i totally agree with you. i get told that often, whenever one of my babies is ill, or has fin issues, or has died. "it's just a stupid fish". not to me. it was a unique soul, a being that i cared for and loved. it was my child, my baby. it wasn't just a fish to me.
when Weiss died, i was told that. i wanted to rip the head off anyone who told me that. Weiss wasn't "just a fish". he was my little prince, my baby. i felt horrible, because i didn't know what was making him ill. i cried every time he'd wiggle at me, because i knew it drained him to do so. when he finally passed, it took me over a week to type up a long "RIP" entry on him, because i couldn't belive my little white prince was gone. my family told me "it's just a fish", and i glared at them.
when i opened a package i thought contained a trio of red cherry shrimp, a divider, and a small ball of java moss, i was shocked to see a little bitty betta fry, hiding in the moss, looking up at me with those big eyes. i cried out of joy and surprise. my friend had given me a gift, and i guarded her like a wolf guards its pup. he was my princess(though at the time i didn't know her gender), and watched her grow up, from the speck that lived in the moss, to the stunning HMPK princess she is today. every few days, i'd take photos, documenting her growth. when i saw her bitty ventrils, i was excited and estatic. when she got that stunning green sheen on her creamy body, i jumped for joy. when i was able to tell her gender, words can't express how happy i was to have Chappy Belle. to many, she may be just a fish, but to me, she's a child i've raised from a month-old baby, to the five or six month old princess i have today.
people can tell me "why cry over it? it's just a fish." but i'll always correct them. "he/she wasn't 'just a fish' to me. he/she was my baby. how'd you like it, if i told you 'why cry? it's just a dog.' when your dog dies?".