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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Monday, December 27, 2010

An Interesting Question of Ethics (Breeding)

During my little bit of downtime during the holidays, I've had a chance to really sit and organize my thoughts on breeding and what exactly the implications and responsibilities of it are. I'm no longer talking just horse breeding at this point, however. I mean everything - dogs, cats, hamsters, people. Yes, people. I want to open a discussion on ethics and social responsibility. I fully expect to get a lot of heated response.

I had quite an outraged response to my ideas about breeding Gogo. In essentially everyone's mind, she is not fit to become breeding material ever at all for any reason. Imagine if I had written up a post stating that Joe-Bob the neighbor's grade stud had jumped the fence and bred my mare in the night of his own accord, and we found her to be pregnant. Personally, I would not think twice about having a vet go in and crush the crap out of that embryo. I'm sure there are people who would disagree with me for playing God and taking control of the situation. But for the most part, a lot of you sensible people would probably fully agree with my decision.

If I were to write up a post stating how Gogo was pregnant (which she is not), I would probably get more than a few nasty grumbles. Imagine, if you will, what the response would be if I were to write up a post stating how I was pregnant. (Don't worry, I'm not either!) Not a single person would come forward and chastise me for being a) irresponsible financially b) not in a stable long-term relationship capable of properly raising offspring c) genetically inferior to those who ought to be breeding. On the contrary, none of you would ask questions. You in all likelihood would heartily congratulate me - can you imagine the social outrage you'd invoke in others around you if you said otherwise? When I opened this topic of discussion earlier in the year, I had a lot of completely contradictory responses from completely sane people. The same people who thought my mare to be of inferior breeding quality because of her general mediocrity turned around to tell me that I wasn't giving myself enough credit for my own abilities, and that ordinary and plain people ought to breed because extradordinary people don't produce extraordinary offspring. Why do we insist that only THE best horses should breed, which is true, if we also don't think that only THE best people should breed as well? It's a weird moral dilemma that we have as a species because whether we like it or not, we have a naturally ingrained species survival instict. Generally, we want to breed and continue to fully dominate and trash the earth. When I wrote out my reasoning for selecting myself out of the gene pool - my medium-level intelligence, mediocre conformation, inability to truly add anything worthwhile to society - everyone insisted I was completely wrong. If we are so strict about breeding animals, why should we not show a little more restraint ourselves?

I understand that I sound a little pseudo-Nazi in my ideals, and I assure you that it's not really the case. But I mean really, people. If my horse, who is in my eyes much more talented as an individual than I am, is not of enough quality to breed, what kind of sick and egotistical beliefs would I have to have in order to believe that I am? People with known inherited genetic issues are still popping out babies left and right, spreading disease and dysfunction on to their offspring. If they are lucky, our ugly and useless crippled foals will end up in a field eating grass somewhere, or if they are luckier, humanely euthanized so they do not have to suffer unnecessarily. Our useless human beings? Forced to live useless, miserable lives in a society that values perfection (presuming we are talking about Western culture). I cannot possibly understand how people can just go on breeding amongst themselves without thinking about the consequences, or why folks who want kids don't just go adopt them instead of adding to the perpetual population issue. I actually just had a conversation with a woman about that same issue; she had the audacity to tell me that she would never have adopted kids because 'she wouldn't have loved them the same way.' Seriously? If I go out and buy a horse instead of breed Gogo, I'm not going to love that horse any less. Then again, I think this logic doesn't apply to those sorts of people, because anyone with that twisted of a mindset could never love animals in the way that those of you reading this blog do.

We control the breeding rights to animals because we believe them to be inferior to ourselves. In modern-day Western human society, if you adopt the same strict breeding principles to humans, you are likened to Hitler. In a way, this is both comprehensible and incomprehensible to me. I understand as a gay woman how completely unfair it for other to claim they know what is best for my relationships and my body, and tell me who I can and can't love. I appreciate all humans for the intelligent individuals that they are, and the rights they have as sentient beings. At the same time, though, the sensible part of me still doesn't understand.

Maybe those of you with children can flesh it out a little better for me. I have no interest in them so perhaps I don't understand. Often times people that go out and willing spay and neuter your pets like they should don't generally seem to consider doing the same for themselves.

I have enough sense in my head to cull myself from the breeding population. If I could rip out my uterus and not have to bother with the hormonal issues involved, I would do it, just to make sure it could NEVER happen, even by some sort of horrible accident. No animal on the planet, humans included, should ever have to be born because of an accident. That is no way to come into the world. How many oopsie dogs, cats and horses end up discarded and thrown away? How many children?




Discuss.





EDITED TO ADD: Remember, all of the preceding is not in defence of breeding or not breeding Gogo. I am not defending myself. We are discussing the bigger picture. Ok, now read on!

50 comments:

Book Addict said...

My partner and I have chosen not to have children of our own for a few reasons. This hits a nerve after xmas when my family tries to guilt me for not giving them grandkids :) Don't get me started on the overpopulation issue. There's some pretty scary statistics out there showing that pretty soon there will not be enough usable land to feed everyone, even with all the 'hi-tech' factory farming. On the other hand, many cultures including our own are experiencing a population decline as more and more of us opt out of having huge families. So possibly the pendulum might shift back a bit for the time being.

Ashley said...

