Mahatma Gandhi

webkat5November 15, 2006

Up for discussion:

Imagine, that you are locked in a room against your will. You have done nothing wrong, you are a desirable member of society. You are provided with food and water and you might even get to go outside briefly while under strict supervision. After seven days, a gas begins pouring into the room and within minutes all of you are dead.

Does this seem senseless to you?

3-4 million pets suffer this fate each year...many chewed something they weren't supposed to, many are litters of unexpected puppies/kittens, many are unaltered animals who are hormonally urged to stray, many are victims of their owners moving and "not being able to take them", etc, etc...

Puppy mills are overcrowded, the dogs receive no socialization, they reside in tiny cages on top of a mound of their own feces, they are many times missing most of their hair due to mites, they are many times toothless or have oozing injuries, the females are bred every heat cycle until they cease to produce large which time, they are many times simply starved to death. Why put gas in a car that won't run anyway? I could go on and on....and yet, people still buy the product...what!

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

So how are we doing so far? Don't the nasty puppy mills and our methods of "controlling" the pet overpopulation problem of this country represent our feelings (as a country) toward animals?

Who are we? Every nine seconds another fuzzy face is euthanized in some fashion (FYI some counties/cities do not have requirements for how this is accomplished)...and for every litter born, another litter must die.

Many people believe they are helpless to end this unnecessary slaughter, but as with any other national dilemma, all one needs to do is dutifully play their seemingly insignificant role in the solution in order to correct the problem. If everyone did, there would not be a problem. In lieu of turning a deaf ear, isn't there something each of us can do?

Your thoughts, please.

Side note: Please don't take this into the political realm...try to stay on the morally responsible track.

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It's difficult NOT to get political about this, so I'll just leave it at the fact that I find it very hard to swallow ANY time children or dogs are mistreated in ANY way.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 5:08PM
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Hi Webkat,

Got me thinking about many years ago when I chaired the "Radio Days" project for our local JC chapter. This was a project where we were allowed to take over the local radio station for the day. We were attempting to raise money for burns awareness. One of the committee members found a cute young lady selling flowers outside the station doors (main street, this was a small town). He thought it would be a wonderful idea to help her sell more flowers by giving her some free publicity on air. After interviewing her I found that she was raising money for some group I had not heard of, and she seemed especially enamored by the leader of the group. Pressed more she was selling flowers to raise money to spread morality. No matter how many questions I asked I could never figure whose morality it was that she wanted to spread. I chose not to give her air time.

Your question reminds me of that young lady. Who's morality are we concerned about. Mahatma Gandhi's? yours? mine? Judeo Christian? Bhuddist? Hindu? Islam? And after all, what is this country, if not for all of the above?

Although I have great respect for Mahatma Ghandi and what he as able accomplish in India & Pakistan, I really don't think he had or has the pulse of this nation and our western way of thinking.

You stated "Many they are helpless..." and I agree. But the truth(at least as I see it) is that we all lead by example. Humane treatment of our own animals speaks volumes to those around us. Concern about your roaming cat or barking dog, and doing something to curtail the obnoxious behaviour says alot not only about you, but also demonstrates what responsible pet ownership is. Putting your money where your mouth is also matters. Don't be deceived by callous attitudes. Not spending your money at a pet store that sells puppy mill pups does hasten it's demise and ultimate failure. Telling friends and neighbors about the evil of puppy mills, mistreatment of animals, misguided ownership of too many animals, asking questions of those who operate a puppy mill but really don't understand that they are part of a problem ... all this and so much more add up over time to help change the status quo.

Will there be casualties...euthanized dogs and cats? Absolutely. Will there still be starving and disease infested animals? Yes there will. No matter what we do or don't do, these kinds of activities will continue. But our leadership through action, through $$$ and through the power of friendship and tough questions can and will change the world around us.

However, I dont' want feral dogs and cats roaming. I don't want neglected animals spreading disease or repopulating the pet community. I would much rather see these animals euthanized than I would to see another hideous and perhaps worse problem such as disease or overpopulation be allowed to run rampant. As you so aptly pointed out, we have more potential pets than we do homes for them. I find it morally reprehensible that we would allow these animals to roam freely.

In the spirit of your request I will not stray into political issues nor venture into related moral issues such as abortion which are actually closely related to this question. I won't even stray into man's inhumanity to man. No need to talk about our own homeless human population nor the starving children that reside here in the good old US of A. All speak to a decline of morality in this country. Mistreatment of life is morality gone sour.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:29PM
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Pennsylvania 13482 23-B-0177 Lynch, John & Tracy Spring Pond Kennel 240 Walnut Dale Rd Shippensburg 17257
Pennsylvania 361 23
I found this through another thread. I knew he was puppy mill bred and now I have the proof. This may and I do say again may account for some of his quirks.
I'd love to go and see this set up. I'm sure it would make me furious.
There were so many listed for not far from me here in New York.
I know this is meaningless to most of you but I have been on a 3 year search to find information.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:37PM
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Thanks for your in depth response. Nope, I am not a Hare Krishna, but I do like flowers. :o) I don't consider myself to be an extremist or even over-the-top...simply passionate.

I chose the prophetic quote for one reason. It states the reality of the situation in a single sentence.

When I consider how we are such a disposable society, taking everything and everyone for granted, it makes me ill. We are not setting a good example for the next generation.

If we could all take our blinders off for a brief moment every day, what a world we could have.

