Westminster Porn Show
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

Earth in Transition
February 2015

If, by love, you mean the kind of endless inbreeding that produces Pekingese with faces so squashed they can't breathe properly, King Charles spaniels with skulls too small for their brains so that they live in excruciating pain, and so many other dogs born to suffering and deformity, then OK. But we've come a long way, in that case, from what was once the definition of love as "willing good on others."

People are carrying out breeding which would be first of all entirely illegal in humans and secondly is absolutely insane from the point of view of the health of the animals. In some breeds they are paying a terrible price in genetic disease.

Westminster dog porn

Hard on the heels of Valentine's Day comes the Westminster Dog Show and, this year, the opening weekend of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey.
Columnist and former war correspondent Chris Hedges calls Fifty Shades:

... a celebration of the sadism that dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core of pornography and global capitalism.

It glorifies our dehumanization of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love. It eroticizes hyper-masculine power that carries out the abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of male lust ...

It blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.

Noting that the author of the book, the director of the movie and the head of the studio are all women, Hedges argues that feminism itself has become "no longer about the liberation of women who are oppressed." Instead, in our globalized, capitalist economy, women have become more objectified and commoditized than ever, and no longer only by men.

This "new wave of feminists," he says, comprises women who have become, like the men from whom they sought to liberate themselves, "stunted products of neoliberalism and postmodernism."

(In the three days of the three-day Valentine's weekend, the movie instantly became one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, bringing in $248.7 million.)

And so to Westminster, this week's other great pageant of objectification and commoditization.

"Oh, c'mon," you say. "It's just a bit of fun."

The L.A. Times would agree with you. Rolling its eyes at the spectacle of animal rights protestors routinely disrupting the show and parading outside, the paper writes that "even if you're made a little queasy by the way humans have shaped the dog gene pool, and even if you’d never dream of not adopting from a shelter, you'd still be hard pressed to find ... anything but animals that are deeply loved and responsibly bred."

Then again, it depends on the meaning of the word "love."

If, by love, you mean the kind of endless inbreeding that produces Pekingese with faces so squashed they can't breathe properly, King Charles spaniels with skulls too small for their brains so that they live in excruciating pain, and so many other dogs born to suffering and deformity, then OK. But we've come a long way, in that case, from what was once the definition of love as "willing good on others."

Westminster dog porn

In Europe, at least, it's now illegal to go on producing some of the most troubled breeds. As Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College London, has said:

People are carrying out breeding which would be first of all entirely illegal in humans and secondly is absolutely insane from the point of view of the health of the animals. In some breeds they are paying a terrible price in genetic disease.

But here in the United States, with so much money on the line, just about anything goes.

None of this should be news. It's all been said and written about before. A few years ago, the BBC produced a devastating report on the health problems suffered by these inbreeds. Even NBC News did an investigation into puppy mills. (But that doesn't stop that same network from acquiring broadcast rights to the Westminster show and having Matt Lauer suck up to the sponsors without daring to ask even a single uncomfortable question)

So yes, if that's what you mean by love, the folks at Westminster certainly love their dogs. But viewed from the point of view of the dogs, a great and ancient species inbred into a human toy and commodity, a parody of its true nature, primped and powdered and paraded around a ring before a crowd of fatuous people, all in hopes of winning the "owner" a chance to sell the dog's stud services at a much-improved price, it's hard to see this as anything but abuse. Primped and powdered and paraded around a ring before a crowd of fatuous people

Ultimately, the whole show is just another form of objectification and pornography, where all you see of the animal is something utterly foreign to her true nature. It's no different from any other circus, where the audience gets to cheer at a tiger leaping through a flaming hoop, and to congratulate the trainer for demonstrating our superiority, as humans, over this once-majestic and terrifying force of nature.

So, too, have we subdued the wolf – to the point, even, of turning him into a carry-around fashion accessory for ladies' purses.

And so, too, have we subdued the woman herself. As Hedges describes it:

Women in porn are packaged commodities. They are pleasure dolls and sexual puppets. They are stripped of true emotions. Porn is not about sex, if one defines sex as a mutual act between two partners, but about masturbation, a solitary auto-arousal devoid of intimacy and love.

The cult of the self, that is the essence of porn, lies at the core of corporate culture. Porn, like global capitalism, is where human beings are sent to die.

Westminster dog porn

And Westminster, ultimately, is where dogs, too, are sent to die.


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