Fish Keeping and Fish Eating - Ethical Problem

  • #1
I'm about to get a new fish, and I'm really excited, but I was wondering if I should cut fish out of my diet because of this. It's my first time taking care of one, so I've never thought about it, but I feel bad about eating something so closely related to my pet. Fish isn't a major part of my diet, but I enjoy it, and I also don't eat much meat in general. Any thoughts?
Thank you
  • #2
I hunt and fish freqently, consuming a lot of wild game and fish. The way I see it, the catfish or crappie that I catch from a lake is not really that closely related to, say, my 2 inch marigold variatus platy or my 2 inch yoyo loach. In fact, if all those fish were placed in the same environment, the crappie and catfish eat both of my pet fish. Keep in mind that fish eat fish every day. I'd wager that every second, there is at least one little fish being gulped down by a bigger fish, somewhere out there in the world.
  • #3
It's really up to you, but I'm not a seafood person, but I still occasionally eat fish. It might be a little awkward if you where to eat it in front of your tank with your fish staring at you, but I'd still eat it... I honestly wouldn't cut it out of your diet, for example, farmers raise cows up from calfs, and they still eat beef. Another example, seafood places almost always have an aquarium up, there's actually this one place called Blob Fish Cafe which has three blob fish. I so want to go there, hehe. But people still eat seafood there. It's really up to what you feel about it though.
  • #4
I have never tasted a fish or a meat since I was a vegiteranean from my childhood.
Due to this my parents and elders scolded for not eating the fish and meat.
  • #5
I was thinking about the same question as you are. But I would divide the problem into three distinct parts (at least in my point of view)
A) evolutionary:is it OK to kill and eat fish to get the nutrients and enjoy a nice meal? Yes

B) ethical/environmental: where does the fish come from? Did it have a good life? Was it caught in sustainable number in an ethical way? How far was it transported?
In this case, I personally feel that it is OK to eat fish caught by you or someone you trust in your local area. You can also look for certificates such as MSC. If you can't get these, at least choose the fish caught in the area nearest to you. Eg I prefer trout to salmon because we don't have sea in my country.

C) psychological : can I eat something that is of the same kind as my pets? This is something that everyone has to answer for themselves. I am not sure how will I feel about eating fish when I have my own tank. My impression is that if it makes you feel guilty than don't eat, as the stress caused by conscience would probably be stronger than health benefits of eating fish. If you don't feel bad psychologically, than in my opinion there is no problem in eating fish as long as you can answer questions from point B.

This is just my subjective opinion and I don't claim that it is fully correct. I understand points of vegans and vegetarians and I would never argue with them or make fun of them.
  • #6
If you're going to feel guilty, you should consider trying a fish-less diet. Perhaps consuming only fish that were treated as humanely as possible before they made it to your plate would be an alternative.

On the other hand, if it's going to be a struggle for you to stop eating fish you shouldn't do it. Instead you should find a way to make peace with it. Maybe taking great care of your pet fish will be enough.

I'm vegetarian but I believe you should only give up specific food items if you truly want to, not because you've been convinced it will make you a bad person if you don't.

Feel free to PM me or ask questions on here if you'd like to discuss this more.
  • #7
moonraingirl It was nice to read your response in particular. It brought up some good points and got me thinking.

OP, glad you asked this question. It let me read some interesting view points on the topic. Hope you're able to find a solution that works for you.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks to everyone who replied! I'm going to give it a bit more thought.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question
  • Locked

Top Bottom