I was amused to read the Pet Connection this morning and see Gina waxing political. She had a nice gloss of non-partisanship all over it, but yo, Gina, I'm so onto you. She's an Obama fangirl, just like me.
She linked to Terrierman, who is competing with me for leader of the Cranky Dog Bloggers for Obama political club. He's currently winning because, as usual, Chat Month is eating my soul, and I'm not free to blog as much as I'd like to. In fact, I just woke up from 13 hours of sleep, the first good night of sleep I've had in more than a week. I'm completely exhausted.
I'm tired of something else, in addition to, you know, sleep deprivation. And it ties in with what Gina was saying.
It's the assumption that people who believe in preserving heritage dog breeds, support the right of people to own, show, and breed dogs, and who want to hold government, including animal control, accountable for its actions on their behalf must also be Republicans.
I'm not. As you have probably previously noticed.
There's also something of an assumption that anyone who fights against mandatory spay/neuter laws will also support a whole host of other things, none of which I do... like the mass commercial breeding of dogs, selling puppies and kittens through third parties, whether brokers, websites, or pet stores, factory farming, or fur ranching.
I not only refuse to get in bed with the Hunte Corporation in order to preserve my right to own intact purebred dogs, but I think the argument that I have to do that is bullshit.
That's because just because I advocate for something, write persuasively about it, and believe it myself, does not mean I think it's a good idea to make it mandatory. I believe in people making up their own minds.
I also believe in speaking mine, and yes, I try to be persuasive when I do. That's my form of advocacy.
I will not sacrifice one right -- the right to speak freely about what I believe -- for another -- the right to preserve the Scottish Deerhound. In fact, with all due respect to my beloved breed, if it's a contest between the two, I'll pick the first.
I understand that some of the people I've stood with in opposition to mandatory spay/neuter laws believe they have to support the sale of puppies in pet stores in order to be "consistent," and in order to have the support of the pet industry for the cause. As I said to one of those people a few nights ago, I sat on the floor once with an Italian greyhound who had spent the 8 years of her life or so in a puppy producing facility. I would call it a puppy mill, even though it may well have been clean, USDA approved, and had its own little team of vets and vet techs supervising everything.
She didn't react when you petted her. She didn't see you when she looked at you. She didn't care about being cuddled or walked, didn't want a toy or even a treat. She wasn't curious, or interested, or aware.
When I looked in her eyes, she was dead.
And that's why I don't care how clean the mill was, and I don't care if a thousand studies say that puppies are just as healthy and loved if they come from a pet store as if they come from a home breeder. Because it's not about the puppies, it's about their mothers.
And their dead eyes.
I believe mandatory spay/neuter harms animals and the people who love them. I believe it's designed to impede pet ownership in furtherance of an anti-pet agenda, not to reduce the number of animals killed in shelters. That's why I fight it.
I believe that the way to change things is through free expression, speech, persuasion, and education, not legislation.
I believe that the only way to shut down puppy mills is to dry up the market, because there's no just way to legislate them out of business without trampling on people's freedoms, and in the end, harming the human/animal bond.
But I believe that as a liberal, and as a dog lover, and as the opponent of the mass commercial production of puppies, and someone who is against the sale of puppies and kittens in pet stores.
And I don't find any of those things a contradiction.