Very interesting topic for sure. I just signed a breeding contract to breed my mare in 2011. The funny thing is that I was actually NERVOUS to announce it on my blog because of the comments I have seen people throw at you on here.
I'm sure people think I am nuts, but I've come to the point where I don't care what other people think. This world goes round because we are all different with different opinions. I am not the type of person to get all up in someone's face because I think what they are doing is wrong.
I think my mare is amazing. I know she isn't top of the notch and isn't going to produce a million dollar baby- but that's not what I'm looking for. The 'best' for me isn't necessarily the 'best' for someone else, so why dictate and live my life to the standards of other people?
And I also like what you said about people contradicting themselves. You are absolutely right. If YOU were the one pregnant then everyone's attitude would be kiss ass... People are so wishy-washy that it takes MORE effort and energy to please them than to just do what pleases yourself :).

With all that said, I'm a supporter of you breeding Gogo. haha To me, she is one of the loveliest horse's I've seen! :)

thistimedressage said...

Wow, very thoughtful post.

I'm 31 years old and childless and plan on staying that way (at least the childless part. I'll probably age despite myself.)

I get a lot of flack about my choice. My logic is similar to yours, but I also base my choice on what I want to contribute to the world. I've noticed that when people have children, they tend to become preoccupied with their own households and less interested in those outside of the family circle. People think that not having children is selfish (?!), but in my mind, having children is far more so.

I'm a teacher and writer, and I want to be able to fully offer what I have to the world. The demands and needs of children would only isolate me, and limit what I could give to the people (and animals!) already on the planet.

Awesome post.

Sydney_bitless said...

You know I think about this often. Too many stupid people. Maybe we should let the animals decide which ones of us should have kids or not. That might even the numbers a little.

Amy B said...

Interestingly, I'm currently reading a book called "sex, drugs and DNA", and the chapter I'm on right now brings up the subject of eugenics. Apparently, at least 33 states have had sterilization laws on the books at one point over the past hundred years, and around 60,000 us citizens were legally sterilized between 1907 and 1979. So, at some point, selective breeding for humans was NOT considered to be completely crazy.
Now, I'm not necessarily for mandatory sterilization or anything like that, but I believe that people should be encouraged to breed responsibly.

Amy said...

It sounds to me that your feelings were hurt and you are lashing out. Your life has kind of fallen apart as of late and when you were keeping it together so well I actually was asking myself when you were gonna hit a wall. There is nothing wrong with hitting that wall it is absolutely neccissary to start the healing process. The most important thing when you do is that you do heal and not get bitter or jaded. You are working through some issues and I hope peace comes to you soon.
As for your post I will chauk it up to being young and being under a tremendous amount of pressure. It is just as hypocritcal of you too pass judgement on having a children as it is for others to pass their judgement on you choosing not to have children or breed Go-go. The point is we are all different and as we should be and to say that we all need to do one thing or another would be a terrible exsistence. I hope you find your happiness in life. Children or not, breeding or not. And not make it your mission to decide what "the world" should do and just be happy in what you do. I hope you take this as it was intended a heartfelt response.

Someone said...

"Why do we insist that only THE best horses should breed, which is true, if we also don't think that only THE best people should breed as well?"

My answer is that there's an intrinsic difference between animal life and human life. I know there are certain types of atheists that sneer at that, but I don't think it's even a religious belief, really. It's more to do with us being moral creatures and aware of life and death while animals are not.

We're smart enough to mess with animals and (sometimes) not mess it up. We can look at their lives and their purposes and select it as it suits us. But we can't really look at human lives the same way. How can you measure human contribution or purpose or joy in life? It's a far more subtle and complex thing. I'm not willing to mess with it.

The one exception in my mind is women who give birth to drug addicted babies. They don't stop at one - a single drug addicted mother will often have half a dozen kids, all permanently dependent on society. A lady I knew who fostered such kids had a group of four siblings from the same mom. All of them had communication and violence issues. She thought that such women should be sterilized the first time they bring an addicted baby into the world. If they ever clean up their act later in life, they can adopt. I'm good with that.

Someone said...

Amy said: "It is just as hypocritcal of you too pass judgement on having a children as it is for others to pass their judgement on you choosing not to have children or breed Go-go."

Wait, where was she passing judgement? I didn't see anything of the sort in her post - just an interesting discussion of viewpoints and how they conflict sometimes. It's a topic Andrea's interested in and has talked about several times on this blog before. The whole post comes across as cool and collected to me, I don't know where you're getting the 'you're lashing out' idea from.

Judi said...

Wow, you raise some interesting points that I have never thought about. Personally, I am childless by choice, too.

I did breed a horse. It was a lifelong dream of mine, and when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. The mother was a good looking horse with a great temperament. I found an excellent stallion at a breeder who had a great temperament, too.

The result--a far less than perfect horse with a fantastic temperament. Even though he was a physical disappointment, he was the most loveable horse I ever met.

I brought him into this world, so I kept him. I didn't want anything bad to happen to him. I was responsible for his existence--even though he didn't suit my needs at all.

His imperfections didn't keep me from loving him and taking the best care of him that I could afford. It broke my heart when he died at the young age of 14.

