The other night as we drove through an area of Wisconsin known for Amish communities, I posted what I thought was an innocent comment about the Amish. I simply said that it seemed to me that whomever the God was for the Amish s/he would prefer they use electricity, buy an iPhone, and drive a car than beat a horse to death or breed dogs in filth and neglect.
While many people liked and even shared my post, there were some who felt it was wrong of me to blame all of the Amish for those behaviors. I get it. While I have yet to meet an Amish or Mennonite who doesn’t breed dogs, I bet there are a few out there.
This subject of Amish puppy mills is one so dear to my heart and soul that even I admit I might not be able to use rational judgement. I wrote an entire book based on the cruelty and neglect of Amish puppy mills, so I think it is safe to say that I am in pretty deep when it comes to the subject matter.
None the less, since it was a few of my dear friends who posted the charges against me, I had no choice but to dig deeper into my own feelings to figure out why it is I am so content blaming ALL Amish for puppy mills.
One basic truth is that not all puppy mills are run by Amish. There are hundreds across the country run by “English” (people like me). Those mills can be just as horrendous.
So, I started REALLY thinking about this… and here is my belief. As English people, we have no problem protesting, legislating, even criminalizing heinous, cruel behavior towards animals. I KNOW there are millions of English people taking a stand against puppy mills (against people just like us as far as race and religion, etc…) every single day. I see it in the pet store protests, in the political lobbying, and in social media posts. I know that while there are people in our culture propagating puppy mills, there are also people ACTIVELY fighting it. It is hard to accuse an entire community of being cruel, when half of the community is speaking out against the cruelty.
I have yet to see or hear of a single Amish person actively fighting against puppy mills in their communities. I have never heard of anyone in the Amish community taking a stand for the better treatment of animals. Yes, there might be Amish families who do treat their farm animals with compassion or have a family dog who sleeps in the house on his own bed, but until they are willing to publicly take a stand against puppy mills or animal cruelty, they are only permitting the awful acts to continue.
I blame ALL Amish for puppy mills because no one within their community is trying to change anything. I firmly believe that until members of their own community come out against the cruelty, they are all to blame.
Turning a blind eye to cruelty should be a crime. The Amish people need to take responsibility for the actions of everyone in their community. If they want to truly be the “kinder, gentler people,” they should be willing stand up and fight for the beliefs and actions that truly represent a kind community. Keeping dogs in small wire cages, covered in feces and breeding them until they die is not what I consider a kind act.
It IS wrong to blame an entire community or race or religion based on the heinous acts of a few, however, when no one in that community appears to be against the heinous act, it isn’t a false accusation of blame, it is actually the truth.