I see this all the time, postings saying someone “rescued” a betta from a pet store or department store. Has anyone thought that the main reason they they keep bettas in such small cups and filthy conditions is because people will buy them anyway? Think about it, if no one would buy a fish kept in horrible conditions with illnesses then they probably would stop selling them or take better care of them. My understanding of a rescue is adopting fro a shelter or taking them off someones hands that does not understand how to properly care for them. But if your paying $3.99+ you just buying them. Any thoughts?
That's a good point, but I think it's because they don't want to spend the money to get bigger containers. I know a lot of people that wouldn't buy fish from Walmart because they know that they're probably not in the best of conditions. But for experienced fish keepers, we know how to medicate them properly.
Even though we may be paying money for them (and through that supporting the business) the fact still remains that many of these fish are kept in horrible conditions.
When they are purchased and taken from a filthy, cold cup and put in a roomy, warm, and healthy environment, I would think that counts as a "rescue" regardless of whether money was spent or not.
After all, many rescued animals at shelters also cost money.
Shelters have a fee to help pay for the medical care to get the pets healthy. Also allows them to continue rescuing other animals. There is no profit. What they do is to help animals not make money off of them. So you really cant compare buying a pet from a store and adopting one from a shelter.
I've been thinking the same thing and was considering making a post myself... By buying the bettas you're supporting big companies keeping them in small cups. But people think "rescuing" them helps the cause, when it is actually keeping costs down for the company (small cups, some water).
If you really want to rescue a betta, you should complain to the owner of the store, or employees, about the size of cups and condition the bettas come in. Or only buy from stores that keep their cups clean and take the time to make sure their fish are in reasonable condition.
I am with you New2Betas on the whole rescue stance. Pity is just one big marketing scheme and the problem of poor pet-keeping is really only inflamed by sympathy purchases. Another forum I frequent has a well-established advocacy section in which they strongly discourage people from sympathy purchases and encourage people to legitimately rescue the bettas instead.
Their ground rule is rescue is only rescue if you refuse to pay full price for the betta or demand it for free. Of course, adopting culls or adopting an unwanted pet fish also qualify. Anything other than that is just another betta fallen victim to the market for pity.
I think that what'll happen is nothing will change. The fact is is that us, the ones who truly love our bettas, are in the minority. You see all of the bettas in their racks, and the next time you go, there are less. The fact is, other people are also buying them, people who don't really care if they're in a small cup or not, as long as they're pretty. They're who the big wigs are aiming for, not us. We're just an annoying little group fighting for the rights of a fish, which is probably laughable to them. Their big money comes from the first-time betta keepers, who only want them because they're "easy" and "cheap". Even if WE stop rescuing them, nothing will change except more bettas will die.
That's my opinion.
It sounds to me that you are defending pet shelters. Who is attacking them? Everyone on this board loves animals, big or small. We care about them, and yes. They are fish. Its not only horrible that pet stores believe that they aren't worth care, but don't believe they deserve it. They don't feel that bettas are worth their time. Then its the usual betta owners' attitude. The whole world believes that bettas are just 'fine' in a tiny container. They feed them wrong, keep them wrong, don't treat them for illness even if they know something is wrong. They don't even know or care how to care for them properly. That is why we call them rescued. Because bettas are an animal underappriciated and unknown. Thats why we call them rescued. Because we do.