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Man’s best friend held captive in china!

“Dog does not eat dog, but the Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese do”.
Oh, the joy and pain of stereotyping! Pain for those to whom it does not apply.
Why the others should resent it is unclear. Unless they feel that there is something wrong with it after all.

Some arguments in defense:

People are poor and hungry
Dogs and cats are considered to be similar to vegetables there, not companions
“None has ever been able to give me reasons WHY NOT to eat dogs or cats"
Why is eating dogs any different to eating cows, sheep, horses or rabbits?
Dog and cat eating is cultural

Interested in some facts? (focus on dogs as cat eating is less prevalent):

Dog meat is more expensive than beef pork and therefore not suited to small incomes. It is considered good against the cold in China and good against the heat in Korea and is also eaten in a variety of ways for “medicinal” purposes. When the vast majority of people in this world, particularly in Africa and India, suffer from hunger, why do only China, Korea and Vietnam have this practice? And consider this: Where do “compassion” and “empathy” come in, traits humans claim as virtues that set them apart from animals? Yet, no animal tortures its prey to death. To give you an idea of the reality of the fate of millions of dogs in China and Korea, please read the observations of eye witnesses below.

“Regarding” animals as akin to vegetables, does not make animals vegetables. It merely shows up the ignorance and stupidity of those that make this argument. Animals share much of our DNA, dogs as much as 75%, the primates and pigs even more than that. Even in most of the developed world, animals are classified as “matter”. The law nevertheless punishes cruelty to dogs and cats in the same countries and efforts are under way to gain the rights of farm animals to lives and deaths free from suffering.

What argument is there for not eating dogs? The reasons why Japanese laws have protected dogs long before any Western nation did, should provide some clues. Not only are dogs man’s most loyal friends, unconditionally giving trust and affection, but there are countless examples where dogs have saved human lives, often of their own accord and at risk to their own lives and they have done so for centuries. They rescue people from collapsed buildings and mines, sniff out drugs, arms and land mines, guide the blind through the densest traffic, help the old and handicapped, speed the recovery of the sick and much more. The benefits of touching dogs and cats to reduce stress and other illness in people are proven. It is a pity that, because of their attitudes, those that regard them as food, deprive themselves of any such benefit. Noone has been able to put forward an argument for not eating humans either. There are laws against it in most countries, of course. Nonetheless, the practice of cannibalism existed until not long ago and, in isolated areas of the world, still does. Then there are the commandments of different religions, but not everyone subscribes to those. The most persuasive is that their friends or kin are likely to kill you in return, although they might not care to eat you. Dogs are at a distinct disadvantage there, of course.

Cows, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits are not carnivores while dogs are. It is unnatural and unusual in nature for one red meat eater to eat another.
Sadly, there are many examples of cruelty to animals all over the world, including the practice of stuffing geese to fatten their livers in countries like France. But we must work to STOP these, not excuse one appalling cruelty with another. Instead, we need to allow animals, all of them, to live free of suffering and to die free of pain inflicted by us.

For those that would justify anything on the basis of “culture” and “tradition”, here are some cultural practices that might give you food for thought. Most of them no longer exist, others are disappearing, through the efforts of civilised people around the world:

The Roman Circus where throwing people to the lions was considered entertainment
Slave markets where shackled humans were offered for sale
Burning unwanted and uncomfortable people at the stake
Bull fights, which Spain has now agreed to abolish
Female circumcision
Honor killing, still practiced
Food binding is an ancient custom that has been phased out of China for being cruel and unnecessary. People now look back at in with shock and disgust...why can't we relegate dog eating to the history books too?
The list could go on at some length. Fact is that primitive practices are not more acceptable because they are “part of the culture”.

Of course, there are people in every society who are cruel or criminal, who steal and murder, who are without compassion, remorse or honor. But several wrongs do not make a right. If we are to strive for a better world, this must include lifting humanity from the base levels on which many groups still exist. To quote the author Coetzee writing about the work of “Voiceless”, which strives to improve the lives of farm animals in Australia:

"Steadily, and not so slowly any more, we are making progress. One day, not in our lifetime perhaps, but in a future that is not unforeseeable, animals of non-human species will be born into a world in which they stand a fair chance of living a life that is happy by their own standards and fulfilling.

"When that day comes, they will not look back with gratitude to the human beings who helped to make this dispensation possible, that is to say, who helped to restore a decent life to them. But that does not matter. We are a species whose nature it is to look back; other species have what they consider to be more important things to do with their time than looking back.

"Voiceless acts in the most practical of ways to fund projects across the country whose goal is to ameliorate the lives of animals. Voiceless is a small part of what has become a large and I would hope irreversible movement among human beings to make this planet a less harsh and deadly place for all those to whom it is the one and only home."

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