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Monday, August 15, 2011

"Oh, you don't love your animals".

It seems a lot of the general public (and most especially the Animal Rights Activists, or ARAs...[I have less nice names for them]) think that we all believe our animals are nothing but "money making machines"...because yeah right, we make tons of money. 95% of us run in the red year after year after year, spending more money than I care to think about on the best food, the best hay, Air Conditioning, new cages, shavings for the pans, medicines and various supplies. In my own barn, the AC is often set lower for the bunnies than it is in the house! I go without tv and lights on in the living room during the day to keep our power bill lowered, but the radio in the rabbitry never goes off.

"I don't see how they can have that many and properly care for them." Oh really? By that argument, how can anyone have two children and love them both? How can they have three? Because surely three children need more time and attention than only 30 rabbits.

Come with me to my rabbitry. I can point at any cage and tell you the name, parents and approximate age of all of my animals. I can point out siblings, show wins, litter tragedies, tell you stories from their first weeks of life, first shows and personality traits.

Manage to get me talking about those who have passed on. I cry for them like I cried over the death of my first dog.

Yes, my home showcases ribbons and trophies. It showcases pictures as well.

Yes, I sell my animals based on reproduction, show results or just "not needing" them anymore for the herd. I selectively cull for looks.

I also cull for health and temperament. I screen homes, even other show homes. If I have heard bad things about your showing/breeding ethics, or the cleanliness of your barn, I will refuse a sale.

I do everything I can to ensure that my animals go to good homes and get the best care, whether they are in my care or someone else's. I care for every animal that passes through my barn, whether I bred it, bought it, or plan to sell it.

Don't tell me I can't love my animals. That they don't have enough room in their roomy cages, that they don't get toys or treats. You don't know me. You don't know my practices and you have no right to judge.

What about those pet owners who "love" their bunny in to an early grave? Those who feed them green only diets instead of horrible, nutritionally balanced pellets? Or who feed them so many treats the animal is morbidly obese and can barely walk? Why do I have 6 year old retired show rabbits in my barn, while Flufferdoodle the pet dies a horrible death at a year of age in the hands of the "Rabbit House Society" approved pet owner? Should we rescue their pet rabbits? Is ignorance hidden under the title "love" really love?

You know that beloved pet bunny you remember? The super sweet one that you loved forever? Where do you think it came from originally? A BREEDER. Don't blame us if you rescued it... we do our best to place them in good homes, but people lie. Our good home may have passed it on to a bad one. I can't control what people do once they have the animal, I have to rely on what they tell me and my instincts.

There are bad ARBA breeders out there. There are also backyard breeders. I even know a few in my area and I do my best to educate them on proper care. If they don't listen, I can't force them to do things my way.

In the future though, perhaps the ARAs should go from targeting the good breeders and look to "saving" the rabbits that really do live in filthy conditions with poor food and less water. Once all the rabbits are saved from the "bad guys", then worry about those of us who love... yes LOVE... our creatures and do more for them than we do for ourselves.

Keep's Rabbitry


April said...

I can't agree with you more!

Lindsey said...

I couldn't have said that better Kristen. I had to say amen at the end too.

Anonymous said...

Dude I'm gonna link to this.

Keep said...

Please feel free Ellyn! :) Thanks guys!

CorkysMom said...

Very well said!!!!!

Keep said...

Thank you! :)