Monthly Archives: August 2015

Truths: Why are truths so unfathomable?

Each and every day, I am both amused and disheartened by the number of people who tell me they didn’t know about puppy mill dogs or puppy mills stores (AKA Petland).  However, what crushes me is the number of people who don’t believe me when I tell them about the conditions of the mills, the involvement of the AKC, and the lack of laws to protect the dogs.  Why would I lie?

Yesterday, as I watched World News Tonight, I was bombarded with stories that the majority of people choose not to believe – even me.

Let me premise this by saying none of these examples are meant to outshine the other, I am not equalizing babies and coral reefs.  I, simply, want to show how even when the facts surface in our face, we look the other way.

I will start with Planned Parenthood.  I am pro-choice and while I have never been to Planned Parenthood, I have believed it to be a good place.  I have a dear friend who is a social worker and who has told me that many of the services Planned Parenthood provides are services people could never otherwise get in their communities.  There appears to be a need for Planned Parenthood.

When the allegations of “selling baby parts” surfaced, I was among the first to disregard them.  I chalked it up to the “right” fighting the “left” on abortion.  Another election, another debate on female reproduction.

Yet, yesterday as I watched the video footage they warned could be alarming, I watched with the heart of a puppy mill fighter.  Here was a woman in tears explaining what she saw with her own eyes and her own ears.  I couldn’t help but relate to her.  And, I couldn’t help, but wonder, “Why am I so reluctant to believe her truth?”

Later in the show was a segment on the destruction of the coral reef.  Google has partnered to photo map most of the reefs in the world.  A complete 3D underwater mapping.  It is amazing.   Since the reefs exist underwater, they are also out of sight and few people can see the destruction, so it is all an attempt to PROVE that the coral reefs are being destroyed by the effects of climate change.  In 5 years, they will map the reefs again to show the extent of the damage.  The increased water temperatures are killing it.  Ah, climate change… few people have chosen to believe that truth, yet, study after study continues to show it is real.

Why are we, as a group, so hesitant to believe truths that impact our world.  It bothers me each and everyday as I fight for mill dogs.  Why would I lie?  I have nothing financial to gain.  The fight I fight is for the animals.

I am sure those fighting climate change would say the same.  They are fighting to preserve our world and while I am sure there are corporations at stake, just like the millers, most of the people fighting for the cause are doing it because they believe in it and want to see the world survive.

I didn’t want to believe the horrific things about Planned Parenthood selling body parts, but after watching that woman’s video, I find myself re-considering.  If choice isn’t what is on the table, if people just believe that the back side of the clinic is what needs to change, then I tend to believe her.  I feel like I need to believe her because I need people to believe me.

I am her, sitting in tears, telling people about the awful things I have seen in puppy mills.

For months people in America did not believe what Hitler was doing in Germany and it cost people their lives.  There are so many tragic things going on today and people continue to look the other way.  Are we afraid of what the truths say about us a human race?  Is it too hard to embrace the truths and then look in the mirror at the people we have become?

Baby parts being sold in the back of a clinic isn’t ideal by any standard.  Man’s best friend sitting in filth, rotting away till death should be intolerable.  The ocean’s reef burning into oblivion is not what nature intended.

I often say that we have become a very narcissitic society and as I look at the truths we choose to ignore, I feel, sadly, affirmed.

My husband and I went big last weekend and spent Saturday night at the local county fair.  There are so many things I want to say about the fair, but they are for another blog.  Today, I am gonna focus on one small thing: the goldfish I won playing a carnival game.

Now, to be completely fair, it was MY idea to play the game.  And, I realize what a hypocrite that makes me.  In my defense, seeing the thousands of the fish in little tiny clear plastic bags just sitting there made my heart break into just as many pieces.  Fish are creatures, too.  The rescue person in me just couldn’t be pushed aside.

$5.00 later and we were walking away with a decent size goldfish in a cute little blue plastic carrier.  My husband spared no expense to make me happy.

Our family has been down this road before and it has never ended well.  This time was gonna be different.  Immediately, after leaving the fair, we stopped at the grocery store to get fish food and some chemicals to de-chlorinate the water.  That much I already knew.

We got home and I found the fish bowl every American family has sitting in the back basement. Cleaned it out, stuck in the plastic plant, prepared the water, and let “Doc Ford” splash into his new pond.  I felt as liberated as I hoped he was.

