July 17, 2008
Piercing a pet fish sounds sick, right? Many would even consider it to be animal abuse. However, humans have a long history of modifying animals with everything from identification tattoos and brands to cosmetic surgery such as ear cropping, tail docking and toe amputation (or ‘declawing’).
We pierce the ears of cattle to hold fly control and ID tags, and we implant pets with tracking chips. Even anglers give returned fish permanent lip piercings, and that’s without even mentioning the mass imprisonment and killing of animals in the food industry.
Many animal lovers decry the animal body mods shown here as barbaric but, short of turning vegan, when it comes to animal abuse, most of us are involved in far worse treatment being forced on animals than simple piercings.
Still, is piercing a fish acceptable? I spoke to William from Arizona after he sent me pictures of his fish with a labret (a piercing below the bottom lip, just above the chin). The professional piercer said it started as a joke, but “as it looked cool and never affected the goldfish adversely” he left it in. He claims it isn’t immoral and the fish didn’t suffer.
“Goldfish have a 30-second memory. And how many live fish are there out there with hooks stuck in them? At least this one had jewellery!” says William. “The fish seemed unaffected. He ate normally, and the piercing didn’t weigh him down or affect his ballast.”
William used a 5mm labret with a light acrylic end and did the piercing freehand while his apprentice held the fish, which was taken out of the water, then put back straight after. Although the fish is now dead (not because of the piercing – he died when William moved and the tank’s temperature increased), customers loved it. “A few hippies gave me flack,” says William, “but once the lure argument was brought up, they agreed it wasn’t any worse.”
And William has no regrets. In fact, he says he’d pierce a fish again. “As long as it was a fish of substantial size,” he adds. “I’ve been asked to pierce Siamese Fighting Fish, but there’s no way. If I did, though, I’d only charge for the jewelery, not the service.”
Draw your own conclusions. But let me strongly emphasize that I’m not advocating piercing animals. While William’s procedure appears to have been a success, attempting the same procedure on cats, dogs and other animals is likely to end in them gnawing or scratching out the piercing and injuring themselves in the process. If you care about your animals, please consider how a piercing will affect them. If your dog really wanted a piercing, he’d find a way to ask you for one.
Article Via BizarreMag.com