Please allow me to start off this post with a disclaimer – that the intent of this post is not to criticize anyone, any establishment, and most of all, this wonderful hobby of raising rabbits. I do apologize if you take offence of what I am about to write. It is a free world and life is wonderful when we are able to just do whatsoever we wish as long as it is confined within the rule of law. I am not in any way imposing my thoughts and beliefs unto any readers or encouraging others to be aligned to my thoughts.
That being said, please allow me to spill my thoughts.
I recently stumbled across the following video:
The video sparked off some interesting thoughts in my mind. It pointed me to three words – Standard Of Perfection.
Can we really achieve a perfect show animal? I can now confidently say, NO.
The fact that the genetic make up of an organism just do not allow for perfection. Perfection based on human justification that is. Therefore, the Standard Of Perfection (SOP) is indeed just a guide and in my humble opinion, have no interest in the internal but more of exterior. No Standard Of Perfection in the animal showing world have the slightest emphasis on the internal health of an animal except for bone structures (e.g. hip dysplasia). In short and general speaking, an animal can resemble (physically) whatever that is stated in the SOP may be show worthy even though it may be suffering from an internal terminal illness.
I guess to truly understand where I am coming from, perhaps we should dissect the word Standard to its most fundamental form. We hear about many organizations governing standards and ISO being one that is the most well known. Without referring to a dictionary or wikipedia, the definition of Standard to me is plainly a series or a set of actions or processes that constantly yield a perfect result/resolution. Most of the show animal SOP does not lay down steps in producing a perfect animal, it simply states how a perfect animal should be perceived and takes shape (physically). That to me is not a standard. Perhaps it should be called Guidelines To The Most Ideal Physical Manifestations Of Breeds. I know it does not sound as catchy as Standard Of Perfection but that is the reality in my humble opinion.
In reality (and the odds are), there will never be a perfect, perfect animal adhering perfectly against every point stated in the SOP. It can be very near but never 100% to be absolutely honest.
And sometimes we see breeders leaving the hobby and we ask why? The question is why not?
If you have ever played a game of soccer, just imagine that each time you score a goal, someone shifts the goal post. Yes, that is exactly how it feels as a breeder most of the time because SOP changes every 5 years in some cases.
Can we really achieve 100% perfect biologically? NO.
On the other hand, take the case of Spot (the mechanical dog) for example. Every microchip or mechanical components must be fitted exactly where they are. The processors must be programmed to execute an action in perfect precision. Can we achieve a mechanical Standard Of Perfection? YES!
I believe it is easier to accept a standard provided for a machine. The size of the motherboard, memory chip, sensors, and materials used can all be governed by standards.
Throughout the years, I have observed that the subjects that are being judged do not change much but the rules around the judging usually changes. And sometimes it comes full circle and the cycle repeats itself. We as humans are so accustomed to change and we even say that “the only constant is change”. We have to always reinvent ourselves in order to stay current. Take for example the hairstyle in the 60s versus the 90s. And at some point, the 60s fashion seemed to make its way back as a trend.
Clothing remains as a piece of textile used to cover oneself. However you change it, the purpose remains the same.
I must also emphasize that it is in the end just a hobby or past time. An interest we adopt to spend our time and it makes us happy, intrigued, proud, bewildered, engaged, relaxed, and many more advantages both tangible and intangible. It is never a case of right or wrong. It is a case of “to each his own”.
Can we ever be 100% perfect biologically?
Just a thought…