I have recently been involved in some discussions about why people breed distorted animals for “fun”(ie, shows). Please understand: I emphatically do not want governmental restrictions on breeders. But I do want (a) a bit of common sense and (b) some comprehension of why people do it. Here is what my feeble mind has come up with so far:
I think there are two possible non- exclusive analogies or possibly drives. One is our (universal animal– or at least VISUAL animal) evolutionary tendency to choose the exaggerated, exemplified by the birds who choose oversized dramatically marked eggs to their own or realistic ones; also possibly by female sexual selection of exaggerated male ornament–?
The other just came to me last night: “qualzucht” might be akin to Anorexia, where individuals who are starving themselves to death look in the mirror and think they are fat. The seed for this idea came when I read about and saw videos of breeders with frog- legged dysplastic GSD’s and hydrocephalic King Charles spaniels insisting their dogs were better and more beautiful than healthy dogs. And it occurred to me, as I watched in disbelief : they were sincere, AND THEY BELIEVED IT.
And example number two: a historical engraving of a barb pigeon, from Darwin’s Variation; one of my own virtually identical barbs; and a modern show barb. Aaack!