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Re: Fish grow to the size of the tank?

Subject: Re: Fish grow to the size of the tank?
by longhairedgit on 3/2/2008 11:50:42

Im pretty obsessive about the things I love, worked in animal rescue from quite young, was priviledged by travelling parents and was part raised in africa, worked in the trade, and zoos,, have a few animal sciences qualifications, and I speed read. Photographic memory for the things I like.

All of which lead to a personal kind of mission to use crossover knowledge and collate everything I learn, and make it relevant to things I face daily,it was something I used to do unconsciously, but a few years ago I sort of turned it into a kind of personal calling to find out the truth seperate wheat from chaff, and try to help others, hopefully using a spot of integrity. It just got to a point where I knew enough to see the system behind it all, an understanding of nature, biological systems, tempered with knowledge of behaviour. Sort of a minature epiphany. Now it just kinda rolls off the top of my head. Guess I just found a way to use my memory more efficiently.

What fuels it of course is an insatiable want of learning,fish are by no means my only discipline, but its where much of the fascination I have with the natural world happens to be. Much about fishkeeping hold the mechanisms of ecosystems entire in its scope of understanding. I felt it was necessary to learn it. I just have this urge to protect what I find beautiful, and in particular I find most tropical ecosystems to be among the most beautiful and complex things imaginable.

It all crystallized for me after I found a life in capitalist pursuits (and indeed dealing with the fatuous and pointless nature of humanity)ultimately unsatisfying and disappointing enough to actually give me severe depression. Since then my focus shifted, and quite literally saved my life, the existence of wild and captive animals is actually my genuine reason for living, and my abilities as a fishkeeper actually an incidental part of a process of observation that shows me what is important in life. In a way I owe nature wonders not only my life , but my sanity, obviously therefore, I feel compelled to repay that debt. That extrapolates into me wanting to make as many fish and other creatures as happy as possible with their lot in life. To do that I have know my onions.

I find it one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done, and though it pays not a single bill, there is more value in doing this, and helping people to look after fish, than in anything else I have ever done previously. Though you can meet many fine folks along the way, which is always an unexpected bonus, I do it not to help people directly, but to help their fish.

I guess thats as close to an explanation as I can muster as to how I know what I know. To some its a hobby, to others its a pet in an unemotional way,some are what I would call caring fishkeepers, but to me its the first love of my life, a window into a world of absolute reality, absolute truth that millions of people have quite unwittingly distanced themselves from. In a sense, for someone who does not and can probably never follow an orthodox faith, its my religion.

Besides when there are so many people in the world exploiting animals, someone has to be around to counter. If people dont take it upon themselves to do it, then no-one will. To counter, you have to know your stuff. If you want people to see truth, you have to show them the truth, and that means knowing the truth. I think people always surround themselves with pets because there is something primal about us that deeply misses nature when we live closeted in business and social lives of little meaning, and someties what lives in an aquarium or vivarium is a little piece of nature we keep to remind ourselves. Rather than allow that process to be dehumanised still further with overconsumptive and incosiderate care, I think people do have to be there to advise against a hobbys worst excesses, and to tell people how to put nature back into the aquaria for fish that have been forced to give up so much of their freedom for our benefit. Everything about what I do is stopping captive life from necessarily being a miserable life, and making it a hobby wherein the keeper gives something back to their pets, a price worth paying for the joy they give us in return.

You can only know how to do that if you know nature, if you know animals. Machines and people of lacking empathy cant look after animals adequately in my book. Therfore every fishkeeper as part of being a fishkeeper should really aspire to knowing as much as possible about their pets, therefore the better able to guarantee that their lives are genuinely happy and productive ones.

When an animal is removed from nature to live within your aquarium, you become god to that creature. It lives and dies at your whim, and as a result of your abilities, that is responsibility of pet ownership. It has always been my perspective that the responsibility of pet care is quite something to be lived up to, a stretch for most people inclusive of myself, and I try as much as possible to live up to that challenge, and look after my charges with a degree of wisdom. Cant do that without learning anything.

In a sense I am merely a reaction to the creatures I surround myself with. Thats why I try to educate people to at least my standard whenever possible, and try to encourage them to go well beyond that.