SIR - I'd like to thank Gary Kibblewhite ("Humane treatment of fish is needed", WN, November 28th) for drawing attention to the horrific suffering that fish undergo when caught by trawlers.
Fish are sensitive, aware creatures who experience pain just as much as any other animals and it is appalling that they should be caught and killed in such a cruel way.
He may be correct that there would be uproar if Christmas turkeys were treated in a similar manner, but that doesn't mean that the rearing and killing of these birds is free from cruelty.
Around 15 million turkeys are slaughtered throughout the year in the UK, with most of them having been reared in cramped conditions in large, windowless sheds.
These birds have a natural life span of approximately 10 years, yet they are slaughtered at just three to six months old.
In this short time they grow so heavy that their legs are frequently unable to carry the weight of their ballooning bodies and many collapse and die due to their inability to reach food and water.
Disease is widespread on commercial turkey farms, resulting in over a million turkeys dying in their sheds every year, and ulcerated feet and hock burns are common – caused by the birds having to live their lives standing in litter covered in their own excrement.
Mr Kibblewhite asks "why do some vegetarians eat fish?" but the truth is that no true vegetarian would eat fish, nor any other animal flesh, and vegans go even further, by avoiding eggs and milk products, because of the huge amount of animal slaughter and suffering caused by the egg and dairy industries.
The truth is that there is no need for fish, turkeys or any other creatures to undergo such cruelty and killing, because we can all all live healthily without consuming meat, fish, eggs and dairy.
Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies exists to help people end or reduce their consumption of animal products and to switch to a more humane diet and lifestyle.
Anyone wishing to contact us can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org on 01562 700043 or via our website at www.worcsveg.org.uk
Worcestershire Vegans & Veggies