Definitions

Definitions

runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 8/28/2009 7:24:58 PM
I've been reading over all of the post in the forums over the last week or so and

I'm astonished at all of the accusations and words I see posted.  I'm also

wondering what a LOT of you see as the definitions of the words or phrases

you use ... such as:



1.  Puppy mill - By dictionary definition it is simply a place where puppies are

produced.  But I see it being used as a deragatory word by people who by

definition do the SAME thing.



2.  Disposable Puppies - Just what is a disposable puppy - Is that one of those

stuff puppies you win at the local fair and then realize 2 days later your tired of looking at it? 



3.  "Bad Breeder" - What do you consider to be a "Bad Breeder".  To me it's

one who neglects or abuses their dogs.  I personally don't care if they raise them

inside their home, outside in a kennel or in runs with dog houses as long as they

are taking care of them.  I don't care if the owner lives in a shack or a palace as

long as the dogs are well taken care of. 



I also find it very amusing that some think if you don't raise the dogs in your house

and under your feet that you are a bad breeder 'puppy miller' or whatever their

favorite word of the day is.   A dog can't miss what it's never had just as you

can't give people common sense nor can you make them see the errors of their

ways when they are so narrow minded that they refuse to be open to others way

of doing things.
katiekat33

Posts: 53

QUOTE 8/28/2009 10:11:37 PM
I've thought this all along, as I'm a new member to these boards.  The accusations that people make about others who raise puppies are downright cruel and judgemental - how can anyone know how a person raises his/her puppies until you've seen first hand?  I just got so tired of reading the hateful things that people said about each other.  As far as kennel-raised dogs, we don't know how much time people spend playing with them or how they're cared for, so how can we judge that?  A person with home-raised puppies may have them in a spare room and not spend any time with them. Who's to say what is better?



It's a great thought to invite people to your home to see how your puppies are raised, etc. but I know a breeder who had a personal threat made against her family by a visitor to her home who was supposedly interested in a puppy, and now she has a protection dog and refuses to let people come into her home to see puppies. She now meets them in a public place.  Several years ago a breeder in Missouri was murdered by a woman from Kansas who came to her home to supposedly pick up a rat terrier.  The Kansas woman murdered the pregnant woman and cut out her unborn child.  Even though these things are the exception rather than the rule, we cannot be too careful when it comes to letting people in our homes. Axe murderers don't wear a sign saying they're axe murderers!



Also, NDP's guide for finding a puppy was written from the HSUS standpoint (the idea of getting in someone's home to see their puppies) - if anyone reads up on that organization, they will see what HSUS REALLY stands for, and it's not the pets.  It's about intimidation and money.  See how much money goes toward administrative costs and how little actually goes to help animals. HSUS doesn't operate any animal shelters and donates a very small percentage to just a few humane societies.  Most of their money goes to legislative issues and mailings for fundraising. People are MUCH better off donating to their LOCAL animal shelter instead of HSUS and PETA.
maoseger1010

Posts: 6985

QUOTE 8/29/2009 2:45:40 PM
 "A dog can't miss what it's never had"



I'm sorry but I have to disagree with this statement as would many animal behavioralists.   There is much that can be missed, when dogs are raised like livestock. 



Which is not to say that people who raise their dogs in the house or "under foot" always do a better job raising their puppies.  Many do not.



maoseger1010

Posts: 6985

QUOTE 8/29/2009 2:51:57 PM

Quote runningridge:

I've been reading over all of the post in the forums over the last week or so and

I'm astonished at all of the accusations and words I see posted.  I'm also

wondering what a LOT of you see as the definitions of the words or phrases

you use ... such as:



1.  Puppy mill - By dictionary definition it is simply a place where puppies are

produced.  But I see it being used as a deragatory word by people who by

definition do the SAME thing.



2.  Disposable Puppies - Just what is a disposable puppy - Is that one of those

stuff puppies you win at the local fair and then realize 2 days later your tired of looking at it? 



3.  "Bad Breeder" - What do you consider to be a "Bad Breeder".  To me it's

one who neglects or abuses their dogs.  I personally don't care if they raise them

inside their home, outside in a kennel or in runs with dog houses as long as they

are taking care of them.  I don't care if the owner lives in a shack or a palace as

long as the dogs are well taken care of. 



