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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

December 22, 2011

Both Sides of the Story

By Patrick Donston


As business people and, especially, as aquatic retailers, we have to make a lot of decisions every day.  Husbandry choices, inventory selection and good business-practice decisions are most of them. For me, I try to justify my choices before making them happen.  Some are not so easy because an argument can be made for both the “do” and the “do not.”

Point, counterpoint
Case in point: Do we have an ethical and moral value not to sell any of the following?

• Painted or tattooed fish
• Pacus, Iridescent sharks, etc., which can outgrow aquariums
• Ribbon eels, Pinnatus bats and coral-eating butterflies that have a low survival rate in captivity.
• Marine sharks

Other questions that can arise include: Should we keep goldfish with tropical fish? (And allow your staff to grant it?) The same can be asked regarding keeping African cichlids with Central/South American cichlids.  Should we have a livestock guarantee policy?  Do we transship or not?

In addition, there are manufacturers and products you may want to promote or decline because of certain principles or workmanship.

David Lass and I have discussed these issues throughout the years, and we thought it would be beneficial—and fun—to present various topics to you from different viewpoints. The two of us will be arguing one side or the other in the coming months.

Please bear in mind that in the next several blogs what you may read will not necessarily be our own personal views.  We’ve decided, in some cases, to argue against our own viewpoint by taking the other side. Our focus is to open up our minds, understand the counterpoint and make constructive critiques of our own choices.

So let’s stir up same controversy and have some fun. And, as always, we look forward to your personal views and comments.

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