When I was recently researching backyard breeders, I stumbled upon a post by someone going by the name of Ms. Jade, who claims to be an animal lover, proudly calls herself an elitist, and in my opinion, has let her political views lead her astray. I’m posting about this today because a) Even though she’s got an eerie picture of her talking on the phone as her avatar, she hides behind her column and doesn’t leave space for comments, and b) While her post led me through an array of emotions (mostly angry ones), I did feel that she had a few valid points.
It seems that her main concern is with the constitutionality of restrictive breeding laws. She states, “While our agrarian forefathers did not specifically guarantee us the right to own and breed animals, they did guarantee us the right to be treated equally under the law, the right to own property, the right to be free from warrant-less search and seizure of that property, the right to due process and the right to commerce.”
Are pets property? Perhaps classified by the law they are, but do we really see them as such? And even if they are property, was the spirit of the constitution that people should be allowed to profit off of other’s suffering? I though we put an end to slavery in 1865.
Jade states, “Don’t blame the seller for being an opportunist…An uneducated consumer has every right to purchase an inferior product and suffer the consequences. Just as the seller has every right to promote the benefits their product, in order to influence the decisions of the consumer.”
This type of argument seems like it could only come from a sociopath, a person without connection or empathy to other living things. Not everyone is smart; not everyone is well-educated; and pet shop owners are masters of bending the truth. Nevertheless, Jade seems to think that it is okay to take advantage of people.
Here’s where I actually do agree with Ms. Jade, though. She says, “If breed purists and elitists like me are outraged at breeders who turn a profit by selling what we consider to be an inferior product, then we must only blame ourselves for failing to educate the buyers.”
YES! A big part of the problem is that consumers are not educated about how to make good decisions about acquiring a pet. Rescues are working to educate people, shelters are working to educate people; breeders are… Wait, where are the breeders?
You don’t see breeders at town fairs handing out animal welfare information. You don’t see breeders at anti-puppy mill rallies, and you don’t see breeders going on television to address pet store issues. WHERE ARE YOU, BREEDERS?
If responsible breeders and rescuers stood side-by-side to educate people about the right way to acquire a new furry family member, we’d be able to reign in the pet overpopulation problem quickly. So come, breeders, stand beside us, and help us create a better world for our furry friends.
Ms. Jade, if you had space for comments I’d leave you one, as I think you have animal welfare and animal rights confused, but I guess that will just be a post for another day.