Can you explain what a domestic mermaid is? Like people keep mermaids in tanks?
I’m glad you asked because this is kind of a weird topic I was trying to work out with my book. I’m still figuring out how exactly I want to address this but this is what I’ve worked out so far.
Domestic mermaids are, like the name implies, mermaid species that were once wild and are now domesticated or “tame.” Wild mermaids (which are a later part of the book) have the average torso size of a human while domestic mermaids are much smaller, ranging from the size of your hand to an arm or slightly longer, but do not grow much larger than that. Domestic mermaids are still just as intelligent as wild mermaids. The only things that set them apart are their size, certain physical characteristics, and their temperament. I discussed the size difference already. Wild mermaids tend to show more fishlike characteristics such as having webbed fingers, different skin coloration, higher scale to skin ratio, etc. Domestic mermaids have more human characteristics such as a more natural skin tone, smaller gills and fins, and no webbed fingers. And their temperament is much more easy-going in comparison to wild mermaids who are more wary or aggressive towards humans.
Domestic mermaids are less like pets and more like companions. I’m thinking of creating a special organization that strictly manages the sale and distribution of mermaids. If someone is thinking of caring for one, they must meet certain criteria to house one. So it’s more like an adoption rather than buying one at the pet store. In other words, not anyone can buy one and stick it in a bowl at home. They can be kept in aquariums, but these must be large enough to provide adequate moving space and mental stimulation. Most of them are kept in ponds or something similar as long as the environment is appropriate (heating, filtration, aeration, etc.). Unlike aquarium fish in real life, in this fictional universe, you can actually ask your mermaid if she needs something and she can answer you, which makes caring for them a lot easier. :p
Then there’s the issue of this practice being inhuman and cruel because mermaids are sentient and intelligent and should not be kept in captivity. So I was also considering making up an organization that opposes the idea of keeping them, kind of like animal rights but with mermaids.
The idea of keeping a sentient creature is kind of weird, and I can definitely see both sides of this idea. But remember that this is all fiction, so I don’t believe any one side is better than the other. I’m mostly making this book so I can illustrate all sorts of different mermaid types, and I need a somewhat adequate classification system. There are 3 categories so far:
Domestic: currently in progress and discussed here
Docile: mermaids that do not mind humans and/or are non-threatening
Deadly: mermaids that can and may eat humans
Thanks for asking! Sorry if I wrote you a novel instead of a simple answer. :p I hope this answers your questions at least. If anyone else has any other questions or comments about the book, please feel free to ask!
Do you have a redbubble? I'd love to have a mermaid tee-shirt and your paintings are so fantastic.
Thanks so much! :D I don’t have a Redbubble, but I have a Society6. Right now I have prints and phone + laptop cases and skins available for purchase, but if there’s enough interest, I can add shirts to the mix. :)