Tastes Like Chicken
Adolf Hitler is Alive and Well and Living in Newark. Oh yeah.
For years I’ve been of the opinion, through visiting pedigree cat shows, that the thoroughbred cat people are akin to the Nazis: what with their sniffy judges questing for feline genetic purity and being brutally dismissive of all those that fall short.
And then I listened to the BBC Radio 4 documentary Roger’s Rabbits (2011) about thoroughbred rabbit breeders and see that that lot are even worse! Worse than the cat breeders that is, not the Nazis… That’s probably what I meant… That’s possibly that’s what I meant…
My parents started breeding cats and therefore entered the “Cat World” and it’s quite dispiriting to take your prized feline along to a show and to get the judge’s verdict from day one that despite his size and his looks that his coat colouring is Brindled and therefore he’s no good and make sure as hell to never bring him back amongst the beautiful ones again!
But then if you thought that the cat shows are bad the BBC did pull out of televising Crufts after their documentary exposed that many of the pedigree dogs being bred for the tournament were suffering from genetic diseases following years of inbreeding and had to endure acute physical problems because looks were being emphasised over health.
What with Kennel Club-registered dogs having mother-to-son and brother-to-sister matings and scientists at Imperial College, London, revealing that of the ten thousand pugs in the UK there’s the equivalent of just 50 distinct individuals due to inbreeding: It kind-of reminds you of the revelations about the origins of BSE where no-one should have been surprised how everything turned out. Some people take The Circle of Life mantra way too seriously.
And all this leads to Spaniels with brains too big for their skulls, Boxers suffering from epilepsy, Rhodesian Ridgebacks with spina bifida, Bulldogs that can’t give birth naturally, Pekingese with breathing problems, Bassett Hounds with blood that won’t clot, Dalmatians that are deaf, Great Danes with heart disease, and Sausage dogs so cute and so long that their own spines cannot hold them up properly… And all in the name of pets winning prizes. Dale Winton would’ve been proud.
And all this fiddling about with genetics to get desired looks does sound oh so familiar to Adolf Hitler’s attempt to weed out the perceived wastrels from the German population in his quest to turn them into a race of Aryan Supermen. But that’s nothing when you consider the Nazi Cow project.
Because out of the shadow of der Führer’s little dream of little blonde boys and blonde girls joining hands with other little blonde boys and blonde girls and marching together as the Master Race there was the project to resurrect a breed of long extinct cattle as investigated in the BBC Radio 4 documentary Jon Ronson and the Quest for the Aryan Cow (2009).
The Auroch stood almost two meters tall and survived in Europe until 1627 when they were no more. This might have been a stumbling block for most hardened cow-spotter hoping to see one at the local zoo, but not for two German directors who had a very old portrait painting and the backing of the Nazi party as the Aurochs fitted the propaganda of creating “an idyllic history of the Aryan nation”. So they instigated a selective-breeding program to re-create them by taking a bit from this cow and a bit from that… Until the end cow matched. This was kind-of like a job I once had colour-matching car paint samples.
Or, as The Radio Times helpfully illustrated:
Those darn Nazis did have the benefit of time as they’d scheduled in ruling for a thousand years. But ahead of time and on budget these Nazi cows exist today, even in this country!
And then we come to the British rabbit breeders. Worse than the cat people and the closest to handling the Nazi ideals. And that’s all to do with their painting in the attic: The portrait of the perfect English rabbit.
You might have thought the Nazis were slightly off their trolley by taking an painting of an extinct animal and creating it with Frankenstein science, well The British Rabbit Council based in Newark instead have Robert Wippell’s 1838 portrait of the imagined perfect English rabbit… And that’s now what every breeder is tying to produce: They’re trying to bring forth a nineteenth century imaginary rabbit!
So if you ever see a copy of this paining in someone’s home then you know they’re part of the secret Frankenstein Rabbit cult. Watership Down has nothing on them.
I will guarantee you that at the pedigree cat shows they DON’T have a special little wipe-down room, with a blood gutter, where all the genetically rejected cats are taken as they are beloved pets and members of the family, BUT then a lot of the rabbit breeders do admit to doing their unfashionable pets in and eating them in pies and casseroles. This doesn’t happen with cat breeders, this DOESN’T happen at all! I promise…
Hence the Frivolous Monster family motto: If it tastes like chicken, it must be chicken.
Fingers in ears, la-la-la-la-laa, not listening!