Savannahs: More Feline Cruelty Courtesy of the Capitalists and Bourgeoisie
The latest barbarism to come out of the commercial eugenics factories are Savannahs, a cross between wild African Servals and domestic cats such as Oriental Shorthairs, Egyptian Maus, Serengettis, Ocicats, Chausies, and Bengals. With one-hundred-twenty registered breeders producing an unknown number of these hybrid cats, they are starting to show up with some regularity on the sidewalks of Manhattan, Chicago, and elsewhere as the designer pets du jour of the affluent.
Savannahs have considerably longer bodies than domestic cats and with an average weight of twenty pounds they are twice as heavy. They are easily recognizable by their distinctive black spots and stripes, long legs and necks, and big ears. (See photo above.) Although they may look like miniature leopards and can be trained to use a litter box, they surprisingly enough have the personality of a dog in that they walk on leashes and love to play fetch. It is not known what accounts for this cat's strange personality, but genetic manipulation is a prime suspect.
From the limited amount of information available, Savannahs do not appear to pose any threat to either their owners or to other people and animals. They are illegal, however, in many jurisdictions and this has sparked controversy and restrictive legislation.
The problem with Savannahs, as with all hybrids (e. g., the labradoodle, a poodle-Labrador mix, and the Bengal, of Asian leopard descent itself), is not one of public safety, but rather of animal cruelty. Both The New York Times and London's Independent ran stories last week on this growing fad which deliberately ignored the pain and deaths incurred during the breeding process as well as the question of the overall welfare of the hybrids themselves. The capitalist media is so thoroughly corrupt and morally bankrupt that absolutely nothing which it reports can be taken at face value.
Web sites maintained by several Savannah breeders are considerably more forthcoming although they, quite understandably, are reluctant to go into the gory details. They do, however, admit the obvious: that it is difficult to get a forty-pound African Serval to mate with an eight-pound domestic cat. With male Savannahs retailing for more than $4,000 and females going for between $10,000 and $15,000, it is logical to assume that conception is being achieved by surgical means.
Breeders willingly admit that miscarriages and premature births are common; what they do not disclose, however, are maternal and infant mortality rates. As is the case with cat cloning and transgenics (e. g., allergy-free cats, goats that produce silk in their milk, etc.), infant and maternal mortality rates are likely to be high. Sans doute, the breeding and birthing processes are exceedingly painful. Moreover, the petit fait that male Savannahs are sterile up until either the fourth or fifth generation attests to the unnatural character of these man-made unions.
There are also strong ethical and legal issues involved as well. First of all, should the importation of wild cats from Africa and domestics from the Middle East and Asia be allowed? African Servals and other wild cats belong in the wild, not in laboratories, breeding factories, and the apartments of upscale Manhattanites. Domestic cats likewise belong in loving homes with mates of their own species.
The creation of hybrids is being driven on one end by capitalistic greed and on the other by bourgeoisie barbarism. People who purchase these misused and abused cats are moral degenerates who simply want an exotic pet to show off to their friends and colleagues.
An estimated ten-million cats and seven-million dogs are exterminated at shelters each year in the United States and if people who purchase exotic pets had any morality they would adopt a cat or a dog from a shelter rather than financially back such patently cruel practices as hybridization, cloning, and transgenics. Such behavior only encourages breeders to inflict more cruelty upon other animals in their never ending quest to produce even more exotic pets.
The breeding of all Savannahs and other hybrids should be outlawed. Those already in existence should be taken away from their breeders and given to good homes where they can live out their lives.
Monkeying around with genetics is not only dangerous but it can be deadly as well. Genetically modified crops are proliferating despite a growing body of research that has found that they are harmful to both wildlife and the environment. Designer insects (e. g., honeybees that are resilient to pesticides, silkworms that produce pharmaceuticals, and mosquitoes capable of delivering vaccines) are only four to nine years away. In addition to hybrids, the animal world is being ravaged by cloning, transgenics and xenotransplantation. Chimeras are another concern.
Irving Weissman of Stanford has created a mouse with human brain cells. As of last fall, the United States Patent and Trademark Office had issued patents for four-hundred-thirty-six new animals and, tant pis, the commercialization of the animal kingdom shows no sign of slowing down. Can designer humans and human clones be far off? H. G. Wells' The Island of Doctor Moreau was science fiction a hundred years ago; today it is the new reality.
Photo: Gulf Coast Exotic Felines.