Dogs are fucking cool. We know. There's an undeniable lovability to them that keeps on keeping on even when they've pooped on the carpet, or eaten your favourite pair of shoes.
But sometimes we have a funny way of showing this love. Like most of the wrong things people do, we do this without meaning to. Doing the bad thing is the the done thing, so few of us know that humanity has a way of secretly hating dogs and other pets.
'Ahem, what way?' - you may ask with rising anger. And look, it's normal to be getting hot under the collar. Who the hell wants to unwittingly be an asshole? WHO wants to unwittingly be an asshole to DOGS?!
No one, that's who. It goes without saying, then, that having a stranger tell us we're doing just that, kinda pisses us off. But...sit, stay. Tackle this with an open mind, and the worst thing that can come from this is going on to lead a better, doggy-doting life. The best? You proved someone wrong on the internet. It's a win-win, yo!
K, you ready? Thoroughbred dogs. You know all these different species of dogs you get? Shar Pei, pug, labrador, bulldog? They are all bred to look that way. No dog left to its own devices would ever have evolved into the modern bulldog.
And while this is a little irksome, that's not the actual problem. The real problem comes from the physical conditions that come with all these bred traits we all find so adorable. Bulldogs are prone to breathing complications, Rottweilers to nerve pain, while Shar Pei's have eyelids that rolls inwards, causing irritation where their eyelashes rub against their eyeball. These are all painful conditions that come as a direct result of human interference in animal breeding.
Dogs do not thrive by breeding within their family - this creates inherited diseases. Like humans, their genes favour a mixture of DNA. When you buy a thoroughbred dog, you're endorsing this cruel BS in order to satisfy your (let's face it) unnecessary desire for particular characteristics. That's boujee to the extreme, friend. Even if you can afford the costly medical bills that come with owning a 'purebred' animal, it's still not cool to okay that behaviour with your wallet.
Plus, the breeders are often pretty gross themselves. We know 'puppy mills' sounds like the kind of place you'd be happy to die in, but they're actually hellish farms where large-scale commercial breeding has these thoroughbreds waiting for their new homes in dire conditions (link trigger warning: animal abuse). If you think buying from a smaller breeder is okay, keep in mind that they are more likely to be aware of all of the above than a regular civilian, but they still actively opt in to participate and profit from the harm of the animals they breed. Just don't.
Those of us who really, really want a particular kind of dog or cat can check local listings for animal rescue shelters that deal directly with only one species. There's a Pekinese rescue Facebook page in Cape Town, for example. Why not support those fighting the good fight while still landing the dog of your dreams? Otherwise, we implore you to look up your local animal shelter and find a pet that's in need of a loving home. If you're not keen on either of those options, and still prefer a thoroughbred dog from a 'reputable' breeder, then it might be time to ask yourself why you want a dog to begin with.
Sentient beings are not arm candy. They are not alarm systems, or #instagramgoals either. Pets are a huge responsibility, and the ownership of another animal is an ethical issue that is hotly debated in major universities around the world. Stop taking this decision lightly.
Right, that's our soap box moment for the time being. Any thoughts on the matter can be left in the comments. Be kind to one another, yo!