The Ethics of Isopod Keeping

The Ethics of Isopod Keeping

A very good topic and since everyone has different mindsets, there will probably be opposing beliefs (which is ok). With that being said, my personal beliefs are that as long as you are treating your pets well, and providing them with their needs (which could be attention for some pets), there should be no problem having any legal pet. There could be arguments that all animals should be wild, or they are better off in the wild. I don’t find that to be true. When you see some wild animals, you could see a range of issues. Here are just some examples: untreated illnesses or injuries, hungry, preyed upon, dirty, hosting parasites, etc… I’ve even seen young wild jumping spiders eating one-another in my own backyard. Pet owners typically feel they are providing their animals with a better lifestyle than just survival. That better lifestyle typically means that their pet does not have the survival skills to take on the wild. 

An argument can be made that you and your pet(s) should enjoy each other’s company (a relationship). Though I think having a dog and a cat is not the same relationship, neither is having an isopod (for example). Though pods may not have feelings towards their caretaker(s), when they breed and eat the food offered, it is assumed they enjoy their lifestyle. 

Isopods are considered pests by the US Federal Governement. I believe by giving them a suitable habitat, and not treating them as a pest… I am treating them (as a living being) rather than an infection. Learning about them and respecting them has been a complete joy while providing them with suitable habitats. Those healthy habitats include preventing overstocking (which is harmful to them). In captivity, overstocking can poison the entire colony with ammonia from excess waste and can contribute to cannibalism if food is devoured too quickly.

Ethics in general is the judgement of your behaviors as either right or wrong. Each person should be allowed to weigh their own morals IF they are not harming others. It has been termed as unethical to release captive bred animals into the wild, as their survival experience is limited. When it comes to isopods, they are considered pests and can destroy food supply crops (affecting others greatly). So releasing them is out of the question. If you are struggling with your own moral compass, here are some considerations:

  • Is it wrong of people to treat an isopod as more than just a pest?
  • If your beloved isopod colony becomes overstocked, should you destroy a certain number of them to control the potential hazard to all of them? Or should you find other ways: moving to a larger enclosure, distributing them, etc?
  • Is it wrong for people to learn about anything and share that knowledge?
  • Is it wrong to bring joy to others without being harmful to others?
  • Is it wrong to create a business out of something you find passion for?

When it comes to forming a business, breeding & distributing our healthy isopods has even more to consider (like economics). I personally was born and raised in California, a crowded, expensive, and highly taxed environment. “My habitat” is difficult to thrive in without having things in place to assist these high tax burdens. Mix the economics piece with the desire to learn and teach.

In closing, it is our opinion that if you are not negatively affecting others, than you should weigh your own morals. For us, that means that nurturing and protecting innocent little creatures should not be demonized, and is one of the more admirable traits of humanity! 

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