Adopt, Don’t Shop

Christopher Bradley

Christopher is a lawyer from NEPA, aka, Pennsultucky, He is an avid baseball fan, audiophile, and dog owner. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife and daughters, reading, listening to music, watching baseball (except the Yankees) and writing. If you wish to send him a positive missive, any errata concerning albums, or requests regarding albums: saturdayspins32 at gmail dot com

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11 Responses

  1. Fish says:

    I back this 100% (all of my dogs have been rescues). I’ve frequently thought about volunteering at our local humane society, but knowing myself as I do, I know I’d end up adding more dogs to the two I already have, so I content myself with donations.Report

    • That is something that takes a great deal of restraint for me too. Usually I just think of introducing another dog to the already fairly large pack, and that is enough of a deterrence. That is when I try to get friends or family to adopt the dog(s) I like so i can keep hanging out with them.Report

  2. Hamish Alexton says:

    I don’t drive used cars and I don’t date single mothers.Report

  3. This is going to sound either like devil’s advocacy or concern trolling, and maybe it is, but I sometimes wonder about the ethics of forgoing adoption and getting a dog from a puppy mill pet store instead. I agree that the puppy mill/pet store industry is despicable. The few times I’m in a mall and walk by one of those stores, seeing those dogs makes me extraordinarily sad. I won’t say I literally cry, but sometimes I want to when I see them.

    One very sensible way to combat the puppy mill industry is to refuse to patronize it. (And I do refuse. If I ever do get a pet, I would adopt.) But in the meantime, the dogs in the pet store are sentient animals suffering or bound to suffer. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to relieve the suffering of one or more of those animals by purchasing it? I realize that by doing so, someone is actually supporting the very process that creates more suffering. But for any given dog, it could be a godsend.

    I don’t mean this at all as a criticism of your post, but it’s something I’ve wondered about, and not just with puppy mills. I also think about it when I’m urged not to patronize a certain store because of the way it treats its employees.* The idea is to reward the good employers and punish the bad employers. However, if the selective patronage actually works as intended, the bad employer might close down and the workers I’m trying to help would lose their jobs. I realize the analogy isn’t exact and fails, like all analogies do. But I do wonder about that.

    Again, I know that all sounds concern trollish. But it is something I wonder about from time to time.

    *Given my recent post on Chick-fil-a, one might think I do the same thing. That wasn’t my intention in writing that post, but I can see how someone might come to that conclusion.Report

    • I definitely see what you’re saying here. I don’t want people to not necessarily buy puppies or quit breeding (responsibly) if that is their hobby. It is merely a call to action on an issue I feel strongly about, and I want people to pause before they *buy* a puppy and think about puppies and/or dogs at shelters first. I have been in your shoes, though, walking by or into a pet store and seeing those puppies who also deserve good homes, and I like to think that they end up in good homes, although some end up right back at the shelter or abandoned once they aren’t puppies anymore. It really is a one of those things that you can’t solve completely without affecting someone, but there are ways to improve.Report

    • North in reply to gabriel conroy says:

      Ehh, you know the economics as well as I do. If, by some miracle, everyone stopped buying puppy mill pet store pets it would be potentially* bad for the existing generation of pet store pets but extremely good for an almost infinite number of future prevented pet mill pets. It’d also be extremely good for all the shelter and responsibly bred pets that’d be homed. Economically I don’t think your argument maths out.

      *But let’s be real- most of those pets wouldn’t be thrown in a grinder- grinders cost money- they’d probably be.. well.. abandoned to shelters which would then rehome them.Report

      • gabriel conroy in reply to North says:

        I know my comment was unclear, but my concern wasn’t really about the pet stores.* I’m more concerned specifically with the current pet mill pets.

        You’re right that the economics doesn’t really math out. However, if an individual animal is saved from a horrible fate and given the love it deserves, then that’s a good thing, regardless of the fact that purchasing that animal reinforces the industry that produced its precarious situation. Likewise, forgoing offering that animal a home affects that specific animal and (in at least some cases) introduces it to suffering, all for the purpose of the the animals who are spared that fate in the future.

        In other words, I suppose that a consequentialist argument maintains. I, in fact, buy and would abide by that argument (if I were to get a pet, which I probably won’t). But there’s a cost, and the cost is not saving the animal that might have been saved. It’s a difficult cost to measure only by the economics issue. (I hope that’s clear.)

        *Having said that, I realize now I wasn’t even thinking about the well-being of the workers. But while I always regret someone losing their job, I wouldn’t mind if pet stores, or at least those that engage in practices that I consider inhumane, go out of business or change their practices.Report

  4. Mikkhi Kisht says:

    With one exception (a retired breeder from a show-cattery) all the cats that have owned me over the years have been hard luck kitties. They were worth the extra effort & then some. Shelter & foster cats make for great companions.Report