Breeding for Good, Creating Bad

Breeding in animals is an interesting topic of discussion especially when you factor in breeding for certain traits. We may think we are doing animals a favor when we selectively breed certain traits that seem advantageous and try to breed out others that don't. The fact is though that we aren't. While a bulldog with a pushed in face may seem cute to some, it simply isn't a practical animal and we are doing it a diservice by breeding it for that particular trait. Cows bred strictly for milking might seem okay in theory but when health complications arise, we unfortunately end up harming the cow for our own personal gain. Breeding hens strictly for their egg laying abilities might seem practical for farming purposes but the result is an animal that looses its feathers quickly and often gets overly anxious for no reason.

We get caught up in our ability to do certain things we don't stop to think about whether we should be doing them in the first place. Many of us are far removed from farm animals (we don't see them on a daily basis) most of the people who read about hens and cows with health complications won't be overly concerned. However, when you begin to talk about domesticated pets like dogs and cats and the health complications that can arise from breeding for particular traits people's ears begin to perk up.

It seems necessary that we begin to reconsider the way in which we treat and interact with animals. Temple Grandin is an exemplary person for which we can understand and base our animal interactions around. She looks at animal wellbeing from a holistic standpoint and while she may see the short term benefits she can also see the longterm side effects. As it stands, animals are viewed as a commodity instead of an individual creature which is a big reason their ill-treatment goes unnoticed. It's time to reconnect and understand where our food comes from so we can have a say in how it is produced.

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