Sometimes, I feel like there should be an organized mass awareness campaign on behalf of betta fish. It would be wonderful if a non-profit local animal center or betta group (or something) would be able to have an Aquatic Friends Awareness Day with common myths and facts printed on sheets to be given to customers at pet store chains, such as Petco, PetSmart, and Petland.
Venom actually was being sold with a 0.5g Marina or a 0.8g Marina (Like THIS) and I refused it. I bought him alone, his food and conditioner and put him in my 5g at home. I complained about it but some think those smaller tanks are ok for some bettas. I could never do it.
BetterBetta, that would be wonderful. In order to make change, awareness and education have to come first. People will buy abusive homes for their fish as long as they are unaware that the homes are abusive. People will still view fish as only fish (lesser beings than other pets) as long as they are not aware of their intelligence, personalities, or need of respect as a living thing.
For some reason, creatures of the water are regarded as lesser and unable to feel pain or be aware of the world beyond themselves. I constantly see children at the beach smashing horseshoe crabs who have been turned over or throwing rocks at fish/jellyfish that are in sight. From a small age, people have a disregard to aquatic creatures and grow into adults who view fish as pets that are decorative and easily replaceable. Most people don't know how long a goldfish is supposed to live or that betta fish aren't meant to live in a few inches of water in a cramped place. It is sad.
See the thing is (like MOST pets) pets stores will try to sell you ANYTHING to get those animals out, make money and send you on your way before you clue in.
Like my pet rats. To properly have one you need a pair, a large enough cage (2 sq ft each and min base of 30" by 18"), and proper food and bedding. The rats would be $20, cage $200, food $13/m and $30 for bedding. $263 to bring home a pet rat. No one's going to pay that unless they are researching a new pet and understand proper care. Most people impulse buy at pet stores. Same with Bettas, or anything else you buy. We all know LPS (not LFS) know nothing about the animals they sell. When you get can someone to walk out paying $50 for a rat and a hamster cage, you're making money.
So with impulse buying, get the customer to buy the pet and the minimum basics and get them out the door. If you told someone it cost $20 to take home a Betta, they would. If you told someone it would cost $150, they would laugh and walk out. So they do what gets them money, not whats best for the animal. Thankfully, I researched before I impulse bought my boy haha
I wish more people were aware of research for all animals before taking them home. The only way to stop these improper sales for animals is to have people not give into corporate advertising. its not like they care if the animal lives...people will just buy a new one.