It's a dog's life! You've seen it. A seemingly happy dog with it's drooling tongue flapping in the breeze as the car cruises along. Maybe a couple of kids playing with a big Persian cat at the back of an MPV. Don't forget the well coiffured aunty in the Kopitiams sipping the mocha with her just as well coiffured pooch sitting docile on a chair next to her. The trend is unmistakable. More and more people are getting pets as toys, ornaments or something to adorn themselves. Perhaps it subconsciously underlines their need to feel superior and lord over the beasts.
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Would you stick your child's face out the window for the child to drool in the breeze? Would you demand that your child sit around you in a docile manner while you chat at the coffee shop? And too many kitties and bunnies have been accidentally left in a locked car on a hot sunny day.
In the United States of America, the demand for puppies have reared (pardon the pun) its ugly face in the form of mushrooming puppy mills or farms. A problem far worse than dealing with backyard breeders. Not unlike chicken farms, the dogs are often kept in appalling conditions and forced to give birth to as many puppies as possible. When the bitch is past her usefulness, she is simply put down or discarded. According to estimates, a whooping 99 percent of all puppies sold in pet stores comes from these puppy mills.
Closer to home, we are also beginning to see a proliferation of pet stores. The wanton demand for pets will obviously drive the setting up of local puppy mills. Pets are even being sold in hypermarkets and shopping malls. It is all too easy now to pacify a screaming child in the hypermarket by simply obliging to purchase the cute little hamster. Short of scanning the pet for it's price, you can conveniently purchase just about any pet. From the affordable fishes to exotic reptiles. From Kitties to bunnies. Puppies would be a hot seller if muslim shoppers didn't object.
One of the Eightfold Noble path stipulates Sammā-ājīva or Right Livelihood. Buddhists are encouraged to earn their living through honest means. Five types of trades are discouraged and they are :-
1. Business in weapons: trading in all kinds of weapons and instruments for killing.
2. Business in human beings: slave trading, prostitution, or the buying and selling of children or adults.
3. Business in flesh: Includes breeding of animals for slaughter.
4. Business in intoxicants: manufacturing or selling intoxicating drinks or addictive drugs.
5. Business in poison: producing or trading in any kind of toxic product designed to kill.
By purchasing a pet from the stores, you are encouraging a cruel trade. If you want a pet, adopt one from the animal shelter. Otherwise make it a point to know the breeder and the conditions in which the animals were bred in. Say no to pet shops.
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