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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was just posted on a breeder forum I belong to, and I thought there were parallels in this fictional letter and the recent PETA thread here. Someone on that thread asked about what we would do to protect our dogs from PETA, what lengths would we go to. This was posted as a work of fiction set 3yrs in the future - a confessional letter from a dog breeder. I know there will be many here that don't "get it" with the tone and desperation of the letter's author. I can tell you though, any breeder who knows even half of what is going on or who has dealt with theiir state senators to kill or ammend legislation beign brought up by PETA & HSUS, legislation that not only can but will cause us to go out of business or loose our dogs - legislation that will lead to the illegality of breeding in a few years time if it continues @ this pace. Those of us from the smallest hobby or show or working breeder to the large (or small!) commercial kennels who have dedicated their lives to their dogs ... we are both terrified & not at all shocked by the outcome of the fictional letter. We can relate to it. It is a culmination of our fears, something we know is going ot happen, given time. The scenario in this letter is likely to happen within the next few years. The seed of it is already growing. This was loosely based on a breeder who passed away during an AR witch hunt for her, and another breeder who was rushed to the hospital during an inspection. She had a chronic illness and had always passed her inspections until she became so sick. Granted, she didn't kill anyone but did resprt to a desperate act and was shunned, witch hunted even by friends who did not know or care to know the whole story. They just saw what had been written, and crucified her.
FYI I will not get in a discussion on this if it turns ugly. It's merely food for thought. A different perspective than what is usually heard.

ETA: Letter was too long for one post so scroll down to read ...

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
(permission to crosspost)

March 18, 2011

A letter from a dog breeder some time in the future:

