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Ethics and Cost
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Taratron
Benefactors


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)4:38    Post subject: Ethics and Cost Reply with quote

I'm sure that I'm not the only person to avoid, for the most part, large chain pet stores. I worked at PetsMart for two years, so enough said on that....and PetCo is just disgusting around my area.

That said, I'm curious if anyone who has self-banned themselves from any store finds themself price-shopping there. IE....at my favorite lfs across town, Pets Inc, they get Atyopsis gabonensis in once a year or so (that's the bamboo shrimp/Cameroon armored shrimp), always in RO water, and the shrimp are sold with a price tag of $20. At a nearby PetCo, I can get the same animal in regular tap water for $6. I can walk to the PetCo; Pets Inc is 40 miles one way from my house.

There shouldn't be an issue of ethics if you look at this logically; one store has an item for much less, and the store is closer. But the store is notorious for selling sick animals, for having the most idiotic people working there, for being generally bad to the livestock they keep.

Anyone else have such thoughts? And a way to soothe the conscience if one DOES go the logical route? It's six bucks, I tell myself, but that's six bucks that PetCo can get from me that it probably shouldn't....
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Syno
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Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)4:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with you on Petsmart. We used to have one in Manchester, and it was really poor, many of the fish had ich, and the staff weren't very good, and after I bought some bad fish food from there I complained. That was five years ago, PetSmart shut down, and Pets At Home took over the same store. Now the store is clean, and the fish are healthy, and the staff are fair better, and have knowledge about what their doing, and are far more caring. So I'm pleased with Pets At Home. Smile

However I still am not a fan of Walmart, and I don't even live in the States, but I hear that many bad stories about the chain, it's hard not to be mad. Mad
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Huntress
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Houston TX

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)7:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would get the ones at PetSmart. I have had both good and bad experiences at fish stores and since you know what you are doing you are saving these poor shrimp from the employees stupidity. Smile
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Destany
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)8:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, it's not so much a matter of ethics, more like being a smart consumer. Sorry, but these large petstore chains aren't going to go out of business over little old me. That's just the way it is. They sell other products besides fish, and there are so many people who do buy fish and aquarium supplies from them, my meager 5$ a week isn't going to hurt them at all. But to buy from a store that has a reputation for selling sick fish is just not a smart idea. When you pinch pennies like I do, the bottom line is the ultimate cost. Sure, it may save you money initially, but when you add up the cost of medications, hospital tank supplies, the cost of replacing livestock from the spread of disease, or the fact that you'll probably end up losing the fish more quickly if you buy it from the "sick store" tnan the reputable one, fifteen dollars doesn't seem like an unreasonable investment.
I HAVE however, boycotted stores for giving bad advice. Two of them in my hometown (oddly enough, these are privately owned) I no longer go to because advise was blatantly irresponsible and it ticked me off. I often prefer to go to the larger chains. The employees may not be as knowlegable, but I've never had them intentionally send me off with fish they KNOW are completely wrong for me and my setups for the sole purpose of having me return in a month to buy more.
Or TRY to convince me that these fish which will be far too large can grow to the size of the tank, or that I won't need to do mainenance (NEVER!) if I buy their 400$ filter, or that it's necessary to cycle the tank with fish (more expensive ones, of course) and downright want to ARGUE with me when I disagree!
There's no more private lfs stores in my hometown that I will go to. People aren't just ignorant, they're calculated money makers. But I still have the large chains there, and in my new town, and one private lfs in my new town looks very promising, plus the one two towns over that I've always gotten very good advise from and even sent me off with a free TFH magazine when I first thought about reentering the hobby because they wanted me to know what I was doing before I started.

It really comes down to your personal choices. We all have our own set of morals and what we feel comfortable with. If buying from Petsmart is going to haunt you, then don't do it. But if you can do it and not feel badly, go for it!
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Susan Wright
Regulars


Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Location: Tulsa, Ok

PostPosted: 2005.04.23(Sat)8:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we have 2 petsmarts, 2 petcos and several smaller petshops and fish stores. Both petsmarts here are clean and very good people work in them. When petco opened up near my house (across the street from petsmart. I went in to check it out, look good. A couple of weeks later I went in and what a difference. It was nasty. Even the small animals water was green thick goo. Sad That was about 5 months ago and I didn't go back until this past week as I wanted to see if it had gotten any better. To my surprise all new employees most of which new what they were doing. Store was spotless as were the tanks, cages and everything else. I guess that goes to show, things can change. It also comes down to the manager in how well they run the business.

We have good and bad smaller LFS here. Some I would go to and pay a little extra for some things. Some I have gone into where the owners and staff sounded like they knew some, but the place was so nasty I would just leave.

That shows me that it may not matter how much they know, because a person might know everything they know about it, or nothing at all, but the point is how well they keep the animals and the place clean. The people might not know anything but has enough common sense to keep the cages, tanks and such clean. In my opinion a very unkempt place is a place that harbors all kinds of problems later down the line. It is just like going into a persons house, they might know that a clean house is healthier for everyone concerned but that don't mean that they live by that rule and thier house is one of the filthiest places around. yuk would you want to go for a visit there?

