Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Watch Your Language

Article by Charlotte McGowan Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:44 pm (PST) Watch Your Language By Charlotte McGowan I would like to make some observations about language. The animal rights people want to change language to help them in their quest to give animals legal standing and we are helping them. Time to stop.

Adopting - this is a term used for humans. We don't adopt animals. Sorry, rescues don't offer dogs for adoption either. They offer them for placement. They re-home them. But they aren't adopted. If money changes hands, they sell them. A shelter here in Mass grosses over $700,000 a year selling imported shelter strays, mutts and feral street dogs. They go for $350 a pop. They don't rescue in my opinion, they keep product in the store! They have a big so-called not for profit 501(c)3 business. If we start calling it like it is (and I do) believe me you are going to feel so much better. Now if a purebred rescue collects money from someone for a dog, they are taking money as a placement or re-homing fee or they are asking to be reimbursed for expenses related to the re-homing. If you need it to be warmer and fuzzier, it is humane re-homing. Let's drop adoption. Animal rights people love us if we help them. Let's stop helping them. 

Fostering - This is a term used for children taken by the state and put in the care of people not their parents. We don't foster dogs. We provide temporary care for displaced dogs. Sorry if you find that awkward but we can all benefit by retraining ourselves. Guardian - legal term used for the legally responsible person caring for a minor child or incapacitated person. I think we get this one. We have to fight Guardian language in animal ordinances tooth and nail because a guardian takes away ownership from the owner. If you own a dog it is yours. If you are a guardian, you are not an owner. You are a person or entity with legal care responsibility. If dogs have guardians instead of owners, we no longer have ownership rights. 

Puppy Mill - There is no such thing. Puppy mill is a slur, like the "n....." word. Let's stop using it. We hate substandard kennels. We want all dogs to be kept well. Well kept dogs are well kept dogs whether they are in kennels or in homes. It isn't about how many dogs there are it is about how well they are kept. HSU$ calls all farms factory farms. When have you ever heard them talk about or care about family farms? Now they call all breeders puppy mills. They try to mumble in a remote footnote that there might be some good breeders but for them it is all about shelters and if not shelters rescues. Do you get it? They use language to slander all animal use and all dog breeders. Their mumbled lip service doesn't fly with me. 

Rescue - what is a rescue? To me, IMHO, it is taking on the care and rehoming of a dog in a true need situation. This includes when the owners are incapacitated or die, have to go into a care facility like a nursing home, lose their home, etc. When some one just wants to dump a dog because they are tired of it, that's a disposal job. I am not nice to such people. When purebred rescues go into auctions and buy dogs I call that just plain dumb. That is assisting and supporting commercial breeders. Some people may not agree but supporting this sort of thing does absolutely nothing for purebred dogs. Words that do not belong in the language at all - furbabies, furkids, fur children. All of these terms make animals into children who (gasp) need guardians, adoption and fostering. 

So I hope you watch your language! Charlotte McGowan Newton, Massachusetts Charlotte McGowan serves as Legislative Liaison for two parent clubs, the Papillon Club of America and the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. She was also recently appointed legislative chair for the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and the legislative point person for the National Animal Interest Alliance Trust (NAIA), an association dedicated to promoting animal welfare, supporting responsible animal use, and strengthening the bond between humans and animals. McGowan spends a great deal of time and effort defending the rights of dog owners. She reviews national and international news related to animal rights extremism in order to alert the AKC Canine Legislation department and other interested groups of impending legislation. She posts legislative news from all over the country to email lists informing the dog fancy and dog owners of current legislative issues in their locales.

1 comment:

  1. some other words to be watched: girls, boys, babies, moms, dads....its bitches, dogs, puppies, dams, sires (in the case of dogs)...I had trouble using the term bitch for a female canine for years because of the negative connotation of that word in our language (a derogatory reference to women...or sometimes men), and called them females for years until someone pointed out to me that female is an adjective. Duh. So now I refer to them as female puppies, or female (insert your breed/race of dog) or sometimes bitches...or in my particular case, as a breeder of Azawakh, I sometimes refer to them as "taidit" which means "female dog" in Tamasheq...


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