On the left, the lies on the box. On the right, the product itself.
If you’re ever wondering why people think it’s ok to keep bettas and goldfish in bowls, this is a major cause. Companies want to sell overpriced decorative bowls that they churn out en masse, Pet stores gain from this as well. A person spends $40 on a betta “bowl”, gravel, a plant, food, and the fish. The betta dies a slow painful death, they buy a replacement and are told by employees and companies world wide that it was how the betta wanted to live, and they only live up to a year. This repeats over and over and over again. The store makes more money on replacement fish than if they bought a proper set up that would last them 4 years or more.
It has entered our general consciousness that goldfish bowls are right and bettas like small spaces. All of those horrific myths floating around are perpetuated not only by pet stores who know nothing, but by large name brand companies. That is why it’s so hard to convince people it’s wrong. They are told over and over again throughout their lives that it is right.
Elmos goldfish Dorothy on Sesame Street.
Commercials for Petco featuring several goldfish in bowls.
Friends and family who have been told misinformation by pet stores.
The packages themselves, lying to people.
The idea that a goldfish is a good way to teach responsibility.
In fact, almost everyone has had a goldfish as a child. These fish always die when they are little more than babies. A fraction of their adult size, a fraction of their natural lifespan. And yet they are told that is how it goes. Goldfish don’t live very long, goldfish don’t get big, goldfish don’t need a filter. Bettas like small spaces, bettas don’t need a heater, bettas like dirty water. This information is spread over and over and over again when you are a child, then you go out and tell your children and they tell their children.
It’s really difficult to deal with a situation like this. Trying to change an idea so deeply rooted in our society is extraordinarily hard, especially if people realize they are so horribly wrong that means they’ve participated in animal abuse. And that makes them a bad person. This thought makes them defensive, sometimes violently so. People often have extreme reactions when proven wrong.
So please, be persistent, be patient, and above all be calm. I know it is hard, I know it all too well, but the message HAS to get out there. If we work together we can slowly bring this abuse to a stop. Never be afraid to speak out against animal abuse, no matter what the form.
To understand why all of these packages are wrong please read these articles and their sources. The mud puddle myth and goldfish bowl concept must be stopped.