I continue to read about opposition to anti-puppy mill legislation and two of the common themes from the opposition seem to always include negative views about the Humane Society of the United States and the slippery slope argument.
I keep hammering on this because it keeps coming up. The slippery slope argument is horrible in this case. It’s such a shallow point of debate. Anybody can use it for just about any issue.
– If we have restaurant sanitation grades then the government will soon be coming to your house for inspections, to put sanitation grades on your kitchen and they will stop you from cooking at home.
– If we have to get a license to drive a car, soon the government will require that you have a license to walk on the sidewalk.
– If we try to stop countries like Iran from having nuclear weapons then soon you won’t be able to buy nuclear weapons for your home security system.
The L.A. Unleashed blog on the Los Angeles Times website reports Joe “The Plumber” and others have been politicizing the effort to make life better for dogs housed in puppy mills – reportedly writing on his blog that the Humane Society is “cowardly [sic] hiding behind animal cruelty, lying to our citizens and taking our constitutional rights away — one state at a time.” (Quote is from the L.A. Unleashed blog)
When did forcing animals to live in inhumane conditions or neglecting pets become Constitutional rights? Why are puppy mill breeders being protected from maintaining standards that you or I would be held accountable for – if our pets were found to be living in filth with no opportunity for clean food and water, exercise and vet care?
These are the questions we need to be asking. Why is it that operating a business is an excuse for torturing animals?
Here’s another important test I’d like to present to the AKC and all other breeding organizations and anyone opposed to current trend in anti-puppy mill bills.
When you sell a puppy, would you suggest that the buyer house their new family member in a tiny cage 24/7 or even 22/7 and would you suggest they not take it to the vet at least yearly and would you suggest they feed it dirty food and filthy water? And would you suggest they not allow the puppy any play time or exercise? No – at least I hope not.
In all the bills or ballot measures I’ve read, these are the goals – to set these minimum standards of care – as those laid out in the Missouri measure. All of the proposals are reasonable on a basic, logical level. In fact, in many cases, I’d say the standards don’t go far enough. The only arguments against these bills or this ballot measure go to what is NOT included in the proposals.
And the “I don’t like that law simply because that guy over there with the initials HSUS likes it” is a similar argument to those used by 6-year-old siblings over what to eat for breakfast. These folks need to debate on the facts, not based merely on the list of people and groups who are on the other side. I know it’s easy to do that, but it can’t the basis for your case against legislation.
I’ve found that on occasion celebrities or politician or groups that I don’t always agree will make statements in support of some animal-related topic. I’m not going to drop my support for that issue because of who supports it with me.