Adopt! Don’t Shop!

I am honestly not a blogger. I feel like I get too self-conscious when it comes to expressing my thoughts, and too aware of the lack of quality in my writing, but not aware enough to rephrase it in a more poetic manner. I think blogging makes me feel kind of dumb. Not to say that other people who blog are dumb, but rather it makes me feel like I’m allowing others to read my dumb thoughts, as opposed to just keeping them in my head as per usual. But like, fuck it. I like trying new things and I think blogging is a good habit to have. So I guess you’re all welcome to my dumb thoughts.

Dumb thought number one is ADOPT, DON’T SHOP! Honestly, out of all my thoughts, this one is probably the least dumb. I know a lot of people who will agree with me on this, but I know a lot less who actually practice it. In case it wasn’t clear, I am talking about pets. I understand that if you’re looking for a more exotic pet, adoption might not be an option and that’s fine, but there are so many perfectly adequate dogs and cats waiting for a family in shelters.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to vilify a person for buying his or her pet from a pet store; I, of all people, understand the appeal of raising a puppy or a kitten. I understand that in the end, the animal is still (hopefully) going to lead a better life than it did, and that’s never a bad thing. However, I just can’t support pet stores as a business. I hate the fact that most of the puppies you see in pet stores came from puppy mills, where money is prioritised over the dogs’ health and well-being. I also hate the idea that the dog is trapped in a tiny glass prison for over 12 hours a day, with little to no socialisation. Any dog in a pet shop is guaranteed to have a lower quality of life than a dog waiting for adoption. From what I’ve seen, shelters and rescues generally have larger areas for the dog, and volunteers that genuinely care about the dog’s well being. As a volunteer myself, I have seen dogs at Hong Kong Dog Rescue freely roam about in multiple separated areas, with ample interaction with volunteers and workers. I volunteered as a dog walker, something that I highly doubt a pet shop has. If people were to stop buying from pet stores by boycotting the entire business, puppy mills will less business and hopefully some will cease to exist. For the general welfare of animals, it makes sense to boycott the business of pet stores.

I’m not writing this post to guilt people into adopting instead of buying; I’m simply trying to encourage people to see my point of view. There are just so so so many dogs and cats waiting to be adopted; it just makes no sense to me for someone to buy from a pet shop. I get that people might find a certain breed more appealing than others, or they prefer the idea of having a full-breed dog, as compared to a mixed breed dog, but I don’t believe these reasons are enough to overlook the hidden unethical side of pet shops. I can promise you that you will love a rescue dog just as much as you would love a full-breed dog, if not more. And if you’re the kind of person who thinks you can only love a dog because the dog is “cute,” then you don’t deserve a dog in the first place. I promise you that you will be able to find your perfect match in a shelter, and I promise you that the dog will love you with everything it has. I promise you that, ultimately, there is only one difference between a dog bought from a pet store, and a dog adopted from a shelter. One needed you a lot more.