Puppy miller operators, American Kennel Club show-dog breeders, right-wing ideologues, and folks who have embraced non-working and defective-by-design dogs, like to spend time inflating the power and influence of HSUS and PeTA.
As Border Collie man Donald McCaig has noted, this has largely been done as an organizing tool and as a way of deflecting away any sensible conversation about breeding for intentional defect, inbreeding, and ruination of working dog breeds.
Of course, HSUS and PeTA are actually very weak organizations that operate as little more than direct mail mills.
In fact, these organizations are so weak, that puppy mills operate without much oversight and commercial dog kennels have only the most minimal of legislated standards (and almost no on-the-ground inspections).
You want to know who has real power in America?
It's the NRA -- and I do not mean the National Rifle Association. I mean the National Restaurant Association -- the folks who want to pump you full of Taco Bell buritos, McDonald's quarter pounders, and all-you-can-eat pizza.
Drive down any strip mall and count the fast food outlets. There's not a sign of HSUS or PeTA is there?
HSUS and PeTA as a political force? Gimme a break! These folks are nearly invisible on Capitol Hill.
If you want REAL political power, go to the beef, poultry, dairy, hog, corn, soy and wheat producers in any state. That's power!
You want more power? Go to the Congressional Sportsman's Caucus (the largest caucus in Washington) which makes sure that we continue to have wild lands where hunting and fishing are preserved as core American activities.
The truth is that the headquarters of both HSUS and PeTA are surrounded by Pittman-Robertson hunting lands, national forest hunting lands, and state forest hunting lands.
There is no place in America that is more than 10 miles from a vendor of guns, fishing rods, and ammunition -- or more than 30 miles from public lands on which to use them.
And, sadly, there is probably no place in America that is more than 30 miles from a kennel of horror where dogs are shoved into feces- and urine-soaked cages without mental stimulation of any kind.
But we're supposed to be scared because HSUS and PeTA have all this power? Power to do what? To ask us to eat a salad every once in a while?
So what's the latest?
The latest is that Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is now putting more hunting rifles, shotguns, and ammunition in its stores.
About a third of Wal-Mart's more than 3,600 U.S. locations sell guns and ammo right now, but that figure will rise to about half as Wal-Mart decides to restore "heritage categories" of merchandise.
Hunting and fishing is part of America's heritage.
I'm not sure right-wing paranoia, breeding diseased, deformed and defective dogs, or direct mail mills quite rise to that level... At least not yet.
- Related Links:
** Crying Wolf in Dog and Hunting Debates
** The Internet Fuels Extremists and Fools
** Humane Society: Continuing to Rip off the Rubes
** The Tribe of the Dog
** Who Speaks for the Dogs
** AKC To Go Out of Business By 2025?
** Bed Wetters and the Second Amendment