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Posted by bloomindaedalus on January 06, 2003 at 03:48:22:
In Reply to: Re: I find it hard to believe that you had a point. n/p posted by Mr. D on January 05, 2003 at 11:57:21:
Well, I find it a sad state of affairs that the widespread dismal attitude toward active citizenship amongst americans is so widespread in a community (herpers) whose hobby/industry is relatively UNlegislated. But I am not at all surprised. As an American (without his eyes totally glued shut) i too can't help but see the hypocricy and inconsistency of government at all levels and the seeming fruitlessness of engaging the public or the legislative system regarding almost any issue due to fragmentation and disunity and the fact that people are easily led.
I agree that one well made commercial can change people's minds and i agree that once people's minds are made up that it takes much more to alter their initial conceptions/impressions. but i also know that a law has more power in its promulgation than in its enforcement; that is if a law were to be made it is often knowledege of the law that precipitates interest in it more so than the fear of punishment should it not be followed. I think the reptle industry is a t a crucial point. It seems that it may indeed be legislated away as some people seem to fear but considering how few are taking an active role, there is a good possibility that any ambitious and influential person or small group could indeed make a mark on its legal history. So it saddens me to see anyone who is intelligent and passionate not wanting to particiapte in having his or her voice heard.
Furthermore the initail impression can be made by any perceived authortiy in many cases and for the time i spent working at the lowest level and closest to the consumers in the pet retail trade I found that except for those who "knew" already the vast majority of the customers respected the words of the pet store representtaive or at least its perceived highest in command as Word. So when care was suggested (even if it involved increased costs such as to buy expensive UV bulbs or larger tanks or special foods) it was dutifully memorized and often times acted upon. I think a pet dealer who volunteered information would be a most valuable resources to the consumer and to the animals in the trade.
As far as pissing people off goes, last i understood the concept of any system of law making that claimed took more than one person's views into account, the notion of compromise was implicit. So you may piss off some one else but perhaps that will motivate them to want to challenge the law or proposal you have made. this is the only way a civil discourse can ocur. For every commerical that mind-numbingly brainwashes the masses there is a group somewhere who harbors strongly antithetical opinons to the ones presented by the commercial and only in the cases in which these (i'll use the phrase now) "special interest groups" voice their counter-opinion does the issue even get birthed from its premature status as a pre ordained "fact" (the view of the commerical maker) Everyone is a special interest group, somewhere between powerful obbying , money, and loud and charismatic opiners and sheer numbers reached there is compromise. I just can't see why anyone would not want to be involved at all save sheer apathy.
A famous man once said "withdrawl in disgust is not the same as apathy" and indeed nobody has the energy to fight every battle they may actually deem meaningful. But in the case of a nascent industry the ambitious would be wise to seize the moment to foster his/her own beliefs by striking early. As for ignoring laws, mores and general opinions, I certainly agree for the sake of one's sanity. But try walking down certain streets in America smoking a joint (or carrying an open beer for that matter), for a reminder how the popular opinon and the laws that get by with or without its approval does dailly effect our lives irregardeless of our resepect for its status. If the analogy seems absurd one need only read about the days and places when any of a host of "hobbies" were legislated away right before the eyes of the "unconcerned" public. There will be a day "when only criminals have ...etc etc" will apply.
As far as the ethical issues go , I am not in any position (nor are you the reader) to decide for anyone else how an animal should be treated. An further it is probbaly true that many people wil continue to "abuse" animals out of laziness-induced (or at least maintained) ignornace or out of sheer lack of concern. The law making issue is again about compromise and something which attempts to be a weighting of public opinions. A law that requires people to tell their customers how to provide long term maintenance to their products may not be in the best interests of the retailer or even the economy at large but it presumably indicates an assumption about the nature of American's collective (average?) opinion about the value of consumer safety. Think in terms of dead/sick animals and the value of the investment. I personally think that animal cruelty laws and those related to reptiles in general have taken so long to gain hold and have prospered so poorly because at heart we care less about animals (especially ones which do not give back emotionally)than we would like to claim we do. If so, so be it. But if this is not the case how could it hurt to ask people to instruct their customers about the care of the animals they sell to them? A hassle? That seems to imply a poor business attitude at the very least (making zero judgemnets about the ethical treatments of animals)and as an American regardles of ethical views regarding animal welfare, i find it intolerable. If the guy at the store won't tell me what i need to know about my tennis racket, car spark plugs, glow in the dark vibrator, fava beans or albino nile crocodile X pink flamingo, i want to do everything i can to insure his business fails. Up to and including legislation to require him to do so. especially considering the large number of others who will support his business and not protest. we have little power in this world to influence the "way" in many cases unless we are especially lucky or gifted but ecconomic pressure does indeed still seem to remain among the reliable resources of the consumer. I for one intend to use it. I hope the rest of you will as well.