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Fancy Goldfish & Ethics?

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What do you think or say when someone says the breeding of Fancy Goldfish is unethical and cruel? Ive heard a lot people say this due to Fancies being prone to SBD and such but I don't see why some think its unethical to breed these beauties of art.

 

What do you think?

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The same thing goes for dogs and cats, well any animal really. I'm kind of torn on the situation. I see how it can be thought of as mean, not necessarily cruel, since there is a possibility of them having issues down the line, but I also see it as beauty. Having them grow to their full potential of the breed.

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" All domestic animals were bred with traits that people could call 'unethical.' I personally believe that they are beautiful creatures and I will continue to keep them. Thank you for your opinion, though." and I leave it at that.

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For me, beauty and art isn't enough to justify our interference with nature.

My opinion and thoughts on this matter aren't fully resolved, I need to think about it more, but I do know that I will never buy another fancy (or any other animal, but that's a different issue).

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I think about this too.  Like Ajnk17 said, cats (like Persians with their breathing problems) and dogs (like pugs and bulldogs with their breathing and other health issues) were all bread for a specific reason.  I think about the fact that they are restricted, compared to most other breeds, because they can't breathe as well, they can't run as fast, and they are prone to health problems.  Dogs are happy, resilient, and make the best of every situation, but I can't help but wonder if they're uncomfortable in their own bodies.  I know if I had the same physical traits as a human, I would be uncomfortable all the time.  And I think about that for goldfish as well, with the Ranchu's contorted spine, and the SBD that comes with compacted bodies.  I think since we have domesticated animals, and since we are breeding them, that the health of the animal and the personality of the animal should be more important than the looks/color/conformation of the animal.  But, it's a money making industry, and breeders must produce what people want.  And I wonder about the fact that I can be adding to the problem.  As long as people are wanting to buy Persians, Pugs, Bulldogs, and Fancy Goldfish, then they will continue to be bred.

 

Maybe I'm selfish to keep them just for my own happiness...

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Any breeder worth anything (goldfish, dog, cat) well still breed for the special features but do their best to improve the line for health.  Unfortunately we have to many breeders that only care about the bottom dollar and just breed to make money. So that slows the process down a lot.

I for one wont give up my Chihuahua's, fancy goldfish or what have you but I do try to stay away from the extreams like the tiny tiny chi's ect..... My next chi well have the deer head.  Less teeth problems that way.

Edited by Hidr

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I agree Hidr.  I also try to stay away from the extremes when it comes to dogs.  Unfortunately, my favorite goldfish are ranchu's and the compacted high back short tailed ryukins... :(

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For me I love fancies but I'm not a massive fan of really really extreme body types. But I also feel people are going to keep breeding them no matter what. It would be great if every breeder tried to breed for the healthiest fish but that's not going to happen either. So no matter what fish I buy, however fancy or extreme its body type is...or how simple..I will endeavor to give them the best care that I can and give them a long as life as possible, and if it comes to it end their suffering if they develop problems that are just too much to live with.

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It would be great if every breeder tried to breed for the healthiest fish but that's not going to happen either. 

 

Exactly, because in that case we'd pretty much only have long bodied goldfish.

 

I do find it very sad though when you see videos of goldfish with extremely deep bodies, and these fish are barely even able to raise off of the bottom of their setups, and just bob through the water like an uncoordinated drunk person rather than happily swimming. Really makes me wonder about the quality of life in those cases.

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This is just my opinion and I'm not judging anyone for theirs but I do think it is unethical to manipulatively breed and sell fish that are not 100% healthy. I have/had 2 fish from a well known breeder. I had to put one down due to severe swim bladder issues and the other one, while I very much like its color, shape, and fins, it is still unable to keep the leading spine of its dorsal fin upright, so it looks like it is clamped almost all the time. These fish should not have been sold to the public. I have also lost a young Oranda to bacterial infection. I lartially blame this on a weak immune system in the fish due to all the manipulation, and i have another Oranda that likes to flip over after eating. Yeah, I might be overfeeding it a little... Anyway, I think once my fancies allnpass, I will be moving on to another type of fish that is less prone to issues. It is frustrating and sometimes saddening to see my fish struggling and I'd rather not deal with it as often as I have to.

