Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Callatya

When Is Keeping Fish Cruel?

Recommended Posts

Ahh, one of those things that we tend to not discuss, because we all have a different angle on it. Betta keepers especially avoid it as its so very hard to run an effective breeding program while giving every fish a 30L tank. Goldfish keepers have to avoid the topic unless they have a pond, as the average size and lifespan of a goldie is quite substantial. Marine fish keepers have trouble if they are keeping wild caught creatures that rarely survive in aquaria, or creatures that have been caught using cyanide. Predatorial fishkeepers have difficulty explaining how it can be 'natural' to feed a fish live food when the live food has no chance of escape Fancy fishkeepers, well, that gets all manner of people riled, Celestials, lionheads, doubletails, baloons, you name a fancy fish, and i'd bet a decent percentage of the fishkeeping crowd would boo and hiss about it What are your thoughts on it? At what point do we draw the line? Is it pointless to do so while we recieve no back up from welfare organisations? If lines were drawn by authorities that had little to no fish experience, what side would you fall on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine at work has very deeply-held views about the rights of all living things, and believes it is wrong to keep any kind of creature in captivity. I guess that's one end of the spectrum. And I think what we're looking at is a continuum, or more accurately several separate dimensions, rather than an either/or question. For me, the dimensions to the question are: 1. Health and wellness -- Is the fish kept in conditions which allow it to maintain normal health and fitness? Is being kept in an aquarium likely to significantly shorten the fish's life expectancy? 2. Behaviour -- Do the tank conditions permit the fish to express its normal range of behaviour? Will the fish's normal behaviour place it at risk in an aquarium environment? 3. Population -- Will keeping the fish add to or reduce the long-term survival prospects of the species? 4. Fish owner's attitude and ethics -- Does the person keeping the fish recognise that it is a living creature deserving of respect and ethical treatment? Does the person have the knowledge, experience and equipment necessary to properly provide for the fish's needs? 5. Reproductive fitness -- (Selectively bred and hybrid strains) Is the strain being bred for genetic characteristics that significantly impair its individual health or life expectancy, or that produce a high incidence of defects not compatible with normal life and survival? 6. Predatory species -- From purely my own point of view, I wouldn't keep a fish that depended wholly on eating other live fish, but I accept that other people have a different perspective that is just as valid. In general, I would judge the rightness of keeping a totally predatory fish based on the reason it was kept, eg. for the purpose of research into that species, or possibly as a means of culling fish that would otherwise simply be destroyed. It distresses me to see large, aggressive predators like saratoga in average home tanks, as there is the constant risk that the fish might injure or kill itself striking the tank. Its normal behaviour places it at risk in a confined environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A very tricky topic indeed, Ms Abbey! For me, keeping the fish in a situation which promotes its health and wellness (to quote Vicki), and enables it to display normal behaviour is very important. But, having said that, I keep my horse in a private paddock and she only has social interaction (scratching, nuzzling) with the horse in the paddock next door. Horses are herd animals, therefore I am not practising what I preach! I could argue that she’s low down in the hierarchy and has been physically injured in the past when kept in a herd situation, but I know that the main reason I keep her on her own is purely for my convenience. We all have our own ideas about what is best for the animals in our care – and sometimes our ideas about welfare are not shared by the next person. Sue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had this arguement several times with someone who thought I was a monster for keeping fish. I think as long as you can give them clean warm water, good food, room to swim and medical treatment, then it's not too bad. The people who are against aquariums seem to imagine the wild as being some kind of utopia. I think it would be pretty harsh. The fish would have the constant threat of being eaten by bigger fish, no guarantee of finding food, and even small injuries can become life-threatening. Even if they have good arguements, what are you supposed to do? Release them into the wild or slaughter them all? You can't release them because they'd spread diseases to the native fish and potentially destroy the entire ecosystem. Anyway, modern bettas are captive-born fish and have been for so long that they don't have a natural environment. Their bright colours and long fins would make them easy targets. If you can't keep them and can't release them, then the only solution is to kill them all. To me, that seems a bit cruel and unneccessary, much worse than keeping them in a good aquarium. I don't know about fish caught in the wild. If the population is sustainable and the methods used to catch and transport them aren't cruel, then it seems like it would be ok. But that's not always the case and I think a lot of wild-caught fish would be treated pretty badly. Unless you're an expert involved in a breeding program for rare species, then you should stick with captive-bred fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine at work has very deeply-held views about the rights of all living things, and believes it is wrong to keep any kind of creature in captivity.

I guess that's one end of the spectrum.

I love these spectrums :)

I think I can take that end of the spectrum a bit further :)

You can extend on that view and say Homo sapiens are encroaching on other living organisms environment/habitat therefore endangering their vital bilological functions; like ability to grow, breed, disperse etc. Therefore being cruel!!!

So the individuals who think proper captive care of animals is cruel would also have to agree (since cruelty to animals is cruelty to animals!):

*Not to heat or cool their environment, drive or use public transport, cook, wash etc. as all these activities produce greenhouse gases that effect the fragile environment and therefore one way of being cruel to all living organisms.

*Should not wear natural fibres; since centuries of cruel breeding in captivity produced that fibre and how is the poor sheep going to keep itself coll/warm, you thief!!! Don't get me started on cotton etc! (read about eating vegetables for further info)

*Should not wear synthetic materials; aren't we damaging the environment enough already with our other non-organic waste? Think about the poor animals in those environments!!!

*Should not eat meat - we all know the reasons people give for this

*Should not eat vegetables - monoculture, pesticide use, irrigation etc. etc. makes eating vegetables as cruel to the environment and animals. And just because that juicy carrot you bite into does not scream doesn't mean that it cannot feel your teeth rapturing its very cells!!!

*Should get themselves neutered; we all know the probem of Homo sapien population explosion. No self respecting animal lover would even think about breeding and adding to the stresses the environment faces with each additional individual thus being cruel to the animals! Also animal lover should discourage friends and family from breeding as well!!!

Is there anybody left that I haven't offended as yet?

PS: The above is written tongue in cheek!!! Just incase someone takes it a bit too seriously!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...