I found a few blogs yesterday and thought the horse and dog people here would get a kick out of them. The "fugly" blogger exposes people who are irresponsible or unethical in their horse breedings, sales, and ownership. It will make you laugh, then shake your head in disgust.
The puppy mill blogger touches on my pet peeve, the same exploitation with dogs.
I thought I'd post a few photos of my Morgan mare, Zoe. She was my first horse, a wedding present to myself when I was 28. I literally logged thousands of miles trail riding her. The last few years of her life, she became unridable due to arthritis, and later a bowed tendon. She became a beloved pet, spoiled with lots of hugs, brushings and treats.
She was humanely euthanized here on the farm, when she foundered in January of '06. She was 26.
These blogs got me thinking about how disposable our society is in dealing with living things. Perhaps the world has always been like this, perhaps it is better than it was in the past. There is always a way to make things better.
I think that breeding horses and dogs is much different than breeding "food animals", like chickens and sheep. If I produce a poor animal, I can butcher it or sell it to someone else who will eat it. I have more of a margin of error with breeding sheep.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not careless with my sheep breedings. Each fall, every pairing is agonized over, combining the strength of this ram with the weakness of each ewe, and vice versa, hoping for the best outcome, come lambing. Each lamb is scrutinized and evaluated repeatedly before I consider papering it. If he or she doesn't cut it, they become pets or meat. Simple as that.
But what happens to all the dogs, cats, and horses that are carelessly bred, or bred solely for the purpose of making money, with no thought or regard for the animals? Sooner or later, the market for that particular breed becomes glutted. Then what?
I used to volunteer at our local humane society. People would bring in boxes of puppies and kittens act like they are doing you a big favor. People dump dogs and cats at the end of my driveway, "setting them free on a farm". Many end up hit on the road. If I can catch them, I take them to the shelter. Why can't the owner's just take them themselves?
Horses and dogs are not food animals, they are not disposable. Think before you breed, think before you buy. Then think again. If you are serious about breeding, learn the ropes from someone reputable first, then go slowly. Breed for good, healthy animals, and take good care of your brood animals. They are working for you, they are making you money. They deserve the best of care, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
If you think about buying, who are you giving your money to? Does this person deserve to profit from what he is doing to his animals? Are you keeping a vicious cycle going by financially rewarding this person?
If you say that you cannot afford to spay or neuter your pet dog or cat, then you have no business owning any animal. How will you afford vet bills if that animal becomes injured or sick? If you allow that animal to reproduce with an unplanned pregnancy due to your negligence, then....you just suck.
Anyway, enjoy the blogs. :) It really make me think about what a responsibility animal ownership is. Is it really a right, or a priveledge?