In my last few hours I have chosen to spend my time writing this letter?hoping it may one day reach the eyes of many. But I no longer have that kind of faith. I once did. I once believed in truth, in logic, in rationality. Not any more. The time of rational thought has gone to pass leaving us only with the irrational.
I will not make excuses for what I have done. I deserve to die. It was not my place to take a life, just as it was not their place to take others. Still, two wrongs do not make a right. I can only hope that my choice will bring about change. Even if that change is the realization about how fragile our world has become.
Like so many others I read the stories in the paper. I watched the notices on the internet. I heard that the animal rights movement was gaining power but I was slow to believe. no I was in denial. that it would ever come to my front door. My home is rural, my neighbors far away, and because of my location I was breaking no laws. There were no city restrictions. In the twenty five years I have lived as a dog breeder, loving what I do (living to love what I do) I never imagined myself as a killer. A murderer. Capable of snuffing out the lives of other human beings without a second thought.
I suppose none of us knows what we are capable of until it comes to that moment in time.
A dog breeder. That's what I was. A villain cultivated by the media as some sort of cruel and inhuman entity. But that is not what I was because now that I have nothing I can become the thing that they hated and despised. now with what was important to me stripped away. my conscience has no chains. I am the monster which they have created.
While I accept my burden of guilt the public still ignores theirs. The ignorance which has infected our society is malignant and it's fatal. The lack of responsibility, the lack of accepting responsibility, the sudden surge of entitlement, the loss of pride and the rise of laziness, it has swallowed all reason and pride. What happened to respecting differences, encouragement of self betterment, finding hope in the struggle for success in whatever business venture one chose to pursue.
I chose to breed dogs. I was good at what I did. I lived and breathed my animals and my life was theirs.
I was committed.
Everything I did revolved around the needs of my animals and yet so many believed the rhetoric. That somehow making money by selling puppies was wrong. Sinful. Evil.
Even those who save lives have the right to earn a living. Who decides what work is elevated beyond monetary gain?
The public is too willing to believe that breeding was somehow the cause of unwanted animals and not a person's irresponsibility. That producing a puppy here in my home caused a man three thousand miles away to starve his dog to death. That taking money for a puppy I made, somehow caused a stray to have a litter of unwanted puppies under the porch of a broken down old home place. That by wanting to bring happiness to myself and others I condemned unwanted and forgotten dogs to death.
My dogs were not unwanted and they will never be forgotten.
Why can't the public see the real cause? Why do they choose to blame and point fingers?
It is not my fault they abused their pet.
It is not my fault that they got rid of their dog because they didn?t account for time to train it.
It is not my fault that they failed to spay that bitch and now have a litter of unwanted pets to deal with.
It is not my fault that in choosing to breed their pet they bit off more than they could chew and the puppies did not sell and they did not realize the type of space, work and time it takes to raise a litter.
It is not my fault that they let their pet run loose and it was lost.
It makes about as much sense as blaming one spoke in the great wheel of society for all the social upheaval and committing to erasing a people one life at a time.
When they took Lisa's dogs I knew things were grave. Like so many before her she thought since she was doing nothing wrong. So she let them in. Poor Lisa, she had nothing to hide. While we were never really friends her dogs were nice and like so many of us she had a wall full of ribbons representing her dedication. But it didn't stop them. Not the ribbons, not the club memberships, not the vet records, not the declaration of others to her dedication and love. I even wrote a letter on her behalf. Maybe that's why they decided I was next. Not that it really matters. Eventually they would have found their way to my door.
Lisa fought hard. She was smart, she was shrewd but the papers vilified her with their ignorance and the public in their inability to reason swallowed the lies like air. The minor upkeep that every dog needs became the fuel for the fire. Ironic when vets make their living on those same shortfalls. And yet no one stands by their door waiting to handcuff anyone who has a dog with dirty ears, a mat under the leg, or a watery eye. The public is allowed to seek over the counter care for their children yet only professionals may assist a pet.
In this new age of ignorance we want to believe the worst. We don?t want to think for ourselves. Thinking hurts. Thinking requires reason. It?s easier just to be told. It?s easier just to do or not do.
When Lisa was killed in that freak accident part of me found solace in the fact it was over for her. She could finally rest. She wanted to rest. I could see it in her eyes. The lawyers she hired fought for her but she was still drowning in it all. The public wanted her to be wrong. The public wanted her to be the villain they had come to believe. But even with her death it wasn?t over because the onslaught of joyous cries from the animal rights groups grated like claws on the backs of my eyes as I read their comments circulating on the internet.
How she deserved to die.
How justice had been served.
How this was the sentence that all dog breeders should face.
When I was a child I used to read about the atrocities of one nation against another. How one group of people different by race, culture, or religion (it doesn't matter) could look upon another group of human beings and destroy them. Not because were a threat. Not because they were fighting for resources that dictated survival. But because they didn't like what the other race, culture, or religion did. We look back on many of these epic exterminations and we shake our heads. We see the wrong in the choices that were made and realized how precious those differences were. They were human beings. And no matter how much I love my dogs, how beautiful or unique a rare bird species is, how intelligent and stunning a particular wild animal may be, they are not people. As humans we are the most rare of all species on this planet and while we should take care of it, we should not be willing to sacrifice each other. We are the only species on this planet that writes novels, paints pictures, creates music. We are the only species on this planet that actually cares and has concerns for others not of our own. Whether those defining traits are divine or by evolution it doesn?t matter. The truth is, it is precious and above all it should be preserved.
And yet, some how the life of animals has surpassed in value to the life of men.
I read the posts and emails, heard the banter on the news, over and over until it became a constant hum in the back of mind. Growing and aching like a black cancer. The knowledge of my helplessness had finally metastasized and every cell in my body was infected.
It took them three years, almost four before they came to my door, after they torched Mike?s kennel, and poisoned thirty three of Annie?s dogs. I did not let them in. Three of them headed to my kennel and when I protested I was told to shut up by the four standing beside the truck. I was told I couldn't deny letting them in, they had authority, self-proclaimed, imagined, or not.
A republic. That's what this country was supposed to be. Where the government followed the laws and leaves the people alone. And when I demanded an explanation from the officer accompanying them I was ignored. I told them to get out. I told them to leave. I got in their way and I was pushed aside. They came with trucks, with cages, and crates. They came to take what was mine! What I had worked for, what I bled for, and now?now what I die for! They came to take my life! They came to take my purpose. They came to take my freedom and my happiness and leave me an empty shell!
The cop stood by and watched. Not helping but not stopping them either. Oblivious to his duty to protect my rights. Oblivious to stopping them from taking what was mine. If it had been money would he have allowed them to invade my property and take what was not theirs? If it had been cars or jewelry would these common thieves have been so brazen as to ask for police escort to help?
When they brought out the crow bar to pry open the locked door, I knew that this was it. I had a choice. To stand idly by and let them take what was mine, my liberty, my rights, my property, my life. or stop them at all cost.

(continued ...)

