By Michael Brandow
A provocative examine the "cult of pedigree" and an unique social historical past of purebred dogs
In this illuminating and pleasing social heritage, social critic Michael Brandow probes the "cult of pedigree" and strains the industrial upward push of the purebred puppy. Combining customer experiences with sharp observation, A topic of Breeding finds the sordid historical past of the puppy and exhibits how our brand-name pets—from Labs to French bulldogs and every thing in between—pay the fee with devastatingly terrible future health.
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Additional resources for A Matter of Breeding: A Biting History of Pedigree Dogs and How the Quest for Status Has Harmed Man's Best Friend
They wouldn’t know a pit bull if they petted one in the park, they never read about dogfighting in the local paper, and they’ve never been anywhere near an actual dogfight. The practice cuts across all sorts of demographic distinctions: age, race, class, economic status, education, profession. Dogfights have been uncovered at Ku Klux Klan rallies and at inner-city drug raids. Busts have netted unemployed urban teens and suburban professionals—teachers, doctors, lawyers. Some of the mystery results from the varied faces of dogfighting.
The exact mix of drills and work-outs and even chemical supplementation is where a dog man, supposedly, shows his true skills, and so each man guards the elements of his approach as if they were ingredients in a sought-after recipe. There are occasional off-the-chain fights, in which two dogs are simply taken off their restraints and allowed to go at it without any preparation or restrictions, but most clashes follow a general set of practices established more than a hundred years ago, the so-called Cajun Rules, which give all the fights a similar form.
Before long there were rumors that Butts was back into dealing and dogfighting. On December 16, 2006, Butts was arrested again, this time with a stash of marijuana and hashish. He was released on bail, but Brinkman was closing in. He had an informant who could get inside Butts’s operation, and he was looking to put together a case that would finally land Butts in jail, but he didn’t want to take any chances with the local authorities. He was looking for something bigger. He had heard from Virginia State Police officers and an FBI agent that he had worked with that there was a USDA agent who was always eager to help, especially when it came to animal abuse cases.
A Matter of Breeding: A Biting History of Pedigree Dogs and How the Quest for Status Has Harmed Man's Best Friend by Michael Brandow