Friday, November 4, 2011

21st Century Witch Hunt

We Americans are living in a state of moral panic. The general consensus is that PUPPY MILLS are a major problem today. Animal rights groups have whipped up a frenzy of hysteria against the perceived proliferation of abusive breeders. Ostensibly, they must be on every corner!
Oprah has produced a television expose to uncover "puppy mills". There was another recent feature called "Madonna of the Mills" intended to raise awareness on the issue, in case anyone might have missed the Gospel According to St. Oprah. The Oprah show also presented the president of the HSUS as a presumed authority on the topic.
The Humane Society of the US is so tuned into righting the wrongs of dog breeding that they now have a toll-free hot line for the express purpose of reporting of "puppy mills" by the public. [1] No description or definition is offered for that "PM" term, but hey, lets not let a little thing like knowing what we are talking about stand in the way of our hangin' fun times. 
Now the HSUS is in no position to sit in judgement of anyone else, with their fraudulent fundraising, and their illegal and immoral abuse of their tax-free status in lobbying for legislation to squelch animal ownership. They even promote policies that result in the killing of more and more animals in shelters. Nevertheless, the HSUS seems hell-bent on sitting as judge, jury and executioner of breeders, wherever they can find them. And now, they hope the public will make that discovery phase quick and easy for them. 
Not to be outdone, the Canadian SPCA is also urging the public to rat out the mills that they claim are "widespread". The definition used by the Canadian SPCA seems to be those who are unlicensed, or who sell for a profit, rather than those who are abusive and cruel. Again, just what exactly is a "puppy mill"? Depends on which way the wind is blowing. (2)
The public is bombarded with media propaganda produced by big national animal groups screaming inane slogans like "puppies aren't products" and "pets aren't presents"; we must "adopt not shop" and other lame, anti-consumerist messages. One might even be the target of righteous indignation should he <gasp> DARE to buy a puppy or kitten from a breeder or a pet store. Let's not forget the "hoarders" who may not actually breed but who need to be stopped nonetheless, and of course those ignorant "backyard breeders" too. We can lump those under the "puppy mill" umbrella if need be.

Of course, these tips to hotlines are meant to result in seizures of as many animals as possible. The AR groups love to seize animals and sterilize the lot of them. Even if the raids are eventually declared groundless or illegal, they will have achieved the goal of breaking the breeding cycle and bankrupting the owner, thereby destroying his or her life. Getting rid of a breeder....what a feather in the cap of the morally superior! And less births means less animals around for us cruel humans to abuse. The anti-breeding campaign will be relentless until people just plain no longer have animals in their homes.

AR mob leaders incite panicked townsfolk to lynch suspected witches. Can you survive the hysteria? Can they manage to find an actual witch?
From Wikipedia:
Witch hunt - A search for witches or evidence of witchcraft, often involving moral panic, mass hysteria and lynching, but in historical instances also legally sanctioned and involving official witchcraft trials.
From Cambridge Dictionary Online:
witch hunt - an attempt to find and punish people whose opinions are unpopular and who are said to be a danger to society 
From Your Dictionary:
A witch hunt describes a situation where accusations are made freely, especially against someone or something that is not popular with the majority.

An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.
So if we don't agree with the extremists' views that breeding should be stopped, I suppose we have to expect the witch hunt. The majority view these days is that dog breeding = abuse. After just about any "rescue", you will read in a press release:
"She won't have to have any more puppies ever again."
The horror of it all! Breeding! Reproducing! Did we mention that the attitude is puritanical?  
More than 10,000 large, substandard mass producers of puppies, often referred to as puppy mills, house 200,000 to 400,000 breeding dogs that produce 2 million to 4 million puppies a year, estimates HSUS' Stephanie Shain, senior director its Stop Puppy Mills project. [1]

Ever wonder where in the world they pull those numbers from? Just out of thin air, or out of some orifice filled with hot air, anyway.
Don't put those pitchforks and torches away just yet, there's definitely a 21st century witch hunt in progress. Lynchings continue as they have for centuries. The script has been slightly rewritten, but the overall storyline remains unchanged. Today's witches include those vaguely  described puppy mills, hoarders and backyard breeders. We don't know exactly who they are and what they do, but one thing we do know; there are thousands of them and they must all burn at the stake!


  1. Did you hear that Irvine, CA banned the sale of dogs and cats in retail stores?

  2. Did you hear about the retired school teacher that had ASPCA show up after dark and tell her she had to surrender 11 of her dogs or they'd cost her so much money she'd lose her house. And if she told anyone they'd come back and charge her with abuse.

  3. Couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you! I will allow that there are people out there who don't raise or care for animals well -- but there are also bad parents, and bad rescues, and so on. It's convenient to tar all breeders with the same brush -- makes it easier to seize all the animals and resell them later for a profit.