Goldfish lets owner stroke and hold it in his hand

Bon Shaw has a goldfish that is a genuine pet.

The fish demands Shaw’s attention. When Shaw puts his hand into the aquarium, the goldfish interacts with the hand and even allows Shaw to stroke and hold it in his hand.

Shaw writes:

This little guy just loves to watch me wherever I am in the room, he’ll do anything to get my attention. And when I look at him he flares out his gills and dances from side to side just hoping that I’ll come over to play. If I drop food in the aquarium he’ll ignore it and hope to play. I have to walk away to get him to go find the food which has floated away by then.

We think fish have no expressions, but this goldfish’s face clearly shows pleasure and joy in interacting with Shaw.

Simply remarkable.

Watch this and be amazed:

Did you know that a 2016 study found that archerfish can recognize human faces? In so doing, the study upended a long-standing belief that only “intelligent” creatures like humans and primates have the ability to recognize human faces because of their large and complex brains.

A 2017 study found zebrafish to be social animals in a similar way to humans and other mammals. The researchers discovered that being in a group gives zebrafish a kind of “social buffering” so they are less afraid when confronted by danger. This effect was associated with a distinct pattern of brain activation known to be involved in social buffering in mammals.

The study led the (UK) Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to conclude that fish are sentient animals who form friendships, experience positive emotions and have individual personalities. Dr. Penny Hawkins, head of the RSPCA’s research animals department, told The Independent the study added to the growing body of evidence that fish should not be viewed as lesser animals: “I think if you are going to think it’s okay to eat any animal, then you have to realise what you are doing. You are causing the death of an animal who is sentient, who has experiences, interests.”

I already abstain from eating animal meat. To quote English philospher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation:

The French have already discovered that the blackness of skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of legs, the villosity [hairiness] of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps, the faculty for discourse?…. [T]he question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?…. The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes….

Now I will have to refrain from eating fish as well.

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10 months ago

A loooong time ago we had one, sure didn’t like me -the feeling was mutual.

10 months ago

Dr. E , you mentioned that you don’t eat meat, and will have to stop eating fish now too…..I agree with you, eating animals is the pits. I used to be a vegetarian, but because of health issues I can no longer eat any type of grain or legume, so I am stuck eating fish and poultry. Surely there is no judgement from God, but it doesn’t help when you have to take the life of another of Gods wonderful creature to sustain your own.

10 months ago

That’s amazing that fish act like that!

Emily Summer
Emily Summer
10 months ago

That goldfish is lonely. Get it a companion.