Fish Are Food, Not Friends

Story Sent in by Enrique:

Angela and I went out to dinner at a Chinese place with a fish tank. The moment we walked through the door together, she said, "Oh, those poor fish!"

I replied, "Yep. They're what's for dinner."

It was a poor choice of words, because I heard her gasp behind me just as the hostess approached us. I told the hostess, "Table for two," and I turned to Angela. Her face was pressed to the fish tank and she made a series of whimpers.

"Angela," I said, "Ready for dinner?"

She stood up and said, "Not until these fish are freed."

I said, "They're fish in a fish tank. Did you want to do dinner, or–"

She cut in, "I'm not going to eat a thing until these fish are free. I'm serious. It's unethical. No one asked the fish if they wanted to be here."

She didn't seem to be joking at all. The hostess gave me an impatient look, and I said to Angela, "Don't you own a cat? Did you ask your cat if she wanted to be at your apartment?"

Angela said, "My cat's better off than most people."

I replied, "These fish might be better off than most... er... fish."

She turned, stomped out of the restaurant without a word, but she did flip me off, behind her back, as she left. I wasn't going to do dinner there on my own, so I waited a little while and then took off, myself.

Last I checked, the fish tank was still at that place. I am therefore sad that Angela likely died of starvation.


  1. Were they really 'what's for dinner'? Fish tanks are a pretty common decoration at Chinese food places, but they're usually just there to look pretty. You can't actually order the fish out of them like at a lobster restaurant.

  2. Yep, in many Chinese restaurants you can do exactly that. One of my favourite restaurants had a bank of tanks, with crabs, lobsters and three or four types of fish-the ultimate in 'fresh'!

  3. Same here, Momghoti. I lived in a flat above a more upscale Chinese restaurant and we saw the buckets of live fish being delivered often (we lived on the coast). You couldn't exactly choose them like you might with lobster, but the fresh fish on their menu depended on what they had in the tank.

    1. I wouldn't have thought you could choose them either, but I watched a customer stand there saying 'No, no, not that one--I want *that* one, over by the side' as the employee wielded a net. Kinda funny, really.


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