> of course it doesn't have to be. This reinforces Martin's earlier comments
> about why we should be wary of fish as pets becoming trendy, because it will
> inevitably lead to abuses we probably would not have thought of.
I don't particularly care abut bettas which are commercially raised
by the millions. Unless they get released - now there's a scary
thought. All these bettas-in-a-box in the hands of impulse buyers
who wouldn't give it a second thought? But anyway, it's when folks
start harvesting wild animals in job-lots that I get nervous. Like
many reef animals. Now, I hear lots of claims that "I only buy from
wholesalers who don't use poison, etc, yada yada." Like, how
would they know? As if some Caribbean islander who feeds his
family by collecting wild fishes cares. In Florida the reef craze got
so bad that lawmakers had to make it illegal to harvest natural live
rock. Collectors chip steadily away at slowly recovering reef
structures to satisify the endless needs of yuppie "hobbyists" for
live coral. All the while claiming that collecting is not hurting the
reefs. Like hell! Wishful thinking. And now that the independent
LFS's are migrating towards saltwater in droves just to survive, the
pressures are that much greater. I hear a lot of big-box bashing,
but I know from the horse's mouth why PetsMart does not deal in
saltwater. It's not because they don't think they can make money
at it. The decision was made at the highest level because they felt
it was environmentally irresponsible.
So, I say again: In all our efforts to promote public awareness of
natives and so forth, we must be careful what we wish for.
It makes me mad when I go to all the trouble of having Marta cook up about
a hundred drumsticks, and the guy at the Marineland says, "You can't throw
chicken to the dolphins. They eat fish." Sure they eat fish, if that's all
you give them. Man, wise up.
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