Dogs are not parasites. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already agree with that statement. So why do we even need to say it?
Well, a few weeks ago, Chris Reed of the San Diego Tribune wrote a triggering article for dog lovers everywhere. In this article, Reed suggests that dogs are nothing more than parasites. He based his information off of a research paper turned book titled “The Truth About Dogs” by Stephen Budiansky who Reed claims to be a science journalist. It’s important to note that this doesn’t make Budiansky an actual scientist. In fact, his Wikipedia biography states that he studied science and applied mathematics at Yale and Harvard. However, there is no mention in the bio of his graduation from either university or program.
This isn’t intended to discredit Budiansky. It’s more a nod to the credibility of what Reed considers a viable source. While his article is “opinion,” it still brings into question why he bothered to write such a frustrating piece in the first place.
Reed states that Budiansky’s evidence claims to throw the entire evolutionary theory of dogs in the air: incorporating some obscure reference to “proto-dogs” that had the good sense to realize that humans were an exploitable means by which to survive and thrive some unspecified number of eons ago.
Dogs, apparently, used our own human nature against us by…us anthropomorphizing them into sentient and expressive beings and not recognizing them for the apparent leeches that they are? It doesn’t go into much more detail than that. However, it appears not only by my own response but by those across social media responding to this post, that most dog lovers were prone to disagree.
If I were to make an argument to Mr. Reed, it’s no more than to say that technically speaking dogs have a symbiotic relationship with humans, not parasitic. Meaning our relationships generally benefit each other. Perhaps not always equally, but to say that they are parasites is not only harsh but scientifically inaccurate. I hope that one day you find a canine companion that shows you the error of your ways.
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