Re: NANFA-- biological bombs detonating everywhere

Thu, 3 Aug 2000 08:37:18 -0500

There really is no easy answer. Past history has shown that people do not
do a good job of policing themselves, if they did we wouldn't have speed
limits. Passing laws to protect people and animals that cannot protect
themselves is exactly what laws should be used for. I don't want to see us
saddled with BS laws either and there really are few laws that are truly
enforceable anyways. So how do you "protect and serve" without taking away
the freedom of choice? The fact is that we are not really a free society.
Granted we have many more freedoms then most, but still our lives are
governed by many laws, from local, state and federal agencies. I don't
think it's asking too much for those laws to make sense and do what they
should have been designed to do in the first place, protect what can't
protect itself. The problem is that we tend to put off enacting laws until
the problem is so bad that we must take drastic measures or we get some
extreme knee-jerk reaction. I guess I'm of the opinion that an ounce of
prevention is worth a ton of cure. I'd be willing to live with smaller less
restrictive laws now, then see the environment destroyed and have to live
with the stricter laws (and other consequences) that will be enforced


The only problem with this is that in a free society such a law would be
unenforceable. I remember reading in a book about keeping snakes (which was
written in the UK) about laws forbidding keepers from feeding live rodents
snakes. Actually it is better to feed pre-killed prey - more humane and
for the snake becuase less risk of being injured by a mouse or rat bite-
yet as
the book stated - no self respecting keeper is going to let his snake
starve if
it insists on only live prey - law or no law.

The reason we have so many idiotic laws and regulations that flat out defy
sense is because every time an new issue comes up the bills start flying in
legislatures and elected officials often are pressured to placate various
opposed to keeping things and never hear from responsible hobbyists. So
what you
get are half assed attempts to cover all possibilities and an ever
multitude of regulations - so prolific that even the people charged with
enforcing them often times don't even understand them or even know them at
The end result of all that is lots of obscure rules that no one knows about
unless they embark on a vigorous research effort, widespread cynicism
caused by
rules that defy common sense and ultimately eroding respect for the idea of

The issue of people owning exotic fish and other pets is alot like gun (or
car ownership). You have a constant struggle between those who uphold such
and those who would contest them for the sake of the greater good. The
Naders of the world are out to create a perfect and risk free society at
any cost
- the ultimate cost is individual freedom and possibly the loss of
inovations that might make life better or even save lives not to mention
solutions to social and environmental problems that might never be realized
in a
top-down authoritarian system.

Clean air and water and biological diversity are quality of life issues.
But so
is individual freedom. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Plus the
to prosper by one's own efforts. If people do not own their own
they are little more than serfs or property of the State.

I hope we will never come to this.
Down through history a lot of people died to overturn feudal systems and
defending against those who thought they had the master plan for how the
ought to be run. I think it is possible to have responsible ownership of
fish and
other pets without turning the US into another Singapore.
Otherwise known as the country that outlawed chewing gum becuase a few
individuals were sticking in places where they shouldn't.


/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,