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Monday, February 17, 2014

We Are Our Choices

When we got our first border collie in the early 90’s, there was a controversy brewing between the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the working Border collie community. In 1994, this breed finally became recognized by the AKC. Our current Border collies, very different in personality came into the scene in the mid 2000’s. So why bring up this controversy, which still exists in the breeds’ working community today? And how in the heck does it relate to landscape design and garden thoughts for the day?

It reminds me of another controversy that currently exists between the Genetically Modified Seeds, Crops, Food, etc., versus traditional. Let’s switch back to the Border collies for a minute and how does this relate? In the case of Border collies, when do you breed out what is meant to be their best qualities - its herding and intelligence as a trade-off for confirmation? This was and continues to be the bone of contention between the working Border collie community and the AKC.

When it comes to our food, seeds and the genetic engineering standards and methods used in the United States, this controversy is on a fast boil or a slow simmer, depending if you pay attention to such things. One current debate - unlike other countries, there is no requirement for the United States to label food that contains genetically modified ingredients. You can read about it in the excerpt below. It's from a recent article dated last Friday, February 14th.

“GMA FIRES BACK AT DR. OZ: The Grocery Manufacturers Association is defending the use of genetically modified ingredients in food following questions raised over their safety on the Dr. Oz Show today. The segment was titled, “No to GMOs: The Global Conspiracy to Keep you from Knowing the Truth About your Food.” In a statement posted to the show’s website, GMA says, “Providing consumers with safe products is our number one priority, and we understand that some consumers have questions about genetically modified food ingredients. Genetically modified ingredients are not only safe for people and our planet, but also have a number of important benefits.” This is not the first time Mehmet Oz has used his TV show to take on GMOs. He also asked about their safety in a segment that aired in 2010.”

Back to dogs and how this relates. When looking for our two current Border collies, I reached out to breeders and rescue shelters for our next two pups. I recall one stating, “Whatever you decide to do, know that your new dog will not be like your other dog in the past.” She told me in a roundabout way that I would notice inherent changes in the temperament of the breed.

Without stepping into the current debate swirling about GM anything, it's paying attention to what it is. As Jean-Paul Sarte stated, “We are our choices.” What do you think?

© Images of our Border collies

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)