Parroting PeTA

Here’s an e-mail I got today from a horse and dog rescuer (Help A Horse Organization) who is rather miffed at my “Buy From a Breeder” rhetoric. I think she missed the point. She also failed to appreciate the elements of my post that were sarcastic and parroting the PeTA rhetoric, despite my caveat at the end of the post; this is perhaps because she is a parrot for PeTA herself.

The sad thing about Parrots is that they sound like they are rational and intelligent, but they have no idea what they’re really saying since they don’t have to think about it. They just mimic. That’s the beauty of mantras and why they are so popular by groups that control and influence the masses (religions, political parties, governments, advertisers, schools, social clubs, militias, guilds, unions, etc.): they are easy to repeat and require little or no thought.

I haven’t been to a church service in years, but I can still recite almost the entire mass. And really, when you’re saying the Pledge of Allegiance, singing the National Anthem, or saying a prayer, are you really thinking about the words? When was the last time you analyzed the words of your favorite song on the radio, if ever?

Since this affords me a golden opportunity to rebut an actual argument instead of summarizing my perception of an opponent’s argument, my responses are interspersed with the Rescuer’s letter:

Hello. I have a few comments about your post: Buy From a Breeder, Never Adopt

That was sick and horrible and disgusting! You can’t just put all shelters and rescues in one category and label it “DISGRACEFUL”. Do you know how many dogs and cats are rescued?

I am not a victim of employing the some-all fallacy where the qualities of a subset of a group are applied to every member of that group. I don’t believe that ALL rescues are poorly run by incompetent boobs, nor do I believe that ALL shelters are disgraceful. If a shelter does the stupid and irresponsible things that I am criticizing, then my venom applies to them. If they do not, then it does not. It’s rather simple, really.

I think you are failing to realize that my post is mocking the tone and rhetoric of PeTA’s advertisement. I believe everything I say in my post, but it’s not the “whole truth” it is simply my observations that tip PeTA’s absolutist message on its head. I answered absolutism with absolutism. Between the two, my absolutism is better.

And yes, every time you buy from a breeder a shelter dog/cat DOES die. YOU could’ve saved that dog/cat from being euthanized, but you DIDN’T, so now that dog/cat must suffer.

This is an example of the zero-sum fallacy and the fallacy of a false dilemma. You are mistaken if you think that the market for animals is so fixed that to buy an animal leads to another one’s death. It is not a zero-sum game and to suggest such is banal, asinine, and jejune.

Since you live in a zero-sum world, let me inform you of what an evil and vile person you are in hopes that you will kill yourself so that someone better can be born.

The clothes you are hoarding now in your closets and chest-of-drawers could be used to clothe the needy. Your vanity and greed is keeping hundreds of people cold and naked. Every shoe you wear means someone is without protection for their feet. You torture people with your greed.

Every breath you take is a breath that is stolen from someone else who deserves it more, especially new born babies struggling for their first bit of air. Every breath you take kills a newborn baby who is denied that oxygen. That makes you a baby killer.

There are starving children in Africa. Every mouthful of food you eat is nutrition that you are denying them. Every time you swallow, you kill a child in Africa. You sicko.

Drought and famine killed thousands of people today due to lack of drinkable water for people, livestock, and crops. When you brushed your teeth, you wasted water that could have saved a cow. That cow is now dead because you wasted its water. When you flushed the toilet, you polluted enough water to meet the needs of an adult man. He’s dead now and his wife and children will soon follow. You killed him. The shower you took sealed the rest of the family’s fate. The water you wasted could have given them sustenance, but they won’t survive the night for lack of that water. You are a serial killer now.

The reality of your zero-sum world really sucks for you, doesn’t it. Do the right thing, die so that others more deserving may live. Your wardrobe could clothe hundreds, your wasted breath could allow thousands to live, the food and water you consume is directly leading to a genocide of starving and parched people the world over. The scales of justice has you one one side and hundreds of thousands of people on the other. How do you sleep at night knowing that your very existence is a modern holocaust?

If you are so concerned about the shelter conditions, maybe YOU should rescue. Obviously you know nothing about animals and you want the animals to die. They only kill the animals because THERE ARE TOO MANY! Hello? Have you heard of the overpopulation problem?

You are now applying an ad hominem tu quoque fallacy. The pitiful situation kill shelters find themselves in now has no bearing on my participation or lack thereof. Just like you shift the blame for killing from the shelters who do it (they are not forced!) to nameless “bad owners, breeders, and pet stores” you are now trying to shift the burden of your failures on to me.

My primary concern does not lie in shelter conditions but in the condition of the dogs themselves. The failure of the shelter system is not my concern, not supporting the further failures is. Trying to shift the burden of proof on to me is ridiculous. So is your thought that if I went and saved an animal right now that it would make the shelter system any better. It would not.

