Sunday Commentary: Against the Obvious
So often I see where those who are fighting against better animal-welfare laws make statements that not only defy logic but in so many cases completely ignore it. A statement I read recently from someone supporting the sale of puppies in stores is a perfect example.
The Philly Dawg blog on Philly.com recently featured an entry titled – “Study confirms puppy mills leave long term scars on dogs.”
From the post – “The results showed a broad range of abnormal findings in the former breeding dogs, including: significantly elevated levels of fears and phobias, pronounced compulsive and repetitive behaviors such as spinning in tight circles and pacing, house soiling, and a heightened sensitivity to being touched and picked up.”
But Philly Dawg also quoted a representative of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), described as “the trade group for pet stores, pet breeders and pet products manufacturers.”
The group did its own study (don’t laugh) that found pet-store puppies – “as healthy, or healthier, than puppies from any other source” and “most pet stores obtain their puppies from responsible breeders, and customers choosing pet store puppies overwhelmingly end up with healthy and well-socialized pets.”
I’m seeing this trend in the political arena and in industry ad campaigns. Take an obvious fact and/or science and attack it with statements totally contrary to any logic at all. “No, the Moon doesn’t exist. It is a projection into the night sky by government officials in Dumb Down City. They change it slightly every night to make us think the Sun is shining on it.”
And equally amazing are the people who buy into the propaganda. Pet stores puppies – many sold at far too young an age – are “as healthy, or healthier, than puppies from any other source” -? Maybe the industry feels it can make an extreme statement such as this because word on street is, enough people will actually believe it to keep the industry in business.
But how is it that politicians and some industry leaders have reached this conclusion, that they feel enough people have become anti-science and anti-logic that they can get away with spreading such a level of propaganda – with no basis in fact? Partly, they have become emboldened by a weak and lazy national news media, controlled to a far too great extent by corporate contributions, through advertising or other means.
We desperately need to return to journalism on a level where it is not guided by ratings or sales figures. Our Constitutional system depends on strong, fact-based, science-based, investigative journalism. Elected officials and politicians running for office on all levels need to know news outlets are digging into their statements and actions.
I think those who crafted the Constitution understood the importance of this system. We need watchdogs to protect us – otherwise elected officials on both sides, Big Oil CEOs and the like might feel they can fool enough of the people enough of the time with unchecked propaganda.
Pet store puppies are healthier and well-socialized? I hope people don’t believe that. I hope people understand this is also an attempt to throw a blanket over the horrible conditions the breeding dogs endure every day in puppy mills.