The news that Grazia Magazine has published an article advising its readers how to make money from back street breeding will not surprise many people. In a society that can even entertain the expression “handbag dog” and where a web site offers to put people in touch so that they can “borrow” a dog, it is just another consequence of the commodification of pretty much everything, living creatures included.
It is gratifying to know that a petition quickly garnered thousands of signatures in protest, but has not elicited a meaningful apology or retraction from Grazia magazine.
Although a weasel-worded statement from Grazia offered a sop for causing “offence”, it of course misses the point. Any “offence” that I may feel as a consequence of Grazia’s actions pales into insignificance at the societal offence of incompetent breeding, unwanted dogs and irresponsible, ignorant owners who form the chain of the backstreet dog trade, fuelled by this type of publicity.