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I have really mixed feelings about this; I really admire some of the different types that have been developed, & aspire to one day keeping some crown pearlscales (& pearlscales are arguably one of the more heavily modified types), maybe a few moor/telescopes; but I can see how even minor modification does affect the fish. I have 2 common goldfish, a very long finned comet (with a slightly modified body & definite "waist" compared to the commons), & a shubunkin with a slightly "fancy" style body, big stiff dorsal fin, longer stiffer lower fins, & long tail that's not as flexible on the upper & lower edges . The comet seems relatively unaffected - if anything, he's a lot faster than the commons, although somewhat more prone to fin damage (those draperies). He can't do that "ripple thing" with his dorsal that the commons do, though. The shubunkin does not swim as well as the others - he's slower & more awkward with his less flexible body & longer, stiffer fins - if the others get into one of their post-water change, rolling rough & tumble chase sprees that can go on for hours, he's OK if he stays on the periphery, but if they all chase him, I have to break out the colander to rest & isolate him until they're done because he can't take the kind of exertion that they can. Now, I did have a moor about 25 years ago, & I always remember him as being real lively, but he was a single fish, so no interactions. There do seem to be a lot of swim bladder & related issues with fancies; I do see lots of pics & videos of other peoples' fancies that look very bright & healthy, though. Not sure what the answers are here.

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I think its unethical, but I find a little comfort in knowing that most of the people here compensate for it by taking good care of their fish; not like the snots I have next-door who get a new feeder goldfish every two months because their old one inevitably dies :\ Right now, they're on goldfish #3, but I have some new-found optimism because I just saw them pull up the driveway with a 20 gallon tank the other day.

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I think this is a really complex topic and definitely worth thinking about and discussing, although I think each individual has to decide for him or herself where he or she will draw the line and what feels correct for him or her.

 

Animal ethics is actually a really big topic in humanities today, in critical theory, anthropology, sociology etc. I think one of the major conclusions has been that no matter how people love and value their animals, animals tend ultimately to be subordinated to the interests of humans. The most important standard for distinguishing a "good" animal from a "bad" animal is whether or not that animal works in the best interests of humans. For example, a good dog is generally one who coexists well with humans, is loyal to his owners and doesn't do things that inconvenience or hurt humans (ie. chew up your rug, eat your dinner, bite someone).  Even if we try to be conscientious about this and really think about the interests of our pets (like by buying huge tanks for our fish or keeping our cats entertained with lots of space and toys) the moment there is a major conflict of interest (i.e. my landlord won't let me keep a big fish tank, or the cat keeps shredding my furniture) in the vast majority of cases, the interests of the human trump the interests of the animal and the animal either is made to suffer on behalf of human interests or is abandoned. 

 

I'm not saying this to pass judgement on anyone or imply that everyone prioritizes themselves over their pet; but this is a greater social reality, a consequence of the system of animal domestication whereby the fates of the animals are completely in the hands of humans who have interests, desires and constraints that don't always neatly align with the interests of animals. Some people choose not to keep pets of any kind in hopes that by doing so they decrease the demand for them and reduce the instances of animal suffering due to conflicting human interests. Others (like me) choose to keep only pets who would otherwise be discarded and have no home, although of course by doing this I still end up buying pet products and supporting consumer demand that keeps the pet industry going. Others have decided that it's okay to keep pets as long as you do your best to give them a high quality of life, which I think is very respectable. And then, of course there are a lot of people (like me formerly) who keep pets without really thinking about it at all and often end up unwittingly contributing to the suffering of animals.  

 

I think the issue of whether to keep pets that have been genetically altered over time to live shorter or harder lives is just another subset of this decision. You could decide not to keep them in order to theoretically decrease the demand for these types of pets and discourage their production. Or you could decide only to buy from specific sources who you know are taking the quality of life of the fish seriously.  Or you could decide not to buy from breeders and pet stores and only keep ones who would otherwise be abandoned. You could also decide to keep them but give them the highest quality of life possible, as many here have decided to do. I think ultimately it's a very personal decision. As long as you've reflected on it and are comfortable with your stance, then I don't think you have to be too concerned with what others have to say about it. The truth is, the actions of one person aren't going to fix this larger, societal problem, so you just have to do what feels right to you.

 

Sorry for being so long-winded. That's just my two cents.

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In short pets are not disable.  

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You just have to go with your own feelings! To each his own!

 

My 30cents is the only goldfish that looks like an actual fish! But I love Orandas....they wouldn't last a minute in the "real world" AND I am thrilled that "so far" my Black Moor seems fine (I have trouble keeping them for some odd reason).

 

If a type of fish bothers you don't get one (Bubble Eyes kinda creep me out.....while others adore them!!)

 

I think VERY FEW pets in the Pet Trade look like their original ancestors.

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