There are hundreds of design concepts out there that focus on being eco-friendly. Helping out the environment, in one way or another, is a focus of a lot of people now-a-days. And while many of them focus more on the renewable energy side of things, there are still other concepts created that focus on other aspects that need attention: like water conservation. The Poor Little Fishbowl was designed by Yan Lu, and it’s designed to show people how much water they waste every time they use the sink. But, this sink has a catch.
As you can see in the image, there’s a fishbowl on the top of the sink, with a little Goldfish in there. As the well-crafted image shows, as the person uses the sink, and as water falls from the spout, water is released from the fishbowl above. Where the fish is. Lu designed the Poor Little Fishbowl to show that people waste water, which is an honorable endeavor in of itself. But, PETA doesn’t think that the designer is going about things in the right way.
It should be noted, before we get into the official statement to Lu from PETA, that the fishbowl/sink was designed so that the fish never ran out of water. No matter how much water fell out of that spout, the water would never empty out of the fishbowl, therefore leaving the defenseless fish without its source of life. But, PETA believes that, just by the water rising and falling constantly, that a fish would be endangered. They point out, repeatedly, that fish are smart creatures, and that his concept design is cruel.
Lu’s concept design is just that: a concept. And, while it may have a good idea at its heart, it’s still just a concept and not real. Does it have a chance at becoming real? Perhaps, but just like any other concept design out there, it will probably be a long road before that happens. Below, you’ll find the official statement from PETA.
Dear Mr. Lu [sic];
On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, we appreciate your desire to raise awareness about water conservation, but subjecting a fish to a barren life alone in a tiny bowl that has constantly fluctuating water levels is the wrong way to go. You could make the same point without causing the suffering of an intelligent, sensitive animal by replacing the fish in your “Poor Little Fishbowl Sink” prototypes with a fake one and ensuring that future commercial sales of your product include a fake fish so that buyers won’t be tempted to purchase a real one. With all due respect, to ignore the suffering of an individual who is part of our ecosystem seems to echo the same arrogance that has led us to have a problem in the first place.
Although it may be easy to ignore the fact, fish are smart and curious animals who form complex social relationships, but they are doomed to dull, unfulfilled, and lonely lives when confined to tiny glass bowls. An issue of Fish and Fisheries cited more than 500 research papers proving that fish are intelligent, have impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures, and can use tools. Fish learn by watching what other fish do, and “they are capable of learning quickly,” according to Dr. Chris Glass, director of marine conservation at the Manomet Centre of Conservation Sciences in Massachusetts. People the world over have begun to see fish for the intelligent, social creatures they are and are refusing to condemn them to life in a tiny bowl. In fact, the city of Monza, Italy, recently banned keeping goldfish in bowls because these containers do not even come close to meeting the needs of fish. Subjecting a fish to constantly changing water levels adds to the cruelty, even if the water never entirely runs out–imagine being trapped in a room with constantly shifting oxygen levels.
Environmental education does not require cruelty to animals. Please let us know that you’ll replace the real fish in your sink with a fake one. We would be most appreciative, and so would the fish. Thank you.
Executive Vice President