Upper East Side Middle-Schoolers Debate Killing and Eating the Class Pet

Fish Tialpia Blue and an ocean underwater
Photo: Sherif A. Wagih/Getty Images

Life is rarely more angsty and stressful and categorically the worst than it is during seventh and eighth grades, when you start getting boobs and texting crushes and arguing with your parents about why they should let you go to the Ariana Grande concert without a chaperone. For students at Ella Baker School on the Upper East Side, you can also add “debating the ethics of killing and eating something you care for” to that long list of stressors.

The students have spent all year taking care of a tank of tilapia, doing everything from feeding them to cleaning their tank to calculating mathematical equations to determine how much dechlorinating liquid should go in the water. Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, they’re debating whether or not to kill the fish and have an end-of-school-year barbecue.

Some students are staunchly opposed to the idea, arguing that you can’t kill something you love, while others say they should be killed, as in many cultures it’s perfectly normal to raise animals to be killed for food. And then there’s this kid.

I don’t want to eat them,” one 12-year-old girl said. “I just want to kill them.”

Nobody get on that girl’s bad side.


NYC Students Mull Killing, Eating Class Pet