A time of reckoning
The very real possibility that greyhound racing may well be banned in Florida in November has brought up some interesting shows of allegiance.
Usually the truth emerges when the stakes are high, and indeed this is the case with the abolition of racing in Florida. For this is where 11 of all the 17 racetracks still operating in the US are located, and their closure would deal a heavy blow to the industry and could even lead to the demise of greyhound racing in the whole of the United States.
So this is the time when people’s real interests and motivations are laid bare, including those of the American pro racing rehoming groups, 61 of which have taken the side of the industry.
The heart of the matter is expressed very well by a group who wrote shamelessly that ‘racing greyhounds are happy’, adding that ‘The reason we love the dog is because of (not in spite of) his heritage at the track, his experiences on the puppy farm, his training before and during his racing career. That’s why our adopters want a racing greyhound, not just an American Kennel Club show greyhound’. https://www.facebook.com/PrisonGreyhounds/posts/1893156040748050
So there, in just a few words, the great deceit is revealed: what matters here is not the dog himself, whose unhappiness is denied, but the satisfaction of the adopter. Once again the greyhound is just merchandise, and that merchandise must be preserved, otherwise it’ll be time to shut up shop: for no racetracks means no greyhounds, and no greyhounds means the end of business.
Incidentally, one also sees here a notion shared by all pro racers, disguised to a greater or lesser extent: the idea that the racing greyhound is a heritage to be preserved exactly as it is because it is special.
At this point it comes naturally to wonder what would happen if this was Ireland or Great Britain instead of Florida. If there was a real possibility of banning greyhound racing in these countries, what side would adoption groups closely linked to the industry such as the GT centres in the UK or the IRGT in Ireland take?
If what has happened in Florida is significant, then probably most would behave like the American pro racing rescues: rather than losing their business they would rush to the bedside of the dying industry, with similar excuses to those that the American pro racers have come up with.
So here’s a good question to ask all the adoption centres (such as the GT or IRGT) closely linked to the industry: if your supplier was in danger of closing down, would you have the courage to side for its definitive demise, or would you rush to its aid?