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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dogs, Crufts, the kennel clubs and how all this shows humanity's ugly side.....

I watched a programme this evening about pedigree dogs and how their inbreeding has left many breeds in utter devastation.  Most suffer horrible health problems, some leading to horrible, painful deaths; others have breathing problems that can kill them and all because of the inbreeding that's simply to achieve the holy grail of pedigree dog breeders around the world - the British kennel club's Crufts ultimate champion.  

Anyone from inside this almost cult like group that speaks out against it is, as in so many cults, cast out and branded a crank or bitter crackpot by those still inside it’s secretive world.

Three years on from the original programme that had left my whole family, including my normally stalwart husband, in tears, the new programme showed that – bar a few minor concessions by the Kennel Club executives – nothing had really changed.

The breeders, it transpires, are still breeding from champion show dogs they know to be defective; they’re still resisting change to ensure the breeds they specialise in manage to survive into the future, sickness and deformity free.  It seems they prefer their dogs sick and deformed so long as they look 'right' - according to the Kennel Club breed standards, or their own (sick) ideas of ‘perfection’ and 'beauty' at least.

And there we have it once again; even the animal world doesn’t escape our twisted ideas on what 'beauty’ is and how to achieve it.  There are dogs, Pugs and English Bulldogs predominantly, that have to sleep sitting up, or at least with their heads propped up, because otherwise they can’t breathe.  Their muzzles have been so deformed by the constant inbreeding in search of the elusive breed ‘perfection’ that they can no longer use the chamber within their muzzle to cool themselves as other dogs do.

Many suffer from heatstroke even on cooler sunny days that other dogs shrug off; some even die.  That rasp you hear them make, if you’ve ever met one, is not a ‘cute snuffle’ as the breeders call it – it’s the poor dog struggling to get a breathe......basically suffocating to a degree every second of its life. It must be terrifying.

The English Bulldog along, once again, with the Pug is one of many breeds that needs help to breed and help to deliver their litters (by caesarean section). A deformity of the spine means the males find it difficult to mate and the females find it almost impossible to give birth naturally.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is another breed that suffers horribly from constant inbreeding by breeders.  The skull deformity is the worst and it’s this one that always makes me cry.  The skull is so deformed that its cranium is very small; however, the brain isn’t.  In a lot of the dogs where inbreeding has been very prevalent, this deformity means that the slightly larger brain presses – constantly – against the rigid and unmoving skull.  

It causes the dog immense and enduring pain, and even fits in some cases; usually the distraught owner can’t stand to see their pet suffering and so the poor dog is eventually put down.  Still the breeders insist it’s alright to inbreed their animals to ensure this tiny cranium is retained and, possibly, even reduced further in the everlasting hunt for canine ‘perfect beauty’.  

To be honest I find these sorts of breeders abhorrent and as bad as puppy mill breeders; because they put ‘breed standard’ before their animals wellbeing only because it earns them more money and so, to me at least, they’re no different.  

Oh their dogs might only have a few litters a year, they might be well kept and the parents wheeled out to show prospective owners of the pups how beautiful they are; but don't be fooled, money is still their end game – the more the better.  It’s always about the money; money over the dog's wellbeing and health – it’s the same as the puppy mills; the only difference is one regime the Kennel Clubs of the world recommend, the other they condemn.  

The British Kennel Club was the one featured tonight and three years ago but, apparently, they’re the same the world over.  It’s all about beauty and perfection, and very little about health and quality of life.  Of course the rest of the public is as bad; if they didn't want these 'gorgeous' (to their minds) dogs, then of course the breeders would have to stop inbreeding and start correcting the defects.

Here's an example - the Cavalier King Charles didn't always look as it does today.  No; in actual fact the inbreeding that has led to the deformities that cause the horrific pain so many suffer only started in 1922 - a mere ninety years ago. From healthy and happy to hideous existence in ninety short years; that's got to be a record even by human standards.

I can list other stories too;  I can tell you of one about a mongrel who was bought from a local dogs home in the US to experiment on by a young man who wanted to be a ‘scientist’.  The details I read of what he did to that poor dog have stayed with me for many years; I read the book only once, I was sixteen – I am now forty-six and I could tell you word for word what was said in that particular section; what he did, how the dog reacted before finally dying and what the man said afterward he was challenged over his actions.  

But, frankly, even to recall it myself makes my stomach clench and heart turn over; so I don’t want to cause you to have the same futile anger against this person, and the equally as futile need to save a dog long dead, that I still suffer to this day. I still get choked up, my eyes still prick with tears of frustration that we can do something so abhorrent to animals that are nothing but loyal and loving to us.

We inbreed them into dying things to make them reflect what we think of as  ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful’ because we, as a sick and twisted species, see beauty (and I use that term loosely here) as the only thing worth attaining.  So not only do we cut, butcher and poison ourselves – we do it even to our pets. 

I cannot put into words how shameful and offensive I find all this; we drive our babies to eating disorders before they even go to school – our teenage girls are either starving themselves to death through anorexia or ‘bingeing and barfing’ due to bulimia.

We see older women who would otherwise be beautiful, instead looking like weird wax dolls where even their lips barely move and now, to top it all, our pedigree dogs are born suffering and live and die the same way.  We do all this in the name of ‘beauty’.....

But even worse, mongrels are bought and butchered by sick individuals who think it’s ‘intellectual’ to do so; who merely coldly marvel that the poor beast, despite all the butchery that was done to it, licks their hand before finally dying.......I am actually choked up as I write this, as I remember all that I’ve seen and all that I’ve read, not only tonight and in that book – but over the years inbetween.  

All the animal rescue shows, the animal undercover shows, the books and articles that have shown animals being killed for parts of their bodies that are supposed to keep people young, to aid their sex drives and so many other ailments that cause bears, rhinos and even tigers to be killed; the ever growing tidal wave of animal cruelty in all its hideous forms – and all in the ever desperate search for the best delicacy to eat, ultimate beauty and perfect health.  

It seems that we like to think we’re kind and caring; but then we take videos of dogs falling asleep sitting up, with stupid music edited in, because it’s ‘cute’ and ‘funny’ – but we ignore the fact the dog is only doing that because to lower his head as he lays down would mean he suffocates and so he falls asleep, sitting up, out of pure exhaustion....

Now don't misunderstand me, I’m no tree hugging vegan; I eat meat and wear leather – I understand how the world works.  But if it’s true that our pets are an extension of us, then perhaps these dogs that suffer from their very first breath merely show us as we really are – sick, deformed and diseased at our very core.

Beauty is only skin deep they tell me; this proves it – inside we, as a species, are hideous to a monstrous degree.  So much, it actually terrifies me.

This is Simi, thanks for reading......


  1. Really inspirational and brilliant to relate to your thoughts,
    thank you :)

  2. See! You need to really share this thoughts to a platform where your voice WILL not only be heard, it will be a sounding board for those that have NON voice, the animals that human animals treat so horribly and all in the name of Tradition and Fashion.