Honestly, it's not that we go out of our way to razz San Francisco as the home of nutty ideas. It's just that lately, the city has been making it hard to do otherwise, giving unexpectedly serious consideration to a series of odd proposals: The November ballot measure that would ban male circumcision of children, which isn't expected to pass. The Happy Meal ban, which did pass. And now, the goldfish ban.
Actually, it's not just a goldfish ban. The measure being pushed by San Francisco's Animal Control and Welfare Commission would ban all sales of all pets: kittens, snakes, hamsters, goldfish. Rats!
The ban wouldn't affect animals sold for food, so city residents could still buy a live crab to boil in a pot of water for dinner, just not to keep in an aquarium. Live tilapia to grill, no problem, but a splendidly colored Siamese fighting fish for a fishbowl?
This is a foolish proposal, and the Board of Supervisors should ignore it. Like the ban on free toys with low-nutrition children's meals, the so-called goldfish ban originates from good intentions. It is intended as a blow against inhumane pet operations such as puppy mills. Also, the hope is that people seeking pets would turn instead to rescue societies and animal shelters.