Y’all, via Say Uncle, news so stupid I only hope it turns out to be a hoax. The California House has just voted to, in effect outlaw mixed breed dogs and cats. Under this law, you Californians will be required to spay or neuter your mixed breed dogs and cats, because only pure-bred dogs and cats are allowed to breed.
1. I think everyone should neuter their dogs and cats. It’s safer for the animal; it’s safer for the neighborhood; it lessens the amount they pee on things in the house (Orange Cat, I’m talking to you); it reduces embarrassing leg humping; it lessens dog aggression, etc. etc. etc. If you have a pet, you should neuter it. You should just do this because it’s good pet ownership. No law should require you to do it.
2. On the other hand, there’s an important point lost on California that I want to make perfectly clear. Purebred dogs are not healthier than mutts. In fact, many purebred dogs are exceedingly unhealthy. Human intervention in dog breeding has not made healthier dogs; it’s made dogs that look really different from each other. There’s a huge difference between those two things. Look at the English bulldog. That’s a dog that has been so fucked up by how we breed them that they can’t give birth vaginally. If English bulldogs don’t have c-sections, they can’t reproduce.
If we legislate out of existence mutts, breeders will have no healthy stock to which they can return when they’ve fucked up a breed we love dearly beyond repair. This should seem obvious, but it’s not. Dogs share more in common across breeds than they do within breeds. When scientists traced canine DNA back to the handful of Asian wolves all dogs appear to be descended from, they did not find that the DNA inherited from those wolves was clumped by breed (in other words, you couldn’t say “Hey, look, all German Shepherds are descended from Ancestor A), but instead evenly distributed. In other words, breed distinctions are more cosmetic than genetic.
Which means, importantly, that it behooves all of us to keep a healthy genetic pool from which to draw our canine fancies. If we have a pool to draw on, we can fix our foul-ups.
3. As Uncle points out, there are a lot of organizations that will call something a breed. Are they going to by AKC, CKC, perhaps BKC (B.’s Kennel Club)? For instance, the blue tick hound, a dog any Southerner would recognize on sight, isn’t recognized as a legitimate breed (yet) by the AKC or the CKC (though it is by the UKC). But clearly, if you breed one blue tick to another, you get that same kind of dog in the litter. What about the Blue Lacy? As far as I know, no Kennel Club recognizes that as a breed, but the state of Texas recently declared it one.
4. Purebred cats? Are you kidding me?! This had me rolling on the floor. Who pays for a cat? Who would pay for a cat? The whole point of cats is the wide variety of weirdness they bring into your house for just the cost of vet care. Don’t get me wrong. I love my cats and my cats are neutered, but I would never pay for a cat more than, say $25. See, here, because cats haven’t been divvied up into breeds as long as dogs have, you have an enormous pool of cats who are just cats and much smaller pools of cats who are members of breeds. The State of California really thinks it’s going to be able to get rid of the large pool of just cats? And for what?
Again, purebred cats aren’t healthier than cat cats.
No, something about this is really fucked up and stinks to high heavens.
Also, can I just say that I love a good black-mouthed cur? I just think that is a dog-lookin’ dog.