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Man Eats Pet Goldfish Live: Is He Guilty of Animal Cruelty?

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While acknowledging that Cole’s videos are certainly provocative, Thring argues that the RPSCA (the U.K.’s eighth-richest charity) “got Louis Cole wrong” in taking such legal action against him. From watching Cole’s videos and speaking to him a number of times, Thring says that he has “never seen any evidence that he wished to inflict cruelty on any animal”; he points out that “if you accept that it’s moral to eat another creature, then killing it is a necessary part of that process.” If Cole is accused of animal cruelty, should not anyone who eats animals?

What Do You Think About Cole’s “Antics”?

I do think Cole, whatever his original intentions with his Food for Louis videos, is raising some issues of pressing ethical importance. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life and one reason I spurned eating meat was after learning about how livestock and other animals are treated and killed. But while Cole may not intend to inflict cruelty on the tarantulas, leeches and other animals he eats live, who can say they do not experience extreme terror to find themselves being broken, torn apart and who knows what else by his teeth? How dead were they when they went down his esophagus?

Cole’s “antics” in his videos are certainly sensationalistic. If he had just gone about eating spiders and such to answer his friends’ dares but not made all this public (and to the vast audience one can find online), it is arguable that he would never have been served with legal charges by the RPSCA. Surely Cole must have known — as, it can be said, did the artist Andres Serrano with his “Piss Christ” piece (in which a crucifix was placed in a vessel of his own urine) — that his videos are provocative?

Fame and infamy go hand in hand, one can say.

Is Cole guilty of animal cruelty simply by committing the acts he has in his videos? Was he “asking for it” by posting them? Now that he has made his point about the ethical issues of killing and eating animals, should he stop publicizing his “antics” and just stop them, period?

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239 comments

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8:53PM PDT on Mar 22, 2015

Marc, double dares, when the spring smelting season is going on, likely now on the St. Lawrence River, Great Lakes System, with bonfires, smelt & potato fries and booze are mixed, well there are the odd smelt head bitten off or swallowed live.

Barbarian's, NOT. NOR criminals.

Do any of the suppressive's here own a Fly Swatter, mouse trap, use ant OR termite poison?

Bored busy bodies and the large percentage that are angry scares me.

6:09PM PDT on Mar 22, 2015

OK. I confess.... I one, as a 13 year old kid back in 1975, actually ate a live goldfish on a dare. (And an offer of $0.50 cents!) It was a helpless fish. It was in a plastic bag full of water that I also drank. I won the poor victim at a fair by tossing a dime into a fishbowl. After I swallowed it I felt it swimming for a few minutes in my stomach. (Gross!) So yes, I too am guilty of pisciscide. Somehow I got over my guilt and now concern myself with REAL world problems we are having right now.

12:18AM PDT on Mar 22, 2015

Muddied waters. Oh righteous ones, are fish sentient beings? How many people here have fish tanks? Do you ever notice your fish tank population may diminish at times? Did they go to fish heaven?

Do big fish eat little fish ALIVE? Are you floundering in the River of DeNile now?

Do you eat Tofu fish cakes? How many bugs, slugs, lizards, worms, gophers, rabbits, voles, moles are killed by plough, pesticide, herbicide, desiccant, harvesting Soy beans to make your imitation, wanna be fish cakes? Your complicit in maiming, torture, murdering and poisoning wildlife with toxic substances, all for you gluttonous appetites!

Are we having a hypocrisy problem now? A little bit of unjustified judging now. So what if the guy wanted celebrity status? How many here crave celebrity status here with their hundreds of friends on farce book accounts, am I forgetting any others?

Please keep donating to the RSPCA. Could you imagine wasting the police and courts time over swallowing a gold fish?

5:11PM PDT on Mar 21, 2015

Doug D.
"No worse than what fisherman do anywhere.... Got a problem with it? Don't eat meat."

How does that solve anything? The cruelty will still go on whether people eat meat or not.

BTW eating does NOT justify cruel/inhumane acts towards any living being.

1:25AM PDT on Sep 5, 2013

So glad he got in trouble. I just found his channel early this morning, and was outraged. I reported his videos too. I found this site seeing if he got in trouble!

9:12AM PDT on May 28, 2013

disgusting!

5:35PM PDT on Apr 10, 2013

I think that this character who is doing this,is only caring on with it because of the popularity that he gets from his videos,and I read that he was making a living of of this that is not wright by itself,and if not for that he most likely would not be doing it,to all the people watching this you need to get a life worth living,be for you die of boredom.

8:54AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

I assume that all of you that have made negative comments eat NO meat. If you do eat any meat, you are hypocrites. If you do eat no meat, good for you. But, don't force your moral judgement onto someone that doesn't share your belief. Explain your position. If it is accepted, great. If not, don't get hostile about it.

12:41PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10:01AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

thanks for sharing.

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