Breeding, marketing and sale of dogs has become a high-level commercial venture in India, involving thousands of breeders and pet shops in a multi-crore industry that is essentially creates demand and follows it up with supply. If you are an unquestioning believer in neo-liberal economics and the unyielding power of the market, I would urge you to navigate away from this page and not to read on. However, if you believe that demand is created and sustained by institutions of power which can essentially be questioned, let’s talk about why exactly it should be questioned.
The pet breeding industry is huge. The pet breeding industry is evil. It works on creating demand through mass media about animals that look and behave a certain way, and a certain way only. These animals are portrayed as the only desirable and as commodities. People believe them. People buy them. Breeders are happy. Breeders are becoming rich.
Okay, so what’s the problem?
Think of the feminist fight against the impossible standards set by the mass media which create perfect market conditions for the sale of fairness creams, vaginal tightening creams and vaginal fairness creams. What’s the problem here? Hell, how it makes us feel is the problem. How it perpetuates a culture of impossible standards. How consumerism leads the way for more structural violence and discrimination. Only fair brides are wanted. You must not be fat to bed considered sexy. You must diet. You must kill yourself. You must face violence of all these sorts.
I genuinely believe the absolutely ridiculous standards of appearance prevalent today extend to everything we consume as well. Perfect packaging. Perfect clothes. Perfect phones. It makes me mad! But I can live with that. Pretty boxes, clothes and gadgets are not living-thinking- feeling beings. But your pets are. You are buying them as commodities. You’re killing them. Just as you’re inflicting violence on women when you use a vaginal tightening cream, you’re inflicting violence on them. But the difference is, they can’t speak up for themselves.
Ever wondered why all Labradors look similar? The same uniform color of off-white or black? No spots, no accidents of differently colored ears or paws? Variation is a rule of nature. Variation happens all the time. Variation however, is not desirable. Variations don’t sell. Hence, variations are killed. It is absolutely impossible that all Lhasa Apsos, all boxers, all pugs have similar characteristics.
The cute little flat face of a bull-dog which you love? It isn’t natural. It is carefully constructed through selective breeding. But, flat-nosed dogs have respiratory problems and die out because their respiratory tracts are shorter than they should be. They suffer on long winter nights because you wanted the perfect little accessory. Tails are cut off. Faces altered. Undesirable animals killed or abandoned. Because they don’t look the way you want them to.
As if this wasn’t enough, the new tea-cup phenomenon is raging. Want dogs the size of tea cups? Well here they are. They look cute. They don’t live long. But it’s alright, accessories are meant to be changed as trends come and go.
Think about what you’re buying. If you have a genuine love for your pet and animals, REFUSE to buy from a breeder. Kill the demand. Kill the supply. An Indian dog off the streets is just as smart as your perfect looking pug. But they’re lying out in the cold or dying out in shelters. Don’t shop. Adopt