Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Man bites dog: China's dog-meat festival challenged

It's good to see Chinese people challenging the culinary habits of the Yulin dog meat festival and rescuing animals destined for the pot. Not only brutal but a health hazard, most of the estimated 10,000 animals killed in appalling conditions are strays and abductees, so who knows what diseases they're carrying?

Apart from concern about the fate of man's best friend in Guanxi province, we should also worry about the state of the human beings doing the killing and consuming. Dogs are not as intelligent as pigs (so there goes our bacon sandwich) but their sociability is a lot more obvious ... unless you own a cute Vietnamese pot-bellied pig or raised a Babe from piglethood.

Personally, I wouldn't eat any animal that ate other animals, especially considering what we know about kuru or bovine spongeiform encephalitis (BSE) which Britain gifted to the world.

It requires a heart of stone to ignore their pain, so what damage are people doing to themselves? It's not quite as mad as the bloodfest of the Faroe Islands, where pilot whales are slaughtered in huge numbers by men, women and children apparently in the grip of some sort of blood-lust trance, but the degree of insensitivity towards sensate creatures — whether it be fox hunting, hare coursing or skinning dogs, sometimes alive — makes you wonder what's happening to their inner health.

The (very) few people I've met who happily eat dog and cat have invariably been cold fish themselves.

Dining on dogs is better than humans starving. Back in the bad old days when entire communities died from hunger, eating dogs and other furry creatures including cats and rats was understandable. But famine is no longer a threat and dogmeat is an expensive luxury, considerably dearer than chicken, pork, beef, fish and duck.

The consumption of tiger penis, rhino horn, monkey brains or shark fins are wasteful destructive barbarities we can do without. But before you comfort yourself that we're more civilised, how about the super-wealthy devouring people's lives while enriching themselves? Or US Republican candidate Charlie Fuqua calling for rebellious children to be executed? Or killing innocents by drone attack in order to get at one alleged terrorist, at the rate of fifty to 1?

Barbarism is everywhere — it just manifests differently.

Fin for all the family

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