Friday, November 23, 2007

Adopt An Opinion

I've been holding a few posts back. You know how an idea pops into your head and you don't have time to sit down and really think it through? No? Well, it stinks. It just sits there as you work on other projects until finally you get a few minutes before going to sleep months later and can blog about it. The thought that has been waiting its time patiently is about adoption. Feel free to look at the Wikipedia definition.

You see, I find the word to be a strong indicator of how one feels about responsibility. Some people use the phrase at the drop of a hat. Adopt a highway, adopt a classroom, adopt a platoon, adopt a rainforest, adopt a stream, adopt a college... heck, there are tons of these that actually have Web sites. But most of these programs are essentially not an honest undertaking of responsibility for the said item but to help and assist. So, the idea of animal adoption tops my list of this phenomena.

I started thinking about it when we had the Ellen DeGeneres' pet adoption issues in the media. You see, we tend to humanize things. Granted, a pet is supposed to become a member of the family and warrants more scrutiny than a highway, classroom, platoon, rainforest, stream or college. Many of these animal adoption agencies take it just as seriously as placing a child. And a child is the first thing the Wiki-definition intones. I know, someone out there is already saying, "Martin, my Fido is my baby." That may be true. But in the DeGeneres situation, she gave a baby that she was screened for to a family that wasn't. These animal adoption agencies take it very seriously and if it were a child, someone would be fined or possibly arrested if the process didn't involve a lawyer and the family court system. I personally know someone starting an agency and many of these animals have been abused mentally and/or physically and a specific home is usually selected to help overcome those hurdles to give it the best life possible.

I believe DeGeneres' tears over the situation were real. I believe she has learned that she made a mistake that has hurt more than one family and given people something to think about when it comes to 'adoption.' Let us hope that other people start to take the term more seriously.


LoraLoo said...

I thought Ellen was pretty whiney about the whole ordeal... there are rules, even if you are a celebrity! As you already noted, there are good reasons why someone shouldn't just give away a pet after going through an adoption process as she did.

Bar L. said...

I agree with you on this. I also agree with Lora, she was a bit over the top whiny and I though it was more about getting caught looking bad than the actual dog issue.

Anonymous said...

Ellen was incredibly whiny about it all, and you sure as heck would not do something like that with a child.

However I was rather annoyed with the fact that the agency she adopted the dog from does not allow dogs into homes with children under 14/15, at least according to reports.

The agency was called Mutts & Moms, and yet they discriminate against families with young children. Go figure.

I hate all the "adopt a xxx" campaigns. Your right that there is no responsibility associated with them, it's just a clever marketing trick.

David Amulet said...

Well said. My mother adopted a pet recently and treats it like a child, in the good way ... perhaps even better than she raised me!

-- david

Unknown said...

I spent a week reading both sides of this issue and they both have valid points to me.

I just figure I will keep saving the feral kittens that run around my property..its something I know is a good thing and we don't try to adopt them out since we do treat them as part of the family and it would be hard to trust another individual to raise them correctly.