Monterey Bay Aquarium

So, I’ve a newfound level of respect for wildlife photographers. At the Monterey Bay Aquarium last weekend I found it near impossible to get a good shot of moving fish in low lighting. Even with my lens wide open, very few shots were salvageable. In spite of that, I’m more than satisfied with this set.

Anyway. Change of topic. From what I’ve observed, fish don’t get much love. Pescatarians forgo eating cattle and pork but rationalize that eating fish is different. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as carnivorous they come and feel its our evolutionary right to eat animals, though I also strongly believe in the humane treatment of farm animals (which is why I buy the majority of my meat directly from farms I trust via a CSA, but that’s another story).

But it’s a curious thing: why do so many people have different opinions when it comes to the treatment of fish versus the treatment of furry or feathered creatures?

Isn’t recreational fishing just as cruel as hunting? I know that there are obvious neurological differences between fish and mammals, but still. Aren’t fish interesting, cool, and dare I say it– beautiful?

A California Sheephead

I think so! And what about invertebrates?

Ditto. I mean, really. REALLY check out this beautiful squid.

While reviewing these “portraits,” I actually started to wonder about what it would be like to be a fish in captivity…

Do you think fish and creatures such as these feel relief or misery at the prospect of living their whole lives out in a contained environment?

Are they even self-aware to the extent that they CAN feel relief? In order to feel relief, wouldn’t they have to grasp the idea of hypothetical future situations? Do they understand the concept of a future, or do they merely live in the moment? Probably the latter, but it’s hard to look into their eyes and imagine that they don’t feel at least some basic acknowledgement of their own existence… and the desire to maintain that existence.

Some species of Rockfish

Cuttlefish, which I personally find amazing

Jellyfish and other cnidarians are probably not self-aware. Physiologically speaking, they have a very simple nervous system that, to my understanding, just isn’t conducive to… well, actual thought.

I love biology. Majored in it for a couple years in college, actually, before deciding to get a degree in business instead. That’s story for another day, too, but the gist is that in another life, I’d be a biologist!

I’m including some pics of birds for good measure, too. Everyone loves puffins.

Dapper puffin

A particularly Suave Tufted Puffin

Probably some type of plover. Probably.

A wood duck. And an extremely cute one at that.

Until next time… 🙂

-E

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