Now to replace him, I decided to buy a horse that fit my needs from a breeder. By buying him from her, it will enable her to breed another horse to replace him. It doesn't change the horse population at all. I didn't take an unwanted horse and give him a home. Aren't I just as guilty as I was by breeding a horse that I kept his whole life?

When it comes to horse ownership, shouldn't we have what we want--as long as we are responsible for our decisions?

Personally, I will never breed again--it is easier to get what you want by buying a horse than breeding.

SmartAlex said...

I, for one, am extremely grateful I have never had any children, because this world is going to Hell in a handbasket a lot faster than historical averages. At least I won't have to worry about the condition of the Earth past the point when I leave it.

There are SO many people who, under no circumstances should be reproducing, and I have no problem telling them that. I can't even pretend to be excited for the people I consider good breeding candidates when they do conceive, because even though they may have beautiful happy children, the Earth is already so grossly over populated, I sincerely think everyone ought to take a year off from sex just to be safe.

Abbie said...

Andrea, I've followed you and Go-Go for a long time, and I've kept my mouth shut and watched others praise and bash you.

As far as I'm concerned, and I don't care who says what on the subject, there are certain people who should never have children. We say that we should leave that to be a personal decision made by those people, but face it: humans are selfish, self-centered beings BY NATURE. Some of us have overcome that, but that is largely the basis of why we have survived as a species. Chances are, the people who should not be having kids, for whatever reason, aren't going to be the ones who figure it out. I commend you for making that decision.

I do have to pick a bone with Someone, who said animals aren't aware of life and death (which is pretty separate from being moral, I think). I don't know how many times they've shown evidence of several species (elephants, dolphins, primates, horses, lions to name a few) recognizing deceased members of their kind (or even those of other species), even mourning. I think animals actually have a much better grip on life and death than we do, in some ways.

And sorry, but you can very simply measure a human life just as we can an animal life: forget the joy it brings. Can the person add to society and become a productive working member of a community? Are they going to bring suffering to others, or suffering upon themselves? Is there illness, disease or physical disabilities present? We apply all of these to animals in determining if they're fit to survive. Are we not animals? I think humans just have trouble applying it to their own species; it's easy to get to call all the shots on organisms lower down than ourselves.

Beckz said...

Eugenics is a very sensitivesubject to touch on. That being said Gogo is a breeding quality mare, and she is a breeding quality mare on the quality of her conformation alone, before you add on the athleticism.

Sarah said...

I'm cringing at myself for being unable to resist adding my two cents, but here goes...

1. I agree with Someone who said, people are different than horses. Not better (I think it would be easy to argue that horses are better than people in some ways), but I don't see the point in comparing apples to oranges.

2. In Gogo's case, I don't think the majority of people were objecting to the idea of you breeding her because she is such a horrible specimen. Any reader of this blog has to see that she is a lovely, athletic, personality-packed mare. I think the point was that with so many good horses out there who need a home, why breed unless you have an EXCEPTIONAL mare? I think that's a reasonable argument.

For better or worse humans call the shots in the world we live in, and so while a less than perfect human being can go into the world and create a great life for themselves, a horse's worth is subject to much more black and white criteria. Period.

And, bottom line, you can do whatever you want, but if you want to make it a question of ethics I don't see how you can justify breeding over buying.

Gina said...

I actually agree with you on the issues of people and animal breeding. I like Go Go as a broodmare... however, what I see as the bigger issue is the emotional aspect of breeding an animal you have such a connection to. When you first posted on breeding your responses show that you are VERY emotionally involved, this is neither a good or bad thing, just something to consider. I also think that the $$ cost argument is a hard one to swallow. The care required to breed and raise an animal to 3 or 4 years of age is huge. If your reasoning is that you think that having a purpose bred animal would suite your needs much better than buying a nice prospect then ok go for it. I know Go Go has a home with you no matter what so I know that you will be cautious in risking her heath and welfare and will not rush into any choice. All in all, you are an intelligent person who will be responsible for whatever equine you add to your family no matter how that happens. I wish you luck when considering your choices and hope that you figure out what to do to best suite your needs.

kippen64 said...

If while suffering financial instability you announced you wanted to be pregnant, I would have said how unwise that it was after having done that myself. Ever since I've been telling people to get their money together before contemplating children. If you were pregnant, I would have offered low cost solutions to child rearing that I learnt the hard way. Also remember that Australia has free public hospitals and a strong social security system. To be pregnant, poor, single and in the USA would be the stuff of nightmares.

The reason I spoke against the idea of GoGo having a foal is the excess horse problem and the expense of it. I don't buy puppies any more for example and haven't since the 1980s. Only fully grown dogs come into my house now.

Now you know why I am infamous. Have a happy New Year.

Someone said...

"I do have to pick a bone with Someone, who said animals aren't aware of life and death (which is pretty separate from being moral, I think)[...] I think animals actually have a much better grip on life and death than we do, in some ways."

Animals may have some concept of death and display grief, but I doubt they understand that they will die some day. They certainly don't have an abstract grasp of the future or the past. You can nit-pick around the edges, but there's a huge difference between how we see life and how they do. And yes, morality and death were meant as separate points. I'm trying to point out the vast differences between humans and the rest of the animal world.

I know it's popular right now to think that we're just smart chimps, and it's easy to show that we still have all the chimp instincts, but our capacity for thought and morality and abstract ideas is orders of magnitude beyond anything else on the planet. It makes us different.

