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Old 10-13-2005, 07:53 PM   #21
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Here is the text of the letter I sent to peta's headquarters
__________________________________________________ ____

To whom it may concern:

I recently read the article "Fish in Tanks, No Thanks" on your media center's website. I happen to be
a member of both the Peta Street Team and Peta America, and have taken part in a variety of activities
funded by Peta and helped with many of your online works. Oddly enough though in this particular case
I am going to have to play the role of "Devil's Advocate" since in conjunction with being a proud member
of Peta I am also a long time aquarist. Since age 5 I have been fascinated by a variety of underwater
life, and since that time many years ago have kept a variety of fish species in captive enviroments.

I want first to applaud your wonderful efforts at making people aware of "proper fish husbandry skills."
These skills help all generations of aquarium keepers to be mindful of thier charges and allow our captive
animals to lead a life that may not be as wonderful as that of free swimming fish but that is fullfilled
non the less. Being a writer for one of the U.S.'s larger fish magazines and being an active member of
the aquarium community has allowed me an insight into the level of care and dedication that many aquarium
keepers take in maintaining thier aqua scapes.

Did you know that today there is a popular trend in aquarium keeping called the bio-type aquarium, or
natural aquarium. These are aquariums that are set-up to mimic the fish kept wihin them's habitat as
closely as possible to what is found in nature. Some aquarists go as far to keep only plants, wood,
substrate and other fish that would be found together in natural waters. Water chemistry and foods are even planned
to match animals own enviroments closely. There are even countless magazine articles and books that
instruct hobbysits on how to set-up one of these unique and exciting aquatic habitats.

One poignant part of your article targets reef aquaria and the capture of marine life from the sea for
the aquarium trade. This is a hot bed or argument among reef aquarium keepers and I would honestly recommend
Peta members join Reef Central's responsible reef keeping community to learn more about aquarist's stance
on this issue. I personally along with other saltwater aquarists have strived to support research and
cultivation of both captive bred or raised and aqua-cultured marine creatures. We do this by buying
aqua cultured marine animals, from live rock for aqua-scaping to clown fish to corals. Great strives are
being and have been made allowing the hobby's impact on natural enviroments to go down a great bit.

Are all the animals I keep in my reef aquarium captive raised - sadly not. Many marine fish go through
a planktonic stage making them nearly impossible to breed and raise in captivity. Although any fish that
I do keep that are not captive raised are MAC certified fish. The Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) is making
wonderful strives to better captive methods and train even the most remote and exotic of people on how
to capture marine life for the aquarium trade. Really Cyanide collection is quickly becoming an arciac relic
of the past and while it has damaged reef populations around the globe things are getting much better. You
must understand it is not in the hobbyist's best interest to purchase animals collected using Cyanide since
soon after entering our tanks they perish and die. Again, becoming more active in the culture surronding Reef
keeping would really serve to educate Peta members on this issue - because in truth many of us aquarists are
the very people standing up the rights of the reef. It is no secret that people that have a close tie with something
will often stand up for it when it is being abused.

I want to close my letter with the story of my old Betta, who after seven years recently passed away but will
not be forgotten. You may or may not know but in the wild Betta's often live in very dirty, oxygen deprived waters
in South East Asia. Bettas have been found in waters low in dissolved oxygen, high in dissolved nutrients and
as shallow and temporary as a water filled foot print. My betta lived in an 80 gallon aquarium that recieved
daily water changes. He was fed a diet of high protien foods that caused his coloration to become so exquiste that my
non-fish educated friends thought he must have come from the ocean. This fish lived in a planted tank that was far
larger and cleaner than most natural enviroments Bettas are found in. He was loved, treated with kindness, and outlived
the natural life span of his species by many years.

As an organization you must understand that the mistakes of a few (bad pet shops, poor aquarium retailers,
irresponsible hobbyists, etc, etc) do not condemn the actions of all. The aquarium culture I know and am
actively involved in makes strides to better the lives of our captive animals and make thier world in our home
as close to thier natural homes as possible. I will continue to support your efforts as always and if you would
like to start standing with aquarium keepers instead of against them by teaching responsible hobbyist methods
I would love to help in anyway I can.

Jeremy Gosnell
Peta America Member

Want a great read check out my debut novel Neptune's Garden: www.neptunesgardenbook.com
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:15 PM   #22
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Here is the text of the letter I sent to peta's headquarters
I'd love to hear what they say to that. Given some of the quotes of their "leaders", I don't have high hopes for much more than a "We thank you for your concern. Please donate to us at..." We'll see though.

I guess my issues with PETA is that they act like children, and by children I mean that a child will ask you for attention, and if not received, will react in a manner that demands it. Bad attention is still attention.

Throwing pigs blood on people at a fashion show isn't going to make people like you or your cause. In fact, it makes people not feel any guilt over hating you. I know of an article that really sums up some of the attitude I'm talking about. I was going to post it, but after re-reading it noticed that they use the 'S' word (like me typing that is really any better than just saying it). Anyways, if anybody is interested, PM and I'll send you the link.

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Old 10-13-2005, 08:23 PM   #23
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I just now came across this thread and have finally finished reading everything. I won't add another long post. I only have a few words to say to deli_conker:
Could you pass a little gravy to me too? I'm starving!
And some A-1.

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Old 10-13-2005, 08:35 PM   #24
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Super letter, I hope it does not fall on deaf ears.
Please let us know if they respond.
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:39 PM   #25
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very nice letter, I hope you will post the response!
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:42 PM   #26
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they will respond, if they dont I will call them and read it to them, LOL.

I'm persistant!!!
Want a great read check out my debut novel Neptune's Garden: www.neptunesgardenbook.com
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Old 10-13-2005, 08:45 PM   #27
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Wonderful letter you make excellent and well thought out points.
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
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Old 10-13-2005, 09:37 PM   #28
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Great letter, I'd also like to see if they respond.
Current fish (includes all 3 running tanks): Polypterids, severums (of which I raised from eggs), gouramis, plecos (gold spot ones & a gurupa), loaches (zebras, yoyos, & a kubotai), macculocchi spotted silver dollars, an African butterfly fish, & Ctenopomas (a leopard & an ansorgii)
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Old 10-13-2005, 11:28 PM   #29
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A really superb letter, Macman. I hope they respond and that you share it with us.

Two things that you didn't specifically mention in your letter that lend further proof of the aquarium hobby's concern for aquatic environments:

Fragging - This ingenious practice of trading coral polyps allows a larger number of hobbyists to enjoy a particular coral species without having to further deplete the wild population. It's economical, it brings reefers together socially - to share ideas and experiences, and it helps preserve the reef environment.

On the FW side, the aquarium hobby is a largely untapped resource for disseminating information about habitat destruction and preserving endangered species through captive breeding. My local aquarium club, Greater City Aquarium Society launched a program last year that encourages aquarists to keep and breed species that are already readily available within the hobby, but are under increasing pressure in their native habitats. At the current rate of habitat loss in some parts of the world, the aquarium hobby may be the only hope for the survival of some species.
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:30 AM   #30
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Really a terrific letter Jeremy. It was also the most appropriate response you could have made on this site considering your position.

The problem with activism for any cause is that extremism can't be far behind. Like deli-conker so aptly put, the actions of the fringe can and do take away from the cause.

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