I recently finished Mila 18 by Leon Uris, a fictional account of the Warsaw Uprising. (I’ll post a review later.) So some articles on eugenics popped out at me last night.
In Reason, the article Eugenics Rides a Time Machine takes peek at the eugenics of The Time Machine, comparing the ideas in the new movie to H. G. Wells’ book.
Even more provocative and fascinating is the article by Jonah Goldberg on NRO entitled Westminster Eugenics Show. It talks about the AKC obsession over pure dog breeds as the result of lingering eugenicist views about racial purity.
Personally, I am all too familiar with the costs of focusing on purity of bloodlines and conformation in physical appearance in dogs, rather than temperament or health. One of my German Shepherds, Kate, has very bad hip dysplasia. (We adopted her from a shelter in January of 2000, when she was about 4 years old, so we didn’t select the breeder.) She has just had the first of what will be three expensive surgeries. Without these surgeries, I suspect that we would have to put Kate down in about a year; the pain simply would have been unbearable for her. However, she is a stunningly beautiful dog, with a very regal appearance. She would certainly pass the AKC conformation standards.
Any dog, of course, can develop expensive medical problems. But the likelihood is simply so much greater with purebreds than with mixed-breeds. I will certainly never adopt another purebred dog, for fear of yet more careless breeding.