Friday, March 24, 2006

Keeping fish—just a "hobby"?

I've learned so much from participating in the many aquarium forums on the web, and I'm grateful for that. But sometimes my fellow fish-keepers drive me nuts.

One of my pet peeves is the way that so many people in the fish-keeping community refer to it as "the hobby" (as in, How can we encourage people who are new to the hobby?)

The problem with this was brought home by a recent post. The poster said that recently one of his/her fish died. S/he said something along the lines of, "I was upset at first, but I reminded myself that they're not pets, it's just a hobby."

Excuse me? It is not "just a hobby"—fish are living beings with feelings and needs, and they are completely helpless and dependent on us. We hold responsibility for their lives in our hands! The poster was right to be upset about the death of a fish.

At some point I'll be adding some T-shirts on this theme to my CafePress shop (so many ideas, so little time).

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