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I recently asked a question about storing crickets intended for use as pet food.

I created a , but I'm not certain this is necessary.

My initial thought was that we may see a number of questions on live creatures used for feeding, such as crickets, mice, pinkies, meal worms, rats, etc.. Each of these types of food may have specific requirements for maintenance, storage, or even associated feeding techniques.

Do we want to have tags for each type of food creature? Or perhaps a generic tag for ? Or do these not need tags at all?

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    I don't have a super strong opinion on this one, but if we do go down the route of a unified tag, we can create synonyms where appropriate. The problem is, some of these are also pets... – John Cavan Nov 1 '13 at 15:48
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    I think if I were looking for questions related to my pet mouse and I found a mouse-as-food question on the tag, I'd probably be squicked. Let's not use pet-species tags for that; if we want something like this, a general live-food tag seems more appropriate. – Monica Cellio Nov 1 '13 at 18:39
  • @MonicaCellio Very good point regarding the "squick" factor! Considering some larger snakes may eat rabbits or guinea pigs, we do need to be careful about keeping "food" questions separate from searches on "pet" questions. – Beofett Nov 1 '13 at 19:08
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I think a single tag will meet the need without creating "false positives" for people looking for questions about certain pets (like mice). If we should find ourselves with so many questions in this tag that we want to subdivide, we can look at the data then and figure out what subdivisions make sense.

Edit: This is assuming your question is about its foodly nature. If it's just a question about caring for an animal, and it'd be the same question whether that animal is a pet or incipient dinner, then just use the animal tag -- but in that case, its status as incipient dinner isn't really relevant to the question, so don't focus on that.

  • That's pretty much what I said. – JoshDM Nov 1 '13 at 19:44
  • If someone is keeping animals such as crickets or mice alive at their home and has questions about the care of those animals, the questions are equally valid for everyone, whether the ultimate purpose for keeping those animals is as a companion or as food for another companion. Beofett's question is about crickets, and it should be tagged "crickets." If his question was about his lizard and crickets were incidental to the question, then perhaps you wouldn't use the "crickets" tag. But there is no need to separate out legitimate questions about animals, no matter what the purpose is. – Ben Miller Nov 1 '13 at 20:34
  • @Ben, I don't have animals that eat (or are) live food, so I may be missing something, but I thought the conditions under which you keep, say, a batch of mice for your snake were somewhat different from those under which you keep your pet mice. Am I mistaken? If the question is the same whether the animal is a pet or future food then it should be tagged with the animal tag, but if its status as incipient food matters, then I'd rather not use the animal tag (because animal tags on this site default to pets, not food). – Monica Cellio Nov 1 '13 at 21:00
  • It probably should have a "live-food" tag, but tagging it crickets doesn't hurt. – JoshDM Nov 2 '13 at 1:33
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As @JohnCavan mentioned in his comment, crickets are live animals and can be kept as pets, so I think the tag should stay. In your question about crickets, I realize that you do not consider them as pets, however, your question is about their behavior while alive, so I think the tag is appropriate.

After you created the tag, I suggested an edit to add the tag to this question, and it looks like my edit was rejected. My argument for including the tag on that question is that it also relates to housing crickets while alive (indirectly), but I can see that some would think that the question deals more with feeding the frogs and less on handling crickets (although my answer is about housing the crickets).

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    Your edit was discussed in chat, and the feeling was that adding the new tag I created to other questions should wait until after we've had some meta discussion about whether the tag should remain in general use. – Beofett Nov 1 '13 at 15:55
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While is fine as they are both pets and a live food used for pets, and I can theorize multiple questions about the topic from both points of view, I think there comes a point where having a tag for every type of live food isn't necessary.

That having been said, I think there needs to be a distinction between and theoretical tag because the maintenance of both is distinctly different.

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I think tags for some specific types live food may be appropriate.

As John Cavan pointed out, some of them may be kept as pets, too (pet mice, rats, rabbits, or even crickets aren't that uncommon).

I don't believe we need to get as specific as sub-types of specific food animals (e.g. the various stages of mice such as "pinkies", "fuzzies", etc.). Rather, a single coupled with would be more than sufficient.

, , are all appropriate because they may be kept as food or as pets.

Something like may also be appropriate, should relevant questions be asked.

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