Thoughts on Artificial Selection
I want to adopt the Yupiaq worldview where all things living or non-living, physical or metaphysical are created equal. No constituent of this composition holds dominion over another; in fact they are all parts of the same thing. One part cannot alter another without altering itself, so no alterations should take place without a complete understanding of the consequences. Traditionally, the Yupiaq see the universe as consisting of three interdependent realms: the spiritual realm, the natural realm and the human realm. The universe of realms is an alliance that has been compared to a tetrahedral or tripod-like structure known for its strength. This alliance, when aligned, balanced and in constant communication is exceptionally strong. All things were created to complement one another and are essential components to a harmonious universe.
When applying this concept to domesticated dogs or artificial selection in general, it’s obvious to me that man has not been a very good friend to man’s best friend. Breeds like some bulldogs can’t swim because they’re heavy in the head and shoulders, other pug faced breeds have troubles with their sinuses and the folds of their skin, Chihuahuas have very brittle bones, pit bulls don’t know their own strength etc., etc. I notice the adverse effects artificial selection in my Great Pyrenees. Wolves and coyotes experience taste aversion just like humans; when they have eaten something that makes them sick, they tend not to eat it again. My Pyrenees (Pipi) eats clumps of cat pee from the litter box. It makes her sick every time, but she still does it. My point is these things are all blunders of selfish and short sighted human meddling. Generally, traits were selected based on man’s wants and needs without considering what was best for the animals. Our kind helped to create these creatures so the least we can do is to facilitate their health and happiness.