If you want to propose affection to your sweetie in Oklahoma City, just don't say it with a fish. The slippery subject of fish tattooing hit the metro recently, when police officers visited wholesale supplier Quality Pets, 1501 S. Agnew, after someone complained a fish the place sold to a local shop had "I love you" tattooed on it, according to The Oklahoman.
"Police determined that (owner Donnie) Fleming's tattooed fish, along with several thousand dollars worth of other artificially colored fish in his store, violated city ordinance," the Oke reported. "They confiscated and euthanized the fish, Fleming said."
Despite scientific debates on whether fish feel pain, animal proponents say tattooing or dying a fish is just plain cruel. (Chicken-Fried News intern Bucky is wondering about how the fish felt when they were euthanized, too, but hey "¦ ) The City Council should vote Tuesday on amending a city law that bans artificial coloring of animals, to allow dyed, but not tattooed, fish, the Oke reported.
Fleming, who told the newspaper he sells $120,000 worth of the artificially colored fish annually, sensed some irony in the situation:
"We're promoting taking a minnow, putting a hook in its back, floating it in the water for a predator to come eat it," he said. "Yet coloring a fish, putting it in an aquarium, protecting it from predators and feeding it every day is considered cruel."
Ethics aside, here at CFN, we're still debating how, exactly, one colors a fish. In an online feature on the topic, Brit mag Practical Fishkeeping reports previous techniques have involved injecting paint or dye using a hypodermic needle (yikes!) " and that such fish have been on the market since the Eighties.
Recently, intricate patterns " everything from individual highlighted scales to Asian characters and personal messages (like "I love you") " have showed up, apparently possible via lasers. Far East suppliers have been mum about their techniques, though, according to the story. If only fish could talk.