There's a great pitbull meme circulating around FB, a striking comparison of how disturbingly backwards pitbull zealots are in their oft self-contradicting rhetoric--anything to venerate the Chosen Breed. Which got me to thinking...
Pitbull zealots like to talk about the plethora of things that kill more people than pitbulls do, justifying that we shouldn't regulate their status as pets because we don't ban cars, cigs, HFCS, etc.. This insinuates there is a fatality threshold at which something becomes unacceptable or not, and that, until an issue/object/animal reaches this threshold, it isn't a problem worth serious consideration. (This especially hypocritical and folly for a society that regularly recalls products that injure or kill the consumer, many need not even need a single fatality to be rescinded.)
This deeply flawed mockery of 'logic' would dictate that animals should be evaluated on their own individual merit, rather than by their species/breed and risk--and should only be addressed as individuals, like people. This in itself is a significant fallacy. While it may feel like a noble and worthy concept, it is riddled with problems.
If we elevate the status of every animal to person-hood, then it stands to reason that the consumption of meat and use of animal products must cease completely. This does not bode well for the populace's health; the human body cannot synthesize B12 from plants--it is only through animal protein that we can process it, and insulin-dependent diabetics will have to forfeit the only substance keeping them alive.
When animals equate human citizens, we cannot keep pets--for they cannot give consent, and if a person is incapable of consenting to where/who/how they live, if they are not allowed to determine their own path and self-concept, we call that imprisonment and/or slavery.... which is wrong no matter how 'nice' the master may be. We also cannot administer medicine, medical treatment, and hygeine upon those who do not consent to it.
When we demand to anthropomorphize animals according to person-hood, we are demanding that all human interference with them cease. No more meat, or ownership, spaying or neutering, and just where do we draw the line? Rodents and other pets should be allowed free reign, to pursue the right of happiness as people do, no?
No matter how much we want to humanize animals, the fact remains that their biology--their DNA--is a powerful predictor not just of appearance but behavior... and in dogs, especially more-so, since humans have been selectively breeding for specialized traits for thousands of years. We streamline breeds with a purpose in mind, and that purpose involves not appearance but function and behavior. That is simple, undeniable fact. It is why we attribute specific skill-sets to specific breeds;
- the greyhound races
- the husky pulls sleds
- the Labrador retrieves
- the dachshund digs
- the beagle bays
- the pointer points
- the shepherd herds
tigers enjoy water, lions do not, cats 'knead bread' with their paws, woodpeckers peck trees, beavers chew wood, pachyderms run from predators, and so forth. All of these are attributes of behavior, not merely appearance.
It takes an animal's conscious decision to act out chewing, swimming, running, pawing, etc.. Arguing that there is no innate compulsion for specific behaviors specific to certain species is beyond counter-intuitive. These animals need not be trained or subjected to extraordinarily abusive/neglectful environments to do what they do. It comes naturally, and so, too, is it with the pitbull breed... bred to savage impulsively, without rhyme or reason, instantaneously, severely, fatally if they can help it, with no provocation needed.
Pitbull fanatics cry 'blame the deed' even though that rhetoric still has people and animals dying by the hundreds (or more; the animal toll is nearly incalculable).
The reason we have existing limits on what constitutes an appropriate pet is through the interest of PREVENTING the 'deed', and if you look at the variances between the fatalities inflicted by wild, 'unacceptable' pets versus the allowable, coddled fighting breeds, it becomes quite clear that prevention IS effective. Death by wild animals is but a drop in the bucket compared to the 'acceptable' fighting breeds' kill count. Why is that...?
Because it does not allow for the opportunity to attack, and attacks dramatically diminish. Incorporate it into households, obfuscate their true nature, obstruct educational tools that don't sync with a particular propaganda, deny regulation of any kind... and the death toll grows and grows... (not to mention the extreme maulings that occur on a daily basis.)
We're talking people and animals losing limbs, being scalped, degloved*, grossly disfigured, blinded, brain damaged (loss of blood and/or oxygenation), grievously injured and disabled...
*medically speaking, 'degloved' is a term for the skin being forcibly ripped up and peeled back from the underlying viscera/muscle. Think of a person as a banana, and skin as the banana peel.
If it were a product, it would be called defective.
If it were a medical entity, it would be called malpractice.
If it were a force of nature, it would be called a natural disaster.
If it were pests destroying resources it would be called a plague.
If it were a band of united peoples inflicting this kind of damage one would call it war.
If it were a virus, it would be called an epidemic.
No matter what you call it, if it were any of those things, it would be terminated/prevented/mitigated at every possible turn, by any means possible, with collective support and enthusiasm. All those things would be recognized for the blight they are. To manage/handle them is not an act of 'hate', but of concern, care, responsibility, even love. It would be the right thing to do.
Unless you call that thing pitbull. Then heaven help you.
You will be harassed, bullied, smeared, threatened, deceived, and assaulted in countless ways. Pitbull zealots will stop at nothing, they will lie, they will spread lies as fact, they will get you (or die trying) fired from your job, they will salt your earth. They will blame you or your loved ones for being a victim, they will post pictures of you and collectively mock and bully you (Faces of BSL Apologists is one example), they will post your contact information and send you (and, if they can get their grubby paws on extended info--your family and employers) an endless stream of hate-mail. (the hate-mail on http://fatherofdax.tumblr.com/ is just the tip of the iceberg in the ugliness pitbull fanatics employ)
They will rain hate down upon you and yours with merciless tenacity. And you, you will be labelled the 'hater' for daring to have a voice, or simply having the misfortune of being afflicted by someone else's propaganda/bad choices.
Interested in exploring the issue more in depth? Please visit
http://dogsbite.org/ great objective site, lots of citations and external resources, objective, reports on ALL major dog attacks, not just pitbulls. It has a must-read myth-busting section, comprehensive and informative articles, a great blog, and many more great links.
There are a lot of great blogs out there too. True, there is personal motivation to some, but many cite experts and external sources/syndication to back up their views/information/statistics.
- Confessions of Pitbull Victims
- 17 Barks
- The TRUTH about Pitbulls
- Dangerous by Default
- Father of Dax
- Baby Beau Foundation
- Pitbull Fatal Attack Archive
- Craven Desires (a personal favorite but it makes no bones about being a site of personal expression and is not objective--BUT there is just so much good information incorporated into the personal writings that it's a great place to mine links for quotable data. There is a great side button labelled 'experts' that is page after page of info and quotes from REAL animal authorities (those with formal educations and experience, employed and 'in the trenches' with these animals, real scientists with verifiable research, etc.), not the self-proclaimed animal experts like Karen Delise, whose deceptively formally titled clique 'The Canine Research Council' is nothing more than a social club of fanatics who pick and choose from Google searches and present their cherry-picking to the public like it's confirmed fact/science)
- First Church of Pitbulls
- The Nanny Dog (myth)
- The Canine Game Changer
- Scorched Earth--the politics of pitbulls
- Munchers of Doom
- Animal Uncontrol
- and if you use YouTube, a user named zupf has a channel chock full of pitbulls-in-action footage WARNING: many are NOT for the faint-of-heart