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Monday, October 1, 2012

A Note To Animal Activists & Advocates

In recent days, we've seen the investigation of the Ohio SPCA into yet another Puppy Mill run by (no surprises) by the Amish. People who care about animals are lauding this as a good thing and it is.  Again, it has thrust the ugly reality of Puppy Mills into the limelight where it belongs.

"Another horrible Puppy Mill!!  We need to get those breeders and shut them down!" cry the animals activists and advocates!

All right, enough. You are all pissing me off.

Stop calling them BREEDERS. 

I'm going to publicly bitch-slap the next person who calls these heathens "breeders."

"Breeding is bad!  Breeders are bad!  Breeders need to regulated!  We need to stop Breeders! There are X millions of animals in shelter because of Breeders!"

By using the term "Breeder", you are being small-minded, defamatory, insulting and plain ignorant. How dare you? Those people are not BREEDERS and every one of you needs to stop using that term.  Call it what it is: Milling. They are Milling (or if you can't seem to use that term....) at the very least it's "farming" companion animals.  Not appealing but there it is.

I'll even coin a new term so you can stop using the word Breeder and eradicate it from your Advocacy Vocabulary.

It is Animal Profiteering. Say it with me, folks.

Animal Profiteering!

Very good! It's a lot more harsh sounding than "breeding", isn't it?

Whether it's Mr. Yoder the puppy miller or Joe Schlabottnik down this street who's looking for a quick buck on his Rottweiler bitch, it's Profiteering. I'll lump them with Mrs. Whitebread who thinks Junior should witness "the miracle of birth." It's not about raising animals for consumption, which technically is Animal Husbandry.

It's all about the pay-off, plain and simple.  It's Profiteering.

Animal Activists think the answer to the appalling over-population of companion animals in shelters all across the country is to Ban Breeding. Great idea in THEORY. We've seen how well that worked with Gun Control and the War On Drugs. It's an extremist knee-jerk reaction that punishes legitimate, caring individuals who truly care about animals, especially pet animals.

Before you go off on your high horse and vilify and abolish all Breeders, think about what you are saying and who exactly you are defaming. Most the Activists and Advocates that I know have no clue.  Many of them are animals lovers, period.  All they can see is that "too many litters of animals, even more animals, the suffering of animal due to overpopulation" is a Bad Thing.  It is. There are too many unwanted animals dying every day. Lest you forget, I too, am an Animal Advocate.

Breeders are not the Activists' or Advocates' problem.

Read that again.

Breeders are not the Activists' or Advocates' problem. They aren't even close to being the cause. I don't care how far down you filter that. "Well, we wouldn't have this problem if Hanice Smith hadn't decided to breed a Bull Terrier litter in 1953." Or 2003. They are not the Enemy! Ninety-nine percent of the time, they are your allies.  The other one percent are neutral.

A Breeder plans their first (or next) litter more carefully than most people plan a pregnancy.  Humans seem to reproduce without careful thought. The Breeder considers health, type, temperament, quality, cost, vet care, the timing and expense of pre- and post-natal care, raising of the babies and whether or not they have more than enough good owners lined up for each and every little one who will be born.  The owner of the stud or female are very fussy about the potential mate. They pick potential owners with the thorough thought that this is a long term relationship. Animal to Owner and Breeder to Owner.  Many breeders turn down potential Owners because they don't want to associate with that person for the next 10-20 years. They are with the new owner throughout that puppy/kitten/foal's lifetime and grieve for each one of their "grandchildren" through ill-health, old age and death. I still hear from the husband of a dog I owned and his wife (the Breeder) is deceased.

Breeders have an overwhelming tendency to police themselves and each other.  I have been advised who to NOT get a dog from on several occasions.

Breeders (often silently) help unwanted animals by fostering, housing, volunteering, transporting, educating and training animals in need. They donate their money, time, expertise and needed items.  They advocate for humane treatment and lobby against breed banning. For example, a Canadian dog Breeder I know campaigns heavily against horse slaughter. More Breeders than I care to mention have raised mix-breed or orphaned babies, giving them to the same love, care and socialization as they would the litter they planned for years.  Breeders often foster and rehabilitate rescued animals, an area of animal advocacy crying daily for more help.

Messers Yoder, Schlabottnik and Mrs. Whitebread don't give two shits about any of that.

So get off your morally high horse and stop calling these profiteers Breeders.  They're not and if you knew just one Breeder of cats, dogs, ferrets, horses (whatever) you would never, ever lump them with Millers or Profiteers.

By the way, I have never (to date) bred a litter.  Nor do I have any intention to do so, as of this date. The only litter I have ever had was a stray cat who showed up pregnant and starving on my doorstep.  Should I ever decide to breed a litter, I will give it far more thought than some human deciding to hatch, believe me.

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