I don't post very often about animal rights, but I felt compelled to write this post to talk about my recent experiences. I have a long history of volunteering at shelters and supporting various rescue organizations (not all of them are created the same, but that's a different story). Recently I got into breeding Siberians. It's a life-long dream of mine that I'd had to put on hold long enough for various reasons. Finally, I am able to pursue this dream. Many of my friends are excited and supportive. However, many of my friends associated with various rescue organizations have expressed disapproval. They are saying "Why bring more cats into this world, when there are so many homeless cats? Don't you realize that by making more kittens, you are decreasing the chances of homeless cats getting adopted?" What people need to realize is that purebred cats and homeless cats are NOT competing. Pedigree cats are a fairly small niche market. Most people cannot dish out $1600-2500 on a cat. The vast majority of people who are contemplating adding a feline companion to their household will still go to a rescue organization. For most people, it's not a choice. Their finances will not allow them to pay $1500 for a Siberian or a Maine Coon. And most people who are able to afford a purebred are already supporting rescue organizations with their donations. Most cat shows have events dedicated to increasing the standard of living of shelter cats and spreading awareness.
To my militant rescue friends: breeders are NOT your enemy. CFA and TICA are here to promote responsibility and compassion. We are working to nurture a culture where animals are treated with respect.
Shaming breeders and people who buy pedigree cats is like saying "How dare you give your child piano lessons when there are so many kids dying of hunger." Hunger will never be completely stamped out. It doesn't mean that those born into privilege should be stripped of benefits and opportunities.