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Old 03-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #46
roadmaster
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Originally Posted by papwalker View Post
There is no doubt that fish have pain receptors.
They also have motivational centres.
But do they suffer or are they basically robots? We don't know.
I don't believe they have cerebral consciousness.


I take the Buddhist approach, just give due respect for a fellow earthling.
I also love steamed fish with garlic and chilli.

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Old 03-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #47
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DarkCobra: I realize that not everyone who supports animal rights falls under this extreme, and in fact I believe that the specific individual you mentioned is not to be compared with most people who believe in animal rights. What he stands for is animal freedom and separation, and it chills me to think that such freedoms would be put before that of human freedoms. I am a vegetarian, but I would not blink an eye if someone ate a steak in front of me. I believe everyone deserves the right to choose.

Sluggo: I agree with you, there is no need to talk of extremist values in order to understand the harm. However, the question you pose, whether or not someone is okay with such treatment, is at the heart of the issue. What if someone was okay with it? How would you respond to them? With anger? Violence?

FisheriesOmen: I tend to agree with everything you have said. I think it follows reasonable and cogent logic. However, pain is not easily measurable, so let's not fall into a trap by arguing about things that we have no solid evidence on.

Over all, this conversation has taken a turn that I did not expect, and I would like to bring it back to the original complicated issue that I was hoping to discuss, and that is the treatment of people who do not share our own values. So again, what if someone did not share your opinions? Is that any reason to cause an uproar? Not many in our society believe that morals are subjective, so let's not have that discussion. I often find myself unreasonably agitated whenever people tout higher moral ground that others, and issue is with the person's abuse of their fellow humans, not with the morals themselves.

The girl I described in the original post used very abusive language, and even suggested that people who cannot keep a goldfish properly are somehow sub-human and should not be born. The fellow that DarkCobra described suggested that veganism be made LAW, and human rights ought to be constricted if they interfere with animal rights. This, I feel, is unacceptable.

I had a betta when I was a kid. I stuck him in 1 gallon, no plants, hardly remembered to feed him (although I did a pretty good job of cleaning out his tank weekly). I also had a dog (recently deceased due to old age, 14 is a pretty good age for a Lab!). I would do anything for that dog. She developed health problems, and for those she go the best care possible, as any beloved family member would receive. I am a long time vegetarian, for reasons I don't feel the need to justify. I don't even kill the spiders in my home, I just carry them outdoors. How can you call me cruel for my treatment of my betta? People are neither kind nor cruel because of any one decision that they make, whether or not that decision was made in ignorance or with adequate knowledge.

Newms: Thanks, that really means a lot to me! I consider myself a hobbyist philosopher. I would love to get my degree in philosophy, but I'm afraid I'm a little preoccupied with biochemistry.
Let's break down all this outrage. An "abusive girl" "saved" a goldfish from a too-small tank that was not being properly taken care of (as evidenced supposedly by a proliferation of algae and the listless behavior of the fish). She gave it a more spacious tank with clean water. You keep your betta in a one gallon tank, so you seem to feel like this girl is including you in her abuse of people in general who may or may not keep their animals in ideal conditions. You asked in your OP, "What's the big deal?" I ask you the same question: "What's the big deal?" Why do you even care about what some random, possibly drunk girl on another forum said about some people you don't know?

We probably all struggle with our feelings about taking animals from their wild environs and moving them into tanks that are much smaller than their original living space, with tank mates they probably may have never come in contact with and providing them with water, food and light conditions that are not quite the same as where they came from. You suggest in your OP that we don't need to wring our hands over all of this. You may be right, so I will say this: go ahead and stop wringing your hands over this!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #48
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Yes.



My point was that we don't have to go all bleeding-heart-animal-rights-nut to understand that we are doing harm. Stress is a neurological response that can be observed. "Suffering" is an subjective emotional response to stress. Two people can undergo the same stress. One might "suffer;" the other might not.

Stress suppresses the immune system and leads to disease and premature death. Once you understand that, the question you have to ask is, are you okay with that, and why?
I generally agree with you here, except in a lot of cases you have to be very familiar with the species of fish to know whether it is suffering or not. I had my first betta in a half-gallon "tank" without a heater. I didn't know better at the time, and I only changed his water when it looked dirty. The fish seemed fine to me (except for twice when he had some sort of fungus thing, which I treated), and he lived for over 3 years. Once I knew how wrong I was in the way I had taken care of my betta, I got another one and kept it temporarily in a 1 gallon tank. He was much more active and actually showed a personality I never knew a fish could have. Then I realized my previous betta survived but probably wasn't happy. He also could have lived longer as a betta's lifespan can be up to 5 or even 7 years.
When I moved my new betta to a 5 gallon tank, he seemed even happier, he was able to spread out his fins and swim fast.
So you have to know the signs of a stressed or sick fish. Every species is different and when I had my first betta I didn't know that bettas are active fish with personalities, so I thought he was normal just kind of drifting around in his tiny tank.
I forgive people who don't know any better because I was there. I'm not going to freak out and act like a member of PETA. I just try to educate people according to what I've learned and my own experience. I do get upset if people continue to keep a fish in bad conditions after I've tried to tell them the way they could care for their fish to make them happier, but I can't really do much more than that.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:18 PM   #49
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If you've got experience yourself, it's a bit easier to cut thru all the nonsense to get to reasonably accurate information, but I can completely understand why so many novices (or long term fish owners who've never looked outside their own limited experience) aren't willing to accept outside advice--quite simply, so MUCH of the advice out there is contradictory that it all sounds suspect. After all, if Aunt Sally uses aquarium salt AND the guy at the fishstore said you need it AND you found a couple forum discussions of folks who've used it for 20 years without an issue--well, it just doesn't add up when you're told it's not useful and may even be harmful in a planted tank (Aunt Sally never had live plants, but you don't know yet why it matters).


That process isn't helped when the most fervent of commentators are too often themselves new converts--in their zeal they often over-reach, misunderstand, or--the part that especially exasperates many--misinterpret the situations they're commenting on.

Plenty of folks would look at my no-tech shrimp tank and feel the urge to take a shotgun full of rocksalt to my backside for being so negligent of their care. After all, it's an old thrift store vase sitting without heater, filter or airstone, the water appears to be quick dark and decidedly green and the sides and back are solid algae.

Horrible. Outrageous! Worse? They're hardly ever fed! The horror!
Quick, someone liberate those shrimp and feed me to the bears! Right?

Wrong. The weather here is temperate, the light is dappled by the tree outside the window, the vase is well planted and gets a 20% weekly wc, the dark green water is caused by tannins from the manzanita wood and the green by the light passing thru all that algae--which the shrimp happily graze upon like contented many legged cows. I'm four generations in on this vase with constant new hatchings.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:49 PM   #50
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This thread should be closed immediately. I've seen some pretty disgusting comments.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:58 PM   #51
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Default The suffering of animals, and other travesties

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Originally Posted by ThatGuyWithTheFish View Post
This thread should be closed immediately. I've seen some pretty disgusting comments.
OP also said he was done, I'm with you.
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:18 PM   #52
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This thread should be closed immediately. I've seen some pretty disgusting comments.
Ok.
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