"And sorry, but you can very simply measure a human life just as we can an animal life: forget the joy it brings. Can the person add to society and become a productive working member of a community? Are they going to bring suffering to others, or suffering upon themselves? Is there illness, disease or physical disabilities present?"

Why would you want to forget joy? Are you saying that a person's experience of life is irrelevant to whether that life 'should' or 'should not' exist? What about people who check 'all of the above' to the questions you listed? How do you define 'suffering', and if joy doesn't matter, why would suffering? It is a vastly more complicated judgment for a human than it is for an animal. These questions have been debated since the dawn of recorded history, with no easily agreed upon answers in sight.

"Are we not animals?"

We're something more than animals. Which is why our rules for life and death are more complicated than animals. I believe that was my entire point. :-)

Andrea said...

Oooo, so juicy! I like it.

Remember, I am not defending my decisions about my mare - this is not what this post is about. I am currently not ready to make any decisions about a second horse or not anyway, I am just interested in discussing the bigger picture. Also I want to lay to rest the idea that I am hitting a wall and lashing out supposedly doing poorly. Far from, honestly. I am doing quite well, and am thankful that I have a job and a supportive network of friends and family in this miserable ecomony. This is truly just a subject I feel strongly about, and I also am at odds with myself about it. Why would I want to breed my horse when all I care about is only breeding top notch to top notch? It's an interesting subject.

I will let the rest of my commentary rest until I get more responses. I like this!

ridinfar said...

Well I completely agree. Coming from a background in law enforcement where I see the worst of the worst continue to pop out child after child, who more often than not end up as bad or worse than their parents. Ugh.

My husband and I have made the choice not to have children as well. He is a doctor and has a very busy and unconventional schedule. We get so much crap for not wanting to reproduce, it gets very frustrating and makes me feel horribly selfish and not "normal," like I don't fit in with my other 27-ish friends who are dying to have babies.

Vent over. Thanks for providing the outlet.

Funder said...

Wow, I think I'm the only person who's commented so far who actually has a biological clock. I do want a bay-bee! I've been with my husband for ten years, and we've waited til we can really provide for the kid(s). Real soon now, we think.

I don't know shit about conformation, especially in warmbloods, so I've never said breed her or don't breed her. I unabashedly think you should jump ship to a gaited breed, cause you're a hell of a good rider and how awesome would it be if you cleaned up at the AEC's on a barefoot gaited horse? For the love of god, don't just get an OTTB. ;)

And I don't think I'd breed my horse, because I really hate her registry (TWHBEA) and I'm too worried - what if something catastrophic happened as a result of the pregnancy?

Finally, I think breeding Gogo would be a great test of friends versus readers. Friends are people who try to talk you out of decisions that they think are bad, then wholeheartedly support you when you do it anyway.

Dom said...

I don't think there's a need to breed any more animals. People and animals are very different in the sense that animals do not grow up to take care of themselves.

With that said, I don't think people should be breeding freely either. There's nothing we can do to stop it, but breeding in people should be reserved for those with good genetics, stable jobs, and the DESIRE to raise a family.

Amy said...

I am sorry Andrea if I misread your post. And glad to hear you are doing well. Though I cannot engage on the topic. One because I am way too passionate a person to get involved in touchy subjects and secondly because I don't feel I need to try to sway/convince anyone of my veiw point. They believe what they believe and I the same. Again I was in no way trying to be rude just helpful but I am glad to know you are adjusting well to all the changes you are going through.

Val said...

I just have to ask if you have seen the movie "Idiocracy"? Funny and scary.

As a thirty-something teacher with no kids, I am left out of an awful lot of conversations. Many teachers younger than me are having their second child, and I cringe when they describe their daily routine. When do they have time for their own interests? (i.e. When do they go riding?) If my husband and I do decide to have kids, we will definitely need to find a balance, because neither of us is willing to give up our current lives to play the sole role of mom or dad.

In addition, I am also very concerned about the economy, our country, and the state of our environment. Are we approaching a Great Depression? How much living space (considering waste disposal and agriculture) do we really have on this planet? And most importantly, what the hell is up with standardized testing in schools? On the other hand, I feel that my husband and I would have a great deal to offer as parents. It would be an entire experience lost, if we did not have children. And wouldn't it be awesome to share my passion for horses and my husband's for music with our own children? Of course, they may reject horses and music for their own paths. Good or bad, this would be an experience too. My husband and I discuss these things to a mutual stalemate. I suppose that it is good that we talk about them, but sometimes I think that the only way it will happen is by accident. And you know, many great discoveries are made by accident, so who am I to judge!

Could the desire to breed a horse be considered in the same way? I think it could be, if the person breeding was looking at the foal as a "person" of sorts, who will have their own strengths and weaknesses, who may like the path we choose for them, or may be suited for something completely different. However, I have observed that most of the time, horses are viewed by the public as possessions or commodities. A commodity has expectations, so an imperfect horse may fall flat or become a poor investment. But an imperfect horse, like an imperfect human (all of us!), can also be a tremendously enriching part of someone's life, a horse worth loving as long as there is food and space enough on this Earth.

Val said...

I just have to ask if you have seen the movie "Idiocracy"? Funny and scary.

