Breeder Bashing: Why I Think Their Ethics Are Unethical

Terrain_pull up

New Member
Messages
164
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario
I'm pretty sure the OP person will probably never follow up to read anything that was posted to her teenage hormonal rant (I miss those days when the world was so simple ;) She'll probably assume anything afterwards would just be further "bullying" against her. As soon as someone starts justifying their position by referencing Hiltler I pretty much lose interest in whatever they are trying to say because they're mainly just going for shock value...lol

I personally started out breeding from pet store geckos as I'm sure many other people have as well. For anyone that is truly passionate about the animals further research about better care, better genetics, better everything just comes as a natural progression in my opinion. Not that my opinion is worth anything either!

Thanks to all the breeders that responded to this thread. It turned out more civilized than I thought it would. When I first read the OP I grabbed my bag of popcorn and shifted to the edge of my seat waiting for the onslaught!
 

Kristi23

Ghoulish Geckos
Messages
16,181
Location
IL
I'm pretty sure the OP person will probably never follow up to read anything that was posted to her teenage hormonal rant (I miss those days when the world was so simple ;) She'll probably assume anything afterwards would just be further "bullying" against her. As soon as someone starts justifying their position by referencing Hiltler I pretty much lose interest in whatever they are trying to say because they're mainly just going for shock value...lol

I personally started out breeding from pet store geckos as I'm sure many other people have as well. For anyone that is truly passionate about the animals further research about better care, better genetics, better everything just comes as a natural progression in my opinion. Not that my opinion is worth anything either!

Thanks to all the breeders that responded to this thread. It turned out more civilized than I thought it would. When I first read the OP I grabbed my bag of popcorn and shifted to the edge of my seat waiting for the onslaught!
I will also be surprised if she comes back, but this will be a very helpful post to others starting out who don't understand why there are breeding ethics at all.
 

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
Messages
12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
In response to Rothsauce: Your most recent post is very well thought out and valid. With dogs and horses, we have the advantage of American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) to assist breeders and buyers with pedigrees for their animals... going back literally 10 generations or more. It would be GREAT if we would have something similar for our leopard geckos. But the reality is, that those associations for dogs and horses are based on a hundred years of development and registry of legitimate breeding of domestic animals. We must realize that reptiles are NOT considered domestic animals, and herpetoculture is barely considered legitimate after only about 20-25 years of captive keeping and breeding. Over the years, many attempts have been made to not only standardize the leopard gecko morphs, but establish a bloodline registry to no avail.

Realistically, the vast majority of leopard gecko "breeders" are exactly like the OP of this thread... people that buy geckos from pet stores without knowing where they came from or what their genetics are. Since leopard geckos are easily bred in captivity, everybody and their uncle are compelled to breed them. Any 13-year old with a pair of leopard geckos can breed them, call themselves a catchy name and throw up a website. The general public that purchase these offspring is clueless to whether or not the source is legitimate and ethical. All it takes is one gecko with unknown genes to completely ruin another breeder's long-term project with 'surprise' genetic traits. While most of the leopard geckos sold into the 'pet only' market are actually genetic 'mutts' (nothing against mutts!), people just can't help themselves from trying their hand at breeding!

Speaking candidly, I spent well over 12 years keeping the Blizzard morph genetically pure. I was concerned about a shallow gene pool, so I sought out an unrelated female Blizzard from one of the most "reputable" breeders in the country. I was assured she was of pure Blizzard genes. It turned out that she had recessive Tremper genes, and literally ALL of those offspring were het/possible het for Tremper albino. I share the blame for the contamination of my Blizzard line because I trusted the breeder I got the female from and did not test breed her, but the simple disclosure from the 'breeder' would have been all it took to prevent 12+ years of conservation of a pure morph to be wiped out. Needless to say, I was devastated and the world was without a proven pure Blizzard morph.

