7 new breeds have just become eligible to compete at the Westminster dog show.

The dogs are unique and adorable, but is all of this OK?

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is a 140-year-old annual competition that draws in over 3,000 dogs from all 50 states.

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.


Held at Madison Square Garden in New York, it's a competition to essentially compare various dogs against their "breed standards," measuring and quantifying things like eye shape, tail carriage, and color.

They are also judged on merits of companionship as well as agility (a category added in 2014), and obedience (a category added this year).

If all that sounds a little weird and questionable to you, well you're not alone. The Westminster dog show is not without controversy.

Organizations like PETA have spoken out against the show and its practices, which, they argue, can be unnatural and harmful to dogs.

But still, the show goes on.

This year, seven new dog breeds have become eligible to compete.

The seven new eligible dog breeds in 2016. Photo by Eduardo Muno Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images.

According to officials, that's the most breeds to have been added to the competition since 2000.

Before you see them prancing down the felt runway on Feb. 16, you can get a first look here:

1. The Spanish Water Dog

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.

Originally bred in Spain, they were versatile farm dogs herding sheep and goats and also acting as loyal companions to farmers and fishermen and women. They excel in training because of their loyalty and eagerness to please.

2. The Miniature American Shepherd

Photo by Jaime McCarthy/Getty Images.

Bred in the American west in the 1960s, the miniature American shepherd is a highly active farm dog. It comes in several different colors and is incredibly versatile.

3. The Lagotto Romagnolo

Photo by Jaime McCarthy/Getty Images.

This curly guy is the world's foremost truffle hunter. Which means exactly what you think it means. The breed has a storied career searching through forests to find delicious (and expensive) truffles deep underground. Its curly coat keeps it warm in the winter and protects it from thorns and brambles.

4. The Cirneco dell'Etna

Photo by Jaime McCarthy/Getty Images.

This Anubis lookalike is affectionate, friendly, and an amazing hunter of small mammals. Its short hair makes grooming minimal and it's an excellent family dog.

5. The Boerboel

Photo by Jaime McCarthy/Getty Images.

Originally developed in South Africa, these bruisers are reliable, intelligent, and strong watchdogs. They're protective, fearless, and reasonably social — though not the dog for everyone.

6. The Berger Picard

Photo by Jaime McCarthy/Getty Images.

Star of the film "Because of Winn Dixie," this medium-sized pup is perfect for families, as it is people oriented and loyal. According to Westminster officials, it's one of the oldest French herding breeds.

7. And, finally, the Bergamasco

Photo by Jaime McCarthy/Getty Images.

This unmistakable sheepdog is an ancient breed from the Italian Alps. Its unique dreadlock-esque coat is hypoallergenic and non-shedding. It's also thick and protective, while still soft to the touch.

All these breeds are unique, beautiful, and charming. But here's the thing...

The language used to describe these new Westminster eligible breeds is a little off-putting, to say the least. Learning about where dogs were "developed" or "invented," or what colors they "come in," or what they can be best used for: it feels like you're reading about used cars or iPhones — not living animals.

Some critics of dog breeding take it a step further. PETA routinely protests the dog show, arguing that the propagation and celebration of purebred dogs adds to the millions of dogs who die in shelters every year. Many more have argued that professional breeding leads to the deaths of shelter dogs and contributes to the staggering pet overpopulation problem.

A protester who interrupted 2010's Westminster dog show with a sign that read "Mutts Rule." Photo via nyatheart/YouTube.

And then there are the alleged health problems that come with essentially inventing new animals bred for cuteness or toughness or some specific look. Pugs and bulldogs are often cited as animals that have been bred for their aesthetic qualities but have experienced crippling health defects.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

All this is to say that dog breeding is ... a little weird, when you think about it.

The Westminster dog show claims to love all dogs equally. But it's not hard to see how placing value on one breed over another based on specific physical attributes genetically engineered into it by humans, sometimes to the detriment of the breed's overall health, not to mention proclaiming one breed to be "the best" each year, could be causing problems for all the non-purebred dogs in shelters who need loving homes too.

So whether or not you watch the dog show, take a minute to consider how the dogs in the show are portrayed and treated. There's no doubt their owners love them and, sure, the dogs in the show are probably happy. They're dogs! (And they've been bred that way!)

The important thing to remember is this — if you're looking to get a dog, consider all breeds. Check out your local shelter too. Dogs of every breed need a home, and I can guarantee you'll love them all equally.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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