As a thirty-something teacher with no kids, I am left out of an awful lot of conversations. Many teachers younger than me are having their second child, and I cringe when they describe their daily routine. When do they have time for their own interests? (i.e. When do they go riding?) If my husband and I do decide to have kids, we will definitely need to find a balance, because neither of us is willing to give up our current lives to play the sole role of mom or dad.

In addition, I am also very concerned about the economy, our country, and the state of our environment. Are we approaching a Great Depression? How much living space (considering waste disposal and agriculture) do we really have on this planet? And most importantly, what the hell is up with standardized testing in schools? On the other hand, I feel that my husband and I would have a great deal to offer as parents. It would be an entire experience lost, if we did not have children. And wouldn't it be awesome to share my passion for horses and my husband's for music with our own children? Of course, they may reject horses and music for their own paths. Good or bad, this would be an experience too. My husband and I discuss these things to a mutual stalemate. I suppose that it is good that we talk about them, but sometimes I think that the only way it will happen is by accident. And you know, many great discoveries are made by accident, so who am I to judge!

Val said...

So...
Could the desire to breed a horse be considered in the same way? I think it could be, if the person breeding was looking at the foal as a "person" of sorts, who will have their own strengths and weaknesses, who may like the path we choose for them, or may be suited for something completely different. However, I have observed that most of the time, horses are viewed by the public as possessions or commodities. A commodity has expectations, so an imperfect horse may fall flat or become a poor investment. But an imperfect horse, like an imperfect human (all of us!), can also be a tremendously enriching part of someone's life, a horse worth loving as long as there is food and space enough on this Earth.

Barbara said...

I think we breed animals for a purpose, they are probably going to be used for a purpose and they have a better chance of being well treated through their lives if they suit that purpose, whether it is looking pretty or jumping big. The fact is that people are less likely to discard animals if they live up to expectations. I bred GSD for over 30 years (on a small scale), I tried to breed dogs that were so beautiful, so smart and so mentally and physically sound that they would have a home for life and not be thrown away. Cynical I know, but realistic.
As for eugenics and people breeding, on an esoteric level I sort of agree with you - if all things were equal, if it were even possible (given the size of the gene pool), but I think most people have an instinctive aversion to it because 1. we do not purpose-breed people and 2. we find too many ways to claim that WE are superior to OTHER as it is, let's not get into some sort of genetic superiority claims.car

Ashley said...

Andrea, I just logged on to read what everyone has posted since earlier today...just like you said- super juicy ;-) and wow some people surely get heated.

I am with Funder. I am one that wants a baby one day. Not any time soon but when the time is right then I hope it happens. I think it is perfectly fine that others do not want children or think that they shouldn't have children. In all honesty, those people who think that probably would make exceptional children and would raise them with a wonderful outlook on life lol. It definitely sucks that the "losers of the world" have the ability to reproduce - our world would probably be a better place altogether if people did put more thought into having children and whether or not its the right time of their life.

I have never really thought of it in this sense at all. This opinion still doesn't change mine but I like being introduced to new ideas and viewpoints.

Mare said...

I think it's a choice you have to make yourself. Everyone's going to have there own opinion, but at the end of the day, what influence do the readers of your blog really have over you? It's a personal decision made public because you blog about your horse.

Honestly, Breeding Gogo is your choice, and if you think you and your mare can cope with a foal, go for it, just remember that we all must be responsible for our actions:) But your an adult, and you know that better than I...

Cat in Virginia said...

I'm new here, but have been reading for a little bit. First of all, it's nice to find people who have the same opinion about reproduction....it's just not for me. I feel the same way as thistimedressage that I can contribute in a more meaningful way to the world than by having children, and a lot of people just look at me funny when I explain this. I actually had an RN tell me I should seek psychological help because it was unnatural!
It's hard to compare human "breeding" with horse breeding. The attributes in horses that we value are pretty specific when compared to the attributes in people. What attributes, or combination of attributes makes for a good person? Is it necessary to be and MD looking to cure cancer with a 140pt IQ and a perfect BMI? I happen to know a few of these folks and I don't think I'd say they are any better than a librarian friend of mine who devotes many hours of her retirement to the Red Cross. And I'm pretty much comparing middle-class Americans...I imagine someone in central China has their own metric of human "fitness" for breeding.
We can only control our own choices and actions ultimately. I think anyone who has children or breeds a horse and accepts responsibility for those offspring's wellbeing and future are doing the right thing. I only really have issue with individuals who do these things completely un-thinkingly, like the drug-addicted mother or puppy mill operator and quite a few thoroughbred racehorse breeders.
I can't help but throw in my two cents on the human moral/consciousness vs. animal debate. I agree that humans have a level of consciousness and understanding of future/consequences that other species do not possess, but that doesn't mean that we're not still animals!! All the primitive instincts for selfishness, physical pleasure and reproduction are still there. And I would argue there are too many people that forget that and don't exercise their higher consciousness enough!

Cat in Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Albigears said...

All I know is that if someone is seriously thinking about having kids they should be REQUIRED to teach in a middle school for two weeks.

The end.

Nicole Redman said...

We've talked about this many times before, so you already know that we don't agree. I just want to point out that what Ashley said about her horse being the "best" for her applies to people, too.

