9 Reasons Crufts Is Messed Up
Here are some of the reasons we won’t be tuning into Crufts this year:
- It’s a freak show.
Crufts is all about celebrating dogs who have been bred by humans to have unnatural, exaggerated features – pugs with absurdly squashed-in faces, dachshunds with legs that are grossly disproportionate to their bodies and bulldogs whose heads are so big that they can only be delivered by caesarean section, to name just a few examples.
- Most of the dogs are inbred.
Glance at any pedigree dog’s family tree, and you’re likely to find that uncles have been made to have sex with their nieces, cousins with cousins, grandfathers with granddaughters and other icky combos. Yuck.
- There’s a creepy obsession with “purity of bloodlines”.
Among humans, advocating eugenics or calling for genetic purity is frowned on, to put it mildly. Yet in the pedigree dog world, this kind of “breedist” language is routine.
- The dogs are judged on looks, not on their health.
Thanks to their narrow gene pool and unnatural physiques, most pedigrees are at risk of suffering from a frightening array of painful diseases, birth defects and congenital health conditions.
- The dogs lead heartbreakingly short lives.
The life expectancy of pedigree dogs is significantly shorter than that of mixed breeds, and some breeds in particular, such as Dogue de Bordeaux and Neapolitan mastiffs, live less than four years, on average.
- They may spend much of their lives locked in cages, being carted from show to show.
Their guardians’ pursuit of rosettes often takes priority over the dogs’ welfare needs.
- Crufts hurts mutts and dogs in shelters..
By suggesting that pedigree dogs are “better” than other dogs, Crufts encourages people to buy from breeders. As a result, breeders can make thousands of pounds from selling ailing “purebred” puppies, while thousands of healthy mixed-breed dogs languish in shelters, in desperate need of a good home.
- The RSPCA and the BBC want nothing to do with Crufts
After the hard-hitting documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed showed how dogs suffer for the Kennel Club’s absurd breed standards, the BBC decided to stop airing Crufts and the RSPCA declared a boycott.
— RSPCA (@RSPCA_official) March 10, 2016
- Dogs aren’t dolls or toys.
There’s something not quite right about fully grown adults who devote their time to parading animals around, brushing their hair and making them do silly tricks.
What You Can Do
Don’t buy into “breedism”. Always choose to adopt a dog from a shelter rather than buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store.
Also, please don’t tune into Crufts this year, and send an e-mail to broadcaster Channel 4 asking it to stop airing the dog show.