511 – What IS the Animal Rights Agenda? With Patti Strand

What IS the Animal Rights Agenda? With Patti Strand

Patti Strand, president of the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA), joins host Laura Reeves to discuss proposed ballot initiatives that have appeared, in identical form, in multiple states with a definite “animal rights” agendas attached.

The current initiative in Oregon and the previous one in Colorado aimed to criminalize injuring or killing animals, including killing for food, hunting, fishing and criminalizes most breeding practices.

Strand contends that it is unlikely the Oregon proposal will receive enough signatures to make it on the ballot, and the Colorado one did not, but that we should always “be aware.”

“It is possible that other groups will come together and urge this sort of thing to get put on the ballot,” Strand said. “But again, since they’re going after every use of animals, in my opinion, it’s unlikely to succeed anywhere. Not only because it’s way too broadly comprised but also because none of the national groups with money would put money into it.

“But this is all part of the animal rights agenda. The animal rights agenda is opposed to using animals for any purpose, regardless of how humane, how responsible or how much benefit might flow from using animals in this way to people and other animals. A great deal of medical research is done on animals, for animals. So clearly there’s an animal rights to agenda behind this.

“I will say that (since) it lacks funding from the big organized groups, either (the initiative sponsors) just didn’t understand the process and what they were going to be up against in the beginning or it’s a shot across the bow, to let us know ‘we’re still here and this is truly exactly what we want.’

“You do have to be aware that there are people out there, and that you’re associating with them every day, maybe they’re not even on the other side, but they definitely have been the recipients of a lot of misinformation and information that’s told from a very biased point of view. Propaganda is everywhere.

“One of my favorite articles is from a speech (by) Michael Crichton, the guy who wrote Jurassic Park, and it’s his speech to the Commonwealth and he opens it up by saying ‘I’ve been asked to speak to you today and to tell you what I think is the greatest threat facing mankind. And I have a fundamental answer. It is the ability to discern reality from fiction.’ So, we’re in a propaganda war.

“You know, one of the major goals of the animal rights movement is to turn us all into guardians instead of owners. You have to be very very careful that you don’t fall into that trap. When you say you’re your pet’s guardian or you are a pet parent or whatever, you are moving the goal post a little bit in their direction. Obviously, you don’t wanna sound cold and heartless, because that plays into the agenda, too. So, it’s just about being sensitive to the language itself and being very, very aware.

“The truth will set you free. I’m really big on truth telling and just being very honest and open about what you do, what it means, why it matters. You can’t speak in sound bites and win. If you try to come up with a sound bite that is going to be the perfect rejoinder to what they just said, you’re gonna lose.

“Those of us who spend our entire lives with dogs, put every extra dime we have into our dogs, who spend more at veterinarians than many, many people spend on their kids… I mean, we love our dogs deeply. We just don’t confuse them with people. We know that they are dogs and we take care of them.”

375 – Dog Breeding: We’re ALL in this Together

Dog Breeding: We’re ALL in this Together

Patti Strand, the founder of the National Animal Interest Alliance, joins host Laura Reeves to talk about all dog breeders working together, raising the bar for the health and well-being of all dogs.

Strand provides an outstanding historical perspective on the question of dog breeding throughout the 20th century, commercial breeding operations to meet community demand for companion dogs, the programs put in place to monitor breeders and the confusion of outdated information.

“…there is a passion among commercial breeders today to do a better job and to learn how to do a better job,” Strand said. “One of our (NAIA) board members, Marty Greer, is a veterinarian. She gives a lot of seminars, a lot of health seminars … veterinary care-type seminars in the commercial dog breeding world. And she says she never had a more attentive audience. These people are taking notes and they’re asking questions. They’re excited about breeding. They’re excited about husbandry. So just a ton of really positive changes have taken place.”

Strand, a Dalmatian breeder for decades, added, “I’m a hobby breeder. I love what I do. I try to do it well. But what I’m really working toward is trying to support people who try to conduct themselves in the best way possible with the information and education and materials that we have.”

As president of NAIA, Strand works on legislation that impacts all breeders. Including researching actual numbers of dogs in animal shelters around the US.

“I had this experience last year in working on some legislation,” Strand commented. “I had a situation where a woman who owned a pet store asked me to help her and she told me that she was doing everything right.

“(I told her) ‘if you can demonstrate to me what you’re doing and you have a solid operation I will try to help you.’ So next morning I get up and I have like 150 documents from this woman. Every single puppy she bought from somebody whose USDA inspection reports were excellent. And not only that, every single puppy she bought had parents who were health tested for the very things that the hobby dog breeder world requires when you go to our AKC parent websites. The Breeders that were working with this particular distributor were all going to the AKC and the parent club websites and finding out what the requirements were for their breed and then duplicating it. So believe me, even 5 years ago you would not have seen that,” Strand observed.

“I think the reality is that we would all want pet stores or breeders, whether they’re hobby or commercial, who are doing things badly and where animals are being harmed not to be able to operate. I mean it’s just that simple. So with us at NAIA, we’re just all about conduct rather than categorizing people by putting a particular marketing label on people and then saying this label is no good and that label is good.”