Shame on You, Mr. Biden

When someone told me this morning that Joe Biden had acquired a new puppy, I was really excited because I was pretty sure he would have done the right thing and gone to a shelter. After all, many of us think our vice-president-elect is a terribly smart guy, and that’s what you expect a smart person would do.

Imagine my shock when I read this story saying that Biden’s puppy comes not from a shelter but from a breeder in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Biden, I have just this to ask of you: in all your years as a politician who spends a lot of time (presumably) learning about injustices and working to set them right, didn’t you ever learn about the nearly three million perfectly healthy dogs that are euthanized in animal shelters around the country each year because they cannot find good homes, even as breeders continue to irresponsibly churn out hundreds of thousands of more innocent puppies each year?

Hadn’t you at least heard about the numerous petitions that animal rights groups and animal shelters have made in recent weeks asking your running mate, Barack Obama, to adopt from a shelter when he started talking about getting a dog for his daughters?

And while I assume that this puppy of yours comes from a “respectable” breeder, whatever that is, do you know that Pennsylvania is notorious for being home to hundreds of puppy mills, those terrifying places where humans enslave dogs in tiny crates and under terrifying conditions with the sole purpose of breeding them to make more puppies for pet shops?

If I sound really disappointed, Mr. Biden, it is because I am: I had much higher hopes of you. Animal rights might seem like the obsession of just a few, but compassion ought to be part of all of our hearts.

One of my favorite quotes from Mahatma Gandhi goes something like this: “A nation’s progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.”

I think you just set us back quite a bit, Mr. Biden.

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  1. says

    that is a disappointment. Sometimes I feel like everything is hopeless (I get over it of course) that our politicians will never really hear what we are saying. They will just nod their heads and smile pretending to hear.

  2. says

    Nicely said. Speaking of good quotes, I’m fond of this one from you “Animal rights might seem like the obsession of just a few, but compassion ought to be part of all of our hearts.”

  3. says

    I had read this earlier today and was disappointed. Shelter children are so much more fun. I wish I had more room as my group seems to be thinning out the last few years from old age and sickness. I am down to 5 fur kids now.
    all shelter babies.

  4. says

    Hmm .. call it obsession or passion. It is required for any movement and bringing any kind of change! So you are absolutely right.

    However, I have a habit though of tossing things around in my mind, and in all directions…

    If what you are expecting of a politician for puppies is applied to humans….adopting children is better than having our own! I do support this. However its much easier said than implemented. I know many who will support the underprevileged, but will not actually adopt them! Should we really judge Biden? Dunno!

  5. says

    Bex, It does feel hopeless, but those of us who care about this have to keep talking about it regardless if we are to make any kind of difference. In the end, persistence pays.

    Chelsea, It was surprising to me too.

    Sarah, Thanks for your kind words.

    Gita, Faith, Anudivya, Vij, Thanks.

    Jan, You are right. Shelter children are wonderful and a lot of fun indeed.

    Shreya, Madhuram, Cham, The Veggie Guy, Thanks.

    Dibs: Thanks for raising a great point. I agree with you that adopting children rather than producing more is a far better alternative, just as adopting from shelters is a better alternative to buying dogs and cats from breeders. More awareness has to be raised on both points: we cannot stop pressing for one because people don’t seem to get the other. Also, I believe our public officials have to live up to a higher standard because they are role models for the country and even the world. A Biden or an Obama adopting a shelter puppy gives the cause much more credibility and can lead to more people changing their minds about shelter dogs, millions of whom get the death sentence each year for no fault of their own.

  6. says

    Hi Vaishali,

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