Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Welcome to the Salughterhouse: Until there are none, adopt one: Top Democrats who buy pets from breeders

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington

Welcome to the Slaughterhouse, America!!

By Nicholas Meyeres

I was listening to the Glenn Beck radio program on the way to work this morning and heard him promoting a product as all radio personalities do in order to keep themselves on the air. But this one was different and more than just a little bit personal for me. It was an ad for Purina One dog and cat food.

Now, Glenn is the virtual cry baby of the airwaves- no one denies that. If you have ever heard his radio show, or watched his Fox News program you already know this. He is the in essence the Jerry Fallwell of the conservative talk show circuit. It doesn’t take much to get the water works a’goin’ for ol’ Glenn Beck… especially when he is talking about his beloved family of which he proudly says his dog of many years is an integral and important part of.

Glenn has talked about his dog countless times over the years and also about the benefits of his dog eating Purina One for his health and wellbeing. But he has never talked about how or where he got his dog from before now… at least, not that I was aware of. But he did today, and the verdict was simple: he was adopted from a shelter. In fact, ALL of Glenn’s dogs have been adopted from shelters, and all of the dogs he grew up with as a child have been, as well.

He went on to say it was more than a family tradition or particular upbringing, it was a part of his own sense of morality and his family's morality. And that’s why he supports Purina One. Not only is it a great product, but they are the creators of The One Hope Network, which is, in their words, “…a movement dedicated to helping transform the lives of pets… by increasing pet adoptions, volunteerism, donations and by elevating the status of all pets.”

They go on to explain on their website here:

“Are you ready to make a difference in the life of a shelter pet?...
You don't have to go to a pet store or a breeder to find your perfect pet. From purebreds to mixed breeds, puppies and kittens to already trained adult pets, there's sure to be the right cat or dog for you in a shelter nearby.

When you adopt a pet, you save a life.”

Unfortunately, on the opposite side of the spectrum you have Democratic President Barack Obama who received his dog from a breeder when all the while he promised time and again to the American people that he planned to get the "new puppy" for his girls from a rescue shelter. In fact, it wasn’t just from any breeder, it was the same breeder longtime Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy used for his three purebred Portuguese Water Dogs.

But it wasn’t just the Kennedys and Obamas that bought from breeders. Another breeder, Linda Brown, bred and sold Vice President Joe Biden (also a Democrat) his pure German shepherd puppy.

Even the Clintons are culprits.

They had their cat Socks painfully declawed before abandoning him to Bill Clinton’s secretary, Betty Currie, who lives in Hollywood, Md. The Clintons left the White House and Socks in early 2001, who died recently at the age of 18. Not only did they leave poor Socks behind, but the Clintons hadn’t even visited him since departing their former home on Pennsylvania Ave. before he passed away.

But not all was lost, and the Clintons didn’t leave the most famous address in the world completely empty-handed. They did take Buddy- (that’s right)- their pure bred chocolate lab that they bought from a breeder as they left "the cat" behind.

Incidentally and unfortunately enough, Buddy was ran over by a truck at the age of four as he was left roaming off-leash while in the Clintons' care.

Thank goodness we have conservatives like Glenn Beck who believe in animal rescue and welfare, and who is also vehemently opposed to animal cruelty. He was the one who broke the story of American hero and retired Navy SEAL Marcus Littrell’s dog being executed by multiple teenaged males recently.

Watch the moving clip from Glenn Beck's second broadcast on this tragedy here:

But he isn’t the only conservative of his kind to be kind.

If you love animals, you may shockingly have something in common with Rush Limbaugh, as well. His cat of many years, Punkin, is his pride and joy and also a rescue. Limbaugh has even made multiple PSA’s for HSUS (The Humane Society Of The United States Of America) about opposing animal cruelty, adopting shelter companion animals, and also the connection of religion, kindness, and the "faithful stewardship of animals" as he calls it to morality and personal responsibility.

Listen to the PSA’s here:

And here:

And then, you have Matthew Scully.

When you think of vegetarians and animal rights, most people automatically think of the political left which is usually associated with animal activism, legislation and environmentalism. But, this is not entirely justified— at least not in the political realm. On the conservative front you can just as easily find animal advocates like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Matthew Scully to name a few.

Matthew Scully is not only active in the political right, but he was a speechwriter in the elections of 2000 and served as a speechwriter and special assistant for George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004.

As a vegetarian, he is also the author of the highly acclaimed book "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy" in which he draws the attention of the public eye to the fate of the billions of animals suffering and dying daily.

And then you have Executive Producer and Head Writer of the Glenn Beck Show, Stu Burguiere who is not only a conservative who opposes animal cruelty and supports rescue shelter pet adoptions, but he is a vegetarian of many years as well, just like Matthew Scully.

But don’t forget John Mccain, who co-sponsored more animal rights bills than any other Republican Senator currently in office and nearly more than any Democrat. Mccain is an animal lover who has 24 animals including six cats, two turtles, three birds, fourteen fish, a ferret and a mixed breed shelter dog he adopted named Coco.

But now to the rub.

I work at a no-kill animal rescue shelter, and have a love of animals that reaches back likely to the day I was born. I am also a conservative of many years and a vegetarian of over half my life. So, I have a personal vested interest in not just how politicians vote, but how they live their personal lives in regard to animal welfare issues, including where they get their own pets from.

The bottom line is: 5 million American pets die in shelters every year while 80% of new pets are chosen from a breeder or pet store. And with a limited number of homes available, a puppy or kitten purchased from a breeder or pet store takes the home of a rescued shelter pet. In essence, when you buy from a breeder, you indirectly murder a viable, loving, potential family member and companion to you and your loved ones that could have been adopted from any number of shelters the world over. Mostly because a majority of them don’t reside in no-kill shelters like the one I work for.

Top conservatives of the day already seem to have committed these facts to memory. That is one of the tenants of being a conservative, after all, to be personally and fiscally responsible. And what better way to embody this ideal than to see the need to adopt a pet rather than over saturate an already exploding market and contribute to even more irresponsible spending?

Just do me (and shelter pets everywhere) a favor, and spread the word to all the liberal politicians you know: please, adopt from shelters, don’t buy from breeders. The memo was apparently lost when the currier sent it to all of our high ranking democrats in office today— that goes double for you Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Senator Kennedy, former President Clinton, and Madam Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton!

Let Adoption Be Your First Option.