Okay fishblr. Not gonna lie, this subject really
pisses me off frustrates me. So I’m going to skip the censoring here because I’m no longer able to stay calm while discussing this after reading some of the comments and posts on the subject that have been going on in light of the recent discussion.
If you CANNOT speak to the owners of poorly treated fish in a way that caters to the owner’s feelings, you have no business whatsoever addressing the subject.
It. Does. NOT. MATTER what you think about the fish’s owner, or how you feel, or how you think you’re coming off, or how you think that person should handle the things you say. It doesn’t matter even REMOTELY.
What matters is how the owner of that fish responds to you.
I don’t care if you think they need to be responsible and learn how to deal with the real world. I don’t care if they’re being childish and ridiculous. Maybe they are super young. Maybe they have mood disorders or something that gives them a legitimate excuse to be touchy about things and deal with people poorly. Maybe they’re just an idiot.
But you know what?
THAT DOES NOT MATTER. You still have no excuse to be anything but exceptionally gentle and kind and polite with those people.
WHY? Because THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD THAT CAN HELP THAT FISH IS THEIR OWNER. You are talking to them over the INTERNET. So that means your only sway over them is in talking to them and convincing them of your side. Nothing more.
And it doesn’t matter if you are actually being rude or if they just perceive your words as being rude. NO ONE listens to someone that is rude to them, who makes them feel attacked, or, yes, PUBLICLY HUMILIATED.
These people might know better. But more often than not, they don’t. They think they are doing the right thing. They genuinely care about their fish and are doing exactly what whatever random petstore employee told them to do because that’s the best they know. If you politely, gently correct them they might respond positively.
BUT, if you are not polite, they will almost certainly get angry and defensive. They will feel attacked. And their followers, anyone else who doesn’t know better and believes all those fish keeping myths, will come to defend them.
And do you know what that accomplishes? Your husbandry information gets spread, but rather than coming off as a helpful, knowledgeable, and responsible pet owner, you come off as some pretentious ASSHOLE on the internet telling other people what to do. So everyone ignores and discounts your information and the fish stays in its shitty bowl. The fish keeping myths get confirmed in their minds by the massive amount of support they get from the people defending them, rather than dispelled by your post as you intended.
THIS. MENTALITY. IS. TOXIC.
We as a whole, all of fishblr, need to get rid of this. Toss your pride aside. If you are going to try to be an animal advocate, you need to do everything you can for the best of the animal. Which includes sucking it up and catering to the feelings of another human being who is doing wrong by their animals.
If you continue to ignore this, and treat neglected fish’s owners however the hell you want, you are an ASSHOLE. You are actively hurting that fish. You are putting your pride and your beliefs before the needs of the animal. Because yes, all those bettas need space and filters and heaters, but they also need YOU to NOT BE AN ASSHOLE to their OWNERS so that their OWNERS, who have the ACTUAL PHYSICAL CAPACITY to make the necessary changes, can give them all those other things that they need.
This shouldn’t have to be said so many times. But if the need keeps presenting itself, I’ll be that person. I’ll bitch and nag and never post anything again but angry posts if I have to. Because I genuinely care about animals, much more than my pride. So I’ll give up any good standing I have in this community if it means getting it though the heads of those still too stubborn and prideful to do what they need to to actually make a difference in the lives of the animals they want to help.