Believe me, I do understand where you are coming from. I understand the heartache you go through just to keep your head above water with your wonderful rescue. I do. Probably, not to the extent of which you do. But, I do volunteer weekly and heavily participate with my local rescue and am the director's personal assistant. I know that your passion comes from pain and dispair, from watching animal after animal be lost. I am usually brought to tears when I decide to browse through Craigslist and see how many careless people there are out there.
But, I really don't believe that you can say there is not one good breeder out there, at least. And if there is one, even one, should they be condemned? If there are no breeders, and the only animals we ever had in this world were ones that are bred over and over again from backyard breeders, all we will be left with eventuall, if anything, is a world willed with very sick animals.
Ghandi said something like, "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals." And I do agree with that. While the disgusting manner by which our society disposes of animals and treats them as mere objects, is not acceptable. It is disgusting. But THAT is why the rare good JEMS out there, the good breeders are SO important. You feel betrayed maybe, or infuriated, heartbroken at the devestation humans have cause animals. So do I. But someone has to undo it, don't they? Is there no hope? Is there no possible hope for animals like rats who have been bred into a life of sickness? I think there is. And though that hope is but a small glimmer, if we who have such a passion can support those people, maybe it will grow. Maybe people will see the error of their ways. Yeah, Teresa I know its idealistic. I know its never going to happen. But, then again, you probably never thought you would be running an amazing rescue and saving animal's lives daily. I never thought I'd care.
But I do.
You don't think the though and the sight of seeing animals who no one wants tears my heart apart. You're so, so, so wrong. I think they deserve SO much better. And that is why I support those who are trying to give them that. I will still never buy from a petstore, and I will still rescue animals. In fact, Teresa it is YOU who inspired me to become a Vet tech and then open my OWN rescue. It is a dream and it will take way more work than I could imagine, I know. But I am going to do it. But, when I see my baby rats struggling for air, my rescued babies, I can only think, "What if these animals were not bred as clothes are mass manufactured? What if someone cared? What if someone put their hearts and souls into making sure these animals were born with strong hearts and immune systems? What if someone cared?" --And that's why I can say, though I know animals by the millions are dying, that a good responsible, rare breeder, should be praised.
I think if you thought about it from a different light, you could see how GOOD breeders could change alot of things. Good breeders, with strict adoption policies like your own rescue. With strict health and care regulations. Only breeding when they know there genetics. Keeping detailed records of blood lines. Those things could SAVE lives in the future. And though that future may be far off, it could change things. Imagine in 50 or 100 years, where there existed a large group of this perhaps "idealistic" breeder. And, people realized they could get healthy, long living animals. So, instead of going to petstores, and impulsively buying an animal with terrible health, and maybe having it pregnant and allowing the inbreeding to continue -- imagine that they go to these breeders, sign contracts saying they will get their animal spayed/neutered and they will return the animal to the breeder if they decide they cannot keep it. Breeders who only breed when they have homes lined up.
I know you think there aren't any out there like this, but there are. I belong to a rat forum, and I have gotten to know several wonderful ladies and gentlemen who have small ratteries and who do the exact things I have mentions. It IS possible. I know you may feel pessimistic towards it and anger towards the stupid ignorant, selfish people who have ruined our animals. But the good people still exist. And how else can we discourage the bad ones, than support the good?
I think its possible. And I think it would change so many things. But if no one supports it, it will never happen. I will aways have ratties dying at 2 years old. That breaks my heart. So I chose to support something, that even though tiny, could spark change. Maybe someday, there will be more and more responsible breeders. And in turn, more responsible pet owners, and in turn -- Teresa, in turn less animals in shelters and rescues. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I do.
I know you have strong convictions, but maybe you can take some time to think about the effects of good breeders on the world --your world, you rescue world. I think you'll find there could be less pain and suffering. And that's something I know you would desperately love to have.
Just my humble opinion. Yeah, there are flaws. But, I chose to have hope. And because I know there are a few good ones out there, I have to do what I think is right.
A.T. -- Just to add, I have not bought any animals from a breeder. I have, as of late, shared very much the same opinion as you, T, about breeders. But through getting to know some of these people through the rat forum I frequent, I have begun to try and figure out why it is I believe what I do. And, though I'm still struggling through this, I think there is good to be done.