Category: Animal News
French Bulldogs hold a specific place in the dog world as one of the most fetishized and meme-worthy of breeds. Usually ensconced in some ridiculous get up and staring back at us with their big dumb lovable eyes, they make habitual appearances on sites like Buzzfeed or Reddit, and belong to the triumvirate of fawned over internet dogs that includes Corgis and Pugs. But unlike those other two breeds, Frenchies, as they’re affectionately known, happen to be the spawn of pure evil. Please, let me explain.
Many breeds of dog are bred for a specific purpose – Border Collies are singled out for their herding abilities, hounds for their scent and tracking, and Golden Retrievers are sometimes chosen just based on disposition alone to be used as companions for PTSD victims. The Frenchie is obviously a small breed, and like many diminutive breeds (outside of the vermin-hunting terriers) they don’t really have a specific skill or use – their purpose, if they have one, is to amuse us.
But while if Border Collies stopped being good herders the breed would undoubtedly continue, due to the nature of French Bulldogs, if the breed ever fails to entertain us, it’s very possible it will rapidly cease to exist. This is because what goes into producing French Bulldogs is unique, as they’re not so much bred as they are made.
The horrible secret behind Frenchies is that they can’t naturally procreate, their x’s and o’s just don’t line up and try as they might their odd little bodies can properly intertwine. Each and every one of them has to be artificially inseminated by the hand or turkey baster of man. Through selective breeding humanity created the Frenchie, prized for it’s hilarious and pathetic features, but in the tradeoff we made an unnatural abomination.
We’ve engineered a creature that cannot fend for itself, reproduce, or really do much of anything but trot around in playful ineptitude. The French Bulldog can’t even give birth without our assistance, with nearly all puppies delivered through caesarean due to their abnormally large heads and the females small hips. Nature does not want these animals to live, but through our force of will and demand for their stupid cartoon features, we have made them so. The french bulldog is an example of playing God in the most involved way possible, manually forcing creation of each individual animal.
If this wasn’t bad enough, the process of creating Frenchies has resulted in innumerable health problems including breathing difficulty, skin disease, and a predilection to heatstroke that causes the breed to become “confused” and have “diarrhea” at the drop of a hat, according to the French Bulldog Club of America. These defects are especially pronounced in the Frenchies that have been selectively bred to exhibit what’s pejoratively regarded as a “fad” color, because apparently we thought it would be funnier if we made them look like miniature Rottweilers and we didn’t take “please don’t, this will kill them” for an answer.
Now that this beast we’ve created exists, it’s tough to know what exactly we should do with it. If left to its own devices the breed would naturally die out, but should we let it? Is more humane to let this breed fade away or is it now our burden to take care of this useless animal we’ve brought into existence? Whatever society decides is the case, we should admit that in making the french bulldog we have committed a terrible sin.
In 1948 the US Air Force strapped a nine pound monkey named Albert to a rocket in New Mexico. The operation was a complete failure and a lack of oxygen killed Albert in his capsule before the rocket ever breached the atmosphere, a fact that mattered little as the parachute system failed to deploy on return, incinerating Albert as well as the rocket in a fiery crash landing. Albert was the first space monkey but not the last, in a program that extended from his launch up until, wait, that can’t be right… until 1996? Why in gods name were we still launching monkeys into space in 1996?
Launching monkeys into space is as American as apple pie. The greatest achievements of United States astronauts, and victory in the space race itself, could have never been achieved without the efforts of multiple test monkeys who paved the way for their human counterparts. If you want to make an omelette, as the saying goes, you’ve got to kill some chimps.
After Albert became the primus primate to leave earth, NASA followed up the attempt with Albert 2. If the name was chosen out of a reluctance to get attached it proved prescient, as Albert 2 exploded in a ball of fire somewhere over the Nevada desert.
Undeterred by the monkey ghosts that haunted their dreams, NASA scientists continued to tinker with the rockets and make adjustments to the simian pilots gear until they found success. In 1959, Able and Miss Baker, two rhesus monkeys who had been lovingly cared for in preparation for their flight were fed their favorite dessert of strawberry gelatin and bananas then rocketed into space. Surprisingly, they returned alive and well, with Miss Baker particularly revered as an adorable little hero.
The success of Baker and Able emboldened NASA to send bigger and smarter monkeys into space – working up the evolutionary chain until it was safe for humans. The first and best known of these was Ham, whose name was an acronym of Howell Aerospace Medicine, but more accurately stood for Hard As a Motherfucker.
These were the monkey precursors to human flight, and their success and methodology bred into NASA a strong culture of space ape experiments. Astronauts are immensely rare and expensive, while apes are readily available and minimize risk. It’s inhumane, though understandable, that they be used as test subjects during a time when so much importance was placed on space exploration, though this still begs the question:
Why in gods name were we still launching monkeys into space in 1996?
In a word “science”, but in a more granular sense, the idea was to monitor the effects of microgravity on biological organisms in a way that might be harmful to humans (a fancy term for shooting monkeys into space and watching them float around). It’s perhaps not the loftiest goal, which is why one of the monkeys choked on its own vomit in terror and died, the whole idea of blasting non-consenting animals into space came into question. The joint space program of Russia, the United States, and France resolved to maybe give it a rest on space chimps after the incident. It also didn’t help that Aladdin and Babe had just come out in recent years, society reaching both the zenith of people caring about animals and enjoying monkey-antics.
Gravity and space simulators have also come a long way, and austerity has pared down most nations space programs to where there just isn’t a budget anymore for space chimps. These days the only state crazy enough to still use monkeys is Iran, who in 2013 launched a monkey into space, killed it, then tried to switch it with another monkey. Barring such attempts by eccentric/evil states the era of monkeys in space is seemingly now over, but they will always remain the first to reach beyond the trappings of earth, and if movies are to be believed, perhaps they will be the last as well.