So... if we were to establish a bloodline registry, what would prevent ANYBODY from falsifying a pedigree? Especially when there are so many "Joe Blow" breeders out there? I'm sorry to sound so pessimistic, but without the cooperation of every gecko breeder out there being on the same page, we are heading towards a world of hurt. The OP is proof of that.
 

rothsauce

Voodoo Shop Hop
Messages
138
Location
MN
@ Golden Gate Geckos:

No need to apologize, as organizing anything in regards to animals and breeders has been and will always be a major project dependent on the community.

The AKC and AQHA no doubt had the same problems for verifying genetics and authenticity, finding out what their process had been could at least be a starting point.
Major, established and reputable breeders would likely be the spearhead for fortifying the effort. The ones that have produced unique lines, even if all information can't be reclaimed it would at least be a starting point.
Not every breeder needs to be a part of the effort, but the ones that are should be recognized for their efforts and contributions, and noted for it.
Forging in any group is still possible, but there are tons of resources for the ones that are already established that make researching a claim much easier. Maybe a pin, or something more difficult to reproduce than a piece of paper (at least for the beginning stages) could be implemented.
For establishing a Herp registry, it would likely be for a while that only the most reputable breeders that can document and provide a substantial amount of traceable information (testimonies from other breeders or people involved, online progress records, etc) would be listed and recognized for some time. Eventually tracking down who had swapped breeders with whom could be followed up and recorded.
I think many got caught up in the fact that a new morph could be just around the corner, and while they are still being unlocked it seems to be with less frequency.
The whole process would undoubtably be a nightmare, but in the end very rewarding to have a starting point and a localized hub of information.
I'm wondering what kind of genetic testing can/could be done with leo's.

The advantage of starting with a group so young would be more control, more information could be gleaned now since many (all?) of the major parties putting the work into establishing strains and different morphs are alive and kicking. Might be easier to track down legitimate parties, and weed out those with less honor in the community.

Although the OP might be... uninterested in keeping the lines pure, I don't think they are breeding with any malicious intent. But I certainly see where it is a concern for other breeders.

I hope the community, especially top breeders, will come together in the near future and start to lay the groundwork for a registry.
Personally, I don't doubt that it could be done, and hope more would have the drive to see it become a reality. The passion is definitely there!
 

Olympus

Biologist & Ecologist
Messages
298
Location
Miami, Fl.
No, I don't think the OP does it with malicious intent either, but it's obvious that she's still an impulsive teenager that doesn't see what her actions today could do in 10 years. Like Marcia says, everyone and their uncle gets sucked into the trap of "collecting" and breeding geckos, whether they have the resources to do so or should do so. So when I see a young girl that is debating whether to get another gecko (to add to the 10-11 she already has), despite the fact her funds are low and she doesn't really have the space (and apparently how close she is to being on the street) and gets it anyway despite sound advice not to, it just shows me how impulsive she is. She's not someone that understands consequences yet and anyone that tells her something she doesn't want to hear is a nay-sayer and a harasser.

It takes maturity to realize that actions have consequences, to respect advice when it comes from veteran breeders (whether you agree or not), to be realistic about how many animals you can responsibly handle, whether you're in a place in life where you can or should breed, etc. And she's just not there yet.
 

Kristi23

Ghoulish Geckos
Messages
16,181
Location
IL
Thank you Marcia for taking the time to come reply to this. I knew you would have a great reply which is why I asked you to come here. Your knowledge and drive to educate others is what I admire about you. I've learned so much from you over the years and I'm hoping some of the other newer breeders can learn from you, too.
 

rothsauce

Voodoo Shop Hop
Messages
138
Location
MN
@ Olympus - True, but you will always have people who do things despite sound advice, or that seem to add more stress to their current situation.
Not every impulse is bad. Even well thought out or planned actions can have major backlash.

For some it works out. For others it gets worse.
The best anyone can hope for is, despite the OP's situation, is that they use the advice to better what they can and use it as a catalyst for the rest of their life.
 

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
Messages
12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
I don't think the OP was being malicious either. But purposely breeding genetically incompatible genes knowing full well what the potential impact on the gecko community could be, is blatantly irresponsible. It's like flipping the finger at all those who are dedicated to making leopard gecko breeding a legitimate practice. I hope someday the passion for keeping and breeding our beautiful, gentle creatures brings about the solidarity to establish a registry.
 

