Originally Posted by registereduser
What I mean is they are the same thing. Pay for the fish to rescue it, or get it for free and rescue it. You really aren't hurting the store by getting the fish for free. You hurt the store by never buying ANYTHING from it.
I do not agree that they are the same thing. Look at it this way:
1. Are you improving the living conditions of the animal in both scenarios?
2. Can it be considered a rescue to take an animal out of bad living conditions that threaten its life and placing it into good living conditions?
So what is the difference? In one instance you are saving a fish without financially contributing to a cycle of abuse and/or neglect and in another instance you paying money toward continuing that cycle. You may save one fish life but your money encourages the continuing existence of conditions that will harm other fish lives, not because you want it to but because companies do not care why you purchase an animal just simply that you purchase it.
Let's keep the scenario the same but change what we call the animal. Let's switch "fish" with "puppy."
Puppies from stores do not come from good conditions. Most of the time, they come from puppy mills, which are places that keep dogs in cramped, tiny, living areas where they tend to sit in their own feces and female dogs are constantly impregnated for their whole lives without leaving their cage. These conditions are terrible, correct? Purchasing a puppy that comes from such a terrible place supports the puppy mill financially. Now, you can say that you are "rescuing" the puppy because if nobody purchases it then it could end up in a shelter and put to sleep or that you are "rescuing" it from prior living conditions by providing it with a proper lifestyle.
Now, the puppy mill does not care why you purchase the puppy. It simply sees a product and quickly replaces it. It has profited. It will continue to profit because people will continue to pay, even if they pay with good intentions. Meanwhile, this profit endorses a bad behavior and contributes this behavior to be inflicted on further generations of living creature.
This is why there is a difference. By purchasing betta fish in what we would call a "sympathy purchase" your money contributes to the improper care of betta fish. By getting the fish for free after complaints to management, the store cannot profit and will see this as a lost opportunity. Even a discounted fish due to its conditions is more of a rescue than a full blown purchase--it is a way of reprimanding the store.
However, it should be noted that nothing works unless you follow up and send headquarters a letter. HQ should know WHY and WHEN you rescue a fish, even if your rescue is what we call a sympathy purchase, because then change has a hope of starting. Should you not complain to management and see through for a change, perhaps even refusing to buy products until they do change, then it is a small loss that means little.