Why I Read It: I have owned pets for most of my life.
As a toddling tyke, I kept tiny bugs in plastic cages: crickets and caterpillars and beetles and butterflies.
He has also published several books, including one that bears the title biography also references a stack of prestigious awards he has collected over the course of his career. Bluie’s life and his passing came to involve so many cosmic elements–including the problem of consciousness and the plot line of Hitchcock’s After reading these two sentences, I knew I would finish the essay.
I had to discover how the death of a five-year-old’s goldfish could trigger a bout of acute existential angst.
As I continued to read, I learned that Bluie was actually a betta fish, a placeholder for the goldfish that the Gopniks had originally sought out (hence the title image for this post).
I learned that Olivia’s older brother was as precocious as any ten-year-old boy could be.Our second family dog, a duck toller named Scout, travelled from Minnesota to Massachusetts to live with me and my wife. Considering my history, you would likely assume I have no reservations about pet ownership.She is six years old, but is still mistaken for a puppy by everyone who meets her. You would guess that somewhere down the road when my own kids beg for a gecko or a hamster or a kitten, I’ll acquiesce without a moment’s hesitation. Despite my numerous experiences, most of them net positive, the moral ambiguity of owning another animal and keeping it in captivity frequently gives me pause.I learned that the author’s wife had a little too much integrity to pull off the “old switcheroo.” I learned enough about to understand the reference (maybe a bit too much for a classic I hadn’t seen). From the first paragraph on, “Death of a Fish” is a pleasure to read.Finally, I came to understand why the death of a fish could mean so much. Why YOU Should Read It: If you have ever owned a pet or even considered owning one, this essay is well worth your time. It may come as no shock that a staff writer for is capable of writing well.Being the oldest sibling, I never had the opportunity to feel lonely while growing up.Recently, I moved away from home and for the first time ever I was very alone.And so it was a pleasure to stumble across Adam Gopnik’s “Death of a Fish” this past week (Side note: The article is only available to subscribers, but I read it in ).I wasn’t specifically looking for something to resolve my dilemma. Nevertheless Gopnik’s detailed analysis of his 5-year-old daughter losing her pet fish “Bluie” not only provided me with a compelling answer to the question of pet ownership, but it also raised more challenging questions about consciousness, empathy, and what it really means to be human.The scientific name, or species, for the goldfish is Carassius Auratus. Some goldfish have been known to grow up to 2 feet long and nearly 10 pounds. If you have yours in a fish bowl, don't expect it to get much bigger than a few inches long. The Egg-fish goldfish has a more rounded shape, sort of like an egg. A well kept goldfish in the perfect environment can live for years.One type of goldfish, the bubble eye goldfish, has big bubbly looking eyes that bulge out from its head. There are instances where goldfish have lived over 40 years.