04-10-2009, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by watts300
You have to admit, though, that fish intelligence isn't also as high as other four-legged pets. Animals that act on instinct alone are looked down upon. I'm not sure that's a horrible thing, it's just human nature.
Insects act on instinct, also. They look for food and mates, just like fish, rather exclusively. If we had the same sentiment towards bugs as fish, our homes would be over run with vermin.
Cats and dogs not only seek life's essentials, they also desire love and companionship. They all want to be petted, have friends, and they don't like to be disciplined or punished.
Some might say that their fish are highly intelligent. Maybe their behavior is habit and ritualistic? (not the people) Who knows. I'm not "siding" with places that don't care about the critters they sell, because I have pets, too. I have a cat and I sure enjoy my fish. I guess I'm just playing the devil's advocate.
Except that there are plenty of fish who demonstrate many of the very characteristics you ascribe to four legged animals.
Most of my fish have learned to associate my presence with food. My guppies, who once wouldn't come near me, will now eat out of my hand. My RTBS, who spent her first month with me hiding any time I came on the side of the room with the QT tank, now happily accepts my presence near the tank without much complaint. My betta spent all his time hiding when I got close to the tank now I actually have to physically move him away from the other fish's food to keep him from munching it all. If they were 100% instinctual they would still all run like they did when first introduced.
Ask someone with an oscar if their fish is any less of a pet than a dog or cat, or any less interactive.
I would argue that the affection or friendship dogs seek in people is instinctual. They're pack animals, and without any other dogs around they will gravitate towards the other creature who is there for them. My cories seek out the companionship of their own kind. They spend most of their time close by, even resting right next to one another.
I'm not trying to denegrate cats, dogs, or other creatures we keep as pets but people tend to over credit things they like and under credit those they don't.