I thought I'd take a break from all the holiday festivities and recipes to get caught up on a couple of Amish news item.
The first one regards Amish-run kennels. This issue does burst into the news on occasion and I hate to even discuss it again because I feel like we've discussed it to death. First of all, the whole issue of breeding designer dogs, pure breeds, etc isn't an Amish problem, it's a societal problem. There are too many unwanted animals on this planet anyway, so why breed more just so someone can have a "labroadoodle". Who cares what it is? Just go to the pound, adopt a lovable mutt, and the problem of puppy mills goes away overnight. Problem solved. Do all Amish operate puppy mills? Of course not, the vast majority of Amish wouldn't know a puppy mill if they walked into one. So please don't tar all Amish as dog-hating cruel animal mongers. Not true. Is there a cultural undercurrent among the Amish that causes some Plain people to view dogs as livestock instead of house-pets? Yes and that needs to change. Anecdotally, I am seeing more and more Amish with dogs as pets even in their homes, which would once have been unheard of, so that is encouraging. I'm no fan of puppy mills, I guess I'm just trying to frame the issue as very complicated and nuanced with a ton of blame to go around. Declaring war on the Amish is a simplistic solution and that is what troubles me about what is going on in Ontario. I'm not troubled about stepping up enforcement of animal treatment across the board, but targeting just the Amish seems a bit over the top and that is what some people in Ontario are doing. Agree? Disagree? Read more here.
And, on a lighter note (Ha, pun intended!), the Amish in the New Order community near Lyndonville, New York are the latest community to give solar-powered energy their blessing. It solves a lot of issues for the Amish, it allows them stay competitive in their businesses while staying off the grid which getting onto could bring TV, computers, etc into their lives and that is against their philosophy. Read more here.