Monday, August 17, 2009

Socialism And Your Dog

Raising dogs was banned under the rule of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong as a bourgeois pastime, but with China's growing affluence and pursuit of Western trends, greater numbers of middle-class families have become avid pet owners in a booming social trend. On July 1, city authorities implemented the "one-dog policy" seen as a crackdown on the estimated 100,000 unregistered dogs in Guangzhou ahead of the Asian Games in the city next year. But so far, many outraged pet owners in the sprawling metropolis have chosen to ignore, or dodge, the new laws. "I'll definitely not give up on my dogs because they're a part of my life," said an office worker surnamed Chen with six dogs in a leafy neighborhood in downtown Guangzhou.

You think this is just a problem in China? Think again. Laws are passed regularly in the US regulating how many dogs a person can own. Yes, anything can be abused. No one person can keep 600 dogs in a single family residence and ensure the health and welfare of the dogs. Then again, why should we be regulated as to how many dogs we can own? In some cities, you can only own 3 dogs. In some public housing, they ban dogs altogether. Breeders are told how many dogs they can own and breed at any one time. There has to be a balance. It's a shame that people are so willing to use the law to meddle with the lives of other people. And a shame that the few who do abuse dogs trigger politicians to implement draconian laws that impede on the freedoms of the rest of us. The scary thing is when an ideology is also attached to these laws, such as Mao's no dog policy. What reason do you use to justify all the regulations we have regarding dog ownership? Sometimes, it's good to step back and see if things are becoming ridiculous.

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