April 21, 2003
Jimmy Breslin Is a Cat-Fancier
Who among us hasn't had the urge to accidentally squash one of those too-small-to-be-genetically-feasible dogs you see on the streets, treated like little emperors by their Prada-wearing owners? This Pulitzer Prize winner wants dogs exiled.
Caveat Lector: features cruelty to animals, rabid hate-language, and disturbingly tenuous grasp on reality. Witness: "The subways are by far the cleanest places in the city."
Posted by tmonkey at April 21, 2003 09:48 AM
Re: exiling dogs. See Dog Island. It's pretty ingenious... created by some NYU students, who publicized it by posting fake ads for apartment rentals (this one, for example) on Craigs List and other sites.
A fascinating link. If indeed it is real. I have mixed feelings about it, since in my childhood, I could (or my parents could) have used such an Island. Instead, they left poor little Heidi to fend for herself in the woods a good 15 miles from our house. It seemed cruel at the time but I suppose the creators of Dog Island would have said we were doing Heidi a favor.
However, aren't dogs (and other domesticated pets) the way they are because we humans have bred them into a "life out of balance" -- our own world out of balance with nature? Domestication means that they are dependent on us, co-dependent, for survival. Sure, they can fend for themselves if they have to, but the environment they inhabit is essentially ours, screwed up, wrapped in concrete and plastic, sealed off from the elements. From humans they get a guarantee of at least one square (or round) meal a day and all they have to do in return is be there, looking cute, maybe cuddling and some fetching here and there.
There is something unnatural and wrong about the dog island (reminds me of the island of meerkats in The Life of Pi. There is no "great outdoors." It, too, is as artificial as our cities. Nature is harsh and Dog Island is false utopia that is trying to assuage our guilt for how badly we've fucked up the world.
See also this post on Michael Pollan's piece on the morality of vegetarianism.