Fish Aren’t Throwaway Animals

Amelia Westfall, Staff Reporter

A common element of fairs and carnivals are the fish that are kept in the small plastic bags and given away as prizes. You may see this and be reminded of a childhood memory or a movie you saw years ago, but in reality, this represents the inhumane treatment that pet fish face. So many people look at the size of fish, and they believe that because they are so small, the don’t deserve proper treatment. This ideology is dangerous since a fish is as important as any other pet, such as a dog. Just because a life is small, it doesn’t excuse or justify mistreatment.

Fish happen to be one of the most high maintenance pets you can own. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own one, but it’s important to meet the guidelines needed for your fish to live a prosperous life. Fish shouldn’t suffocate in “cages” that are way too small for their health. One betta fish needs at least a five gallon tank (although at least ten gallons would be for the best). This is a stark contrast to not only the little fish bowls that seems to represent pet fish, but also the terrible conditions that pet stores keep their fish in. They shouldn’t be kept in a place that is too cold or too hot or has temperatures that fluctuate. Bettas eat the amount of food that is the size of their eyeball, so feed them accordingly. It best to not overfeed or underfeed your pets. Bettas are also carnivores, so to give them the good life, feed them bloodworms or fruit flies. Fish pellets should not be fed to bettas everyday.

A betta fish represents the high maintenance care that pet fish needs and deserves. It’s important to strive to give your pets the best life they could possibly have, otherwise you shouldn’t have a pet. If you lack the motivation or money to care properly for a pet, regardless how small said pet is, it is unfair to attempt to care for them. It is always important to remember that animals are living, breathing creatures, and they should be treated with just as much respect and esteem as humans.