I also find it very amusing that some think if you don't raise the dogs in your house

and under your feet that you are a bad breeder 'puppy miller' or whatever their

favorite word of the day is.   A dog can't miss what it's never had just as you

can't give people common sense nor can you make them see the errors of their

ways when they are so narrow minded that they refuse to be open to others way

of doing things.
As a breeder I would think it would be hard for you to have an unbiased opinon. Clearly your going to think the way you raise dogs is perfectly fine and find it difficult to understand why someone else may not feel the same way.  I'm not saying your a bad breeder or you have bad practices just pointing out that your opinon comes from the bias of  being a breeder.

runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 8/29/2009 2:59:57 PM

Quote maoseger1010:

 "A dog can't miss what it's never had"



I'm sorry but I have to disagree with this statement as would many animal behavioralists.   There is much that can be missed, when dogs are raised like livestock. 



Which is not to say that people who raise their dogs in the house or "under foot" always do a better job raising their puppies.  Many do not.



The dog may "MISS OUT" on something being raised one way or another

but it can't FEEL as it is "MISSING OUT" on something when it has never

had it to know the feeling in the first place.
runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 8/29/2009 3:24:35 PM

Quote maoseger1010:

As a breeder I would think it would be hard for you to have an unbiased opinon. Clearly your going to think the way you raise dogs is perfectly fine and find it difficult to understand why someone else may not feel the same way.  I'm not saying your a bad breeder or you have bad practices just pointing out that your opinon comes from the bias of  being a breeder.

Just curious as to what you found "bias" in that post. 

Everybody has the right to their 'opinion' but that doesn't mean they have the

right to voice their opinion in a way that it causes irreparable damage to others.

I have no 'bias' of home verses kennel veses runs.  I've seen the good and bad

in all of them.  I have no 'bias' of hobby, show or commercial breeders.  I've

seen the good and bad in all of them.

No one way is right.  The only time you'll see me being 'bias' is when I go to one

where it is obvious that they don't give a dang about the dogs and have no

respect for their families by the way they and/or the dogs are living. 

I probably started out as what many call a BYB - Back yard breeder.  I loved

dogs and bred 'em and sold them to loving families as PETS.   At that time it was Boxers so YES they did live outside.  Advanced to I assume would be the next stage of "Hobby" breeder where I became more

concerned of the overall structure, temperment and health of the dog.  Got involved with "Small" dogs and for a while did keep them in my house.  I got tired of replacing "something" every time a new litter came along and my hubby finally made the ultimatium of he build them their own place or they go.   Kept

right on going to "Show" breeder and if anybody thinks "Showing" makes

anybody a better person, breeder or dog keeper then they are sadly mistaken.

I've seen enough Show breeders filthy houses, kennels and behind the scene

dogs to last me a life time.   I still show on a VERY LIMITED basis as all of

the backstabbing and yah-yah at shows can really make you not want to go.

While I've never been a "Commercial" breeder as I prefer to sell direct to the

person who is buying my puppies, I can however see the need for them as there

is no way that BYB's, Hobby and Show breeders could meet the demand of the

Pet Consumer.   I feel there are good ones and bad ones in that catagory as

well.  I just CHOOSE to not be one.

I've done "rescue" and it has it's good points and bad points.  I've seen good

Rescues and bad Rescues.  The good ones do a service that is badly needed.

The bad ones I'd group in the same catagory as a bad breeder.  

My "OPINIONS" are based on 50 years of OBSERVATION.  If I'm bias it would be toward ONE person, group or organization that has continaully proven

over the years that they have an AGENDA and feel anybody that isn't on board with their agenda is worthy of receiving their criticism, harrassment and even

terrorist threats and actions. 
beaglebrat

Posts: 1370

QUOTE 8/30/2009 5:16:11 PM
So you are saying puppymills are OK because they fill the need/demand for puppies?



I hate to tell you but there are plenty of homeless puppies to go around that get euthanized every day.



If there were no more "puppymills" there would be a higher demand for purebreds, or specific mixes. Which I see as a completely great thing. As any dog breeder should.



Why? Because then you can ask more money for the same puppies. Thus have fewer dogs, give them better care, less work for more money. All win/win.



Owning Puppies is not a right. It is a privilege, and the purchase price is just the first of many expenses that occur in dog ownership. If you can't afford $500+ for a puppy, maybe you should reconsider purchasing a puppy. Or maybe adopt a homeless one from an accidental litter.



