Fish Crimes

July 14, 2005

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I think I killed something yesterday.  It’s not dead yet, but I think that final process has started.  My four year old daughter has a blue Beta fish named (of course) Dori – because after Finding Nemo all blue fish are Dori.  She hasn’t really had a huge interest in the fish, she just knows it’s always there swimming in an old mason jar on our kitchen counter.  Sometimes she asks to feed it, most of the time Dori is left to her own devices to survive.

My husband and I have nicknamed this fish the Turbo fish – because the amount of torture, neglect and trauma that has been inflicted on this fish in our household is monumental – and Dori has bounced back from it all.

But, I’m not sure Dori’s gonna make it this time.  And the guilt is setting in.

See, I knew Dori needed her water cleaned and that she hadn’t been consistently fed in a while – and I didn’t do anything to help her.  At one point, I consciously didn’t feed her because I was so sick of the fish I thought it might be better for everyone (the tortured fish included) if Dori “went back to the ocean” (nice euphemism, huh?).

But guilt and some inkling of humanism got the best of me last night and I cleaned her jar and gave her new food because I didn’t want to have to have the “Death Talk” with my daughter.  Unfortunately, I think I’m going to have to anyways.  Dori’s looking bad and I think has one fin in the grave.

The problem now is that Dori is still alive and I find myself wrestling with the euthanasia decision over this fish.  If she’s dying, I should end it now – she’s suffered enough.  But because of her superpower ability to recover, I’m not sure if I should – I could be ending her life unnecessarily.

The philosophical types will think this would have some impact on my decision to have a living will.  It doesn’t.  To be clear, the will stays in effect, I cheer capital punishment and Terry Sciavo got the raw end of the deal.  This is a $2 fish, let’s keep some perspective. 

Keep Dori in your thoughts until an answer becomes clear.

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