Say No to Animals in Pet Shops

I am sitting here writing my third attempt at this as I have been told my first two versions needed toning down. The problem with this is that to ‘tone it down’ is equal to smoothing it over, covering it up, not causing offence. I can’t do this, I’m afraid, as there is nothing warm and fuzzy about the subject matter. There is no way of putting a ‘smiley face’ on the subject of animals in pet shops. It’s black and white, you’re either for it or against it and I am most definitely against it.

This is not a new topic for me as I have voiced my opinion about this before, but having visited some pet shops recently and seeing fish and birds dead or dying and living in distressed conditions, and most recently having seen dogs and cats left in their display window boxes in shops shut for extended public holiday breaks, I feel the need to bring the subject up again.

I am not lambasting any one particular store, all stores that trade in livestock, be it dog, cat, fish or bird appall me. Those of you who support these stores must ask yourselves from where these animals come, are they kept in a manner that enables their physiological and psychological growth while in the store, and what happens to those animals who do not find a home. Unfortunately where money is concerned, profit comes first, and when this involves the livelihood of defenceless creatures we must be outspoken in their defence. The RSPCA is only able to intervene with pet shop practises if it is shown that the animals are being ill-treated. If isolation and containment for long periods of time in unattended stores is not ill treatment then I don’t know what is.Puppy mills and backyard breeders are just one unfortunate example of an off-shoot industry caused by the upsurge of ‘designer dogs’ sold through pet stores, with the breeding dogs often being housed in unsatisfactory conditions resulting in poor health for both the adult dogs and the puppies.

Many people tell me that they also dislike seeing puppies in stores but that they bought one out of pity as the salesperson had told them that a puppy couldn’t find a home. Please don’t kid yourself that this is not one of their most successful sales pitches. I am not suggesting for a moment that all shops that sell livestock are irresponsible or put profit before animal welfare, but unfortunately for every good shop you will find many that are not and because of this the only way to eradicate the problem is to stop the trade all together.

Adopting a pet into your family should not result from a spur of the moment decision made whilst looking through a pet store window; it should result from carefully considering whether your lifestyle and household can provide an animal with the security and attention that it deserves. You should also learn about breed specific differences in behaviour, temperament, energy levels and grooming requirements. There are many animal sites on the web that offer information on pets, their needs and all the ins and outs you need to know about owning one. And finding a pet most definitely does not require a shop, registered dog breeders are easily found through your national or state Kennel Associations or through web searches, and there are, unfortunately, many animal welfare shelters begging you to adopt from the endless number of homeless animals that they care for.I belong to an industry that has a cruel and unethical side and as such I have a responsibility to be vocal and try to affect change. The argument for not knowing what goes on behind the scenes does not hold, as common sense should surely make us question the morality involved in keeping animals in confined conditions for any length of time, displayed in boxes like so much fresh produce.

Ignorance, I’m afraid, is not bliss it is just plain out and out ignorance.

Tips To Set Up A Pet Shop

Buy/Rent a pet store
There are two ways to start your business; one is to buy a shop and other is to acquire a running pet store. In the former case you will have to possess a good knowledge of how to start a new pet shop, the advertising techniques etc. While in the latter case you have a little less to worry about since the shop is already been set up and it must be having its customer base as well. So, you are saved of the tiresome advertising regime and the arduous pet purchasing expedition.

Purchase Pets
In case you choose the latter option, you will be left with this strenuous task of buying pets. It is important to choose the pets wisely. Make sure you do not purchase the pets from some careless breeders. Plus, you have to take care that this expedition does not cost you a way much. So before buying animals, try to find a supplier who is reliable, having good reputation and also provides animals at nominal prices.Buy Other Necessities
Running a pet shop does not mean that you are only supposed to buy animals. But in fact you also have got to buy food for animals, toys, install cages inside your shop plus have to keep essential medicines etc, so keep this aspect in mind as well.

Sound Knowledge Regarding Animals
It is extremely important to possess sound knowledge related to different animals, especially the pets which you are going to purchase and take care of in your pet store. You cannot really take care of animals if you are unaware of their basic needs and requirements, and the diseases they are prone to catch with seasonal changes. Different animals need to be treated in a different way, so it is essential to have proper knowledge about all the animals otherwise you might end up not only putting yourself in trouble but your pets too.Government Rules
Opening a business that deals in livestock is not that easy since you have to comply with the local authorities’ rules and regulations. So, before spending so much money in purchasing the animals, try getting some information regarding the latest rules of livestock businesses.