I make no bones about being expensive, I have no use for breeders selling puppies for $200 why bother?  You should be putting more than that in to giving the parents a decent life.



I have seen the results of 5 year old dogs with no dental care, that have lived their lives on chicken wire. Dogs that have never touched the ground. It is sick and sad and I think the smarter ones go literally insane and develop neurotic habits of spinning round and round or pacing back and forth.



What happens to those dogs after their breeding years? Who wants that feral little animal in their home, crapping and peeing all over? 



JUSTICE would be that people who support puppymills by purchasing from pet stores should be forced to take ol' mom and pop, when the puppymill retires them.  I think then there would be a sharp decline in Petstore sales.









beaglebrat

Posts: 1370

QUOTE 8/30/2009 6:15:19 PM
To answer your question though:



True Puppymill--

A true puppymill is place that has many more dogs than the caretaker or employees can care for. The conditions MAY BE unsanitary, but they could be very sterile, like a factory production.

There is little consideration for the parents health and well-being, and no consideration for the mental stimulation and socialization of the breeding dogs. They are strictly livestock to produce puppies. Just as if you were breeding chickens or rabbits.



Now they do often have a lot of "automated" features so that minimal people can care for the maximum amount of dogs with as little work or attention paid to the dogs.



Puppymills have NO REGARD for what happens to the puppies after they leave their facility. They do not care about the health, temperament or quality of the puppies they are producing. Often looking at how many puppies a bitch or dog is producing, instead of the health and quality.



The term "Puppymill" is also an insult that customers, animal rights activists and OTHER BREEDERS use to describe what they consider to be a "bad breeder" regardless of the number of dogs they have.



Disposable puppy--

A puppy produced by someone that does not care where it goes or what happens to it. That is then purchased or given to a person or family that does not value it, or have any emotional attachement to it, or worse gets the puppy and does not like it. Disposable puppies end up in shelters because no one will take responsiblity for it.



Bad Breeder--

That is a personal opinion, there are as many definitions to that as there are people to define it.



In my opinion a bad breeder is someone that does not take care of their dogs, does not stand behind the puppies they raise. That includes breeders who do not take back puppies FOR LIFE! That doesn't mean that you need to keep the returned dog for life, but you at least need to make sure it has a home. That became the breeders responsiblity once they allowed 2 dogs to mate-- especially if it was for profit. Anything less.... you shouldn't be breeding in my opinion.

maoseger1010

Posts: 6985

QUOTE 8/30/2009 7:50:45 PM

Quote runningridge:

Just curious as to what you found "bias" in that post. 

Everybody has the right to their 'opinion' but that doesn't mean they have the

right to voice their opinion in a way that it causes irreparable damage to others.

I have no 'bias' of home verses kennel veses runs.  I've seen the good and bad

in all of them.  I have no 'bias' of hobby, show or commercial breeders.  I've

seen the good and bad in all of them.

No one way is right.  The only time you'll see me being 'bias' is when I go to one

where it is obvious that they don't give a dang about the dogs and have no

respect for their families by the way they and/or the dogs are living. 

I probably started out as what many call a BYB - Back yard breeder.  I loved

dogs and bred 'em and sold them to loving families as PETS.   At that time it was Boxers so YES they did live outside.  Advanced to I assume would be the next stage of "Hobby" breeder where I became more

concerned of the overall structure, temperment and health of the dog.  Got involved with "Small" dogs and for a while did keep them in my house.  I got tired of replacing "something" every time a new litter came along and my hubby finally made the ultimatium of he build them their own place or they go.   Kept

right on going to "Show" breeder and if anybody thinks "Showing" makes

anybody a better person, breeder or dog keeper then they are sadly mistaken.

I've seen enough Show breeders filthy houses, kennels and behind the scene

dogs to last me a life time.   I still show on a VERY LIMITED basis as all of

the backstabbing and yah-yah at shows can really make you not want to go.

While I've never been a "Commercial" breeder as I prefer to sell direct to the

person who is buying my puppies, I can however see the need for them as there

is no way that BYB's, Hobby and Show breeders could meet the demand of the

Pet Consumer.   I feel there are good ones and bad ones in that catagory as

well.  I just CHOOSE to not be one.

