I have another treat for you from Dino Dogan, So brace yourself and enjoy!
All of my knowledge comes from the second-hand, hand me down, used clothing store.
All the knowledge we have is akin to wearing used clothes. It’s not ours; it’s only been handed down to us.Every now and again I try to think of something that I’ve learned that was brand new. Alas, there isn’t a thing.
Second-hand knowledge isn’t so bad I guess. It’s a very efficient and effective way of transmitting information. Its how I’ve learned math, writing, geography…and some of that stuff I still remember.
The content dissipates (what year did Columbus “discover” America) and what remains is the structure (reverence for authority for example).
What really scares me is the amount of information that I’ve had to unlearn.
There is a huge amount of false knowledge (call it belief, pre-conceived notions, whatever) that was imparted on our young brains and therefore wasn’t questioned. It entered our blood stream and stayed there to this day. For example. Did you know that the lightning shoots up, not down?
That little tid bit seams mighty interesting to me, and yet, I don’t remember a single teacher, parent, community or religious leader, mentioning it. Ever.
If we are oblivious to this type of basic information, what else did we miss-learn? What else do we need to unlearn?
Growing up, I took it for granted that certain mutilation practices are acceptable. There are many we can all think of (from ear piercings to breast implants) but there is a particular type I want to focus on in this post.
The type of mutilation we impart on others without their consent.
One such mutilation that western societies engage in routinely is circumcision.
I grew up accepting that this is “normal” until I took an intentional and systematic step towards unlearning.
What are the common beliefs regarding circumcision?
Many hundreds of years ago when circumcision was instituted by religious orders, this might have been true. These days however, we have regular and guaranteed access to daily baths which takes the cleanliness argument out of the equation.
- The Aesthetics: Circumcised penis looks better
Over the last 10+ years I’ve conducted informal studies and asked many females to guess if a penis is circumcised or not. Not one got it right.What’s really interesting is that every single female that took part in these studies was confident that she would be able to tell.
- The third reason people choose to circumcise their baby boy is religious.
I really can’t argue against this. Religious rituals are expected to have a degree of obtuseness and those who practice don’t expect to know or understand why they are doing what they are doing. Understanding is not a requirement, only complying.
I will only say that there are many religious rituals that were practiced in the past and are now obsolete. So I don’t see why circumcision couldn’t be one of those.
So far, I’ve presented reasons why people do it. I will now present why NOT to do it.
- After a circumcision, babies go into an anaphylactic shock (unable to breath). Most likely this is caused by the extreme pain though some actually argue this point.
- Sometimes circumcision is performed by a distracted or ill prepared individual and they cut off too much.
- In some religious ceremonies, the circumcision is performed by biting (yes, biting) the foreskin. This has been known to cause infections and there are even cases of STDs that were spread to the baby in this manner.
- Decrease in pleasure for the male, and consequently (I would say) for female
If circumcision is unnecessary and carries all these risks, why are hospitals doing it? And why are doctors routinely recommending circumcision?
That’s a fair point and I will address it now.
- Doctors have a long history of being wrong
- Medical industry is a business of the worst sort and hospitals charge $600.00 (on average) for this procedure.
At this point I would like to say that I am sorry.
I imagine that some people reading this will have a strong reaction and might feel the impulse to argue some of these points.
Before you do, I would like to ask you if you have someone in your life (a child perhaps, baby brother, etc) that you are responsible for and that is circumcised because of you.
If that’s the case, your emotional reaction is a natural protection mechanism against being wrong and feeling guilty about it. And for that I am sorry.
My only advice is to accept it, apologize to your child and move on.
What does this have to do with dogs?
Unfortunately, the type of mutilation we are discussing (the kind we impart on others without their consent) is all too relevant to dogs.
We crop their ears and dock their tails in order to make them conform to some made-up standard we ill-conceived in our heads long time ago.
Some will offer a “rational explanation” like “docking the tail prevents it from being broken”.
To that I would say that docking the tail guarantees it’s going to be broken (or cut off, but I don’t think the dog cares for the distinction).
Alas, that’s only rationalization talking and if done by someone with an air of authority we would be all too happy to accept it as gospel.
It’s not easy saying “I’ve been wrong all these years” but it’s a precursor to growth. So I would like to say I’m sorry dogs. I’m sorry for mutilating you for all these years and even more sorry for creating breeds that have health problems and genetic defects as part of their design.
I know it wasn’t me personally who did that to you but I am sorry.
On behalf of all humans, I am sorry.
Dino Dogan is a blogger, writer, biker, dog trainer, singer/songwriter, Martial Artist. Currently working on Human-Dog Problem Tree; a thesis in human-dog relationship. Check out Dino's great blog at Dogan Dogs Video Blogs, or connect with Dino on Twitter or Facebook.