Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pet Owner's Rights: The Puppy Mill Label

The first right that a pet owner has is to be treated like a human being who has rights, just like it says in the Constitution.

There are negative rights and positive rights. A negative right is like the right NOT to be raided and treated like a convicted rapist. A positive right is to the right to be treated with the respect that is due any citizen and that we generally extend to non-citizens because respectable and respectful people do this as a matter of course. This respectful treatment is part of a good and respectful person.

There is a word that begins with "n" and ends with the loss of a 30 year career as a radio personality. I was tempted to use it to jolt people a little in this essay. Probably not all that much wrong with it if I do it right, but it would be distracting. The fact is that this word and other labels have been used with destructive effect. Every time that it has been used this way, the person who used it was wrong. This kind of labeling is used exclusively to push bad ideas, inspire unjust violence, and even to incite the killing of innocent people. And it works. It always seems to work.

The use of the "puppy mill" label has been debunked so many times and so many ways that we're actually reinforcing its use. It's kind of like saying "I'm not a faggot." This is something that the bullier already knows. The purpose of the use of that label, as most people already know, is to put a mark on someone and to demonize and demoralize. They know it hurts so they keep on doing it. I have proposed defusing the label by telling people that yes, mills are good, factories are good, puppies are good, so the use of the term "puppy mill" as a derogatory term is simply silly.

The HSUS depends on the repeated, malicious, and stupid use of the term "puppy mill" because it already knows that it cannot present a reasoned argument for restricting the number of animals that a breeder is legally allowed to own or breed. Did we learn nothing from the oppression of Jews or black people? Maybe if we don't remember the derogatory terms used against Jews and blacks we won't remember the lessons of history. Maybe I should spell out the "n" word to tell people that the anti-breeding political groups use the term "puppy mill" to call people "niggers." You and I both know what that word means when used by a white man. It means "think of these people as dirt under your feet and ignore their humanity."

It also means "do something mean and stupid to these people." So, no, I don't want to use that word, or the term "puppy mill" because doing so makes me look like a stupid jerk who just wants to hurt people.

I'm surprised that I even have to argue that dog breeders are good people.

Also, because Nathan Winograd insists on using the term "puppy mill" I cannot believe in him or his program. There is a huge difference between believing in humane treatment at commercial breeders and pet stores and using terms like "puppy mill" against them. It makes me feel like Winograd isn't all there.

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