Saturday, August 21, 2004

Thoughts on Puppy Mills and Factory Farms

I was talking to a friend in an email the other day about PIJAC (Pet Industry Joint Advisory Counil) which is a lobbying group for pet stores) and puppy mills and Snookums and the PEI Humane Society (among other things) and I thought it was interesting enough - to me anyway!! - to put here.

> Yeah, the sad thing is that Snookums is not breaking any laws. That's the
> real problem...

But my question is - how can they be a thorn in the sides of the PEI Humane Society if they're passing their inspections? Their website (Snookums website) makes it sound like the PEI Humane Society and the Department of Agriculture gets along well with them and they pass with flying colours. I went to the PEI Humane Society's website and there is
absolutely nothing there about puppy mill brokers or puppy mills and
what they're trying to do to stop them - even though they have the
largest one in the Maritimes in their jurisdiction! Now that to me is

Snookums isn't breaking any laws because they're treating the animals
like any other piece of livestock - that's how all animals are treated
that are used as commodity's. It's just that for some reason we're
demanding that cats and dogs need to be treated differently than cows
or pigs. THAT'S the REAL problem, as far as I'm concerned - as far as
treatment of the animals before sale is concerned. It's such a huge
thing with so many ramifications and so much cultural bullshit and so
much political bullshit and so much money tied into it - and people
can't afford to think about it TOO much because they WOULD start
having to think about the cows and pigs and chickens. And what would
we do then?

Now that's a predicament!


That's the email I sent and to me that's SO true - for some reason we're demanding that cats and dogs must be treated differently because they sleep in our beds - we don't eat them.

It's just like "dolphin friendly" tuna. Have you ever thought about that? Really thought about it? Why is the dolphin so special? I suppose you could say it's because the dolphin is just wasted in it's death - or is it because it's got a cute face and we associate it with the tv show "Flipper"?

There's been recent press about some inhumane treatment of chickens down in the States at a processing plant. You wouldn't BELIEVE the way they kill - or attempt to - kill chickens. It really is unbelievable. From a humane point of view chickens are the worst treated animal on this planet. Forget about puppy mills. If you want to do anything to stop a little bit of suffering - cut down you consumption of chicken.

I have a friend who makes fun of me because I DO eat meat. Even though I have a big vegetarian section on my website. But I keep telling him that I've never said I was a vegetarian - I don't think on my website I say I'm a vegetarian either. But I'll have to go check that. I say that my meat eating is karma based. It takes a long time to eat a cow whereas scallops or shrimp is one sentient being per bite. I feed the dogs the same way - they eat beef almost exclusively. With as little chicken and pig as possible. Because our bodies become the graveyards of the animals we eat. But to me eating a dog is the same as eating a cow - it's the exact same thing - you're eating another sentient being. So a puppy mill and a factory farm are also the exact same thing, and equally reprehensible. And equally hard to get rid of in our current culture. There's too much demand for both.

And until we start having more compassion for one (the cows and the pigs and the chickens) we won't have compassion for the other (the dogs and cats) - and we won't be able to help any of them. I don't imagine we'll see it in my lifetime anyway. Which is good for me because I love rescue dogs and there's never a shortage of those around!

Life is all about suffering. Unfortunately.

But I would like to say one other thing about this - the method that all animals are killed can be changed without costing too much extra money - and sometimes the method that they are killed is done because of culture - like in parts of Korea dogs are killed slowly because it's believed that the enzymes made makes the meat extra tasty. That really is super wrong by anyone's standards. It's one thing to eat any kind of meat in any kind of circumstance - and then in chicken factories the chickens are supposed to be stunned before their heads are chopped off but depending on the speed of the conveyer belt alot of them get missed - that's a quality control problem. These are things that are fightable. And these are things we can change. To stop at least a bit of the suffering along the way.

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