Cosmetic Surgery for a Pet Fish?

If you’ve ever seen a tabloid headline, you already know the rich and famous are known for two things: cosmetic surgery and spending money on extravagant, frivolous purchases. Here’s a new trend that combines those two into one ridiculous movement you really won’t believe.

Some wealthy folks are turning to plastic surgery… for their fish.

Yes, you read that right. Some of the ultra-rich have decided that living well includes buying outrageously overpriced fish then surgically altering them for a more aesthetically pleasing aquarium. Because, hey, nothing says “I have more money than I can ever spend in a lifetime” like altering some of Mother Nature’s creations for fun and to impress your friends and business associates.

(Just a reminder here that this is all true and not satire. Really.)

Apparently, it’s not enough to just get the basic necessities for being a responsible fish owner: a roomy aquarium tank, the best fish tank filter, high-end gourmet fish food, and an environment with natural seaweed and spectacular decor filled with hiding places. Why, it’s only natural to expect designer fish to keep up appearances like a top supermodel, or, you know, like an aging “lingerie model” in a big white house has to keep up appearances for her sugar daddy.

So what kind of fish are going under the knife for these owners? The Asian arowana is apparently the fish du jour of the Chinese elite, with the wealthy spending up to $300,000 for this rare fish on the endangered list. Also known as the Dragon fish, this pricey status symbol will allegedly jump from its tank to warn owners if they are about to engage in a bad business deal or come across other unknown dangers.

What kind of plastic surgery do you do on a fish, you might ask? Requests include eye lifts, fin tucks, and chin jobs according to fish plastic surgeon Eugene Ng. After all, who wants a fish with droopy eyes or fat fins, right? Ng fixes those tired eyes by using a pair of forceps, loosening the tissue behind the fish’s eyes, then shoving the eyeball farther up into the socket. If this sounds cruel, he insists that he’s actually performing a great service for the fishes on his surgical table by slicing and dicing them into a more “beautiful” standard.

“I know some people think it’s cruel to the fish, but really I’m doing it a favor. Because now the fish looks better and its owner will love it even more.”

Do you think they tell trophy wives the same thing before they go under the knife? “But honey, the pain will be worth it because then I will love you more.”

Actually, one Shanghai software entrepreneur has turned his focus to creating the perfect school of fish with six arowana in a large tank that takes up one-third of his living room, rather than pressuring his wife to go under the knife. Some might argue the redeeming value in that.

All kidding aside, subjecting a fish or any animal (including humans) to painful procedures for your own vanity and to show off your wealth is a pretty appalling practice by any reasonable standard. Dear rich people: we know you have plenty of money, but do you really have to engage in cruelty to flaunt it.

Express yourself about the animals