Charles Kruse, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau, was recently interviewed by the New York Times about Missouri's upcoming Referendum Vote (Prop. B) outlawing overcrowded dog breeding operations and setting living standards for dogs owned by breeders (adequate shelter, rest time between litters, access to outdoors, not living in excrement, and so on). In effect, the proposed law outlaws puppy mills, and the Humane Society of Missouri is behind the proposition. Here's what Kruse had to say:
This is just a first step…. It’s pretty clear their ultimate desire is to eliminate the livestock industry in the United States.
Wuh? This is about dogs. They don't eat those in Missouri, do they? (I went to WUSTL for undergrad, and I don't remember them serving dog anywhere in St.L., but that was the city, and all.) But seriously, folks, how does making it illegal to make a dog have litter after litter in squalid conditions with no time to regain her heath or even be healthy at all make it so that there's no livestock industry? Even if this were the Humane Society's endgame, what's wrong with treating dogs in ways that aren't utterly horrible?
You know that Kruse, on the Farm Bureau website, has an answer to that question:
“Furthermore, if Proposition B passes, these radical animal rights organizations and individuals won’t stop there. As experienced in other states, they will work to further regulate Missouri farmers, driving them out of business as well and driving up food costs,” said Kruse.
Oh, I see. It's not that this sets a precedent, it's that because the Humane Society promotes vegetarianism, a win for them about treating dogs decently is a blow to anyone raising chickens or cows for slaughter. They won't stop there. But what if there is a perfectly legitimate position, and there are other reasons to oppose where they want to go from there? What about that?
There's an old distinction to make between slippery slopes and bumpy staircases. It seems that this is more bumpy than slippery. Moreover, what's Kruse got against dogs?