Originally Posted by lionessrampant
But, what matters is the concept. You say you have a choice to own whatever cat you want, well, that's your perogative, but I feel like what individuals do when they make the choice on what their cat looks like, etc, is that they are treating these wonderful living creatures as a market, a commodity, a designer object. No, preventing responsible breeding wouldn't solve the overpopulation problem by itself, I agree with you there. But as I said in my last post and was wildly misconstrued is that by allowing your average pet-owner layman this choice, you are furthering the belief that these animals are property, something to be chosen, and then, in many cases, thrown out. When we further that belief, we further the belief that we can play God with them. Have I lost you yet? It's like a lot of things: something small and seemingly harmless contributes to a really horrible belief system being reinforced. I feel like the whole attitude needs to be changed, and that begins with ending the idea that we can have this perfect kitten created for us. When people adopt children, they don't say, well, I want a caucasian, blue eyed, brown haired child who likes soccer and reading and is generally laid back. That's absurd! And yet, this is the way we treat our animals. If we treated our animals the way we treat people, well, then shelters would be the only option. And like the amount of children without parents, the amount of pets without homes is shameful.
Personally, I feel that breeding reinforces the whole ludicrous notion that we own animals, that they should serve some purpose (especially aesthetic) beyond good company and a loving companion to meet our own needs and that we as humans can control animals and choose animals and dismiss animals. This whole belief is I think what fuels the neglect and mistreatment of animals that you refer to...you can extrapolate that out even further and take a look at the meat and dairy industries! Eek! I think this to be one of the most disappointing aspects of our society. As Gandhi said, the value of a society can be measured by how we treat our animals.
You're probably sitting there going, Now she's gone and done it. We went from debating the merits of shelters and responsible breeding and now we're having this philosophical response about the treatment of animals. I just feel that they are strongly, strongly connected. I feel that more than the action itself, it's the attitude that is born from that action. I'm not saying that anyone here doesn't absolutely love their cats, because I KNOW that everyone here on TCS is a wonderful, loving and informed cat parent. And I know that some moggy parents do the mistreatment and backyard breeding...though, I doubt they were adopted from shelters, as every shelter I have ever seen spays and neuters all of its animals. And yes, I realize that statistically, purebreds aren't the actual, tangible problem. Basically, my point is this: The overpopulation problem is one that results from careless treatment of animals. I think we all agree on this and we all believe that it is so wrong. I think, however, that careless treatment of animals results from the notion that these animals are disposable and owned property, like a pair of shoes or a TV. I think that breeding and making cat ownership an open market with these choices is one of the many things (alone with poor education of pet-owners) that fuels this belief. If we left the choice to responsible, progressive, well-informed shelters, the attitude would eventually change.
So, what's the difference?