Fish-eating debate is comedy gold
By Tommy Adamiak
Fish. Long have we been catching them for entertainment, for use as pets and decoration, or for food. They are incredibly useful things, but very few people have really looked at them as equals, and for good reason. I mean… they’re fish.
Perrysburg’s tradition of swallowing live goldfish during halftime at the Maumee basketball game has merited some attention recently, from people who would claim that swallowing live goldfish is cruel and unnatural. The quote from the article I read stated that goldfish are “far more complex than many people realize,” and “capable of great suffering.”
To be honest, I find this statement amusing more than anything.
If “capable of great suffering” means what I think it means – having the ability to feel pain – then any animal is capable of great suffering, and I begin to wonder if they consider a lion hunting down and eating an antelope to be cruel. It is only natural for predators to hunt and consume prey, and the way I see it, we are at the top of the food chain.
If it is the manner of consumption that bothers these people, they should realize that there are plenty of other animals that eat their prey alive as well. Wolves for example, when hunting larger animals, literally tear chunks of flesh off their prey, consuming the downed animal while it dies.
Another issue PETA brings up in this article is the risk of parasites and disease. This is a genuine threat to the health of people who participate in the tradition, and I hope that they realize the risk they are taking. In my mind, however, a student’s health is their own responsibility and no one else’s.
Honestly, I would never want to swallow a live goldfish myself; the thought is revolting and I wouldn’t want to take a gamble as far as my health. But I don’t see it as a problem, and I think those who do are overreacting.