Just one more thing that I want to mention on this. I feel it is up to me to know the needs and such of anything that I buy, even if I am buying something for the first time I should look for any info in the store and not go by what the sales person tells me. I know someone new to fishkeeping might not do this and yes they will get bad advice from the employees there, but so much of the time a newbie is buying on a whim or a gift was given to them, but if they are serious about there new pets they will buy books and come to places like this forum to learn.
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Cory
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Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Location: London

PostPosted: 2005.04.25(Mon)14:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's a question of profits where corporations are concerned, they're not ethical because that would make less money for their shareholders. Do big companies like walmart care about putting local buisiness out of business? No.

Take pharmecutical companies, they're run by some of the most corrupt evil people yet they're responsible for providing life saving drugs to millions. If they wanted to be ethical they'd research and pay for drugs to help with problems such as AIDs in Africa but that would be unprofitable.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.04.25(Mon)15:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cory wrote:
Take pharmecutical companies, they're run by some of the most corrupt evil people
Do you know any high up execs at a pharmaceutical company? I mean know them personally?
I do... to generalize, they are geeks. They relate better to a test tube than people. They hire slick sales and marketing staff to promote the product and that's what the marketers do... promote. Better promotion, more money, more money, more research, more interesting research for the geeks, people get better.

Co-worker was recently sick. Decided it was some virus they had. Someone else told them they need anti-biotics. Co-worker wanted the one you get in that inhaler thing.

(Tula, you cringing at that? )

To characterize the people who run pharmaceutical companies as selfish or evil is to conviently put the blame on "somebody else".
The blame belongs to you and me and every other twit who wants a drug or quick fix.
Shy is now labelled as Social Anxiety Disorder and we are supposed to take drugs to "cure" it...

Who is really to blame? The ones that sell it, or the idjits who swallow the pill?

In regards the shrimp... it burns to spend money on nothing... but ultimately, you have a choice to pay for better care or do without the shrimp! To me, this is all about personal ethics. You can only control yourself.
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benedictj
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Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.25(Mon)17:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to touch off a thing here, DM, but the personalities of corporate heads at pharmaceutical co's has little to do with their responsiblity ethically and legally. However they are interpersonally, as heads of corporations, they are charged to know what is happening with all departments and with whatever contractors they hire. That said, if a company behaves unethically or illegally, the responsiblity for that gaff or illegal act begins at the top.

Additionally, there is a trove of evidence coming out lately that the people who handle the scientific end of things at many of the drug co's have been behaving unethically in their processes as well, sometimes putting the lives of people at risk (Vioxx, Neurontin). (and the bio engineering co's as well).

I agree with you on generalities, but I think you probably agree that Cory might have a point in a very general, current events way. I also agree with you on personal responsiblity and choice (I personally avoid pills and drugs as much as possible), but there is an equal case to made that as corporations, there are certain ethical and legal standards that must be adhered to (as in Neurontin- prescribing a drug designed as a solution to condition A and then turning around and selling it to DOCTORS as a solution to problem B. The only rub being that it isn't a solution to problem B and the costs of the side effects don't balance its worth.) Frankly, of late, a good portion of the corporate end of that equation has not lived up to its end of the bargain.

Anyway, as to the ethical dilemna of how to handle the shrimp, I agree with DM, it is a personal choice based on your own ethics and whether you can reconcile how you act against your ethics. I choose to rarely shop at chains because I do not like the way the operate on many levels. I want to pay bottom dollar for the best quality, but I just don't feel it is worth the other costs.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.04.25(Mon)20:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

benedictj wrote:
Not to touch off a thing here, DM, but the personalities of corporate heads at pharmaceutical co's has little to do with their responsiblity ethically and legally.
lol, too true, that was merely an attempt to put a human face on the namelss corporations. Too often they are conviently labelled "evil mega corps". Depersonalize an enemy and it makes it hard to sympathize.
benedictj wrote:
That said, if a company behaves unethically or illegally, the responsiblity for that gaff or illegal act begins at the top.
Sort of.
The pressure often comes from on high, but micromanaging isn't common in larger corporations. The unethical actions usually begin with justofoed smaller decisions made by us more nameless peons.
benedictj wrote:
Frankly, of late, a good portion of the corporate end of that equation has not lived up to its end of the bargain.
Yup, but to let shareholders off without a scolding is again, the easy way out IMHO.
We can all see the speck in the other guys eye, but no the one in our own.
Selling stock when profits drop isn't unethical right? But it is... we just justify it really really well...
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benedictj
Advisors


Joined: 05 Dec 2004
Location: new york, ny

PostPosted: 2005.04.25(Mon)22:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Discus Man wrote:
Yup, but to let shareholders off without a scolding is again, the easy way out IMHO.
We can all see the speck in the other guys eye, but no the one in our own.
Selling stock when profits drop isn't unethical right? But it is... we just justify it really really well...

Shocked
You're kidding right? it isn't unethical in the least. The stockholder/corporation relationship is entirely fiduciary. There is no ethical responsibility placed upon the stockholder at all. In fact, the holding of the stock is the entirety of the relationship. If the company they invested in preforms poorly for any reason, then the relationship ends. If that puts people out of work, that is the direct result of the poor management of the company, not the guy who sold because of it.
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Jake
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