Okay, we all know, even if we don’t accept it, that aquariums are where the cool kids hang out, and where all the gossip starts. At least, that’s what three-year-olds think. For a child’s birthday or for a treat they could take out some of their friends or just go to an aquarium, and enjoy watching all the wonders that it holds. But would they fully appreciate and understand the conditions that the animals kept there are in? The animals in zoos and aquariums are well-treated and protected from harsh environments where they could otherwise be eaten or die through natural hardships, but without the experience of this, they could feel out of place in a confined room with only a fake environment surrounding them, although they would probably not know this so much as see this, through constantly watching larger beings going by through the glass.
Fish are put into large tanks, where they can swim about, and are fed at regular intervals, but are constantly disturbed by children rapping on the glass and staring in at them. Is this fair, to take away an animal’s peace and isolation for our own benefit and enjoyment? Some would argue that this is not right, to take away an animal’s natural environment, and to alter them so that they are displayable as if this were their natural habitat. Sceptics to the rights that ‘lesser beings’ could have could say that for the fish it doesn’t matter either way, so long as they simply exist, as humans could be seen as higher beings than the fish.
The companies that run aquariums and establishments of these sorts say that they are doing it for the welfare of the fish, and for scientific research and preservation, but they could also be doing this simply for the profit. Although there are many establishments that hold fish for charity, others could just for the sake of people paying to go through.
On the other hand, it is possible that people could see fish as being generally healthier on regular meals and scheduled clean water changes, as all of these contribute to the animal’s life. There are also no predators, so it is arguable that the fish could be in a better position in an aquarium than what they would have been out in the wild.
Personally, I think that fish should not be kept in aquariums as such, but that there could be some sort of system that enables people to watch the fish in their natural habitat, as it provides the feeling that no animals are being deprived of their instincts or homes, and it is also beneficial for the fish if they are checked-on every-so-often by the workers and naturalists that work there to study the fish in their real habitat.