Thursday, June 16, 2011

Save the - Goldfish?!

"San Francisco Wants to Ban Goldfish to Prevent Their 'Inhumane Suffering' "
Todd Starnes, FoxNews.com (June 16, 2011)

"The San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission wants to take away your goldfish, proposing a bill that would also include a renewed ban on pets like puppies, kittens and hamsters.

"The proposed ban is meant to discourage 'impulse buys' of pets that sometimes end up at shelters, said commission member Philip Gerrie....

Before anybody has a stroke, please note that the Lemming thinks:
  • Animals should not be mistreated
  • Pet owners have responsibilities
  • Kittens and puppies grow into cats and dogs
  • Free Willy was a fun movie
The Lemming also thinks that even elected officials should think before acting.

Is impulsively buying a kitten or puppy - or a baby chick - a bad thing to do? Not, in the Lemming's opinion, necessarily. In principle, it's possible for someone who knows about litter boxes and leash laws to suddenly decide that it'd be nice to have a kitten around - and a dozen years later still be taking care of the long-since-grown-up cat.

The Lemming also realizes that not everybody who grabs a cute little ball of fur and fangs really understands what having a pet means.

That's the real world, now, back to the article:

Swim Free, as Free as the Wind Blows - - -

"...He [commission member Philip Gerrie] said goldfish, guppies and other tropical fish were added to the proposed ban because of what he called the 'inhumane suffering of fish' and the way the fish are harvested.

" 'It causes animal suffering,' Gerrie told Fox News Radio. 'Whole reefs and ecosystems are being exploited for whatever might be marketable or sellable.'

"The Board of Supervisors considered a similar ban last year that would have included dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, rats and guinea pigs – but not fish. That proposed ban was tabled last August. The supervisor said they were going to reconsider it in January of this year – but did not.

"The proposed fish ban has local pet store owners up in arms...."

There's a lot going on in those four paragraphs.

Fish Really do Have Feelings - Sort of

About the "inhumane suffering of fish?" That may not be as crazy as it sounds. Fish are animals with a central nervous system that doesn't work all that differently from ours.1

On the other hand, it's anyone's guess whether or not the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is aware that domestic goldfish are just that - domestic. There are no prides of Lionhead Goldfish swimming free along the sunlit shores of some exotic island.

Commercial exploitation of exotic animals, that's something else.

Remember how groovy "zero tolerance" must have seemed at the time? And that isn't quite another topic.

By the way, here's an entirely different sort of commercial goldfish:

"Goldfish Commercial"

link2772, YouTube (December 8, 2006)
video, 0:31

Save the Endangered - - - Rats?!

Last year's efforts to save San Francisco's (pet) rats may not have been the result of someone assuming that greedy pet store owners recklessly disturbed delicate ecosystems in the city's dumpsters and sewer system, harvesting rats for the pet trade. Still, you never know.

Again - rats have central nervous systems. They're not all that different from mice - and the Lemming's been over this before:In the Lemming's considered opinion: elected officials should get out of the office more often, and see what it's like on the planet the rest of us call home. So, again in the Lemming's opinion, should quite a few scientists.

And that is another topic.

Somewhat-related posts:
1 Background (pretty boring):

2 comments:

Brigid said...

This is the same city that seriously considered banning circumcision, right?

Boy, am I glad I don't live in San Fan.

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Same one. ("Circumcision, San Francisco, and Getting a Grip," A Catholic Citizen in America (May 27, 2011)) It was a beautiful city when I lived there, in the '70s - but then, as (apparently) now, the lunatics seem to be running the asylum. Outside city hall & a few of the more colorful neighborhoods - folks in San Francisco were mostly sane, productive, friendly (for a city) folks.

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