Is the Marlins' fish tank cruel?
Some animal-welfare advocates say the fish tank at the new ballpark of the Miami Marlins constitutes cruel treatment.
As you have no doubt heard by now, the Miami Marlins' new ballpark features, in addition to this piece of performance art, a fish tank behind home plate. There is not, so far as we know, a high-end waterbed in the bullpen.
Insofar as the fish tank is concerned, though, there's some controversy. Although the tank is temperature-modulated and equipped with shock-absorption materials and bullet- and Gaby Sanchez-proof panes, a local animal-welfare group says the whole thing is tantamount to cruelty.
"I can tell you even if the glass doesn't shatter, it's going to cause a tremendous vibration and disturb and upset the fish," Don Anthony, spokesman for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, recently told the Broward County Times. "No matter how many shock absorbers they build into the system, if there are thousands of fans screaming and jumping during a sporting event it's going to affect the fish in there."
Anthony makes the point that, while kids aren't supposed to tap on the glass of a tank, it's apparently okay for the adults to subject a tank of fish to screaming fans, foul balls, wild pitches, and, on rare occasion, Houston Astros baseball.
"We've taken every precaution," replied Matt Roy, president of Living Color Aquariums, the company that designed and installed the Marlins' tank. "All that we can do is show that over the test of time, these animals are doing just fine."
So what do you think? Should the Marlins have put a fish tank behind home plate?