by Dennis McKeon
Lately it has become fashionable for some of the most shrill and tragically ignorant anti-racing ideologues and bloggers, to expound on their vast knowledge of greyhound geneology and history. And to preach to their flock, that there is nothing whatever for the greyhound enthusiast or for the greyhound breed to worry about, should events happen to conspire to bring about the demise of regulated, formal racing and breeding.
Apparently they didn't pay attention in biology class, anymore than they have tried to accept the racing greyhound on his own terms, as a unique and highly functional population, which has emerged in its present day incarnation, from a plethora of genetic reservoirs, and in adaptation to the function of racing.
Nevertheless, it hasn't quite dawned on some of the most outspoken and hyperactive pot-stirrers, that the non-racing population of greyhounds is woefully inadequate to insure healthy genetic diversity, and because of that scientific fact, the AKC greyhound sirebook is once again open to infusions of NGA blood. That should say it all, but we aren't dealing with ordinary, reasonable people in most of these cases.
The almost comically simplistic "party line" of the more disingenuous and/or delusional anti-racing activists, is that greyhounds were "always around", and did fine before the advent of racing, and things will be just hunky-dory for future greyhounds, should racing meet its end. Just like that.
Of course, greyhounds were "always around"----- to control vermin, to hunt and kill game, and for open field coursing---none of which are a viable option today for greyhounds, in most areas or states. Racing has replaced the traditional and historic functions of greyhounds, and outside of racing, there are but a handful of greyhounds, and an even smaller handful of breeders whose greyhounds are actually functional athletes----and some of the best of these are retired racing greyhounds----most of whom are not able to reproduce.
The fact of the matter is, that greyhounds have never "been around" when and where they have had no function. The reason greyhounds "are around", is because they still do have a function----and that function is racing.
American greyhounds are nearly all descended from Waterloo Cup competitors and winners, who proved to be more highly adapted and adaptable to the coursing and (later) the racing function, than were the greyhounds which preceeded them to the US, (brought over by the Spaniards) which have all bred out. They are gone. Forever. Which is exactly what will happen to nearly all the our American families of racing greyhounds, should racing's financing of the racing greyhound population come to an end, and if the function of racing is taken away from the racing greyhound.
This cavalier attitude of those individuals who have not taken step-one to understand what it is that has given us this breed, and the science of cause-and-effect, as it concerns racing and the population of greyhounds who are bred specifically for it---and who have all emerged from it---should be a chilling wake-up call to anyone who wants to see the racing greyhound remain a viable, vital, sound and functional population, now and in the future.
I have yet to see, from any of these self-annointed "experts", a concrete, family-by-family plan for the preservation of the racing greyhound's genetic foundations, should racing come to an end at their bequest. Of course, I have yet to encounter one who could even name a foundation female of any one of 46 families of racing greyhounds.
While anti-racing activism is born of a shameful, elitist, cultural prejudice, brain-dead bigotry, negative stereotyping, and always emerges at a great distance from the greyhounds and their functional upbringing and existence----- this disturbing arrogance of indifference to hard scientific fact, or of agenda-driven belligerence concerning the extinction of the very foundations of all greyhound well being, goes far beyond the pale, even for zealots.
They are advocates of nothing but greyhound degeneration and dysfunction.