This is a letter written by a woman named Amy. Permission to cross post has been granted.
The United States was founded under the assumption of liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. To that extent, we are a multicultural country. We have racial cultures, we have religious cultures, we have sports cultures, we have work cultures. We tend to be accepting of other cultures. One neighbor can be a sports fan and a Lutheran, another a jazz fan and a Catholic but they still manage to be neighbors and to accept one another’s cultures.
The culture of the dog hobbyist/fancier is not so lucky. The powerful, rich, and mighty Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have decided that our culture our very lifestyle is unacceptable.
In 2009, over 140 pieces of anti-dog and anti-breeder legislation were introduced in 37 states. The language in all of these bills was remarkably similar. It isn’t by coincidence! It’s the huge, deep, lobbying pockets of HSUS and its ilk.
Wayne Pacella, CEO and President of HSUS, has indicated that he has no problem with eliminating domestic animals: “One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding” (Animal People News, May 1993). HSUS has over $130 million in annual revenue and assets of more than $200 million. Yet less than ½ of one percent of donations goes directly to the hands-on care of animals. Most of the rest of that cash, hard-earned by its donors, goes to six-figure payrolls for staffers, salaries for “social media” personnel who are paid to respond to any and all comments about H$U$, and massive lobbying efforts. In fact, the IRS has been tasked with investigating the 501c3 status of the HSUS based on the tremendous amount of lobbying it performs. Wayne Pacella is an attorney. He is not an animal husbandry expert. He does not even have a pet.
Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA, has said “I don’t use the word 'pet.' I think it’s speciesist language. I prefer 'companion animal.' For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship enjoyment at a distance. Ms. Newkirk advocates militant action and has been arrested more than 20 times. She is an ardent supporter of the Animal Liberation Front, which is listed by the FBI as a terrorist group.
Who are these people to force their anti-animal, vegan culture on us? Why are we letting this one culture, the culture of those who believe animals should have the same rights as humans, legislate what we do or do not do with the dogs (and other animals) that we own? How can we let them dictate our breeding practices? These two leaders, and most of the staff of their organizations, have no experience in animal husbandry or welfare. Yet they have infiltrated the nation through legislation, the media, and yes, even our grade schools, convincing the public that they have the expertise to determine how many dogs a person should own and who should own them and when to breed them.
None of us likes puppy factories. We know they exist. Yet there are already very adequate animal welfare laws and regulations in place in every state. And while there have been instances in which inspectors have dropped the ball, there is no doubt that the laws do exist and adding another layer of bureaucracy certainly will do nothing to improve the manpower shortage that caused the inspectors to drop the ball! It would be much more practical and economical to simply consistently enforce the already existing animal welfare laws.
All of us believe in animal welfare. We provide food, water, shelter, veterinary care, and love to our animals. But do they really have rights? Having rights also entails having responsibilities. Taking responsibility involves having morals. Humans have the right to go shopping but we do not have the right to steal while doing so. Dogs don’t have that morality. If it’s there, and it’s edible, they’ll try to steal it. Dogs understand “safe” and “dangerous” it may be “safe to lay on the rug and drool while Mom is cooking, but it’s “dangerous” to try to steal food off the table but there is no morality about it. Dogs don’t have an understanding of incest. Dogs don’t go to the ballot box and vote. Humans do.
Alas, our counterculture cannot and will not leave us alone. Sporting badges that look remarkably like police badges, HSUS staff takes part in “raids” on dog owners and breeders. Raids! The very word evokes visions of war. Pirates raid ships. Armies raid other countries. The word “raid” invokes a level of criminality to those being raided even if no charges are filed.
There have been well-publicized cases in which reputable breeders have been “raided” and no findings were made, or charges against them were dropped – yet their dogs were seized and in many cases, adopted out, sterilized, or euthanized before the courts had a chance to make their findings. In one case, not only were the dogs confiscated, but so were the owner’s show win photos, title certificates, ribbons, and other mementos. They were not returned.
This is a war. The HSUS and PETA culture have been gathering steam for years, while our culture the dog culture has stood by with our collective heads in the sand. We have accepted the term “puppy mill” to encompass anyone who breeds more than a litter a year. Shame on us. We are supposed to be the experts on breeding. How does one gain expertise if we bow down to the anti-animal culture that says breeding dogs is bad? Why have we allowed this anti-animal culture to grow to its current, tremendously frightening level?
Most people would not dream of forcing a vegan to eat meat. If a religious cult of any type began lobbying in the same manner as HSUS and PETA, attempting to force its culture down the throats of Americans, the hue and cry raised by citizens would be deafening.
It’s time we stood up to the anti-animal culture. It’s time every one of us, whether owner, breeder, or exhibitor, took part in the legislative process that threatens to overrun our very culture.
If you don’t like Fords, buy a Chevy. If you don’t like meat, don’t eat it. If you don’t like dogs, don’t go to a dog show. But leave me and my dogs alone.