I've done "rescue" and it has it's good points and bad points.  I've seen good

Rescues and bad Rescues.  The good ones do a service that is badly needed.

The bad ones I'd group in the same catagory as a bad breeder.  

My "OPINIONS" are based on 50 years of OBSERVATION.  If I'm bias it would be toward ONE person, group or organization that has continaully proven

over the years that they have an AGENDA and feel anybody that isn't on board with their agenda is worthy of receiving their criticism, harrassment and even

terrorist threats and actions. 
"Opinions" are bias.   Because all opinions are bias based on our experiences or in your case as you pointed out "your 50 years of observations", its only fair to inform the readers where your bias is coming from. Nothing more, nothing less.  You have an absolute right to your opinions.  
jchamp52

Posts: 261

QUOTE 8/30/2009 8:16:38 PM
To beaglebrat:

One of your comments:

I make no bones about being expensive, I have no use for breeders selling puppies for $200 why bother?  You should be putting more than that in to giving the parents a decent life. 

There are times when I will drastically reduce the cost of a dog if for some reason they just do not come anywhere near the breed standard. Case in point, I just sold a male with Champions all in his pedigree for $200.00.

He is the most playful thing in the world, with NO genetic faults (as yet) he is still under a year so most test can not be done or will have to be repeated at a later date. But the size standard for the Chihuahua is 6lb max, at 7mo this puppy is almost 7lb. The other 3 in the litter are all UNDER 4lb. Both parents are under 5lb. 

I could not see asking full price for this puppy when he clearly is not within the standard and will never be anything but pet quality.

You are a breeder, and I am sure there have been some of your puppies that just could not measure up to what you had hoped or expected,  they can not ALL become Champions.

I have placed him where I believe he will be the happiest, in a family with 4 young to mid age children. 















beaglebrat

Posts: 1370

QUOTE 8/30/2009 8:37:40 PM
Honestly in the last 8 or more years I have rarely sold a puppy, even
an older one for less than $450 I rather keep it a little longer, and
put more shots and training in to it than discount it past that.



I have found the more you discount, you get the people that want you to
discount more, or that will whine and complain about any little thing,
because it takes more of their income if something comes up.



 The vast majority of my customers drive to pick up their puppy in a car or SUV that is $50K or more. Lexus,
Hummers.  I cater to people who want to pay for a certain type of
puppy, and I do a lot of advertising and have a great website. It wouldn't look good if I drop my pants so to speak on certain puppies. Unless their is a health issue.



I have had some "homely puppies" that may not be show ring material, but they still have Champion parents that are health tested and will make someone a great pet.



As I also like to say, compared to 80% of the puppies advertised on the internet, the homeliest puppy in my litter is more "show quality" than the pick of the litter in an average litter-- and it is true. There is a lot of pure junk bred dogs out there being sold by people who don't know what they are doing.



I am not saying if someone randomly sells a pet for $200 they are a
terrible breeder-- that is a personal choice. I have a friend that has
given a couple puppies to different friends/ relatives.  That is your
business.



However, I am referring to the MANY TRUE PUPPYMILLS that advertise on
this website.  They sell the majority of their puppies in the $200-375
range, which is fine to them because they have 80 OR MORE DOGS
ADVERTISED AT ONCE!



I have said this before-- buyers, don't be afraid to click on the
"other puppies for sale by advertiser" link thing. See how many they
got.  If it is a larger breed they may have a lot of puppies from just
a few litters.



However, if they have 80 puppies listed, of all ages, all breeds with
20 different birth dates-- that means they have had 20+ litters in the
past 4 months or so.



For the layperson to have 20 litters in that amount of time, you would
probably need AT LEAST 100 breeding dogs. Probably more. That is why
they can afford to sell most of their puppies that cheaply, because
they have so many and they don't put a lot of time, effort and MONEY in
to their dogs-- and they still make a hefty profit.
beaglefantastic

Posts: 1

QUOTE 8/31/2009 11:22:54 AM
It is accurate that most breeders who raise lots of different breeds and always have tons of available puppies cannot possibly take proper care of their animals. However, buyers should bear in mind that many accounts for which there are tons and tons of puppies listed are not puppy mills, but rather, groups who have gotten together to list all their puppies through one account. There are those who are just not computer literate enough, or just don't have the time, and many of them will get together and have one person list all their puppies for them. Thus, it is unfair to assume that lots of puppies under one account automatically equals puppy mill.



