I get reminded that it's not. I had a charming conversation with a woman today, who for all intensive purposes is a good person. But on this, she's cracked. And what really saddens me is that she reminded me of other folks I've known who've done the same thing. Bring a pet into the house for the sole purpose to get them pregnant so the kids can see the miracle of life unfolding right before their eyes. This woman used mice.
It is wrong to breed mice, for the sole purpose of showing children the "miracle of life."
It is even more wrong to kill raised mice and tell the kids that "I found good homes for them while you were in school." Because now you've just lied. Also, most pet stores will gladly take your overflow of mice. I know because I raised them when I was a kid.
But, they sell them for snake food. Oh sure, one or two might go to a kid who wants to have pet mice, but a lot of them end up going home and being feed to Sammy. Sammy's gotta eat too.
And maybe we ought to let the kids know that's happening too. Teach them that if you're going to let something breed without limits, there is a heavy price to pay. And I really don't think it's all that bad for children to know that carnivores eat animals. They gotta know where that burger came from, right?
Nature is red of tooth and claw. Remember that. And if you want to let herbavores breed in captivity, with no natural enemies other than chance illnesses, you're going to have an overflow. As much as it sucks, it's our job to play mother nature and handle the overflow, or take means to make sure it doesn't happen again. And that's not a bad lesson to know either.
While I'm not suggesting we get mice fixed, I am suggesting there are far better ways to let your children experience the miracle of life without bringing something unwanted and uneeded into this world. Seeds sprouting in a clear drinking cup with nothing but moistened paper towel is pretty interesting and is a miracle in its own right. Also, there are many educational video tapes and various other things that will show all types of creatures from fruit flies to humans giving birth, so if you really want your kids to see that, you can do it. If you think your child is old enough to have a kitten and the child wants one, rent one of those type of tapes (I know there is one of cats giving birth out there somewhere because I've seen it.) let the child watch it, talk about it, then go to a shelter and adopt a kitten. It's probably going to have the same impact.
If you absolutely must let your children see the experience first hand, maybe you should consider asking a shelter if they have a pregnant cat they'd be willing to let you adopt. But remember, after the kittens are born, you better be prepared to find them homes and then get the cat fixed.
I can't answer for everyplace, but I do know that one of the cat shelters around here will gladly let "Foster" mama cats that are too far along for an abortion. They will even help you find homes for the kittens when they are old enough to be on their own. They usually find in most case, folks end up keeping mama cat cause she's become a member of the family.
If I didn't have Goten and I had kids that I wanted to see experience the joys of birth and the miracle of life, that's what I'd do.
There are better solutions. You just need to sit down and think about it.
And get your animals fixed! I'd like to think there may come a day when a few people can breed common household cats or dogs, because there's a shortage of them, because everyone is being responsible and having their pets fixed. That every puppy or kitten born has a loving home waiting for him or her.
And yes, for those who think I'm anti-children, I believe the same thing for children too. I'd like to see a day where no child is ever born without knowing a loving, safe, happy environment. I'm all for equal rights.
Except for ticks. I want all ticks to die before birth and you can't change my mind about that. Roaches too. They can go.