Advertisement To me, this is absolutely a hobby. I'm not sure what else I'd call it. These aren't pets - pets can show affection towards you and recognize you. Hell, you're not even really supposed to be touching these creatures. That puts them on the same playing ground as fish. I collect them for my own enjoyment. Different colors, attitudes, lifestyles, and other quirks. In the same way someone collects art, I collect tarantulas. Certainly a hobby to me until someone gives me a better word for it.