I am a longtime animal advocate, have been a vegetarian for the majority of my life, and a vegan for about 4 years. I have left most animal rights/vegan message boards, social media groups, etc. and rarely interact with them. Why? Because I have compassion for people who have been mauled/killed by aggressive dogs. I wish I were joking when I say that this issue has made me feel like a pariah in the community. Just think about an everyday person visiting a vegan/AR message board and reading statements along the lines of "I like dogs better than kids anyway" or "Ugly brat probably deserved it." Is this going to make them sympathetic to our cause or want to explore it further?I usually don't even bring up this issue because it is so divisive and anger-provoking, but I knew this would be one site that would be understanding about how downright mean and self-sabotaging some vegans and animal activists can be.
19peace80, I wanted you to know that one of my long time friends, Joe Espinosa (vegan for ~25 years, and the world's leading volunteer leafleter ever) is well aware of the issue and has been perhaps a bit too outspoken about what the data shows us about the dangers of aggressive dogs/fighting dogs, pit bulls in particular, as they are jaw and jowls above the rest of the pack in their danger to people and other animals, responsible for over 90% of serious attacks. Speaking to this even though he actually has a pit bull himself(and is quite careful to keep her from other people and animals, given that their unpredictable nature and very damaging attack style might cause a serious incident to) has made Joe a dreaded enemy of a good number of pit bull advocates who are more than pleased to rewrite the history of the selective breeding of these fighting dogs, spew silliness about them being nanny dogs, and watch the pile of people and animals getting seriously hurt or killed continue to grow. It is a difficult situation.
Thank you for your comment, and I agree. I support mandatory spay/neuter of the highest risk dog breeds. I also just wish shelters and rescue groups would be honest, to help prevent tragedies for people, other pets, and the dogs themselves. I am glad your friend is a responsible owner. They seem to be so few and far between, in part because of all of the misinformation spread by self-identified activists. I really think the dog aggression issue is the ugliest and most divisive issue in the humane movement today. It makes the pragmatists vs. the abolitionists debate look positively civil. I've had people tell me that an animal--especially not a dog--can never be unpredictable or aggressive and that it "is always, always the human's fault," to use one memorable quote. And if it's another dog or cat killed? Then it's dismissed as "well, that's just nature."It's sickening, and it's another thing that is making our movement look like a bunch of human-hating, screw-loose loonies to mainstream people.
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