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,338
Location
Massachusetts, United States
While I do not really think that the original poster is in a position to be breeding geckos, for reasons Olympus summarized above, I do not believe that we can blame the people who breed pet store geckos for polluting breeder lines. Would any of you buy from someone basically unknown (or who openly admits to breeding pet store acquisitions!) and breed that gecko into your top lines? It would the equivalent of a purebred dog breeder picking up a nice-looking specimen from the local humane society.

I think the breeders need to be the driving force here, even without an official registry. Provide as many generations back as possible in the family tree of the geckos you sell, and require the same from those you buy from. Yes, someone could in fact lie to you and provide false information, but I would expect that, once discovered, such a person would be discredited and shunned by the community.

Not saying there's a simple solution, but I think there needs to be a bit of peer pressure among the top breeders to keep more meticulous records and really demand full disclosure of the lines and their original sources. If the answer is, "I don't know," in some cases, then at least you'll be aware of the risks.

As someone who is seriously considering breeding in a few years on a small scale, I'm hoping that when I ask breeders for some history of their geckos, I'll get more than one generation...
 

Golden Gate Geckos

Mean Old Gecko Lady
Messages
12,731
Location
SF Bay Area
indyana said:
I do not believe that we can blame the people who breed pet store geckos for polluting breeder lines. Would any of you buy from someone basically unknown (or who openly admits to breeding pet store acquisitions!) and breed that gecko into your top lines? It would the equivalent of a purebred dog breeder picking up a nice-looking specimen from the local humane society.
You would be surprised, maybe even shocked, to know which high-profile breeders sell their genetic cast-offs wholesale to pet stores. :/
 

Dinosaur!

New Member
Messages
908
Location
Las vegas, Nevada
I feel like this entire post is helping to lower the reputations of young breeders. You CANNOT use your age as an excuse to be irresponsible with the animals who depend on you for life. And you most certainly cannot bring new life into this world, just because it's "fun", if you are not financially stable. That is cruel to these beautiful creatures that we are responsible for. Every pet you own should come after you do research, and realize what is and what isn't acceptable for you to do in order to be trusted in the community that devotes everything to maintaining health and standards for them. We all love our leopard geckos here, and calling us "Hitler" is not only extremely childish, but is like spitting on the devotion we have to these animals.

Now I want you to look at my age. I'm sixteen. I have owned leopard geckos for over six years, and I am still learning new things every day. This is the first year I have bred leopard geckos, and I only put them together after I had done my research, knew what to expect from these pairings, and was positive that I could afford any financial issues that could arise. That means hundreds of dollars in reserve just for vet visits. I worked my butt off to save that money, but I did it for the sake of my geckos. I have worked very hard to build a positive reputation on this website, and in my local community. I am tired of people looking down on me due to my age, and its people like you (the OP) who strenthen the stigma against us. You are never to young to be responsible for the lives that you take into your own hands. You cannot hide behind your age forever (especially considering that you are already older than me.) and you are not to young to take charge of your own life.


One of my friends also had a hard time in his life. He was about to be kicked out of the house and was struggling with school. So instead of escaping by recklessly breeding animals, he got a job. Saved his own money. Rented his own apartment. Studied like he'd never studied before. He got straight A's, and then got a full ride scholarship to his dream college due to the work he put in at school and as the manager for our theater program. He turned his life around by facing his problems instead of hiding from them by doing reckless hobbies. It makes me sad to see that you are giving up, and taking it out on everyone here. Think about that if you ever come back to read this thread, but I have a feeling that your'e hiding from us too.....

To the users of this forum: I hope that you understand that not all young people are reckless with breeding, and I hope you can trust those of us who truly care about our reptiles. And i apologize for replying to a thread that hasnt had a response in over a month, but I felt like I had to say what I said, even though the OP probably won't ever see it...

To the OP: I wish you good luck with taking control of your life, and I hope that you understand how upset you made these good people (and me) by spitting on the things we love. You just need to understand that you have to be responsible with your animals and respectful to the people who practically run this hobby if you ever want to be respected yourself. Good luck...
 
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