40. MXit (02/2011)

by brettthevet

Originality thrives in the face of uniformity. A paradox of modern society is that while elevating the status of the individual beyond the realms of whims and desires towards ludicrous possibilities of celebrity status, it also crushes individuality, replacing it with mass society, mass man. So generally, many people want to be like everybody else and yet they crave approval of their uniqueness.

People’s animals are an extension of themselves. Big, aggressive dogs depict a need to control through intimidation. Cattle heard have always been a representation of material wealth, followed by sheep behaviour in overstocking denuded veld. Possession of perfect beauty for sale or rent is an ephemeral satisfaction. Dark roots of glamour puss are deeply embedded in the webs of desire. Love me: love my dog. Perfectly rewarding child substitutes appear in fur, feathers, or scales. Impressions of eyes, ears, fears, dress, and prowess linger in projected fantasies.

Call it Babel that created separate culture clubs, language barriers, racial divides, and viva la différence. In time, the comforts of group uniformity give rise to complacency, weaknesses, and adventure. Ultimately hybrid vigour transcends our subconscious fears to become a goal through willful contamination of purity by mixing, blending, transgressing the restrictive boundaries of our comfort zones.

The crossbred animal defines the modern era, glorified as a triumph of the individual spirit. This recognition of the power of diversity in other species signifies a mind shift towards greater empathy. All individual animals have unique personalities inside the body that may or may not be an attractive accessory, perfect specimen, or ideal companion. A distinctive crossbreed inspires admiration and represents everything that is complex, rare, resilient, robust, strong, savvy, balanced, sustainable, affordable, and the buzzword of our era, ethical.

People now realise that highly bred animals are a scam that feeds into antiquated ideas of perfection based on discrimination, exclusivity, and status. When fanciers insist on owning or breeding purebred animals they are condoning genetic selection of defects, weakness, disease, imperfection, uniformity, and lack of imagination in the pursuit of a few aesthetic characteristics. This type is highly intelligent. That breed is loyal. Those ones have wonderful personalities. Big dogs appeal. Small dogs delight. Some pedigrees are bizarrely defined by relatively trivial but often agonizing traits such as tail amputation, colour, coat length, shape, ridgeback, ear length, pop eyes, and bone deformities. Exceptions challenge our delusions of normality.

There are thousands of beautiful, unwanted dogs and cats that are abandoned daily in this town and country. They often end up being humanely destroyed simply because nobody wants them, while a fortune is spent on ‘highly bred’ pedigree animals. It doesn’t make sense for animal lovers to continue supporting indiscriminate breeders while the numbers of homeless animals facing the prospect of euthanasia escalates within many animal welfare organizations.

The certainty of the closed mind excludes the wonderland that is variety.