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When is a Greyhound Like Pizza?

This weekend’s Palm Beach Post featured an article by Craig Dolch entitled, "Kennel Operator Enjoys Runaway Success" and glorifies the sport as a business, not revealing one negative aspect of it and even brushing over a potential negative and turning it into a positive (or at least a neutral).

Let’s deconstruct:

  • 50-year old Norm Rader owned pizza restaurants in Colorado. For fun, I suppose, he went to the local track to bet on the greyhounds.
  • In 1984 he bought a greyhound for $7,500 and named him after a pizza (NR’s Meateater). Clearly, he didn’t purchase the dog because he was cute or because he wanted to give him a loving home. He wanted to make money from the dog, just like he made money from pizza. The only problem is that pizza isn’t a sentient being and might actually have an interest in not being owned by him, muzzled and kenneled most of the time, and forced to race.
  • When NR’s Meateater, which by the way is a repulsive name, won enough to return the cost of Rader’s investment, he "got more serious about dog racing." He being Rader, as the dogs don’t get any kind of positive return on their forced-investment (which technically is servitude and not an investment at all).
  • By 2000, Rader owned more than 50 dogs, and now he owns far more and his dogs win a lot of races.
    • "It’s been a dream, like living in fantasy land," Rader said of his torrid run. "I believe that most businesses are roller coasters with a lot of peaks and valleys. Right now, I’m on a peak. But I think a lot of guys can stay on that peak longer than others." Notice the absence of a thought regarding the dogs.
  • Rader runs his kennel with his wife.
    • "While most trainers keep their ‘active list’ (the list of available dogs) fairly constant, Rader could install a revolving door on his kennel.
               He brings in several hundred dogs every meeting from all over the U.S., giving them a short time to show whether they can run on PBKC’s sprint-favoring surface.
               If a greyhound struggles in his first few starts, Rader quickly sends that dog to another track and brings in another to take his place. He repeats that process over and over again." Ah, the life of a Rader, dog. Makes you wanna trade places with one, doesn’t it? The love they have for the dogs and the appreciation for their servitude is just heartwarming!
  • Wait, then he actually says it: "I’m not a dogman," he says. "I’m a businessman who runs a dog kennel. I’m not going to tell you I’m the best at training a dog or finding an injury on a dog. But I’m a darn good businessman and I have a really good eye for watching dog races. That comes from many years of losing bets on the dogs. I’ve paid my dues."

Mr. Rader: What happens when your investments no longer pay you? How are they "discarded?" How many have you "discarded"? How many are "culled" as puppies? How are they transported? (Hint: Usually in non-air conditioned trailers, where many perish each year.) There’s a reason why greyhound racing is legal in only a dozen or so states: it’s a cruel, barbaric form of gambling and "entertainment." Thousands of dogs are killed each year, and far more injured and/or maimed.

Greyhounds aren’t pizzas. You don’t throw them away and start over with a new one if you don’t like the one you’ve bought. When you take on the life of an animal, in my mind you are morally obligated to do what’s best for that animal and care for him for his entire life.

Go to Grey2K USA to learn more about this hideous "sport," and write the Palm Beach Post, and tell them how you feel about glorifying greyhound racing.

Here’s what I wrote:

Regarding Craig Dolch’s "Kennel Operator Enjoys Runaway Success," as a person who has adopted several greyhounds from the track, I am appalled by the way you glorified Mr. Rader. Greyhounds aren’t like pizzas. If you don’t like the dog you’ve bought, you shouldn’t discard him and order a new one. Yet that’s what Mr. Rader does. It may be a "fantasyland" for him, but it’s not for the dogs, whom he doesn’t even claim to care about. Greyhounds are killed by the thousands each year because they are no longer profitable, and far more puppies are "culled" when they don’t prove promising. Racers are transported in woefully inadequate, unsafe manners, and their lives of servitude–kenneled and muzzled most of the time–are tragic. It’s time Florida joins the majority of the country in realizing that greyhound racing is no way to treat man’s best friend.

Mary Martin, Ph.D., Jupiter, FL

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mike Grieco #

    The Palm Beach Post must use their investigative journalism skills to explore the "BRUTAL & INHUMANE" reality of "Greyhound Racing"!Instead they sound like they were payed to "GLORIFY" this "ARCHAIC" race.
    Florida needs to come out of the "DARK AGES" and "BAN" this "sport".

    Would it KILL Mr.Rader to offer a few good words for "his" slaves,(the dogs) that bring him so much fame and fortune? Oh,I almost forgot the "RED FLAG" is up,he is NOT a "dogman",he is a businessman.Money is the name of his game.Dogs are expendable to his kind!!
    Greyhounds are not things/pizza!

    May 31, 2007
  2. Normal Person #

    I guess you have a great deal of time on your hands to worry about such matters as this. Ever been to the PBKC? It is a tremendous amount of fun. Remember those cute little puppies wouldn't live a day without the likes of "Mr. Greyhound owner". They would just be like the other animals in the shelters, along the road, or in the stew at your favorite tofu resturant….DEAD or DYING. Come on honey, give it a try and spend two bucks. You might even like it.

    June 14, 2007
  3. 1) Greyhounds exist because we make them.

    2) When I think of a person who is "normal," I think: they are mainstream, they don't challenge authority, they don't question social and cultural "norms" and they are cogs in the wheel of America's corporate socialism. I'd rather be extraordinary.

    2) When I think of the word "honey," it is reserved for people I have affection for and it is a term of endearment. To use it otherwise is sarcastic and disrespectful. Go elsewhere to showcase your disrespect.

    3) I don't spend my money or time on the abuse of animals. I am forced, occasionally, to watch a greyhound race in order to write about it (I watch tapes, more important of the conditions the dogs are kept in, the training, and of dog farms, to report that the industry is just as hideous as ever) and I am disgusted and nauseated every time.

    4) The overall tone of your e-mail is unwelcomed. In May, I wrote several times about the low levels of discourse I had seen on many blogs (not mine) and requested, and nearly always get, only civil discourse, well written, and well thought out. There are plenty of places you can go on the Internet with comments like yours. Animal Person is not one of them.

    June 14, 2007
  4. Mike Grieco #

    Normal Person said. "Remember those cute little puppies wouldn't live a day without the likes of Mr.Greyhound owner".
    Hello their Normal Person(s),Greyhounds are produced for the "use" and "abuse" by your kind,but you know this reality,don't you? Because this is "normal" behavior in this line of entertainment,isn't it?
    My money will go to Kill all "sport's" that "Gamble" with the lives of animals.

    June 22, 2007

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