The best thing to do is ask to see the establishment at which your prospective new puppy is being raised. On the other hand, many responsible breeders will not allow strangers on their property for the health and safety of their families, their breeding dogs, and their puppies. You see, it would be ideal if all buyers could tour the premises from which they want to acquire their new puppy, but they could bring in diseases to the puppies or stress out the pregnant dogs. Furthermore, people saying they are coming to check out a breeder's establishment could be dangerous, and the breeders have no way of knowing until it is too late. Breeders with nothing to hide, however, should be willing to provide pictures of the parent dogs and their living quarters and, honestly, in this day and age, a video of their kennel if they have one.

beaglebrat

Posts: 1370

QUOTE 8/31/2009 8:02:56 PM
Breeders lie though! I don't know of any puppymill that says "Oh , yeah
we have 150 dogs in cages that we look at twice a week. Ya know?



My suggestion for breeders that don't want to look like a puppymill is 
for each breeder or a couple breeders to have their own accounts.....
and I know EXACTLY what you are saying.



In fact, I list some of my older computer illiterate friends puppies on
occasion. If I don't have my own pups at the time, I will put them on
my account. If I do have my own puppies, then I may them pay to get
their own.



In the grand scheme of things $20 per month isn't that big of a deal.
You can't advertise in any major paper at that price for even a week.



Pony up! Or have people assume  you are a puppymill---- I wouldn't tell
any novice buyer to assume anything other than they are a puppymill,
because on here there are a ton of huge breeders with 50-100 dogs.



There are brokers on here and there are pet shops on here, and where are most of those puppies coming from? Puppymills.
runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 9/1/2009 9:54:19 PM

Quote beaglebrat:

So you are saying puppymills are OK because they fill the need/demand for puppies?



I hate to tell you but there are plenty of homeless puppies to go around that get euthanized every day.



If there were no more "puppymills" there would be a higher demand for purebreds, or specific mixes. Which I see as a completely great thing. As any dog breeder should.



Why? Because then you can ask more money for the same puppies. Thus have fewer dogs, give them better care, less work for more money. All win/win.



Owning Puppies is not a right. It is a privilege, and the purchase price is just the first of many expenses that occur in dog ownership. If you can't afford $500+ for a puppy, maybe you should reconsider purchasing a puppy. Or maybe adopt a homeless one from an accidental litter.



I make no bones about being expensive, I have no use for breeders selling puppies for $200 why bother?  You should be putting more than that in to giving the parents a decent life.



I have seen the results of 5 year old dogs with no dental care, that have lived their lives on chicken wire. Dogs that have never touched the ground. It is sick and sad and I think the smarter ones go literally insane and develop neurotic habits of spinning round and round or pacing back and forth.



What happens to those dogs after their breeding years? Who wants that feral little animal in their home, crapping and peeing all over? 



JUSTICE would be that people who support puppymills by purchasing from pet stores should be forced to take ol' mom and pop, when the puppymill retires them.  I think then there would be a sharp decline in Petstore sales.









Well, I guess it depends on what YOUR definition verses MY definition of Puppy mill is?



If it's a place that doesn't take care of their animals then NO it's not alright.



If it's a place that has dogs and produces them and takes care of them then I have no problem with them. 
runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 9/1/2009 9:58:43 PM

Quote beaglebrat:

So you are saying puppymills are OK because they fill the need/demand for puppies?



I hate to tell you but there are plenty of homeless puppies to go around that get euthanized every day.



If there were no more "puppymills" there would be a higher demand for purebreds, or specific mixes. Which I see as a completely great thing. As any dog breeder should.



Why? Because then you can ask more money for the same puppies. Thus have fewer dogs, give them better care, less work for more money. All win/win.



Owning Puppies is not a right. It is a privilege, and the purchase price is just the first of many expenses that occur in dog ownership. If you can't afford $500+ for a puppy, maybe you should reconsider purchasing a puppy. Or maybe adopt a homeless one from an accidental litter.



I make no bones about being expensive, I have no use for breeders selling puppies for $200 why bother?  You should be putting more than that in to giving the parents a decent life.



I have seen the results of 5 year old dogs with no dental care, that have lived their lives on chicken wire. Dogs that have never touched the ground. It is sick and sad and I think the smarter ones go literally insane and develop neurotic habits of spinning round and round or pacing back and forth.