Dirthappy: That was public information from the USDA web site. Those are the kennels that must register with the USDA because they have a certain number of breeding females. At least they are listed, many lie to fly under the radar. How did you happen to get Cody? Pet Store? He certainly sounds traumatized.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:11PM
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Nice pick up on the Hare Krishna. I was simply pointing out that morality can be defined many different ways depending on your point of view. When I was growing up I had a pretty clear idea of what this country considered moral and immmoral. Unfortunately, we have morphed as a nation into some ambivilent perspective of what morality is and we don't seem too sure of what it isn't any more.

I had friends who decided to raise Cocker Spaniels. Live in the country and neither would intentionlly harm an animal, especially not their pets. They kept producing litter after litter with indiscriminate matings. When asked what specific traits they were trying to bring out they had no idea what I was even talking about. When asked why they were breeding they wanted to make some extra money. It took time but I was finally able to get them to see that they were nothing more than a puppy mill. Yes, the pups were all cared for physically. All were socialized. All were placed in homes But the inbreeding was producing deformaties and hip dysplasia. Worse, their dogs were certainly no improvement on the breed. In fact, it could easily be argued quite the contrary. This may not strictly meet the definition of a puppy mill, but in my view that is all they were. Totally ignorant of what they were really doing.

Perhaps we can better care for our animals when we learn how to treat each and every person with courtesy and respect. Did the chicken or egg come first?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:23PM
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Your friends were what you would call backyard breeders. Not good, but at least a step above puppy mills. Your friends,socialized them and placed them in homes, and hopefully they didn't breed them on every heat. Mills usually do not sell directly to the consumer, breed every heat and the dogs usually have little human contact.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 2:09AM
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I live way out in the country alone. When my dogs bark during the night letting me know whats going on outside,differant barks for differant problems.Is it immoral for me to contentedly turn over and go back to sleep knowing my dogs will let me know if there is a threat.
when i spend the night in towns.I can't sleep for cars,music,voices and light everywhere and feeling i have no warning system. Are my values differant because my lifestyle is different or my morals are different.
I live in the country and can have as many dogs as i want. I choose to have two. The sound of ATV,s send me up a wall. I have doubts about ATV,s being moral.
Does anyones morality,sense of right and wrong, depend on ones locality,needs and lifestyle?
The major religions main morals do not differ that much.Its the smaller things that differ or radicals of a religion that differ.
I think puppy mills are immoral too.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 5:24AM
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For the very reasons that we have been discussing, there needs to be a "common morality code" that all should live by. I am not talking about Utopia, just more along the lines of the Golden Rule, I suppose.

More later, have to run to work.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:18AM
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I bought Cody from a kennel in New York who purchased him from a kennel in Shippensburg.

The kennel I went to is now breeding the doodle type dogs now. I see the ads all the time.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Gandhi came from a country that treated it's cows very well...humans, not so well, depending upon whether you are female or from a lower caste. I appreciate what you are trying to say, but let's face it...for all his negative commentary concerning "western civilization", Gandhi came from a country that expects it's women to leap upon their husband's funeral pyres...and if they don't, a relative will be happy to pitch them on. Also, what kind of country actually deems a class of people "untouchable" and only fit to labor in the sewers?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:28PM
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Some people may treat pets bad, but the last I recall...we can also treat them VERY well. These days, dogs are going everywhere with us. People actually choose vacation spots that will suite their dogs and benefit both human and animal. We also take our dogs into stores and let them shop with us. I know there is horrible things done to them, but we aren't the only country being mean. I think we need to remeber some of the good things we do for them.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 1:35PM
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I had some of the same thoughts re. Gandhi's quote as junebug1961.
I'm still reading reports of Indian brides being murdered by their inlaws for lack of dowry.
I think it's an odd statement. Perhaps it was taken out of context from a larger conversation that actually included human rights?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 1:38PM
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I think it's an odd statement. Perhaps it was taken out of context from a larger conversation that actually included human rights?

Perhaps, but it's not the only time I've seen that sort of statement quoted by Gandhi...I remember a poster that was wildly popular twenty or so years ago. It featured a pic of Gandhi and a blurb from an interview. The reporter asked Gandhi, "What do you think of Western Civilization?" Gandhi replied, "I think it's a great idea!" Or words to that effect. That always burned me, you know? That he could look down on us as uncivilized, coming from a place where some people are dehumanized based on caste or gender.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Well, truthfully in the West we've done our share to dehumanize others, too. My thoughts though, are that animals should be treated humanely but human rights have to be our first concern. Judging a nation by its treatment of animals while ignoring its human misery would be bizarre.
I'd like to see the rest of Gandhi's conversation or writings that the quote was taken from.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 8:43AM
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"That he could look down on us as uncivilized, coming from a place where some people are dehumanized based on caste or gender."

Junebug, there are evils in all nations; people are also "dehumanized based on caste or gender" here in the US of A. we here in the West are no worse - or better - than anyone in the East/rest of the world.

"Judging a nation by its treatment of animals while ignoring its human misery would be bizarre."

Savannarose, the quote implies that if animals are well taken care of, then humans would be supremely taken care of by extention.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 12:30AM
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It should simply be made illegal to have intact dogs and cats in the us unless you pay a breeder lisence and can tolerate state officals coming in to check on the suitation.

Unultered animal should fall into the same level as wildlife. Because a cat or dog IMO is closer a wild animal if allowed to be intact, cats for sure.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 12:35PM
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Mahatma Gandhi never made that quote. PETA made that up. Look it up. Also, if we are so overpopulated with dogs why are shelters importing from overseas. Look it up. If you buy from a breeder overseas your dog has to go through a long quarenteen. If a shelter brings a dog into the country it is only like a day or two, resulting in sick dogs bringing new strains of disease into our country. Look it up.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:51PM
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