Should a Vegan have a pedicure with Garra Rufa Fish?

I was guilt-tripped into having a pedicure where you plunge your feet into a tank of warm water with tiny fish in that eat away at dead skin.
I have been filled with guilt ever since. I had many questions while mey feet were being eaten away and the assistant told me how the fish are farmed and not taken from the wild. She did not tell me how the fish are fed, if the tanks are cleaned etc..
I feel quite mis-guided. All the time my feet were in the tank there were a few fish at the bottom, not moving.
Since the event I have read that the fish are actually vegetarian. I feel sick that I have used a small fish like this, for vanity. When people give me meat, I say NO. So why couldn’t I say NO to the pedicure.
Only one person knew I was vegan there and she told me the fish like the dead skin otherwise they wouldn’t eat.
I am so confused. Please can someone explain the process for these pedicures and whether, as a committed Vegan (for my love of animals, my will to end their suffering, my desire to save the environment and for my own health), have I made a mistake?

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4 thoughts on “Should a Vegan have a pedicure with Garra Rufa Fish?

  1. The United Kingdom Health Protection Agency are currently looking at the risks to humans. There is the risk that a blood borne viruses, such as HIV or hepatitis, may enter the water through broken skin from one customer and then infect another. Several states in the USA, and provinces in Canada, have banned use of the fish on safety grounds.

    These fish live in barren conditions, devoid of the challenges and interest of their natural environment.

  2. 1. Well apparently the fish themselves prefer a vegetarian diet and in the wild will only nibble on dead skin when they lack alternative plant food, and I also wonder about chemical residues they might encounter like soaps and foot creams and their affect of their fishy health
    2. Unless the tanks are very big, that sloshing cause by placing your feet in their tank has got to be stressful

    I really could find much online but it does not sound like a good deal for these fish, though out of all the wrongness in the world this probably isn’t worth losing too much sleep over… these fish might be being exploited, but thinking about it their conditions are likely comparable to those the average pet goldfish is kept under.

    I wouldn’t go back though.

  3. If the fish eat your skin then they are not vegetarian…

    I would avoid it because, as you said, you don’t know exactly where the fish come from or what their living conditions are.

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