My husband says most people like pet store employees consider them throw away fish. He brings it up when I get irritated about the care of bettas. His reasoning is that they are what parents buy for there kids kinda like goldfish and so people don't really consider them real fish. What I don't get about that is bettas typically cost more per fish than other pet store fish especially when you get into half-moons, king bettas or giants. And they are prettier and have more personality. Also why cramping their beautiful fins up makes no sense. The stigma is going to be hard to overcome.
People come to my house and comment on how they havent ever seen bettas so beautiful. I'm like "they came from Walmart, Petsmart and Petco where you always see them. They just look like crap in the little dingy cup.".