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Old 10-17-2005, 11:43 PM   #41
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Well Macman7010 I cant say that I like peta to much being the outdoors type person that I am, but you sound like a person that wants to change the bad parts of the whole instead of changing the whole due to the bad parts so I will have to commend you. However if peta is trying to put a stop to something like poeple owning aquariums where will it end?
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:12 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonheadmech
However if peta is trying to put a stop to something like poeple owning aquariums where will it end?
It won't...their ideal is no pet ownership whatsoever...no farm animals, either....no zoos, etc. It will be interesting to see where it goes, though...PETA is already on the CIA and FBI's watch list of terrorist organisations, and being a non-profit organisation, their membership list is publically available, so each member is also tagged....eventually, between the government and the giant, multibillion dollar dairy/meat/etc industries, life may become rather difficult for PETA and members.
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Old 10-18-2005, 11:37 AM   #43
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Well here is an update where it is going. I will say I totally disagree with Peta being watched by the FBI or government. It amazes me that Peta is a "potential terrorist" but the NRA operates freely unchecked. The NRA's motives and means are just as questionable as Peta's if not more so. Anyhow here is the letter I got back from Peta's person. I was impressed overall with the reponse.
__________________________________________________ _________________

Hi Jeremy-

I appreciate your feedback and all the time you took to explain your position on fish in aquariums. There are certainly many more issues to this subject than the factsheet posted on our website. However, from an animal rights perspective, one cannot ignore the sheer numbers of animals that suffer and die because of the aquarium industry. Whether it's animals that are snagged and injured while being captured from the wild, or animals that are farm-raised in filthy tanks. Even at the best possible farms, fish are still shipped across the country or even the world, many of them dying in transit.

The fish you care for could live in the biggest tanks with the best water quality, with plants and other obstacles to explore-- and they would certainly be the exception. As I'm sure you're aware, many people treat fish like living decorations and most fish never come close to their life expectancy.

I also had a betta fish- I bought her from a dirty fish store when I was in high school, several years before I learned about animal rights and became a vegetarian. Maxine (my betta) went to college with me and she had a big fan club in my dorm, she died at age 6 and I'm pretty sure she was one of the happiest captive fish I'd ever met. Shortly after buying her, I was horrified to learn of how many fish die before reaching the pet store, and how even more fish die on arrival at the pet store with the remainder being taken home primarily by people who don't know or don't care enough to properly take care of them.

Regardless of how well they live, an aquarium can't really substitute for the wild (bettas might be an exception, but the huge betta fish industry qualifies as an industry that doesn't care at all about the well-being of these beautiful animals, and I've never been to a store that sold bettas that didn't have dead bettas rotting in cups next to live fish, another sign of the huge mortality these fish face). The enjoyment people get from watching fish in a glass bowl shouldn't be given more importance than the dozens or even thousands of fish who suffered and died for every 1 fish that actually makes it to someone's tank. That's really the crux of the problem.

I do agree with you that many aquarium owners are deeply attached to their fish, they know that each fish has his or her own personality-- and fish certainly get attached to their caretakers as well. I hope that these "fish lovers" will expand their circle of compassion to include the fish who die for fish sticks and fillet sandwiches, and maybe someday they'll also realize the cruelty and pain that many fish are subjected to because of the aquarium industry.

I very much appreciate your perspective, and hope that I've been able to adequately explain PETA's perspective as well. I'd be more than willing to continue our discussion, as I'd like to hear your feedback on the mortality and cruelty issues that come up before the fish get to your home.

Thanks again for your support-- for being vegetarian and saving hundreds of animals every year-- and for your love of fish.
__________________________________________________ __________________

"actually I am not vegetarian" here is my reply to her

Karin,

I deeply understand your position and can relate to your beliefs as well as that of Peta’s on a whole. Since I am a Peta member and active in working on various items for the Peta Street Team I am aware of the terrible abuses that take place to all animals across the globe with fish being an animal that is terribly exploited. Even beyond the keeping of ornamental fish aquarium stores now sell Octopus – Cuttlefish and other highly intelligent invertebrates for captivity. It is not secret to most marine aquarium hobbyists that Octopus are very difficult to keep alive, stress easily and live at best 2 years in a captive environment. So naturally keeping an intelligent animal like the Octopus (whose intelligence has been related to that of dolphins and primates) is an ethical concern to both aquarium keepers and non-aquarium keepers alike.

Being a writer for one of the U.S.’s large aquarium magazines and being involved with the material and electronic fish community I am always talking and meeting with people about their aquariums. Like you said earlier there are many fish and aquarium animals that are terribly exploited and treated like “living ornaments” through genetic splicing and inner breeding that cause for elongated fins and odd shapes. Naturally the goldfish industry and keeping fish in bowls is a major problem when looking at the exploitation of fish. I along with the vast majority of those who are involved on the advanced hobbyists’ level with aquariums do not keep any fish in bowls – and are highly against the practice. The aquarium keepers I know are striving for maximum growth potential, color, and overall health of the animals that they keep. Keeping fish in a bowl first gives them far less than adequate water conditions often times attributing to parasitical infections and other maladies. It then makes it hard to properly feed the fish since just a small amount of food will pollute the water to the point the fish passes away. Finally it is just plain unethical and hobbyists who are involved on a more serious basis have strong and often times very good ethical beliefs when it comes to the keeping of aquarium fish.

