? Is it a mineral? Hmmm, without much thought, I would think that anyone could make the decision that a fish is an animal. Yup.



Well, there are also fungi, protists and monerans, but it think it should be pretty obvious fish arent those 3 either



i think the confusion might be in part by how on good friday when catholics arent supposed to eat meat, they eat fish, As if it wasnt meat either!
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#27 Old 06-12-2006, 04:37 PM
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No matter how many times I explain to my dad, he continues to offer me fish when he makes them and tells me they're not animals. It's really pissing me off.
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#28 Old 06-12-2006, 05:01 PM
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No matter how many times I explain to my dad, he continues to offer me fish when he makes them and tells me they're not animals. It's really pissing me off.



He's thinking of animals in terms of mammals, which they're not. Tell him that they're in the same kingdom (Animalia) and phylum (Chordata) as mammals so scientifically they're animals - simple as that.

If that doesn't work just tell him that you're a veg*n who doesn't eat animals or fish.
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#29 Old 06-15-2006, 12:55 AM
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Better yet, post a chart in the kitchen...
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#30 Old 06-16-2006, 08:16 PM
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No matter how much you fix it, people are always going to be innocently ignorant, particularly in areas/among cultures is considered just plain wierd.



Does anybody remember the wine commercials in the 70's where they presented the wines "white for fish, red for meat?" The same kind of reasoning still goes on....
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