[lit-ideas] Re: Can't have a gun? Get a dog

  • From: "Andreas Ramos" <andreas@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2006 07:42:37 -0700

This is simple stuff, Andreas.  If you have a dominant dog and don't show it
you are dominant then it will think it is.

Perhaps someone will write a book about this: dogs as a blank canvas for the projection of social values.

As I pointed out earlier, Amartya Sen discusses postcolonial theories in his book as explanations for British self-justification for rule over India. For example, the British saw the Indians as violent unruly mobs, which of course meant that the British should bring the benefits of civilization and rule over them.

It seems to be a consensus on this list that feral dogs will form packs and attack each other and humans.

And I'll admit that I thought so too: I've read about the Attack Chihuahuas of Beverly Hills: how 174 Beverly Hills chihuahuas went feral, formed packs of killer chihuahuas, and attacked dogs, humans, coyotes, police cars, and so on. Joggers ran for their lives, chased by chihuahuas.

I doubt even Lawrence with a pair of .357s would be able to stare down 174 killer chihuahuas.


But to the great relief of the rest of the planet, Killer Chihuahuas are only-in-America. Okay, only in California. Actually, only in Beverly Hills.

Anyway, the point is that dogs aren't what Americans think they are. Lawrence of Iraq sees dogs as snarling beasts that have to be dominated. Despite Lawrence's arguments for logic and common sense ("This is simple stuff Andreas. If you have a dominant dog and don't show it you are dominant then it will think it is.") and the 174 chihuahuas, dogs don't necessarily form packs and go on quests for world domination. It simply is not true.

It's wish fantasy for Americans: dogs are violent competitors; Americans must prove their valor and stare down dogs. This justifies dog collars, chains, leashes, laws, animal control, dog pounds, behavior modification, dog obedience, etc.

Let's talk about cows. What would happen if 50,000 cattle were released into your city? There'd be stampedes, they'd destroy China shops, they'd attack women in red skirts, and so on, right? We all know that. It's just plain sense. Lawrence would have to saddle up with his Winchester and do some pacifying. Steaks tonight.

But in India, cows walk around on the streets. They stand there, they walk around, they lie on the ground and chew their cud, they graze. It's rather remarkable to see cows quietly standing next to busy roads, ignoring the traffic. It just doesn't seem possible that tens of thousands of cattle can walk about freely and peacefully in a large city, but, well, they do in Bangalore. Nobody takes care of them, nobody does anything about them. But isn't it necessary for farmers to take care of cows, with vaccinations, vets, etc? Nope, not in India. The cows appeared perfectly healthy and happy to me. They don't need subjugating ownership by humans.

Tell this to any farmer in the USA and they won't believe it. Cows must be husbanded (a doctoral thesis could be written on that verb, no?).


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