I must disagree that the majority of hobbyists are contributing to the exploitation of aquarium animals. The way I see a fish being exploited on this basis is in the case of the mother that buys her child a Percula Clownfish and Hippo Tang than places the fish in a ten gallon aquarium so her son or daughter can have a “nemo” tank. In this case the fish (which need far more space and better conditions than those stated above) will eventually die and likely the neither child nor parent will ever take another action in the hobby again. The long time hobbyist has studied fish biology on a general level, has some knowledge of water chemistry, and is able to properly house – feed – and care for aquarium fish. Not only will this person’s animals flourish in captivity – their ethical beliefs and practices promote a responsible hobby. Many fish outlets will not sell their animals unless the people purchasing them have the appropriate set-up to support the animal. My favorite fish outlet actually requires you to bring in the written specs of your aquarium before they will do business with you – and this of course also promotes a responsible hobby.

The removal of fish from the natural environment for the aquarium industry is a major problem and like I said in my last letter a hot bed of debate among aquarists. I personally am almost totally against it and like I said before make strides to purchase only aqua-cultured or captive bred and raised animals. Many other aquarium hobbyists have joined with me on this stance and others are more purists about doing it in practice than I. Like I said before any of my own wild-caught animals are Marine Aquarium Council certified meaning they were caught in a manner that leads to the least stress to the fish and does not involve the use of any chemicals. The debate that takes place concerning wild-caught and captive-bred fish comes in the form of the poor, often very remote villages and societies that use fishing for the aquarium industry as their primary source of income. These people from all over the world – (The Philippines, Asia, South America, etc) often have little opportunities and need the ocean waters and aquarium livestock to put food on the table. If the ornamental fish industry were gone and all aquarium hobbyists were using only 100% captive-bred animals and had no need for wild-caught specimens these people would likely harvest the coral reef as a source of income. It is now in the best interest of these societies to keep the coral reef in tact as a means of promoting fish populations and reproducing for the harvest of wild corals. If the aquarium industry no longer needed their participation it is likely they would harvest those same reefs for the use of roads and other things coral skeletons can be used to make. Likely dynamite and other explosives would be used in this instance killing or decimating entire fish populations. So in some instances the wild-caught portion of the hobby helps maintain an “eco-balance” of sort between local fisherman and the coral reef and the aquarium hobbyist. Right now both MAC and other collection organizations are teaching those same fishing folk the way to responsibly and safely capture live animals from the sea so that they do not die off in record numbers and are healthy when they reach the aquarists tank.

As for wholesaler practices and the shipping, causing for the death of many fish I have mixed opinions on all these issues. There are some wholesalers I am aware of that attempt to do an honest and reasonable job with the fish they sell and some that do a simply disgusting and unethical job resulting in the death and poor health of many of their charges. I will not stand with or behind any group, store, or wholesaler – anyone who does not take proper care and treatment of any animal. If proper shipping practices are used fish can fare reasonably well but again there are those that do not practice such techniques and again they give the hobby a bad name.

I think my concern and the concern of other hobbyists and that Peta is standing against all hobbyists overall. While we totally agree with standing against those that abuse both the hobby and fish we don’t want to see the entire group and community buried in Peta’s attacks when not all of us do wrong by our charges. We would love to see Peta stand with responsible hobbyists and against those who are not – since in reality both of us have similar goals in this regard.

Thanks Again,
Jeremy Gosnell
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:31 PM   #44
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Quote:
Peta is a "potential terrorist" but the NRA operates freely unchecked.
PETA has had a lot more arrests for illegal activities including breaking & entering and destroying private property. The NRA hasn't. If one group or another is going to be more liable to be a "potential terrorist", it's going to be the one that has already committed destructive acts. Duh.

Also, your quoted statement and my response really don't have much to do with topic of this thread; more like an off shoot (no pun intended).
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:36 PM   #45
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well I have some newspaper articles about the NRA's actions in other states but many here in my hometown where they committed a variety of crimes and "wrong-doings." One such instance here locally where I live involves NRA members threatning people's lives and declaring war on people who did not agree with them.

I would post it although it will no doubt spur arguments from both sides and it being off topic will likely just get the thread locked. Easily said the NRA has taken part in some very Illegal activities and some very very unethical activities. Id rather worry about my dialogue with peta regarding aquariums here and save my NRA rants for the letter to the editor page of the local paper.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:46 PM   #46
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Not surprising in what PETA believe/touts either....they would not have half the supporters without the boatload of misinformation that they sell/believe. Even if they were cool with aquariums, I just can't stomach any group that justifies terrorising very young schoolchildren by screaming at them that they are murdering cows by drinking milk.
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:10 PM   #47
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Back on track...the NRA is not part of the topic, nor is PETA's activities away from fish keeping.

Back to the response letter:
Quote:
Thanks again for your support-- for being vegetarian and saving hundreds of animals every year-- and for your love of fish.
Does PETA assume all members are vegetarians?
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:12 PM   #48
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Does PETA assume all members are vegetarians?
They certainly expect them to be....complete vegans, in fact.
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Old 10-18-2005, 01:36 PM   #49
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actually they push members to become vegetarian and would like to see members as vegans. i simply like meat too much to stop eating it - I once told a girl at one of the peta meeting that if they could use include "Steak, Hot Dogs, Bacon and Seafood" as sort of non meats for vegetarians Id be all for it - LOL! In actuality I wont be renewing my membership with peta when it comes due in '06 because of a an incident that took place involving the euthanisation of some dogs.
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Old 10-18-2005, 02:29 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macman7010
In actuality I wont be renewing my membership with peta when it comes due in '06 because of a an incident that took place involving the euthanisation of some dogs.
Ah, the infamous van o' death and the dumpster cemetary, I presume? When is that whole mess due in court (I am eager to see just how much the accused implicate PETA execs and how hard PETA tries to make them look like mavericks)?
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