Back in 2009, when I found myself typing ‘’German shepherd breeder Greece’’ in my computer’s Google search bar, I was promptly alerted to a location that required a 2 hour car ride. Brilliant, I thought and I meant it.
The idea of visiting a shady website and conveniently browse through endless lists of pups as if they where used videogames or ceramics mugs was so incredibly foreign to me.
I felt like I owed it to my dog. A sign of respect towards him before ripping him away from his beloved family and a way of indicating that I am genuinely committed to the idea of pet ownership. He is with me know for more than a decade, making that four hour ride nothing more than a drop in the ocean.
I am genuinely appalled by the notion of having dogs packaged and shipped to your doorstep. I mean…I understand that we live in a modern world that’s riddled with conveniences but can’t we just stop and take things a bit slower every once in a while?
Next day shipping, brand new smartphones and Netflix subscriptions do not equal happiness. Matter of fact, mind-numbingly browsing through an endless list of films is the exact opposite off what movie night is meant to be.
Visiting your local video-club with your girlfriend was much like a date, a little excursion and a chance to browse and chat and discuss. Sometimes your fingers would end up flicking through countless titles while other times you will be arriving at the club knowing, not only which movie you wish to rent, but also where exactly it is located.
Nowadays we hurriedly browse through hundreds of movies the same way one might swipe through YouTube’s video recommendations.
‘’Quick… Let’s find something to watch before the food gets cold’’ is a phrase that defines an entire generation of people that have forgotten, or where never taught, the importance of adding value to their everyday lives.
What does all this have to do with pet ownership?
Something that was bought with a few clicks of a button can just as easily be discarded when the satisfaction it provided dwindles and fades.
There is no backbone to your actions, no gravity to your wants and needs. A Gumtree pug is no less of a pug than one bought from a verified, government-regulated breeder, but this illogical sense of urgency which was bestowed upon you by people our society deems influential has reduced a living, breathing animal in to a set of earrings or a fancy pair of shoes.
A status symbol that can be disposed if it gets sick or goes out of fashion.
And don’t you dare get me started on puppy mills. Dark, murky, rat infested places which are run by unscrupulous individuals that treat their dogs as nothing but commodities.
They are the ones that rub their hands together whenever Gwyneth Paltrow shows up on the red carpet holding a miniature dog that’s adorned in a matching outfit.
Honest breeders that have the disadvantage of being humane will be unable to keep up with the demand but, on the other hand, scumbags that make their female dogs breed until they either die of exhaustion or shot because of their inability to produce any more offspring will be flooding every nook and cranny of the internet full of adverts of pups for sale.
Even though birth defects, sudden seizures, epileptic fits and all sorts of illnesses are quite common amongst the dogs that have been bred in an industrial fashion, when discarding them is as simple as tossing their dead bodies in a bonfire, you come to the conclusion that this sort of business is an absolute gold mine for those in our society that are completely devoid of morality.
Lucy’s Law, which came in to effect in England not that long ago and requires all potential pet owners to either buy directly from a breeder or from a rescue center, has certainly been a groundbreaking step towards ending the cruel acts of pet smuggling and puppy farming.
Even though Wales and Scotland are still fair game for these unscrupulous people, this pleasant turn of events could very much signify that we are not far from witnessing the end of puppy farming in the U.K.
But all of this reminds me of a recent event that occurred across the pond. Specifically in Chicago. The crime rates there are so ridiculously high that the mayor stepped in and decided to introduce ordinance which would allow the city to sue the gang leaders.
Something which is of course laughable and pathetic and serves as a reminder that, until we stop viewing animals as basic materialistic goods, no amount legislative action can or will be able to protect them.