Here’s Why PETA Supports the Activists’ Actions at Crufts
Last night, two activists from Vegan Strike Group stormed the floor at the Crufts dog show just as judges were announcing the “Best in Show” winner. Brandishing posters reading, “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”, the protesters highlighted the suffering of dogs bred by humans to have grossly exaggerated features. Here’s why we support their actions.
Crufts is a celebration of everything that’s wrong with the dog-breeding industry. It supports churning out dogs to look a particular way at the expense of their health. This ridiculous “beauty” pageant actively encourages extreme breeding practices and the inbreeding of closely related animals, which is morally and ethically wrong. Breeding deformed and disabled animals in order to win a trophy is cruel, and it has to stop.
No dogs were put in danger by last night’s action. In suggesting that they were, the event’s organisers are cynically attempting to deflect attention from the real issue. The dogs were in an arena with thousands of people, bright lights, music, and loudspeaker announcements. They were made to prance around the ring – sometimes wearing choke collars. They were sprayed with styling products, poked, and prodded. The entrance of two young people holding signs is hardly likely to be the cause of their anxiety. Dogs aren’t in danger from animal rights activists – they’re in danger from the crippling diseases that result from extreme breeding.
To understand the suffering these animals endure, all you have to do is look at the breeds that are qualifying for shows and winning prizes at Crufts. For example, Pekingese have abnormally flat faces that make it difficult for them to breathe. Cavalier King Charles spaniels are born with skulls too small for their brains, which one vet described as being like trying to fit a size 6 shoe onto a size 10 foot. Pugs are bred to have unusually flat faces, and as a result, many struggle to breathe every day of their lives. German shepherds are prone to serious back conditions that can leave them crippled. Basset hounds are laden with huge amounts of excess flesh that can result in uncomfortable skin conditions. English bulldogs commonly have difficulty walking, breathing, mating, and giving birth. And the list goes on.
Contrary to the breeding industry’s propaganda, its practices continue to cause dogs to face painful and life-threatening genetic defects and diseases. Through an independent scientific report, the RSPCA found that any changes made by the industry to breeding practices have been implemented too slowly and don’t even come close to adequately addressing the serious welfare concerns. Physical attributes still dominate breed standards, and animals’ health remains a secondary consideration.
The Homeless-Animal Crisis
Crufts also exacerbates the UK’s homeless-animal crisis. There’s no such thing as responsible breeding when more than 100,000 stray and abandoned dogs are rescued from UK streets by local authorities every year. We’re experiencing an overpopulation crisis, so encouraging the breeding of any kind of dog in any way is utterly cruel and irresponsible.
Every time someone buys a dog from a breeder or pet shop, a homeless dog in a rescue centre or on the street loses his or her chance at finding a home. All dogs – regardless of their “heritage” – deserve a permanent, loving home where they have a comfy place to curl up and a kind family to share their lives with.
Anyone who is upset to hear that thousands of homeless dogs and cats are languishing in shelters across the country or are euthanised because of a lack of good homes while breeders continue to churn out animals for profit should join PETA in condemning the narrow-minded practices that Crufts glorifies. We applaud and support the activists who stormed the event and encourage everyone who wants to prevent animal suffering to take a stand, too.
What You Can Do
Even though the RSPCA has publicly condemned Crufts, Channel 4 continues to broadcast this grotesque charade. Please send a message to the channel’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, urging her to take the show off our TV screens.