Student, Masters in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law
Uttara Kennedy grew up in India, subsequently obtaining her degree in Veterinary Science in Queensland, Australia. She worked as a small animal veterinarian for 6 years in Australia, during which she also successfully completed the Membership examination in the Animal Welfare stream with the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS). She also served as newsletter editor for the Melbourne branch of the Australian Veterinary Association. Uttara moved back to India 5 years ago, and worked for two years in a small animal practice in suburban Mumbai. She is currently studying online to complete a Masters in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law with the University of Edinburgh. Her work and study have given her great insight into the practical and ethical aspects of animal welfare.
The aim of this article is not to condemn Kennel Clubs, dog shows, or breeders. It is simply to demonstrate the extremes that the "pure breed culture" has taken us to. We need to take a step back and re-assess what we really want. Is our primary aim to own happy healthy dogs, or cute/exotic/long-eared/giant-sized/miniature/wrinkled dogs? Remember, as nature very cleverly programmed it to be so- the healthiest, happiest and hardiest dog is the one that is least purebred.
Through religious worship of the cow, are we only concerned with protecting its "life" while ignoring its welfare or "quality of life"? Cow-slaughter laws were formed against a backdrop of strong religious and political motivations -- some of which date back several centuries. There is very little science behind these laws. In fact, a search for sound scientific literature on the subject reveals very few studies conducted in the 70s and 80s. Beyond that, the scientific community has largely ignored the issue.