You may not be a perfect candidate for breeding, but you are a perfect friend, and I am very glad you are in the world. Everyone has the capacity to do good in the world, and it doesn't have to be in a huge way.

In the same vein, my favorite horses have not been the "best" horses I've gotten to ride. If you offered me Beach, Abby, Duke, Jamaica, and Calisto against Percy, Opie, Marco, Kiwi, Spot, and Lucy I'd take the group of rejects in a second.

And every nearly perfect person I know pisses me off. I'll take my group of rejects, thanks.

rosiebag said...

Mom sayeth: I wished for you. To me it is that simple. I don't mean getting pregnant by "accident" but truly determining that now is the time. I didn't think I wanted any children and waited 10 years after getting married...but one day, seemingly out of the blue, it hit me hard. I wished for you. True not everyone wants to have children. True maybe not everyone will be a good Mom, but you would be surprised at how the heart and mind converges to do the absolute best you can for that little screaming bundle of joy. When you look at that beautiful face you know you will move heaven and earth to try and make life wonderful and safe. Kids may kick and scream and act like brats(aliens abduct children during their teen years) but many many many grow up to be brilliant and beautiful people. So life goes on. Ah yes.

Lucy Priory said...

I agree that fewer kids is a good idea. Unfortunately in the UK we PAY people to have kids. So wrong.

appydoesdressage said...

Like others, am very happy that someone else shares my viewpoint. Being related to some real... winners... who feel the need to endlessly procreate hasn't helped my view on things either. I've known since I was 14 that I didn't want children, and some of the nasty comments given as a result are amazing. That I am jealous and desperately (secretly) want a child, that I am selfish, self centered. Why is it so wrong to not want children? All the comments about how "good" I am with the nieces, and I would be such a better mom than I think.
I see how most kids act and it makes me so happy to not have them. I don't want to be the person with 2 screeching kids in the store. Or be unable to have dinner because the kid needs to be coddled in order to behave. Or be unable to visit/talk to a friend because the kid demands all of the attention. Seen all of these scenarios multiple times, it's not for me. To some, that makes me a bad person.

eventer79 said...

ROFL, I don't say "yay!" when people get pregnant. I don't think anyone should breed themselves! 99% of babies turn into mediocre adults like the rest of us (oh, I can hear mommy now: "but mine is speeeshull!"). I'm a biologist -- maybe I have a different or larger perspective on what life really is because my job is the essence of life, which boils down to sex, death, and poop. I'm a dedicated non-breeder because overpopulation is REAL (I am 32, there is no biological clock, some of us are NOT ruled by our uterus). There are more people in the world than there is food to feed them. Of course, no one cares when it is time to squeeze out a crotch dropping. They say "oh, starving people are sad. But I don't care, I'm still making another food and resource consumer because hey, there's a grocery store down the street!" No one really ever wants to face the ugly questions, they just stick their heads in the sand. People are not special, they live, they breed, they die, they invent their own delusions of grandeur. I remain entertained (in a sad say) by their endless loops of creative logic to convince themselves that they are oh so wonderful while I watch every day at work while they annihilate everything around them with not a single iota of conscience.

Jennifer said...

Thoughtful post Andrea, and sparked some great discussion. I will admit, I am in the group that wants a baby someday. BUT, it will not be until I can properly take care of said baby. As in I have a stable job that will let me afford to care for myself, baby and my horse. A former friend of mine has three children now (and she's only 27) all of those children have different fathers and I as a taxpayer are paying to support them. She has been on welfare since she pregnant with the first child who just turned 7. She is in no way fit to be a parent. She does not have a stable job with which to support these children, she has not been able to give them a stable home life. She is now working on her second marriage (to a man who has three kids of his own) and she was engaged to another man in between those two marriages. All of those men have lived with her at some point in time. And yet, everytime she announces that she is pregnant, everyone jumps up and down and says how happy they are for her. She is a perfect example of someone who should not be reproducing.

I agree with you Andrea, all those people who jumped down your throat for thinking about breeding Gogo would be trilled if you announced you were having a baby. It's a double standard. And I don't think there should be one. If you think that an animal is not a candidate to reproduce, why can't you see the same thing in humans?

Really great post. Certainly made me think, and judging by the comments I'm not the only one.

Amy said...

Oh no here comes the religous freak!

God created us to procreate. I mean the simple design of the penis and vagina make that pretty clear as to what you are suppossed to do with them. We are to pass on our genes perfect or imperfect. That is what we are to do.
Now that is not to say that everyone is suppossed to. Ahhhh that is where the whole point comes in BALANCE. The world needs balance. We are all created different and there is also a reason behind that. So you choose not to procreate and I choose to hump like rabbits and have a litter...balance. I am not you nor am I better than you. We are all equally in the same boat. Imperfect people put here on this earth to do with our lives what we choose. The beauty of it all!!! We get to choose!!!
About the earth, all the concern about it lasting forever for endless generations of us rabbit breeding people to infest it. The good news about that is that the earth was not designed(by God) to last forever. So you can be relieved. The earth will end someday and we won't have to worry about the litter having humans ;). Again I am not saying we should then not care about how we care for the earth we were given to live on. Because we are suppossed to take care of it BUT it is not to placed above human life. It is a deteriorating ball of mass that we are blessed enough be able to live on. The same with the animals they were designed by God and given to us to be able to enjoy and have the priveledge to have in our lives but they are not equal to humans. They are under us to be ruled by us. All we can do is make the best decisions we can with the information we have. We will not be able to control it all ever and it is best we just enjoy the ride the best we can.

