Irresponsible Breeder’s List Of Excuses
1. When called out for bad breeding practices either in person or on an online forum, ALWAYS claim that you have been doing it for an extended period of time (generally 3 years or more)/people love your rats/you breed ‘quality’.
2. Point out that you know a lot of people who breed rats just like you do. (Do so as if this makes you morally justified.)
3. Claim that “snobby show breeders” are only criticizing you because they are snobs/are jealous/are just mean. No way could they actually know what they’re talking about.
4. Claim that your rats go back to a well-known ancestor or bloodline. Never mind that the ancestor/bloodline is in the 5th generation and the rest of the rats have all done nothing but reproduce like rabbits. Never mind that they bear absolutely NO resemblance to aforementioned ancestor/bloodline. Note, however, that they ARE a pretty color/have flashy markings/have interesting fur type/are shiny.
5. Claim that you are just trying to produce good ‘family pets’, therefore good ‘family pets’ are all you need for breeding.
6. When asked about megacolon or other genetic disorders, or contagious diseases such as SDA, Sendai, or KRV, enthusiastically point out that none of your rats have shown any outward signs of the disease and their parents/grandparents/siblings/aunts/uncles/cousins didn’t either, so there is no need for concern or testing.
7. Point out that these tests cost too much and would cut into your profit margin/would make breeding impossible to afford. Be sure to champion the right of poor people to breed rats.
8. Confidently assure worried rescuers that no rat you produce, or any of their descendants will end up in rescues or pet stores or in snake bellies because you have a bunch of friends who have told you that they’d like a rat from your breeding program.
9. Point out that you don’t need championships or other standards for your rats because you are breeding for temperament and your rats are really sweet
10. Silence those annoying people who ask about your animals megacolon/SDA/Sendai/KRV/whatever health status by assuring them that buyers can return any afflicted rat and you will replace it with another from the same lineage.
11. If you breed a “rare” color or variety, be sure to remind everyone that you do not need to show or prove your breeding stock because you are doing the world a service by continuing this “rare” color/variety.
12. No matter what anyone else says, claim that you obviously know what you are doing because you’ve been breeding for a long time (see #1). Point to the hundreds of rats you’ve pumped out/sold/traded over the years as proof.
13. If this is your first attempt at breeding, make sure to remind everyone that you HAVE to breed your rat because how else are you going to learn how to breed? Everyone starts somewhere!
14. Assure everyone that your rat does not need to be shown or otherwise proven that it meets appropriate standards because you were assured by someone at the pet store/reptile show/online forum/email list/vet office /a friend that your rat is a perfect example.
15. Always remember that “rare” colors, oversized or undersized rats, and deformities (i.e. manx) are great selling points. Anyone who doesn’t think so is obviously not in tune with their customers’ wishes.
16. Claim that your rats are better because they are not inbred and are an ‘outcross’ to popular lines, as inbreeding obviously produces sick/stupid/deformed rats.
17. Assure everyone that your rats will not end up in rescues or pet stores because they are cute and well-tempered.
18. Claim that YOUR variety never ends up in rescues or pet stores, therefore your rats will never end up in these places.
19. If asked why you think your rats are breeding quality, point out that they have great ‘confirmation’ and/or a pretty color and a notable lineage. Extra points if they are registered with any club or association.
20. If you sell a sick rat, always blame the new owners for making it lame or sick. If the owners are clearly not responsible, blame their vet.
21. If presented with irrefutable evidence proving you wrong on any excuses you have used, pretend your server did not receive the post/e-mail. Or, if you’re a moderator on the forum, lock or remove the thread. Extra points if you ban the poster who proved you wrong.
22. If all else fails, tell everyone who criticizes you to “get a life.” or to “stop being such a snob” or that you are successful breeders and know what you’re doing
*edited for typos