Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Westminster Barbie Doll Show

One does not want to traffic in stereotypes, but it remains a fact that as one walks from what amounts to the big-dog section to the small-dog section, the number of men practicing alternative lifestyles seems to rise dramatically. Indeed, one gets the sense that for men and women alike, many of these dogs take the place not so much of children, but of Barbie dolls.
- "Fufus and Fidos," March, 20, 2000, National Review by Jonah Goldberg

1 comment:

Gaddy Bergmann said...

On the one hand, there's no accounting for taste: one person likes one kind of dog, another person likes another. Nothing wrong with that, unless ...

Unless the dog somebody likes has been intentionally deformed over generations for the sake of fashion. There is something wrong with liking that, because it is more than just liking an inanimate object, like a jacket. It's liking the fact that a sentient being - Man's Best Friend, no less - has been harmed.

Dogs are southern Eurasian wolves that began living with us 30,000 years ago (southern wolves are naturally smaller than northern wolves), and they should still be as wolf-like as possible. Why? Because natural selection and time are almost always much better at designing healthy animals than artificial selection and human whim. Sure, there are some important differences between wild and domestic wolves, not the least of which is their ability to live with people, and read our body language better than any other animal. Some jobs also require further differentiation from wild wolves, such as the ability to underground. Other than these relatively minor differences, though, dogs should still be very much like their wild cousins. The farther they deviate from that canid body plan, and the more inbreeding they must endure, the unhealthier they become. I really wish more people would realize that.