TallDarkAndSpotty said...

I think Gogo would be fantastic to breed! Sound like her soundness issues was from a freak injury thing, not because you were riding a horse whose conformation was unsuitable for what you were doing. So unless she has some glaring conformational issues that I don't see, why would she (when crossed with a breeding quality stallion) produce anything less than a stellar equine athlete? No horse is perfect, we strive for perfection, and we shouldn't stop that. We just need to acknowledge that all horses are imperfect in some way and it doesn't always stop them from having long and successful careers. The fingers on my right hand are slightly longer than the ones on my left. You know, I have no trouble typing with them, and as to date, I have no soundness issues related to that oddity either. ;)
As for bringing up a baby... sounds like you are now in a location where you can take on that financial burden more easily.

Andrea said...

See, look, my mother came on here and just proved that "oh but MY kid is special" theory that someone else presented! Yea... sure mom!

Now Amy, I have to ask. Are animals also not designed to breed with their own penises and vaginas? What makes them different from us in that way?
And also, what if two vaginas love each other? Does this make them irrelevant in God's eyes?

Elle said...

The only real problem I have with people breeding horses, is that there are so many abused and unwanted ones out there, which is putting a strain on the horse industry. At least where I'm from anyway. In my county you get a tax break if you own a breeding farm, so lots of people just breed their horses without any consideration for what the foal will be like or what may happen to it in the future. There are similar problems with dogs. Not the tax bit, but the numbers of unwanted ones that end up in the SPCA or part of Rescue 100 (horses).
As for people, ha, some should be allowed to have kids, but really, their kids have the potential to turn out better than their parents. If only darwanism was still prodominant, a lot of those poeple whouldn't live long enought to have kids. That sounds bad, but it's true.
I'm also pro-choice. There are people who get pregnant and can't care for or support the kid (or are rape victims) and chose to abort the kid. Of course they could put it up for adoption or foster care, but that could be terrible for the kid. Lots of nasty stuff happens in foster care. But it comes down to hoping people can look after themselves and do what they need to and recognizing that maybe they shouldn't have kids, or breed their pets.

inkeq said...

I've read everyone's responses and I do agree with many points, but I do see a grey area in this discussion..

I have some idea of what "quality" means within the world of breeding horses, because before the the future foal is an embryo, we make decisions on it's existence. We get to choose it's father/sire in a fashion (based on conformation, mental and physical soundess etc) which is often not practiced within the human race (i.e; two humans coming together in a loving, long-lasting sound relationship which is a secure and equally sound environment to raise a child in). We get to choose what we want our foal to do through breeding, even though there is always a chance the foal will never succeed in what we choose.

What exactly does "quality" or even "mediocre" mean when it comes to humans? In horses mediocre could be in relation to poor conformation for example. But what does it mean for people?

If "quality" has to do with success, for example someone who is a great doctor, how does that have anything to do really with that person's ability to raise a great offspring?

Gina said...

I guess I look at children the same way i look at puppies. Do I want one someday YES! am I going to breed my own, probably not. I am a huge advocate of fostering and adoption. I was adopted as a baby and it was honestly the best gift my birth-mother could ever give me.
Pregnancy sounds super uncomfortable... and to not be able to ride for 3-6 months... no thanks. However, the ability to act positively in a child's life as a roll model or parent would be a priceless experience. I think that we as a culture over look unwanted kids. Think of how many ASPCA adds you see on TV. Think of your local animal shelter. Now think of your local Children's Home. I bet most people don't know that one.

There are a million and one reasons not to reproduce (starting with childbirth) but I don't think it is necessary to get pregnant to be a parent.

My view on horses, slightly different. I would love to get a breeding lease on a good sport- bred TB for one or two seasons.

Amy said...

"Now Amy, I have to ask. Are animals also not designed to breed with their own penises and vaginas? What makes them different from us in that way?
And also, what if two vaginas love each other? Does this make them irrelevant in God's eyes?"

Yes they are absolutely supposed to use that anatomy to breed and in the wild that works out just fine but domesticated animals are a bit different. I am not a no-breeding advocate. If you go back and read any of my responses you can see I see no problem with you breeding your horse. For the same reason I have children. I wanted them and no matter what I would take sole responsiblity for them in all areas such as; nurturing, financial, health, educational ect. From everything I have gathered from reading your posts you are an intellegent, responsible person especially when it comes to your horses. So I have confidence that you will take all of those repsonsibilties when it comes to bringing a Go-go baby into this world wheter it be perfect or not.
As far as two vagina's in love they are absolutely, positively, unquestionably NOT irrelevant to God!!!! He absolutely, positively, unquestionably, thoroughly, unconditionally loves them deeper and stronger than any love we have ever known. And that I am sure of. Does that answer that question:)?

SoraSoul said...

I guess I am kind of in the Grey area in this discussion. I personally never want children, not because I don't think my genes should be passed on but because I guess I'm selfish and don't want to give up my time, energy and money on a child. If that ever changes I fully plan on adopting.

