I used to think parents were bad.
Not my parents -- just anyone who has ever bred, and specifically those who still have children under the age of 8. In general, you are all kind of smug jerks.*
At the very top of the Douche Parent Food Chain you have the neo-hippie parent. You know, the people who will tell you that crib bumpers, brie, and epidurals will sentence your kid to a lifetime of mediocrity at best, HORRIBLE DEATH at worst, and oh by the way, I lost the weight three months out because I breast fed and Mother Nature rewarded me with a tight ass AND a genius baby? Yes, those people. They're pretty horrible (and boring).
But I have found their match.
I may be one of them now, but I have to say, you all put the anti-bumper/brie/bottle people to shame. Crate training is cruel. Not crate training is cruel. Buying from a breeder is immoral. Don't let them eat anything that has corn as an ingredient. Don't use retractable leashes. Do use retractable leashes.
Single people shouldn't have pets.
People in apartments shouldn't have pets.
People without kids shouldn't have pets. People with kids shouldn't have pets.
If you have a job where you can't take your dog to work, you should find one where you can. (I imagine showering is also probably optional at such workplaces.) In fact, if you have a career at all, you should never have been so selfish to get a job in the first place. THE DOG IS EVERYTHING.
And if you can't abide by these precepts, you should give your dog away to someone who can so the dog will not live in such miserable conditions. (Ignoring, of course, the fact shelters and rescue groups are already overflowing with pets.)
I'm not saying I disagree with all of the above (the corn one is actually pretty true), but with the strident, cray-cray tone some people use to dispense their wisdom.
Here's a bit of wisdom I think we can all live with -- you know how sometimes the line between right and wrong is really fine? This is not one of those cases.
The line between child abuse or animal abuse and not-child abuse and not-animal abuse is HUGE.
You could run out of room on all the notebooks in the world writing down all the behavior that does not constitute abuse.
And the conduct that constitutes abuse? Generally pretty clear. You can sum up that conduct in a few paragraphs -- like in state or federal criminal code.
So please, give it a rest.
For other info on my hatred of animal people, see here, here, and here.
*You know it's true, get over it. Who else but parents can make laundry sound like a monumental achievement, or worse, the failure to do laundry somehow a virtue? The reason birth rates are falling is not because people don't like kids, it's because everyone is tired of being told about how VERY HARD it is to do something people have been doing since before we discovered fire. I never saw the movie, but I believe that the moral of I Am Sam addressed this point: literally, an idiot can do it.
This is another reason why I love older people - specifically, old people who themselves had kids a few decades or more ago. Ask one of them for parenting advice, and do you know what you'll get? A smile, a shrug, and a, "Oh, it's not that hard." Ask a 29-year-old who has been a parent for like three days, and you'll get a dissertation.
OLDIES FOR THE WIN!
PS: Go enter the CONTEST. I'll be honest, my self-esteem is suffering due to the fact that no one wants my mystery prize.