Bettas at the 99 cent store :(

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midthought

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Yesterday I walked into a new 99 cent and up store that opened very recently in my neighborhood. One of the first things I saw was bettas in tiny tiny cups, maybe a dozen of them, on two shelves near the floor. They took up almost no shelf space and I almost walked right past them. They were all veil tails, and actually really nice looking. Young, vibrant, most of them very active. But the cups were smaller than I'd ever any betta fish in before. The diameters of the cups were barely larger than the fish's actual body -- such that none could fully flare without touching plastic. They were surprisingly active so I assumed they hadn't been there that long. They stirred up all kinds of mess when they responded to being lifted and turned.

It was really sad to see, and that was even before I moved a couple around and saw that one was already dead. A couple were in larger critter container-type plastic boxes with handles, but still only maybe a cup and a half of water. But compared to the others, they had palatial quarters. They were being sold for about 2.50-3.50.

Anyway it just made me sad. I hope they quit carrying them. And I'm rather upset with whoever sold those poor fish to the store as well.
 
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midthought

midthought

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No. I have a few weak reasons: I had frozen things on me and didn't spend that much time in there. It was crowded; employees were either running around or barking orders in Chinese. I will admit that the biggest reason I didn't approach anyone was that I was (am) just convinced that they wouldn't do anything about it. That's why I'm mostly hoping that they learn for themselves and they're not equipped to sell live fish alongside things like cheap school supplies and disposable plates. But as long as they're making some profit from it, I'm rather convinced they'll continue to do so regardless of how cruel it may be to the fish. That's just my feeling. I'll try to go in there when I'm in a more confrontational mood and speak to someone about it.
 

leeishom

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No. I have a few weak reasons: I had frozen things on me and didn't spend that much time in there. It was crowded; employees were either running around or barking orders in Chinese. I will admit that the biggest reason I didn't approach anyone was that I was (am) just convinced that they wouldn't do anything about it. That's why I'm mostly hoping that they learn for themselves and they're not equipped to sell live fish alongside things like cheap school supplies and disposable plates. But as long as they're making some profit from it, I'm rather convinced they'll continue to do so regardless of how cruel it may be to the fish. That's just my feeling. I'll try to go in there when I'm in a more confrontational mood and speak to someone about it.
id rather you use a different approach while explaining a language and expressions; while in your situate, 'barking' does not fully and politically sound appropriate.

ok, the bettas is sold in a chinese establishment. ok, they do not know what to do in terms of maintance for the bettas. we all understand this.

in the name of humanity, humans do not bark.
 

leeishom

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midthought - in case you did not notice.

id rather you use a different approach while explaining a language and expressions; while in your situate, 'barking' does not fully and politically sound appropriate.

ok, the bettas is sold in a chinese establishment. ok, they do not know what to do in terms of maintance for the bettas. we all understand this.

in the name of humanity, humans do not bark.
 

Meenu

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midthought - in case you did not notice.

id rather you use a different approach while explaining a language and expressions; while in your situate, 'barking' does not fully and politically sound appropriate.

ok, the bettas is sold in a chinese establishment. ok, they do not know what to do in terms of maintance for the bettas. we all understand this.

in the name of humanity, humans do not bark.
Hi Leeishom,
You posted this twice. I'm going to stick up for Caroline a bit and just say that "barking orders" is a common phrase. I don't think that she intended her use of it to be offensive.
 
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midthought

midthought

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id rather you use a different approach while explaining a language and expressions; while in your situate, 'barking' does not fully and politically sound appropriate.

ok, the bettas is sold in a chinese establishment. ok, they do not know what to do in terms of maintance for the bettas. we all understand this.

in the name of humanity, humans do not bark.
I don't know what they know about the maintenance of fish in such small tanks. I hadn't considered my language to be offensive, as it wasn't my intention to insult Chinese people or anything like that (I'm ethnic Chinese myself), so I'm sorry that it came across that way. I would have used the term "barked" to describe any language, but I see what you mean.
 

leeishom

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Hi Leeishom,
You posted this twice. I'm going to stick up for Caroline a bit and just say that "barking orders" is a common phrase. I don't think that she intended her use of it to be offensive.
its ok...

there is no right or wrong about an opinion.
 

peacemaker92

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Maybe you could write a letter if you aren't comfortable with the confrontation?
In my opinion, writing a letter wouldn't be so affective as some people as you know in our world today don't like to be wrong. So I'd advise maybe bring a friend along who can support you and back you up when you visit the store.

