Dogs and Men and Nature

I’ve never had a strong relationship with a dog.  I’ve met plenty of people who owned dogs, but I haven’t the interest (or energy) to own one as a pet myself.  I am however interested in the moral ambiguity that can sometimes come with the breeding of dogs.  

It’s amazing that dogs as one species can house so many varying traits and physical characteristics, but as people have experimented with dog breeding in order to select the traits they prefer, sometimes the breeders also unwittingly select some traits that can be damaging for the dogs (e.g. the German Shepherd and their hip displacia). 

But it’s not just the damaging genetics.  The philosophy behind breeding could also be morally challenging.  Dog breeding signifies mankind’s attempt to take the reigns of nature and pull it into our own direction, and to a point we are successful, perhaps terrifyingly so.  Over the past century we have shown that we have the power to evoke significant changes on the natural world.  We also haven’t proven very adept at foreseeing what will happen when we make these changes.  Color me crazy, but I don’t see those two things mixing well.

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