21 April 2011

Tacoma bar forced to stop weekly goldfish races

Harmon Tap Room, a bar in Tacoma, Washington, was recently contacted by PETA and forced to make changes after it was discovered that the establishment was hosting weekly “goldfish races.” The animal rights organization got word after a video of the cruel act was posted on the bar's Facebook page.

The goldfish races start by placing fish into troughs, and then squirting the poor creatures with water to force them along.

"I guess someone took a video of one that jumped out of the trough and landed on the floor," said bartender Joel Cummings.

An ignorant commenter on the Facebook video stated, “They're f-ing goldfish! Yeah, and they won't remember after five seconds anyway...”

It is a common misconception that the goldfish memory only lasts seconds. In fact, it has been proven that a goldfish’s memory can last over three months. Goldfish also have a nervous system, and therefore feel pain.

With that in mind, these creatures have suffered greatly from the cruelty of humans. Gemma Vaughan, PETA investigator, explained, "We even got some reports of fish being impaled by cocktail straws by patrons and also some reports of fish being swallowed alive."

After many protests and e-mails from PETA, Harmon Tap Room agreed to replace the goldfish races with beer pong.

Vaughan is pleased with the outcome and stated, "They've likely averted a lawsuit or something, because that is a risk."

Shortly following the end of the goldfish races, the bar received a grateful letter of thanks:
On behalf of goldfish, PETA, and all animal advocates everywhere - and most especially myself - I thank you [with] all my heart for promoting beer pong as a replacement for goldfish racing.

Of course, the bar could not manage remorse for the terrible practice, but instead posted on its Facebook, "No more Goldfish Races but $5 for 2 Fish Tacos every Tuesday!"

Julia is a student who has a passion for veganism, animal welfare, and religious studies.

Photo credit: Harmon Tap Room Facebook