Sometimes you have to let people make their own mistakes. (And sometimes the betta bowl is just the "open door" to further discoveries about how best to care for a betta.) Educating fellow customers about proper betta care is appropriate, if you have the nerve, but it can often come across as patronizing and even shrill. Know the limits of your own people-skills, or the whole episode/encounter will appear bizarre. Also, the pet store proprietors probably want to sell the betta bowls they have on hand. They might resent your discouragement of other customers' purchases. You could have a talk with the poprietor of City Farmers and mention the elderly couple and your impression that bettas require a different sort of set-up. If nothing else, such a conversation might be an opportunity to learn about City Farmers' own philosophy of betta care. But it may turn out even better, and you may convince them there is a better way. I'm sure they will appreciate that you felt some misgivings about approaching those people in the store, and refrained from intervention. It sounds as though the pet store is doing so much right, that it may be worthwhile airing your concerns to them--to partner with them in whatever capacity they will permit. Activism comes in many different levels of intensity. Trust your inner "meter" about whether situations feel right, and give yourself credit, already, for having done the right thing. Next time the opportunity arises, you may have a clearer--or different--sense of how to react. You might just start a polite conversation and mention your own love of these fishes, and see where it goes from there.
Last edited by ZubinBetta; 07-14-2012 at 06:25 PM.
Reason: close parenthesis