I don’t want animals to die. Rather the opposite, I just bred my dogs. This strongly suggests that I want animals to live. I also found all the puppies I didn’t keep excellent homes and I have a contract that demands that I will take back the animals at any time for any reason if the new owners’ situations change. My dogs will never end up in a shelter for any lack of effort on my part.

There are not too many animals. There is no overpopulation problem. Every single animal in a shelter could be adopted tomorrow and they wouldn’t even fill HALF of the demand for pets. Haven’t you heard of the MYTH of the overpopulation problem?

The only people who want animals to die are shelter workers. They are the only ones killing the animals, they are the only ones demanding their deaths. Who else is demanding and rationalizing killing those animals? NO ONE.

If you don’t want them dead, just stop killing them. No one has to kill them. If you don’t kill them, no one else has to. If your cages in your shelter are full, do a better job at finding homes. If more pets come in than you’re capable of finding homes for, turn those people away, it’s better than killing animals to make room.

Why don’t you tell everyone dropping an animal off that you only have a 40% chance of finding a home, so 3 out of 5 times their pet is just going to be killed. Maybe that will get them to be better owners and keep their pet instead of leaving it in your killing hands.

And you are supporting the people who are making the shelters kill their animals.

No one is “making” shelters kill their animals. No one. There’s no law that says that shelters have to kill their animals to make room for new ones, and hardly any shelters are full anyway. If shelters are full despite really effective efforts to find homes, then there need to be more shelters built, not more animals killed. I doubt, though, that if there are full shelters, that it’s because of too many animals coming in, it’s most likely too few going out.

If breeders didn’t exist, then there would be a good amount of domesticated animals in this world, then MAYBE we wouldn’t have to kill them all.

Your hypothetical is really stupid. Shelters don’t create dogs, they recycle them. If there are no dogs made in the first place, there would be none to recycle.

If breeders didn’t exist there would be no domesticated animals in this world at all. Dogs as we know them would last one more doggy generation (10-15 years) and then all of the current breeding stock would be dead and all the animals from shelters would be incapable of breeding (as they are spayed and neutered). Then what?

Sure, in the very short term all the shelters would be empty, but so would most of the homes who want a pet. No more dogs, no more cats, no more horses.

Shelters and rescue play NO PART at all in the preservation of breeds. They play NO PART at all in creating healthy, well adjusted pets. Shelters and rescues don’t create, they just recycle. You are the used car salesmen of the dog world. You don’t appreciate the engineering or the art that goes into making the car, you don’t innovate, you don’t perfect, you don’t preserve, you simply want to get as many of them off your lot as possible.

Used cars are great, but buying used doesn’t reward the car maker for building a better, safer, cleaner, faster, quieter, more stylish, harder working machine. Buying new does. Buying used saves that great machine from going to waste, so it is virtue to buy used, but it’s also a virtue to buy new.

Breeders, and only breeders, are the caring people who work to create better, safer, cleaner, faster, quieter, more stylish, and harder working dogs. That is a virtue.

How dare you say that shelters and rescues have poor animals. You don’t know anything about shelters or rescues. The animals there aren’t disgusting and they aren’t unwanted, simply unlucky and dumped at shelters by uneducated or desperate people that have no other place to put their animals.

You should not confuse my words with the words of Nathan Winograd. He is an expert on shelters and rescue. Neither he nor I said anything about the shelters and rescues having “poor (quality)” or “disgusting” animals. If the animals are poor, it’s because they’ve ended up in the hands of incompetent killers. And the animals aren’t disgusting (although I’ve read enough about dirty shelters to argue otherwise) the PEOPLE who run kill shelters are disgusting. Their defeatism is disgusting. Their ineptitude is disgusting. Their philosophy is disgusting. Their mass slaughter of animals is disgusting.

But let me make some new statements that are sure to piss you off.

Shelters and rescues do have poor animals. Many are damaged goods, ruined by poor breeding and poor training by inconsiderate people. Shelters claim that such animals were “abused” but mostly it’s just poor training and lack of socialization. Those kinds of animals are not appropriate for all owners, and some people don’t care to make the additional investment in fixing those problems. Bless the people who do, but being dishonest about the POTENTIAL problems associated with used animals is dangerous.

Shelters will claim that their animals are just as good as animals you can buy from a breeder. Perhaps some are. There are perfectly good animals in shelters and there are horrible animals from breeders, the quality offered by all shelters and all breeders certainly overlaps. But you are a fool if you think that the new market and the used market are exactly or substantially the same. There ARE trade offs and there ARE concerns for buying new and buying used.

Denying so is irresponsible.

Go volunteer at a shelter, go see those wonderful faces that must perish due to the irresponsible and responsible breeders in this world. Go volunteer at a rescue, go see the amazing animals that were actually given a second chance. Breeders don’t care about the overpopulation problem- if they did they wouldn’t be breeding more.

