Selling Pets Online and Saving the World - They Go Hand-In-Hand?
by laeti.y.felix on September 10, 2013 - 9:35pm
As we all begin to settle down from Miley Cyrus’s controversial VMAs performance, another incident is causing a stir closer to home. In South Shore, a puppy breeding mill was found last week to be housing 90 dogs in an extremely unhygienic environment. Once found, the dogs were then transferred to Montreal’s SPCA Headquarters, where the dogs were treated for infections or other such illnesses and/or injuries. With this incident being brought to light, a Montreal woman, Barbara Lapointe, is spearheading a petition against animal sales via online sites like Kijiji.ca. Sites such as this, allow individuals to sell animals (such as dogs, birds, horses, and etc.), which to some may imply and/or encourage breeding (illegal or legal).
The idea of adopting, selling, and breeding (whether legally or illegally) animals as pets brings in the question of animal rights. There are important question to ask when talking about animal rights though. For example, what is the definition of animal rights? What can be considered animal cruelty? There can be several definitions of this topic due to the fact that people have been raised into a culture and society to think of animals at a certain degree of importance, whether they be at an equal status as human beings or that there is a hierarchy where human beings are at the top.
With the accelerating progress of anthropology over the last two centuries, we have found that human beings are animals as well, with genes that make us cousins to apes. But unfortunately with scientific research and predictions, the planet Earth is doomed to be completely run dry of its natural resources by humans, due to overpopulation of human and obsoleting the amount of space animals have to live in the wild. This may be the reason to why there is speculation about why scientists and astronomers are looking to inhabit other planets. It is clear to some that if we clean up the exponential amount of mistakes humanity has made environmentally in the recent years, by reducing the amount of waste and energy being consumed, it will bring the pollution, climate change and environmental degradation to an almost halt. And one of the first steps to do this is to figure out how to organize living arrangements and certain dietary foods that would benefit animals more than humans. The reason for this is because each animal that currently exists (not extinct) have a purpose to help the ecosystem. For example, sharks have been on a rise on the food market in the Asian culture. A certain kind of shark (the tiger shark)’s main prey are turtles; the main foods that turtles eat are the sea vegetation. Had there not been any tiger sharks, there would not be any more vegetation for turtles to eat which would eventually make the turtles extinct because of lack of food. Eating sharks in the Asian culture is a luxury and delicacy, and it is not a necessity. Most people do not see nor understand the importance of animals and the great impact they have on us because they value the hierarchy that has been placed by humans much more than animals’ lives.
But in another retrospect, humans are much better and more superior to animals because we, as humans, are of rational minds rather than acting upon instincts. We do not have the need to have nor use our survival instincts as much because we are more civil and have a sense of morality. And one of the most important points to differentiate ourselves from animals is our sense of self-control. We can understand a situation, make a decision, pass judgment, and take our time in doing so. We don’t make major decisions on impulse. And some people would say that animals do not have feelings nor do they have souls. Let’s take the example of the sharks. What we have been taught or shown is that sharks are ruthless and are violent when taking their role as a predator, ripping apart their prey’s body each time. Humans have been taught to fear sharks because they seem to have no remorse after killing their prey violently after every meal. This is in comparison to humans, where we should feel remorse after accidently killing someone in self-defense. Animals are typically, some scientists argue, that animals are typically selfish and act for their own benefit and do not act or behave for the greater good for their community of [that specific] species.
A problem with thinking this way, that humans are better than animals because we are civilized, have a sense of morality and are rational beings is that we are assuming that the people we are talking about are educated individuals. Educated individuals would be including those whom have graduated high school and possibly even attended post-secondary institutions. That amount of education would exclude the majority of the world, due to the fact that a certain percentage of people in the world have not finished primary and an even larger percentage of people in the world have not even attended any sort of educational facility, formally or informally.
So as we live on in this world, should we change the way we live and eat to help save ourselves, animals and the planet Earth or should we continue to turn our cheek and act as though we are ignorant to important problems that will affect us in the future in one way or another? We should understand that humans, chronologically, were the last to appear on the Earth and therefore should put the animals first. We should decide what the animal rights are and what animal cruelty really is. It is known that Quebec is the worst in Canada when it comes to animal protection, having the most animal breeding mills and etc. That, in itself, is something to change and to strive ourselves to become a lot better than where we have been for the last several years. In my opinion, to save the world is a greater goal than human greed. As an animal lover and pet owner myself, I strongly suggest to start putting ourselves into positions of leaders rather than followers. With sites like Craigslist and BuySellTrade.ca taking a stance on stopping the sales of animals and pets already, it gives more hope for the future.