The Gay Vegans

Adopt don’t shop

“Adopt don’t shop” is a common phrase in my communities. It basically asks people to adopt a shelter animal when considering the next addition to their family and to not purchase from a pet store. The underlying idea here is that when one purchases from a pet store they are directly supporting puppy mills, and animal cruelty.

It’s difficult to imagine that in 2017 puppy mills still exist. Laws have changed and some big-time animal exploiters have lost their license to breed animals because of activists shining the light on their horrid practices, yet puppy mills are still alive and well.

This topic is not only important to me as a vegan and animal rights blogger, but because one of our family members came from a puppy mill. We adopted Rose almost four years ago after she was rescued from a puppy mill that had been raided. Her first seven years were in a cage, having litter after litter so someone could profit off of her small body. By the time she was placed into my husband’s arms when we first met her, she was a dog living in fear of everything, had lost most of her hair, and had a mouthful of teeth that all had to be pulled due to no dental care her entire life.

Every single tooth.

As is the case with many animals who have been abused, huge doses of love helped Rose go from a life of cruelty to one where she was adored on a daily basis. Those first few months were not easy, yet day by day Rose learned to trust that this was her life now, and that she was safe with her two dads who were always going to protect her and love on her. Our family of friends also helped with this process, always spending time loving on Rose when visiting.

We were so lucky to have found Rose and my wish is that every animal in a puppy mill can know the love Rose knew. I say “knew” because last week we had to have Rose put to sleep after a sudden illness took over her body. Our hearts are crushed and we are devastated, and with all of that intense pain we still are so grateful that she found us and that we got to spend at least a few years with her. Our lives have been forever changed by knowing Rose and having her as part of our family.

As we have mourned Rose, it became clear to both us that we have to do more as part of our animal rights activism to shine a light on the ugliness of puppy mills. Hence this blog post.

If you would like to read more about puppy mills, here is a good article from Rolling Stone: puppy mills.

Thank you for reading.

About Dan Hanley

Gay and vegan in the burbs (of Los Angeles). I blog about veganism, equality, compassion, activism, politics, spirituality, and our awesome life experiences. The "s" includes my husband, Mike! I want this blog to be a tool to build bridges among communities and to inspire people to get involved and vote.

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