Your first bit is an appeal to emotion fallacy. It makes no difference how wonderful or cute or lovey the animals in a shelter are. That in no way justifies or excuses the killing that inept shelters carry out.

Shelters and Rescues give animals a second change. Great. Breeders give them their FIRST chance. Great. I appreciate the good work of No Kill shelters and Breed Rescues. Your inability to appreciate the good work of breeders makes you petty and unreasonable.

You don’t know anything about shelter or rescue animals. Honestly, your post was just as bad as saying “Don’t rescue a horse from an auction, because then you are supporting slaughterhouses.” Are you even aware of how they kill animals in slaughterhouses? If not, watch this video and see.

How animals are killed has no relation to my post. Your observation about horses is a non sequitur fallacy and an appeal to pity fallacy. I have no problem with animals being killed for a good purpose. A nice cut of prime rib, a leather sofa, Elmer’s glue, medical research, scrambled eggs, McNuggets, safer shampoo, a nice pair of shoes, a warm coat are all good purposes, in my opinion. Inept shelter management is not a good purpose.

If you are at a shelter awaiting death, wouldn’t YOU want someone to come and rescue you? Or would you rather die for no good reason? GOOD people save animals from these situations. And by supporting your rescue, or shelter you are giving them donations so that they can HELP more animals.

This is again an appeal to emotion, pity, ad hominem tu quoque and a hand full of other fallacies. You’re displacing the needs and innocence of the animals in shelters with the ethics of the shelter itself. If I were a dog in a shelter I wouldn’t want the stupid shelter people to kill me just to “make room” even though there were plenty of empty cages. I wouldn’t want them to kill me because they failed to do enough to get me adopted. I wouldn’t want them to kill me because they have the misguided notion that dogs of a certain color don’t get adopted fast enough to justify keeping them alive for a little bit longer.

GOOD people run No-Kill shelters. I support No Kill shelters. I made a donation to my local No-Kill shelter for each of the dogs I sold in the name of their new owners and I donated a brand new printer to a local breed rescue to assist in their self promotion efforts (they do a photos with Santa fund raiser–brilliant idea–so I gave them a brand new color photo printer because they needed one) on behalf of the two puppies I kept.

Don’t blame the shelters, they have too many animals because of your breeders. They don’t have room in lots of shelters. They are overcrowded.

If shelters have too many animals they should build more shelters (god knows HSUS, PeTA, and the ASPCA have plenty of money to do so!) or turn animals away. If they don’t turn animals away they are not allowing for the demand for new shelters to be met.

Breeders are not the reason for too many animals. The vast majority of animals are turned in because their owners are stupid and have human problems like moving, landlord issues, and lack of funds. Breeders aren’t filling shelters. If that were the case, the majority of shelter dogs would be purebred, puppies, and all those “breeders” would quickly go out of business because it’s very expensive to breed dogs the right way and you don’t make any money if you simply abandon your puppies in a shelter.

If you’re a good Breeder people are willing to pay you good money for your good puppies because they’re worth it. Good Breeders also find good homes for their dogs, and avoid selling to people who are likely to fall into the human failings that lead to the vast majority of dogs in shelters. And the best Breeders will take their dogs back. I screened all my buyers heavily, turned away four and five buyers per puppy that didn’t fit my ideal home, and I will always take my dogs back for any reason at any time and guarantee and demand such in my contract.

The puppies that do end up in shelter are not the product of breeders, they are the product of stupid people who have OOOPS! litters between dogs that should not have ever been bred and who are likely not the same breed, with no health testing, no training, and no demonstrated merit, born to owners who are so inept that they can’t cull the unwanted puppies or find homes for them themselves.

Your post was really unreasonable and it shows me that you are uneducated about the whole breeding topic. You don’t know anything about animals, and your post surely shows it.

Next time, try to stay away from breeding posts, because you don’t know enough about it to have an opinion on the subject. I hope you do your research next time.

Help A Horse
Love an Animal. Make a Friend.

Between the two of us, it is you who are clearly uninformed. You obviously haven’t read Nathan Winograd’s book, Redemption, and since it’s all about your supposed area of expertise, I’d say that makes you look rather foolish and poorly read.

You clearly don’t know that shelters don’t have to kill. For any reason. Yet they do.

You clearly haven’t heard about the No-Kill movement that is revolutionizing the way people treat animals.

You clearly haven’t taken any time to appreciate where all those wonderful dogs and cats and horses came from and continue to come from. Kill shelters did not create the Arabian or the Paint Horse, kill shelters did not make the Labrador Retriever or the Siamese. Breeders did.

You are like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, all heart and no brain. At least that character strived to find a brain… but you, well, you’re just a straw man, much like your arguments for why you find the need to kill animals and lash out against those who say you should stop.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.