Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am doing another speech at my university, and have decided to do it on fish. again. :)
I am presenting one on the dangers of keeping a goldfish in a bowl, and how it is a form of animal abuse. I have written my speech, but was just wondering if anyone had any other solid points to bring up.

so far I am touching on their expected life span, how dirty they can be, and the size they should typically reach.

any input would be great! and I know you all have lots of input out there!
:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
803 Posts
You may touch on it in the size they reach but you could point out how it would be like locking a human in a 4 x4 room for life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,893 Posts
also add in about behavioral aspects > eg caged animals as a comparison, also bring up Keiko the orca (everyone has seen the film) and show how such behavioral aspects can effect physiological traits.
theres also the social aspect, being deprived of their own species will change their behavior. but also how adding more for company can also have negative impacts (for all the above reasons, but also territorial disputes, bullying etc)

be careful about the images you use, several of the "biggest goldfish" are using koi and use photo-graphical effects to make it look bigger.

theres also aspects of cleaning to mention, as TV has a tendency to portray it as, put the goldfish in a cup, pour the water out, refil from tap put the fish back in. so the whole lot on chlorine, osmotic/temperature shock and so on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Yeah the best way to open a speech about that, as you already said, is to mention that when most people hear goldfish they think of a bowl and a small fish with a short life. When the opposite is true, many at need a 20 gallon plus, many different types can grow to a good size, and they can life for years, sometimes as much as 10 years.

I hate that they give them away, or used to, at carnivals for prizes. You can mention the same type of misconceptions about Bettas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Go at it from the beta fish perspective also. They have tons of those fish in the stores all in their only little bity bowl. Act like PETA and give the speech naked from a bowl!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,747 Posts
tankhead said:
Act like PETA and give the speech naked from a bowl!
Don't forget to videorecord the speech and post here for critique ;) :D ;)

ummm, how about lack of filtration, the nitrogen cycle, effects of ammonia/nitrite, lack of oxygen without water movement, living in its own feces (breathing, eating, etc in poo)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,304 Posts
Bettas live in those conditions in the wild, so that's a terrible example.
Orcas are mammals.
The comparison to keeping a human in a 4x4' room is a complete logical fallacy.

I'm vegan, so I should be all about this thread, but to be honest, I don't really know any way to argue that it's "cruel." Yes, goldfish are vertebrates and have a central nervous system, but there's a huge difference between pain and suffering. Pain is a physical/nervous response to a stimulus. It registers as ouch. Suffering is a mental/emotional/psychological reaction to pain.

I stand on the side of the line that says fish can't suffer. They don't have the mental capacity for that. Just look at the structure of a fish brain. The cerebellum is the dominant structure, like in reptiles. They're concerned with moving, eating, sleeping, and surviving. Not thinking, feeling, emoting...

Yes, keeping a fish in adverse conditions will cause continued pain. But we can't understand what that's like, because we can't dissociate pain from suffering. There's no sadness, no panic, no pity in a fish.

So... yeah...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
And yet, fish can learn, and they do so fairly quickly. Do we really understand consciousness well enough to be able to say with absolute certain that fish are not, and are therefore not capable of suffering?

If we keep animals, we should always err on the side of assuming they are at least sentient enough to understand joy and suffering to some degree. If we're wrong, what harm has been done? But if we make the other assumption, and we're wrong, we are acting in a way that could be considered "evil", inflicting suffering on other living beings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,304 Posts
Wei Fun said:
And yet, fish can learn, and they do so fairly quickly. Do we really understand consciousness well enough to be able to say with absolute certain that fish are not, and are therefore not capable of suffering?
Fish can be conditioned to respond to stimulus. See the orange cup, know food's coming. That's simple stimulus response. I don't at all think that can be extrapolated to something so complex as suffering. Suffering requires consciousness, future planning, etc.

Rhinox - the Betta thing was in response to tankhead, not the OP.

I should clarify: yes, I think it's wrong to inflict continued, unnecessary pain on an animal, especially for your "enjoyment" (having a fish to look at). I just think the argument that relates fish to any animal with higher-level consciousness is completely flawed and ultimately weakens your point, and I believe the concept of "suffering" is within that argument. Yes, you'll stir more emotions if you relate a fish to a person, but anyone who actually gives 5 seconds rational thought to that idea will immediately dismiss it.

Either way, there's no empirical, objective way to argue that something is inherently "wrong." The simple counterpoint is "who cares if they feel pain?" or "why should I care?"... and it's a good point. That's what you've (the OP) got to conquer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
dielikemoviestars, you make good points.

As for the who cares argument, why not push it along a philosophical angle? A moralising speech has been done, and done poorly, often enough (PETA being a case in point for ignorance and poor arguments).

At bottom, you will need to make a claim that life deserves a certain level of environmental quality. Why this should be the case is up to you (here, you can certainly say it is a moral good) but once you've established that, it's pretty easy to show how a poorly kept fishbowl is a bad thing.

Note that there are some well kept fishbowls.

What subject is this for? If it is for biology, then dielikemoviestars's points become crucial to address. If it's for marketing, then it makes more sense to say how healthy goldfish is profitable (even if the profit is not monetary). If it's for philosophy, something like the above might work out. Remember that each subject has a specific way of looking at the world, and that not speaking within this paradigm will likely have you appear like a novice or a layperson. Not the best way to convince people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Rhinox said:
tankhead said:
Act like PETA and give the speech naked from a bowl!
Don't forget to videorecord the speech and post here for critique ;) :D ;)

ummm, how about lack of filtration, the nitrogen cycle, effects of ammonia/nitrite, lack of oxygen without water movement, living in its own feces (breathing, eating, etc in poo)
took your advice, it's amazing how no one even seem to listen, and still got 100%!!!! I am going to have to present all my projects naked from a fish bowl!

kidding... i did it fully clothed and made one girl tear up. i wasn't trying to make people feel bad, she had a goldfish in a bowl at home and didn't know what she was doing to it. But i guess the hard facts of them living in a bowl can make people feel really bad.

Thanks for all your comments and inputs! It really means a lot to me and having all the extra information gives a ton of confidence while up in front of a group!

you all rock!!!
:thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
awesome!

Glad to hear it went well. I hope you advised that woman on how to keep her fishy better.

i also hope it makes a difference. :)
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top