You can't be a feminist if you buy a puppy, says Peta

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Anna Brech
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Animal rights group Peta claims anyone who buys a puppy - rather than adopting it - cannot call themselves a feminist, due to the sexual exploitation involved in breeding

People who buy puppies cannot call themselves feminists, according to a provocative new blog written by animal rights group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

The organisation argues that people who buy dogs from breeders, as opposed to adopting them, are “funding sexual exploitation”.

“In puppy mills and breeding operations, female dogs are trapped in a nightmare sickeningly similar to the illicit sex trade,” it says. “Their bodies are controlled, manipulated, bought, and sold—all for the financial benefit of their peddlers.”

The article goes on to draw an analogy between sexual exploitation of women, and that of puppies.

“Just like selling women, selling puppies can be profitable,” it says. “Almost all the cute, wriggling ones in pet store windows or sold online for hundreds or even thousands of dollars came from an abusive hellhole…  The puppies are typically taken away from their mothers early, packed into crates, and trucked or flown hundreds of miles to brokers and then to pet stores, often without adequate food, water, or ventilation.”

Peta’s missive concludes that “anyone who cares about equality and social justice can help end the sexual exploitation of female animals by refusing to support abusive puppy mills and breeders”.

It then urges pet owners to sign a petition saying they will never buy a dog, and instead opt to adopt. 

While some people applauded Peta’s stance, others criticised the organisation on social media for mixing animal welfare with feminism, and bringing gender politics into their work. 

And a few people responded by claiming that not all dog breeders are immoral. 

But in Britain alone, thousands of puppies are at risk from so-called “backstreet breeders”, with a demand for “designer dogs” exacerbating the problem. 

The UK is currently looking to tighten up outdated animal welfare laws, in order to better protect puppies at risk from rogue breeders. 

“Anyone who breeds dogs is being irresponsible and contributing to the overpopulation crisis,” says Peta. “Always adopt.”

Images: Getty


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.