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do not remember making the decision I only remember my tearing through the grass then through the front door, and the closet door hanging up for that split second as I yanked it open. The shells were on the top shelf and I stuffed two handfuls in my jacket pocket then loaded the double barrel. How many of them were there, how many shots would I need?
I did not ask God for help. I was on my own because what I was doing was wrong but wrong hadn?t stopped them. Wrong hadn?t given them pause. Wrong hadn?t kept them from leaving Mike burned over eighty percent of his body as he tried pulling burning puppies from their cages. Wrong hadn?t stopped them from putting antifreeze in those water buckets and poisoning Annie with their hate. Hate takes a lot longer to kill than antifreeze. It took Annie about six weeks.
As I put my hand on the door knob I remembered Ma Stevens. Her husband had died back in the seventies and she?d been left to raise three young kids on her own. She put them through college, and buried the first two as well. All paid for with her puppy sales. Pride drove that women. And she would have never taken a government check as long as she could work and work she did, even old, withered, and bent nearly in half. But they?d come and taken her dogs too. Deplorable conditions they claimed. And yet, no one came to rescue her from that worn down old house. A little work, some paint, and a grass cutting would have made the place like new. But instead they took her living and left her with no way to pay the bills, buy food. There had been such concern for the puppies and dogs because their beds were worn and old, their dog dishes battered, their food only a mid grade brand. Being well fed, happy, healthy was not enough. And so they took what was hers and left her forgotten, helpless, with no way to keep things running.
I regret that I ever thought ill of her for breeding those little mixes. I regret that I ever let it cross my mind it was wrong. Her choice and her right to make that choice had just as much value as any one else and I had missed out on my chance to let her know.
No one was paying attention to me they were too busy loading up the dogs. Grabbing them by the scruff, dragging them with vocal protests to the cages they had stuffed in the truck. All the trauma and tension would make nice frightened photos for the press.
The cop wasn?t looking at me. I hoped he wasn?t married. I hoped he didn?t have kids and I hoped he?d forgive me.
I regret shooting him but had made his choice to be an accessory in their crime.
The sound of the gun sent the dogs to wailing and two of the intruders?that?s what they were no matter what their t-shirts and home made badges said?stumbled out the door and I killed them, eight in all, the last six inside the kennel. I took their lives with the same callousness and lack of remorse that they had dealt to so many others. Maybe not these people every time, but others like them, others who had lost all reason, respect, and felt it was some how their duty to deny me of my rights, to take what was not theirs, to steal what was mine, to kill me with their slow death. To kill all of us?
They told the world I am a monster, I am without love, I am without empathy, that I am cruel, that what I do is evil, that what I want is wrong. History has shown me that public does not care about right and wrong they simply want to believe what they are told. I know from their willingness to strip others of their rights that I had no chance in fighting them. No matter what I would loose. Like so many before me I had been designated the chalice of their wrongs, their responsibilities, their ignorance and now I was to be broken. So I became the evil that they painted me to be, after all I had nothing else to loose, I could only hope that in my willingness to die that maybe they would finally realize this isn't about greed, it never has been, it never will be.
It?s almost time.
I hope that my fellow breeders will be able to forgive me for what I have done. I have taken the lives of human beings. I have done exactly what they, the animal rights people do. I have put the lives of dogs above the lives of men. I have destroyed lives and I have not shed a single tear. I have stolen what was not mine to take. I have ripped families apart. I did it without regard to their rights. Without regard to their happiness. I did it without care as to who it effects. I can only hope that they still feel the need for self-preservation. That they will not run headlong into the next kennel, farm, or cattery. That if there is really a wrong that the law will be followed not ignored and people pushed aside. That private property is given respect, that what is not theirs is not taken, that the public realize that while they do not understand what we choose to do, that we are willing to die for it and we will not stand by any longer. That there of those of us willing to put to the test their declaration to the value of animal life over that of men? that there are those of us willing to become just like them.

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This is so sad... because the way things are going... our lives will be completely run by the government... and our love for out pets will be completely overlooked by PETA and the HSUS.

I dont know when it will happen... but like you said UB "given time" it will.

I dont know what else to say other than... I would fight to the end of this earth for my dogs. This letter is just so upsetting... sadly I see it coming true... maybe not in my lifetime, but my children's lifetime.

Already beginning with breed bans, how many animals you can have at a time... and so on and so on...
We will have no freedom left.
I am not a breeder now... but my dream is to one day show Great Danes... and 'possibly' (many many years from now... after I feel I have found the perfect mentor and think I am ready) start breeding... I just dont know if doing what I love is worth all the grief and ridicule anymore. Sigh...

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Personally I don't think it will come true....or at least I pray it won't. There are many people out there fighting just as hard against PETA and AR type legislation as there is people for PETA. I guess it depends what area you live in though...I am in Alberta, Canada and there is very little AR activity here compared to say California. I know rodeo is growing, getting better and better and gaining popularity every year and expanding into areas out east where there was no rodeo before, despite the efforts of groups like PETA. There are more people involved in rodeo now than ever before, and it's still growing and expanding and getting better. High school rodeo has exploded, there are kids involved in almost every state and province now and the level of competition there is just awesome now! They have also expanded and added a new association for Jr High rodeos for grades 6-8.
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