What happens to those dogs after their breeding years? Who wants that feral little animal in their home, crapping and peeing all over? 



JUSTICE would be that people who support puppymills by purchasing from pet stores should be forced to take ol' mom and pop, when the puppymill retires them.  I think then there would be a sharp decline in Petstore sales.









Unfortunately those homeless puppies get euthanized for a reason.  Most are unsocial, diseased or simply not of the type that most people PREFER as a pet. 



Not everybody can justify the price of the PURCHASE of a puppy but will give it all of the love, care and support that it needs for a life time.



There are a lot of elderly people who can't afford to purchase a pet but would go hungry to see that it is cared for. 



Selling price isn't always the determing factor for how well a puppy will be cared for. 



I've never found the need to lump everybody into one big cart.  I tend to judge folks and situations on a one to one basis. 
runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 9/1/2009 10:08:19 PM

Quote maoseger1010:

"Opinions" are bias.   Because all opinions are bias based on our experiences or in your case as you pointed out "your 50 years of observations", its only fair to inform the readers where your bias is coming from. Nothing more, nothing less.  You have an absolute right to your opinions.  
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree because to me "BIAS" is where you are unfairly influencing somebody's decision with prerconcieved notions of your own or not being able to look at something objectively.

Bias is seldom over-come.



Opinion is simply your feelings at the time that may or may not change in the future.  Opinion  is a statment with no intent of being used to try to influence others decisions.



maoseger1010

Posts: 6985

QUOTE 9/1/2009 10:20:43 PM
An opinion is a belief that may or may not be backed up with evidence, but which cannot be proved with that evidence. It is normally a subjective statement and may be the result of an emotion or an interpretation of facts; people may draw opposing opinions from the same facts



Bias is a term used to describe a tendency or preference towards a particular perspective, ideology or result, especially when the tendency interferes with the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced, or objective



runningridge

Posts: 102

QUOTE 9/1/2009 10:54:24 PM

Quote maoseger1010:

An opinion is a belief that may or may not be backed up with evidence, but which cannot be proved with that evidence. It is normally a subjective statement and may be the result of an emotion or an interpretation of facts; people may draw opposing opinions from the same facts



Bias is a term used to describe a tendency or preference towards a particular perspective, ideology or result, especially when the tendency interferes with the ability to be impartial, unprejudiced, or objective



Then by that definition I most certainly have been relaying my OPINIONS as I've yet to post something that was designed to interfere with the ability to be imparital or objective. 
maoseger1010

Posts: 6985

QUOTE 9/1/2009 11:10:53 PM

Quote runningridge:

Then by that definition I most certainly have been relaying my OPINIONS as I've yet to post something that was designed to interfere with the ability to be imparital or objective. 
I agree you've been giving your opinions, I've never disagreed with that. Of course your opinions are Bias, based on your inability to be impartial or completely objective because you are a breeder.  Doesn't make you bad or your opinions bad.  You just have a bias that someone who is not a breeder may not have.   Thats all.  I for the life of me can't figure out why your seemingly so offended by the word Bias.  We all have them.  I have biases because I'm a mother, a woman, I have a degree, I'm a wife, I live in the Mid-West, and on and on.  My choices and my experiences have shaped my opinions and bias's. Having them isn't bad unless we fail to share with others we're giving our opinions to what our bias are.  
katiekat33

Posts: 53

QUOTE 9/1/2009 11:57:21 PM

Quote maoseger1010:

I agree you've been giving your opinions, I've never disagreed with that. Of course your opinions are Bias, based on your inability to be impartial or completely objective because you are a breeder.  Doesn't make you bad or your opinions bad.  You just have a bias that someone who is not a breeder may not have.   Thats all.  I for the life of me can't figure out why your seemingly so offended by the word Bias.  We all have them.  I have biases because I'm a mother, a woman, I have a degree, I'm a wife, I live in the Mid-West, and on and on.  My choices and my experiences have shaped my opinions and bias's. Having them isn't bad unless we fail to share with others we're giving our opinions to what our bias are.  
There are negative connotative meanings associated with the word "bias" and that's why you're both arguing over the differences between the words "bias" and "opinion."  The word "opinion" has a different connotative meaning than "bias."  I understand completely what runningridge is saying here....
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