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Fish Say: Flush This!

Written by PETA | May 4, 2011

Show of hands: How many of you know someone who has bought a fish as a “low-maintenance pet” for the kids, stuck the fish in a bowl, and then forgotten all about him or her? Extra credit if the people in question have clandestinely replaced the (dead) fish several times so as to avoid “traumatizing” the youngsters. Well, this is “Be Kind to Animals” Week, so let’s take this opportunity to stop the madness!

© Robert Thompson/The Oldie/

Fish are not decorations or toys. They have cognitive skills that rival those of primates, use tools, maintain complex social relationships, and communicate with each other using low-frequency sounds that humans can’t even hear. Confining fish to a cramped tank or bowl, forcing them to swim in endless circles through the same few cubic inches of (often filthy) water, is just as cruel as chaining or crating a dog 24 hours a day.

If you or your friends or family have fish, you can strive to make them as comfortable as possible. The first order of business is to replace the glass bowl with an aquarium that is large enough to provide at least 3 gallons of water per inch of fish. It should be equipped with a pump, a filter, live plants, and objects for the fish to explore and hide in. The water needs to be treated for chlorine, kept between 68°F and 76°F, and have the appropriate pH level for the types of fish.

Share this information with any goldfish wardens―I mean, “guardians”―you know. And tell anyone contemplating imprisoning a fish that a far more humane way of entertaining the kids is to let them watch a live online stream, like the one from a camera in the Grand River in Ontario, Canada.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • FIT Fish Supplies says:

    Fish bowl is ONLY for Betta fish which can take air directly. Keeping fish especially goldfish in a bowl is just like putting someone in a room without any window for ventilation.

  • Paul says:

    As an aquarist of many years I think the first thing is reading up on the keeping and biology of fish.Boring you say,well it beats being cruel. Tip-Do not overfeed it is the quickest way to pollute the aquarium.

  • Bob Roberts says:

    I saw this girl in a sideshow eat a goldfish. She must do it alot cause there is pictures all over the internet. Discusting!

  • Maddy says:

    I have 3 fish! Phobio,Nemo and Goomba and i love them 🙂 i am getting them a tank so that they can not feel so cramped up, although the Bowl is big enough,but who want to just sit in a little bowl all day w/ so little room?? Think of the fishies people!

  • rachel lara says:

    I got my goldfish as a school physics project but couldnt stand watching him being cramped up and not being able to swim like in the ocean, so my mom got a 70gallon fish tank with 8 new fish so mine could have friends:)

  • MeganAshley says:

    I hate seeing fish in little bowls! Everytime I get fish, I love getting big tanks so they have a lot of room to swin around in. (:

  • Rachel A says:

    Fish can be well cared for but they still don’t want to be in bowls or tanks for our entertainment. Please if you must have fish, at least think of adopting or rescuing them from someone/a shelter. When they are taken from the wild, the most common method of collection is to use dynamite. This, apart from utterly destroying the home of the fish, stuns them so that they float to the surface. Overall, about 90% of the fish never recover. It is the remaining 10% that you see in pet stores! Those who are bred in captivity, will never know freedom, and must often endure crowded breeding tanks. Fish are not “things”. They feel pain, love life, desire freedom – these are things that matter to ALL. Please think before you buy!

  • Chris says:

    I have a fish tank of Mollies. But I clean the tank weekly and all my fishes have names. Tyson ( the fin biter sigh) , Damian , William , and Fred. I don’t have live plants but I wash my fake plants in vinegar every other time we do the tank. My kids love our fish. In fact I have to give turns of helping take care of them or we clean the tank every day and feed them three times. I hope this will make people think. Thanks!