Rome takes up the plight of goldfish

HBO’s Rome is a violent, bloody place. But today’s Romans are more compassionate. According to a Reuters report, Rome’s city council has just passed a law making it illegal to keep goldfish in those little round, what’s the word, ah yes, goldfish bowls that have been home to generations of the pint-size carp. This is because goldfish bowls make goldfish go blind. “It’s good to do whatever we can for our animals who, in exchange for a little love, fill our existence with their attention,” says council member Monica Cirinna. Yes, I love it when my little goldfish jumps out of his bowl at night and settles in between the missus and me for a good night’s sleep. “The civilization of a city can also be measured by this,” Cirinna told the Italian paper that Reuters lifted the story from. Nice to know someone is looking after the welfare of the little critters. But what about stateside? When I asked Jeeves how many goldfish were kept as pets in the U.S., he responded that some 7 million households keep fish as pets. Let’s assume, conservatively, that half of those homes have goldfish in little goldfish bowls. Three and half million little fishies, all going blind. Where’s that PETA campaign? Oh right, here it is—PETA, too, opposes bowls that give fish “a distorted view of reality.”