Do keep us updated, midthought. I feel very sad for this too.
 

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I agree. Most people can easily ignore a letter. Its harder to ignore someone who is stating their case in person.

I concur with your 'weak' argument though midthought: if they are making any money at it, then they will continue regardless of what you say. After all; pet stores should have (in theory anyway) the knowledge of how to care for fish properly. But they choose to sell bettas in cups anyway because it is easier and helps sell more products, regardless of the fate of the fish.
 
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midthought

midthought

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Ultimately, I'd prefer them to stop carrying bettas altogether. I could just make it known them that I just disagree with them carrying live pets and treating them so poorly, but I have doubts about how effective that would be.

Another tack would be to try educating them on why it's cruel and/or how to responsibly take care of their stock. But I feel like if I were to couch advice as "this is how you keep the fish healthier/happier so they last longer so you can sell more of them" it ultimately defeats the original purpose -- to get them out of the game. It sounds cruel to the fish that they have now, but if they lost all their current stock to employee negligence or some kid knocking them all over, they might be discouraged enough to keep them at all. Better put something with a lot less maintenance and a lot longer shelf life in that space instead. Like votive candle holders or more kitchen strainers or something.

I don't know, I thought of all that, couldn't make a decision one way or the other about the approach, and wound up walking out the door with my thawing bloodworms and brine shrimp.

Just one clarification in case anyone's wondering: this is not a chain store as far as I know. There's no "corporate headquarters" or something similar to write to. Any letter would go directly to management of the store, I'm thinking.
 

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A letter they would most likely just throw out. The way it would probably hit them the hardest and make them realise is most likely only through the loss of money as if they keep their livestock in these conditions they clearly don't care about loss of life.

Having said this, there are fish there. They have a right to be saved just as much as the future unlucky fish do.

Maybe if when you spoke to them you highlighted their possible financial losses.
Such as - bettas kept in these conditions grow sickly fast and soon die, for each dead fish you have lost money, for each sickly fish which will not be purchased (cause people can tell) you lose money. To make money off bettas they must be kept alive - to keep them alive and healthy you need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and maintain them.
Maybe then they will realise that cost will outweigh profit. Perhaps they will let you take home a sickly fish free of charge.
Someone has to save the exisiting bettas.

By the way, I have heard plenty of cranky people who can bark, I have even done it. Everyone is capable of barking regardless of race or country. It is simply a expression comparing the tone of voice used to the sound a dog makes.
 
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midthought

midthought

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I absolutely understand the sentiment with regards to the fish they currently have, Fishtroy, I do. I can only liken it to "rescuing" puppies from pet stores that buy from puppy mills. People discourage it because you might save one puppy's life but you ultimately free up a spot in the shop so it can buy another sickly puppy mill dog, thereby enabling the cycle to continue. It's a hard line to stay behind though; it martyrs the animals who are already born and suffering through no fault of their own. I really wonder in this case who the person is who's responsible for putting these bettas in such tiny cups and who thought it would be a good idea to sell live fish to a 99 cent store. (The store does sell one brand of betta pellets and I believe the small plastic containers with the handles, but nothing else in the way of accessories; not even larger bowls, much less water conditioner, meds, etc.)

I will see about talking to the manager when I have some time after exams. With any luck, this whole thing was a pilot program and if I make my opinion known, he might decide it's not worth it. Who knows, right?
 

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Good luck with that.
It's a noble thing to do.
I was at petsmart today and there was a lady getting a betta.
she had conditioner food and a 1.5 gallon tank, so i didn't say anything especially considering the pamphlet says a quart is sufficient.
 
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