One of the bumpier parts of my relationship with a non-vegan was trying to explain to him my opposition to 'pets'. Buying and selling animals is wrong; one should not be making a profit based on lives. I think it's arrogant of humans to do so, and too many people don't recognise that these animals are, in fact, lives. Especially when it comes to small animals like rodents and fish.
Andy is a marine biologist. He loves aquariums, scuba diving, and all things oceanic. Unlike some marine biologists, he is very uncomfortable with killing the things he's studying. He is especially opposed to killing fish for 'sport'. But he really, really wanted a fishtank. Just after we moved into our old house (probably in February) we found a 3 foot fishtank at a garage sale for $30. He got it.
I'm still very uncomfortable taking part in the buying and selling of live things. I don't like that our consumer dollar goes towards an industry like that. But, that being said, I freakin' love our fish. They aren't merely ornamental in our house--they all have names and personalities. Maybe it's because we don't have a tv, so we spend most evenings sitting on a beanbag in front of the fishtank watching the interactions. I like to think that we've given them as good a home as they'll get anywhere: lots of live plants and wood to swim around in, some friends to socialise with, that sort of thing.
So, that was a big intro. Now, fish move around a lot. They are really hard to take pictures of. But that doesn't stop Andy from trying...
This is Sam (with the pink belly) and Alex. They are blue rams. They were spawning that night, and they were the focus of Andy's photographic attempts. When we got them, they were too small to distinguish their sex, so we gave them uni-sex names. Turns out we had a pair.
Here's Alex again.
Sam's pink belly shows up quite well in this picture. So does their blue undertones. And the reflection of the camera and Andy's fingers.
This is Yang, our female guppy. We got her when we were watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy. She and Shark, one of the male guppies, are having babies soon.
So what are your opinions on living with animals like this? I think it's a different conversation altogether when referring to adoption of cats and dogs. But I know there are other vegans with fishtanks, and surely some with rodents. Have you ever thought about it before?