Si les poissons pouvaient hurler

PRINCETON – Mon père m’emmenait régulièrement en promenade lorsque j’étais enfant, souvent le long d’une rivière ou au bord de la mer. Nous croisions parfois des pêcheurs accrochés à leur ligne au bout de laquelle se débâtait un poisson. J’ai même vu une fois un homme sortir un petit poisson de son seau et l’accrocher à l’hameçon encore vivant pour servir d’appât.

A une autre occasion, lorsque nos pas nous menaient au bord d’un ruisseau tranquille, j’ai vu un homme qui observait sa ligne, apparemment en paix avec le monde, alors qu’à ses côtés, des poissons récemment pêchés se débattaient désespérément dans un seau, le souffle coupé. Mon père m’avait alors dit qu’il ne comprenait pas que l’on puisse apprécier de sortir des poissons de l’eau et de les voir mourir lentement.

Ces souvenirs d’enfance me sont revenus en mémoire à la lecture de Worse things happen at sea: the welfare of wild-caught fish (Les pires choses arrivent en mer : du bien-être des poissons sauvages, ndt), un rapport décisif publié le mois dernier sur le site fishcount.org.uk. On a fini par admettre un peu partout dans le monde que si des animaux doivent être tués afin d’être consommés, ils devraient l’être sans souffrance. La réglementation sur l’abattage des animaux exige généralement que les bêtes soient endormies avant d’être abattues, ou que la mort soit instantanée, ou, dans le cas d’abattages rituels, que l’abattage soit aussi proche que possible de l’instantané en fonction de ce qu’autorisent les doctrines religieuses.

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