The Florida Board of Cosmetology has taken a stand against fish pedicures. Now, I know what you may be thinking — fish don’t have feet and even if they did, why would the Cosmetology Board want to prohibit their proper care and grooming? Alas, fish pedicures are something different entirely. They consist of humans sticking their feet into a small pool of water stocked with fish. The fish then eat the dead skin off the humans’ feet. In banning the procedure, Florida joins Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, New Hampshire and others. Apparently, there is some concern over disinfecting the pool.
To my eyes, this story has some interesting subtext. While there is an undeniable grossness factor that might make one instinctively support such a ban, anyone who has ever waded in a pond filled with fish knows that certain fish like feet (and dead skin). The underlying issue here is not that fish eat dead skin but rather that, in this context, eating dead skin is all they can do. The fish live their lives in a small pool, acting as living cuticle nippers in the service of human vanity.
Filed under: animal ethics, animal law, animal welfare Tagged: | animal abuse, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal suffering, animal welfare, cosmetology, fish, fish pedicures, florida, florida board of cosmetology