The practices of fishy sentience
Fish sentience in industrial human-animal relations is the topic of a recent book chapter by Marianne Lien and John Law
What happens if we reformulate anthropomorphism from a form of ‘sentimental’ relating, to a critical recognition of the continuities between humans and nonhuman animal? This is what Law and Lien suggest in their chapter on the farmed Atlantic salmon, in which they propose a relational understanding of anthropomorphism to discuss how fish sentience is produced and enacted in the instrumental and affective context of fish farming.
Insisting that fish and humans are always done relationally, they reformulate the conception of anthropomorphism from a projection of human characteristics placed upon animals, to a an integral part of how humans relate to animals. Instead of discarding anthropomorphism as something that ‘reduces’ animals to humans, Law and Lien draw attention to the many styles, or modes of anthropomorphism enacted in various multispecies practices, and how the styles take part in enacting various differences and similarities between humans and fish.