The Instigator
cyber_onions
Pro (for)
The Contender
dejah.mcgovern
Con (against)

Is breeding pets irresponsible?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 272 times Debate No: 98076
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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cyber_onions

Pro

Breeding pets (focusing here on cats and dogs) can be seen as irresponsible because it contributes to the issue of pet overpopulation, and purebred animals are more likely to face medical problems.

Even ignoring the deplorable conditions of large scale breeding facilities ("puppy mills" and the like), breeders who are "responsible" are still contributing to the problems mentioned above.

There are huge numbers of cats and dogs living in animal shelters, and not enough people to adopt them. Choosing to buy a dog/cat from a breeder rather than a shelter means that these animals remain in shelters - every time somebody pays for a dog to be born (bred) another dog that could have been adopted remains in a shelter.

But further, and perhaps more importantly, buying from a breeder contributes to demand for new dogs and cats. Breeders will continue to breed animals so long as people buy them, contributing to the overpopulation of pets.

Purebreds are also prone to more health problems, and not just because of in-breeding. This includes problems like hip dysplasia and bloat, which can cause severe pain and death for the animal. If the point of breeding is to create an animal that looks a particular way, is it not incredibly selfish to bring animals into the world that will have short and potentially painful lives just because we think they're pretty?

What is the benefit to breeding pets?

Thus because it contributes to overpopulation, pets in shelters not being adopted, and purebred animals with many health risks, pet breeding can be seen as irresponsible.
dejah.mcgovern

Con

you are saying that it could over populate, but if every pet is being breaded than that will cause extinction. They might be more likely but it isn't 100% that purebred animals will face medical problems. People are very specific about what kind of dog they want so if their isn't a dog that suits their needs they shouldn't be forced to choose a dog from the animal shelter that they don't want, because if their is a dog or cat that they didn't want they could become angry and out of anger they could become violent, and then theirs a chance that could be violent towards the pet. so wouldn't it be better to just keep the pet safe in an animal shelter. The benefit is that for a long time that the dog is alive, the owners could be happy with what dog they got. would you rather have a short time with someone you love or a long time with someone you don't like? It's not really irresponsible, more or less a choice that people have.
Debate Round No. 1
cyber_onions

Pro

You open with the statement, "you are saying that it could over populate, but if every pet is being breaded than that will cause extinction," which doesn't make linguistic sense so I"m not sure what you're arguing here. Is it that removing breeding altogether could cause the extinction of pet breeds? True, to stop breeding would mean fazing out purebreds, but there are more than enough existing pets that the possibility of extinction is distant. My argument is based on the present time, that today, breeding pets is irresponsible. If, in the future, pet populations drop to a manageable level, breeding animals again can become an option. But this doesn't really fall inside the scope of my argument.

Speaking of extinction, here in Australia, one of the world's biggest extinction crises is currently going on, and it's being caused by cats. The overpopulation of cats (now feral) is decimating native wildlife.

Your next assertion: "They might be more likely but it isn't 100% that purebred animals will face medical problems." True, it isn"t 100%, but it still high enough to warrant scrutiny. Prevalence of medical problems is specific to the genetic disorder " Bellumori et al. (2013) found that across pure breeds and mixed breeds, there were ten genetic disorders more likely to be found in pure breeds:

Aortic stenosis
Dilated cardiomyopathy
Elbow dysplasia
IVDD
Hypoadrenocorticism
Atopy / allergic dermatitis
Bloat
Cataracts
Epilepsy (total)
Portosystemic shunt

This gives rise to the question, why are we still bringing certain breeds into the world if they have a heightened chance of genetic disorders?

Your next assertion is particularly problematic and returns to my original argument: "People are very specific about what kind of dog they want so if their isn't a dog that suits their needs they shouldn't be forced to choose a dog from the animal shelter that they don't want"

Firstly, could you define for me the ways that people are specific about what kind of dog they want? Is it based on the animal"s personality, behaviours, or appearance? This is integral to my argument.

Here you are making an assumption that there is a wider available range of animals from breeders rather than shelters, and also that pets sold by breeders are more likely to be likeable, which are unfounded claims.

The argument that people "want to buy a specific dog" might be seen to reduce pets to a commodity, rather than a complex living being. This in itself is an irresponsible attitude. Of course, people will have ideas about what will make a compatible companion " big, small, lots of hair, easy maintenance, etc. but this does not have any bearing on the personality of the animal. In arguing that people "are specific about what they want" you are also making the assumption that breeders give you more control over what the animal will be like, which is false. Although certain breeds often have similar traits, each individual still has a different personality and behaviours. So buying from a breeder does not guarantee that you'll get what you "like" any more than buying from a shelter will. If it's not about personality and compatibility but simply about an animal's appearance, this returns to my original assertion that paying for an animal to be born for cosmetic reasons alone is selfish and vain, and again, irresponsible.

Consider too that buying from a breeder usually means buying a puppy/kitten and buying from a shelter often means buying an older animal, so the people at the shelter will likely be able to give you an indication of what the animal is like, it's behaviours, whereas the breeder won"t because these haven't developed yet. Thus it might be said that buying from a shelter actually gives you a better chance of getting a pet that you "like". Note too that many animal shelters have pure breeds anyway, so there's no real argument for going to a breeder instead of a shelter if it's about selecting a particular appearance.

"because if their is a dog or cat that they didn't want they could become angry and out of anger they could become violent, and then theirs a chance that could be violent towards the pet. so wouldn't it be better to just keep the pet safe in an animal shelter"

Given that I have already pointed out how buying from a breeder gives you no greater chance of getting a dog or cat that you like than buying from a shelter, it follows that the possibility that people might be violent towards their pet isn't dependent upon where they bought it from. So this is not an argument for pet breeding.

"better to keep the pet safe in an animal shelter." This is predicated upon the false assumption that animals are safe in shelters. They're not. A shelter is not a holding pattern for unwanted animals where they can remain indefinitely if no one adopts them. Due to the overpopulation of pets, hundreds of thousands of healthy animals are euthanized simply because there is no space to keep them all. According to the RSPCA figures for the financial year 2015-2016, 5,872 dogs, 16,205 cats and 15,681 other (incl horses, small animals and livestock) were put down by the RSPCA. This is just the figures for pets put down by one organisation, the estimated number of unwanted pets that have to be killed due to overpopulation in all pounds and shelters across Australia is 250 000. The figures are much, much higher in the US. Animals are not safe in shelters. If people adopted from shelters rather than buying from breeders, less animals would have to be killed, and the decreasing demand for breeding would mean less animals being born only to be put down.

Finally, you end with "would you rather have a short time with someone you love or a long time with someone you don't like?" This assumes that whether or not you like an animal is based entirely on what that animal is like, and also that animals don't change over time. I would submit to you that love of an animal is something that grows over time, not something that can be determined whilst staring at a pet shop window. All animals have their ups and downs, and potential pet owners are the ones responsible for deciding whether they are mature enough to look after an animal, knowing that it might at times be difficult and demanding. The burden should not be on the animals to give their lives because humans are fickle.

References:

Bellumori TP, TR Famula, DL Bannasch, JM Belanger, & AM Oberbauer 2013 Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27,254 cases (1995-2010). J Am Vet Med Assoc 242: 1549-1555.

Figures for pets put down across Australia: http://www.deathrowpets.net...

RSPCA figures: https://www.rspca.org.au...
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
I agree with the instigator. We have enough animals in the ASPCA and other animal shelters to last a long time.
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