I am responding to Niel Brooks' editorial "Gone Fishin'" Aug. 29. Although Brooks clearly -- and correctly -- states People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' objection to fishing (that fish have a nervous system which allows them to perceive pain), he fails to directly address or dispute their argument. Instead, he appeals to the reader's emotions by invoking sweet memories of summer days and affection for Theodore Roosevelt; this is not a reasoned argument. Brooks avoids the conceptual task of critically examining the principles and logic supporting PETA's position. Food chains and ecosystems aside: Fishing harms individual animals, so PETA opposes the practice.
You already abstain from hurting other humans because they can suffer. (Note, we abstain not because they can talk or add. After all, infants, the comatose and many of the mentally challenged cannot talk or add, and is it appropriate to harm them?) Since we conclude that animals suffer, we should not harm them. This is the principle of equal consideration and what PETA advocates.