The next morning I began googling, “Caring for the goldfish you won at the fair” because that is a real search – one done thousands of times.  Instantly, I saw the briefings of forums warning parents of the actual care that goes into having a goldfish.  The number one precaution, “A goldfish cannot survive in a bowl!”

The "aquarium" Doc Ford came with that would have eventually killed him.

The “3 cup” aquarium Doc Ford came with that would eventually kill him.

Crap!  Why didn’t I ever search this before?

Not only can a goldfish NOT survive in a goldfish bowl (how in the hell can they name something after an animal that does not even suit them?), for every goldfish you have, your tank should be at least 10 gallons.

I glanced over at the cute little blue carrier they gave us at the fair.  I would have been surprised if it held a total of 3- 8oz cups of water.  My eyes carried me to the “large” bowl I put Doc Ford in.  In my head I compared it to a gallon of milk.  I would be surprised if a gallon of milk would fit in the bowl I thought was Lake Michigan for Doc Ford.

Since I was on the computer, I quickly typed in and figured with my Prime account, I could have a new tank in 2 days with free shipping.  As I scrolled through all of the 10 gallon tanks, there wasn’t a single one for under $50.  And, of course, the ones I liked the best, the ones that would look chic in my kitchen were well over $100 and all of their reviews were, “Not good for a goldfish.”

To keep my $5 fish alive, I was gonna have to shell out some cash and live with a tank in my kitchen.

My family kept saying, “Wait to see if he lives a week before you spend that kind of money.”

Their commentary made sense, however, after all that I read on ten different goldfish forums, I knew that if I didn’t get at least a 10 gallon tank, Doc Ford had a near zero chance of surviving. See, while it is true that goldfish will only grow to the size of their tank, the reality is their insides don’t actually stop growing.  So, they die because their organs have nowhere to go.

There is also the problem with high ammonia levels.  Goldfish are extremely messy and poop all of the time.  Without a filter or larger amounts of water, the fish die of ammonia poisoning.  From what I read, it is a horrible death.

I would see Doc Ford gasping at the  top of the bowl and feel like a fish killer.  I changed his water constantly, which I also learned was only stressing him out.  I couldn’t take it anymore.


Doc Ford’s new ocean


I drove to Walmart and with only a few options, found a 20 gallon tank for the low price of $59.97.  It came with lighting and a filter.  Add $20 more for some gravel and a few plastic plants and for just under $100, by early afternoon Doc Ford was presented with a mansion and no mortgage.

I am watching him right now swim around his new digs.  I worry that he can’t breathe, that I didn’t de-chlorinate the water enough, that it is too warm, and that he doesn’t understand to       look on the top of the water for his food.

I have transformed puppy-mill dogs from scared, empty shells of nothing into loving certified therapy dogs, but I don’t know a damn thing about goldfish.

So, I just got off the phone with my husband, telling him all about Doc Ford’s newly appointed epic home. Within minutes,  I started ranting about how wrong it all is: the concept of the fair and the goldfish games.  (They also had a game where you could win hermit crabs).  I said to Bill, “Not everyone has $100 to set-up an aquarium for the goldfish they won at the fair.  They are basically setting the fish up to die.”

Of course he agreed with me.  One, I am right and two, he knows not to argue about animals with me.  But, he said, “Well, in reality though, how long would that fish last anyway?”

“12 years or more, ” I said, “That is what I read on the forums.  A goldfish can last well over 12 years with the right care.”

As only a husband of an animal advocate could reply, he said, “How about you free all the puppy-mill dogs first and then worry about the goldfish at the fairs?”

Yes, the mill dogs first, but as I watch Doc Ford and see him swim into walls, I just hate the idea that hundreds of little kids took home goldfish last week.  Those goldfish are sitting in the 3 cup carriers basically waiting to die.   The only satisfaction I get from any of it is knowing that Doc Ford is what they call a feeder fish.  Had he not been at the fair, he would have likely been another fish or creature’s dinner.

Doc Ford is just another example of what is wrong with the world.  We see such creatures as meaningless, worth nothing.  I don’t blame parents for not shelling out the cash for a 10 gallon aquarium just for the $5 goldfish and I know it is hard to say no to a child (or an adult) who wants to play the game and win a pet.  Just as we have done with the pet stores, stopping the cruelty at the point of sale, we must one day do with the fairs.  We must end the goldfish game because people don’t know any better and the best way to prevent more goldfish from needlessly dying in a 3 cup carrier, is to stop marketing them like prizes we can throw away.