However, I do plan on breeding Sora at some point. I plan on breeding her once, to a stallion that will improve what she has, keeping the baby no matter what and ensuring that should anything happen to me it will have a good home the same as Sora. Now, Sora is not the PERFECT Arabian but since I'm not planning on selling the result or allowing it to be bred, or breeding her more then once to some random stallion I don't see that it really will cause any sort of breach in the space time continuum. I would breed her for the same reason I would decide to have a child myself and I have put at least as much thought into breeding her as I have to deciding I don't want children myself :)

Karen said...

I'd just like to add that I am not childless, I'm CHILDFREE. :-) That's the term I prefer.

DressageIsToDance said...

I am not going to sit here and read all these responses, so if I am reiterating what anyone else has said, my apologies.

Humans and animals are two very different things. Humans are, for the most part, self-sufficient. Someone from the worst parents can turn out to be an amazing person who contributes to society in a big way - it has happened!

Because we as humans have the ability to make our own way in life, take care of ourselves, we don't have to selectively breed (although in some cases, I wish we did). Horses need humans. And they are expensive - if we breed them, they better be something someone would want to make such a huge investment in. See what I mean? A talentless horse with everything wrong with it can't take care of itself, and can't help the fact that most people couldn't afford to have it just as a pasture puff. A talentless human with everything wrong with them CAN take care of themselves if they want to apply themselves, even if they aren't the greatest ever.

Netherfieldmom said...

Have three children, they're a lot of work and mess and joy and challenge--aren't we all? I just want to point out that just because a pregnancy is unplanned does not guarantee that it will produce an undesirable "product", and that many wonderful humans were unplanned, and their conceptions ended up impacting many other lives in a positive way. Desiring a child is no guarantee of "success"--All lives have value, no matter their origin, and can make wonderful ripples on the pond. :)

Dressager said...

I really wish I could add my views (you have no idea) but I feel my thoughts might be too touchy. But I will say that I agree with most of what you said, and I myself want to adopt a little kiddo in the future (agree with the uterine-disposing-of idea haha!). And, as much fun as it would be to breed Greta, for health and quality reasons it would be best to work with a young, untrained rescue horse or a PMU foal or a mustang or a very nicely pedigreed youngin' whose mind is (for the most part) impressionable and ready to be molded (by a professional trainer, since I am certainly not qualified!)

But AMEN to you for bringing up the topic.

starrynights said...

You make the comment wondering why people who want children don't just go adopt them instead of having them biologically. I'll tell you why: because it ain't that simple.

Adoption is an exhausting, lengthy process that financially precludes most people. And forget finding a healthy, normal infant. That's practically impossible.

Sure, everyone seems to know of someone who adopted. But believe me, it's damn near impossible.

My husband and I seem like the perfect candidates: in our 30's, employed, own a beautiful home, heterosexual, Christian. However, as we have found out, unless we have nearly $100,000 and are willing to wait 3 to 5 years, adopting a baby is out of the question for us.

It's depressing.

So, yes, we have considered going back to the old fashioned way of making a baby. (We were trying to adopt instead of "adding to the overpopulation problem".) It's for damn sure cheaper and quicker...

Gina said...

I want to reply to the adoption being SUPER expensive thing.... it all depends where you adopt from.

My adoption was handled by a private Christian organization that relies on Parents continued donations not a big one time fee. The organization was very careful when they looked at a family's finances but they did not let an inability to pay a one time fee keep an otherwise acceptable family from adopting. The joke in my family is that, not only was I a 'bargin (sp) baby' I was also tax deductible! lol. I personally would not be able to go through that organization as my SO is agnostic and many agencies that offer this are linked to a religious organizations as a way to augment funds and resources. However, look at the hospital bills that are produced by a pregnancy. If you happen to not have health insurance than that high monetary figure associated with adoption starts to seem very reasonable.
I must also say that the idea of not being able to get a normal kid is both untrue and insulting. What an unfair judgement to place on a child that is not even yours.
Yes the adoption process is long and hard - it should be- and yes it is hard to get infants at very young ages without long wait times. Thats just the way it is. When taking about breeding think of how our population would change if these same processes were applied to reproduction from the beginning.

In my extended family and friends, there are stories of people that went through every permutation of the adoption process there is and not a single one of those families complain about what they went through or what they 'got.'

I am sorry to address this so directly but if I was a perspective birth mother looking for an adoptive parent what you just posted would be a huge turn off. You have just said you want a cheap, 'normal', kid right now (I know that is a hyperbole of what you posted but I cannot help but read it that way).

If you really need to have a baby right now go ahead, but the things that you complain about are not going to go away just because you have your own.

I do not mean to offend anyone in any way, this is just something I am passionate about and could not not respond. As a side note, I do not understand the obsession with wanting an infant (most of the adoptions I am personally familiar with did adopt children as infants but not all). The infant stage is so quick... under 9 months. How fair is it to kids that miss that mark? I know that the older the child is the more 'complications' there can be when merging them into your family but the notion of only being open to adopting a baby is what slows down so many adoptions and is what keeps many kids in foster or government care. I think that there are so many biases that affect the adoption of a child that are not there when having one; it makes comparing the two processes in a truly academic way very problematic.
I am going to leave my comments here because I could post a lot more but much of what I have to say doesn't apply to the larger conversation.