I am asking this question because I am trying to make my diet less cruelty-oriented, for this reason this question can be related to trolley problem since I am coping with an ethical problem trying to minimize the the core aspect i.e. suffering.

On the contrary I would like to know what kinds of fish suffer the least after being caught. I know that shrimps/prawns die very quickly since they cannot breathe out of the water, for instance here I have read that prawns die after just a couple of minutes out of water. But for medium/small size fish is different, especially for those which are mass-caught. Not to mention the explosion of bowels caused by rapid pressure variation.

For this reason I would like to know if we are able to determine those fish whose death requires the smallest amount of pain and suffering.

  • 1
    Interesting question. I didn't know that it took as long as a couple of minutes for prawns to die out of water, let alone about the exploding bowels. I do know that the process of slaughtering (land) animals is usually much quicker even than that, so from that particular point of view you could say that eating fish is (even) more cruel than eating meat. Also, most of the fish usually eaten by humans are much smaller than most animals ditto, so it takes more of them. In the end, it would probably be easier to learn to cook without any fish than to determine the answer to your question!
    – A. B.
    Mar 21, 2021 at 7:50
  • @A.B. the point is that I want to eat fish because of nutritional aspects. A good option is eating mussels which has a "primitive" pain reaction. Of course using a cold shocking befiore coocking them.
    – Siderius
    Mar 25, 2021 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


Death, especially the way they are all handled, requires pain and suffering. An individual's death experience is not something you can replicate. Their pain, suffering, and death is just as traumatic to one as it is to the other.

Here's how you reduce the pain and suffering: Stop eating them.

Simple as that.

  • 3
    I can't speak for fish, but to my knowledge, for humans, death does not necessarily require pain or suffering. Also, in fishing, there are multiple techniques to minimize pain and suffering for the animals being caught and those who are nearby. Sometimes humans choose to implement one or more of those techniques, and sometimes they do not. Dec 11, 2020 at 8:31

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