Apart from these basic things, you definitely need help in running this business, so you have got to hire a few employees. So, assess your pet shop business and budget, and see how many employees you should hire. Finally, advertise your shop, no matter if you have bought a pre-established one, because that will help you enhancing your sales.

Do You Buy Animal Cruelty When You Shop?

Do you buy animal cruelty when you shop?

So, here I am, shopping in my local supermarket. (it doesn’t matter too much where you live in the world, there is not that much difference between supermarkets).

OK. Let’s get it done and get out of here fast!

I should mention at this stage that vegetarian is not cruelty free.

First pass the fruit & veg aisle. So far so good.

Then through the meat aisle. As a vegetarian, I fast forward along here because obviously animals have to be killed to get meat.

Please don’t be taken in by any ‘humane slaughter’ hype. It is misleading in the extreme.

Anyway, there are so many meat analogues such as “Quorn”, “Linda McCartney” etc that I certainly don’t feel like I’m missing out on my meat & gravy fix.

We’re now heading up the chilled aisle.

Oh dear, this is where I really struggle. Milk, margarine, cheese, yoghurt etc.

Margarine is easy to get in dairy-free (vegan) versions but its easy to wrongly assume that products you might initially assume are vegan, are actually not vegan.

For example, some olive spreads contain buttermilk.

I don’t make this mistake now by looking for the Vegan symbol and noting brand name and location for future shops.

Note that product locations can occasionally change but not very often.

I use the brand name technique because this is clearly displayed. That way I can speed-shop without spending valuable time looking at every product.Cheese is becoming a lesser problem for me now due to ongoing taste tests. I love my cheeses, especially blue cheese!

Many cheeses are vegetarian as long as they do not contain rennet, (which is made from the stomach of slaughtered calves).

However, although you don’t have to kill cows, sheep or goats to get the milk, the conditions in which they are farmed is cruel, despite what the adverts imply.

Also when the animal gets past it’s unnatural optimum production it is cruelly slaughtered. They are sent to the same slaughterhouses that meat animals are sent to. These slaughterhouses are terribly cruel and cannot be justified in this day and age. Indeed, during research for my Animal Welfare website, I decided to become a vegetarian as a consequence of what I saw and am now progressing on the way to my ultimate goal of being cruelty free.

So, we are still progressing down the chilled aisle and it is a similar story for yoghurt and all products that contain products derived from an animal.

The good news is we are starting to make progress on cruelty free chilled products.

Take cruelty free cheese for example, despite the fact that one or two cheeses remain that taste awful (think wood filler mixed with vinegar), there are a growing number of cheeses that are surprisingly good according to a growing number of high-profile chefs.

Milk is already well ahead in the cruelty free race. “Alpro” is one of the more established products but my personal favourite is almond milk. Delicious on cornflakes!

It is important to realise that we all have differing tastes and preferences whatever food product we are looking for and this applies just the same with cruelty free products.

Please give animals a chance and try not to make snap decisions that cruelty free products are awful if you happen to initially choose a product not to your liking.

Give a different product a try next time and I’m sure you will find something you’ll really like, (Linda McCartney pies have fooled many meat-eaters!)

So we’ve survived the chilled aisle and not hurt any animals so we can now happily breeze along the washing powder and cleaning products.

Well they don’t kill animals for washing powder do they? Unfortunately yes. It’s called Vivisection and the intention was to make sure that you were not subjected to harmful ingredient reactions by testing these products on trapped animals. Such tests are conducted in the worst scenarios that you could ever possibly imagine.

The way to not hurt animals in these aisles is to look for the leaping bunny logo. You can see what the Leaping Bunny logo looks like on the internet.Be wary of products that state that they have not been tested on animals. That will be true but the ingredients may well have been tested on animals.

The Leaping Bunny logo is provided as an assurance scheme that the product involves no animal cruelty.

The checkout is in sight but we’ve got to pass the freezer aisle where they keep the frozen fish.

Yes, seafood is another area where I really struggle on my path towards cruelty free and I’ve not found an alternative yet so I will have to report on that in future articles.

Then past the medicines aisle. As I said with seafood, this is a tough area and I will have to report back on this issue as well.

As you can see I have a long way to go but I’m steadily climbing the learning curve. There are many helpful resources freely available online. You just need a slight change of mindset to get the most out of them but I promise you its worth the minimal effort.

I have attempted to draw your attention to the adverse effects on animals your shopping may have but there are proven health benefits and significant sustainability issues that can be addressed by following a cruelty free lifestyle.

So, next time you shop remember that it is a win-win situation when you start on the road to cruelty free.