Well all I can really say is that the chinese have been known to breed "freaks" of nature. Such as dogs like the Shitzu and Pekingese to name a few. Gold fish are such freaks, but let's not forget that goldfish are meant to be viewed from the TOP and not the side. Don't forget people that the aquarium is a fairly new thing, compared to the goldfish. I myself am a proud owner of bubble eye and pearl scale and calico pearl scale goldfish.
I am an avid fan of goldfish, and I can see the truth in both sides of the argument. I for one love fancy goldfish, and I know for a fact that the hoods on Ranchus and Orandas will NOT cause the fish to starve to death. There are many instances of goldfish going completely blind and living quite happily for a number of years. However, there are some mutations I am not particularly fond of. For instance, I have never been a big fan of the Water Bubble Eye, because the sacs can grow too large and make swimming and feeding difficult, which is cruel. But this does not happen too often, and the majority of these fish lead very comfortable lives. The Celestial is also another question mark, but these fish live quite happily too, so long as there is not any competition for food from single tailed species. In conclusion, I see nothing wrong with fancy goldfish, so long as their genetic mutations do not cause them any suffering (which in most cases they don't). Instead, we should be worrying about the abusive "Goldfish Bowls" and other tortures goldfish are forced to endure because they are "just fish". The real injustices are caused by many of the people who buy goldfish, not those who breed them.
I think that goldfish are beautiful, and am the proud owner of two orandas, two ryukins, one red and white butterfly telescope eye, and one large white comet. The comet does not provide much competition, being the only one there, and one of the smallest goldfish, and for the person who had the blind oranda, an experienced aquarist knows that when cases get too extreme, it can be cut out and removed from the eyes because of lack of nerve cells in the wen... This causes the fish little discomfort if done quickly and carefully enough, and it is done often to show fish for them to keep visibility.
I don´t like this fish, but my Piranhas do! I´ve got two piranha tanks and sometimes feed them this fish. Most of those that I buy can´t even swim normally...just floating around in the tank and end up as food or they get sucked in the filter and can´t get loose because they're so weak...I feel sorry for them!
I think these fancy goldfish are a culmination of all those years of hard, selective breeding. You may think they´re poor, deformed creatures. I think not. Variations such as Lionheads and Orandas command a pretty handsome price and the people who but these fishes treat them like they their kids (if not better)!
Goldfishes are intelligent and responsive! They are wonderful outgoing fishes! A real pleasure to have! Not like timid Piranhas that should not be kept in captivity, for the sake of themselves. OK, the Fancy Goldfish is man made, therefore, far from perfect and most of the times, yes, handicapped. Man has done worse things than Fancy Goldfish, I don't need to mention them. And Goldfish can hold their own very well! Especially with the support and dedication of the serious hobbyist. "Goldfish People" go beyond the rules to make it perfect for their fishes. Are Goldfish "different"? Well, it is already done and we are not going to change it. All we can do is to give them the best making them happy. After all they will be with us for long time, always improving their beauty and style with age! If you don't have Goldfishes you don't know what you are missing!