15 June 2007

On consuming dogs - costing the Earth

“Australia has one of the highest rates of dog ownership in the world. About 2.8 million households have at least one dog.” (The Age) NSW has 1 million registered dogs. (SMH) In Manly the 'fluffball designer dogs' are also 'filling up the suburb.' Some get carried in baby-arm-slings, pushed in prams, or packs are harnessed for the beach walk. Hardly a human arm or lap without a fluff-thing can be seen. Some less fortunate creatures are just dragged along by the spinal cord. Sub-urbia is turned into a gigantic kennel. Yappers awakening from their (too) low dose of valium join the raging hunting dogs in a barking cacophony.

The original idea was to engage in selective breeding to obtain improved traits of utility to human beings and improve survival for the species. Some 'purebreds' now claim certified 'purity of bloodline' to distinguish them from the 'inferior races', the mongrels. Many 'undesirables ' have been managed into extinction. The artificial intervention in the commercial breeding process is no longer guided by work utility traits and fitness, but by the demands of the market. Commercial breeding for profit meets the demands for 'purebreds' which are believed to be genetically superior.

The 19th century colonial ideas of 'a strict hierarchy among races', 'pure ancestry' and 'biological inferiority' has led to genocide and ethnic cleansing in human society. The idea of 'supremacy' is vividly alive in todays rankism.

The beyond-utility mashups cater to the demands of fashion whims. The branded, certified 'supremacy' of the purpose-bred 'designer-dog' produces 'toy-things' which have the specification to fit into tea-cups or have the attributes of human babies for a four-digit sum.(The Age) One acquires a (lap) dog not 'for life' but for the duration of the fashion-season. The naming of these 'surrogote babies' coincides exactly with that of the infants.

The 'cultivation' of the by now endangered strong wolf (Canis lupus) has led to a reduced brain capacity that has shrunk by 30 %. The deterioration of Canis has other detrimental effects: Some 'fading puppies' are born with a weakened immune system and die. Lap dogs have problems with ' tear ducts, dentition and breathing'. Some dogs can only reproduce with human induced caesareans.(The Age)

This negative biological selection also has had its toll on dog psychology. Its domestication has made it into an object of engineered dependence. As a subservient 'Yes man' it has become the human's best communication partner and accessory.

The leisure classes and the wanna-bes engaging in conspicuous consumption are wishing to display "higher-status". The race of competitive spending has to manufacture exclusiveness: status symbols such as a trophy wife, the yacht, Mc Mansion, luxury cars and of course designer rags and.. yes and a mashup-pet. Each season a new fashionable 'top dog model' of course. Only few will end up in a $A970/month aged care home.The obsolete, unfashionalbe, inconvenient, difficult or just 'impure' bastard mongrels end up in dog pounds.”Most dogs in shelters are unidentified mongrels” But 'designer-dogs too contribute to the overflow of the pounds.(The Age) The consumer society's readiness to dispose of the unwanted leads to the eradication of millions of animals. Many more creatures in this pet overpopulation crisis are on death row.

In a country where a diversity of free and healthy native animals are rapidly being pushed out of their habitat it is ecological vandalism to bestow the word's resources on a monoculture of introduced mammals.
>Extinction and a world full of poodles
Images: Graffiti and one of the Man(l)y dog 'faeces trees'. If they were human draining to the beach, what would the Dept. of Health say?

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