I’m sure that reading this article is going to put many people in a tizzy. They will feel physically sick thinking about someone eating a Labrador while they pet their own.
I agree. The thought of eating a dog or cat sickens me…as does a chicken, cow, pig, or any other animal. But I’ll be honest the thought of dog or cat meat is not even in the same realm. It’s all based on how we were raised. In this country, we are raised to believe that certain animals are ok to be farmed and eaten and others are downright disgusting. Other countries may not necessarily follow the societal norms of the US…SURPRISE! (Yes, that’s sarcasm again).
Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. (Check out Beyond Carnism for some great info and videos!)
Anyway, this article says that the younger Chinese generation is more against eating dogs and that’s partly why the ban is being talked about (hasn’t been fully confirmed). “The ban is set to last until the festival is over and that there’s no evidence the ban includes any restrictions on cat meat.” (Why not cats?!)
The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival (aka the Yulin Dog Meat Festival) takes place every year since 2009 for about 10 days and an estimated 10,000-15,000 dogs are consumed. Though it looks like less and less are consumed every year. Sound gross? You bet! But I wonder how many pigs and cows are consumed during let’s say…Brat Fest.
The Wikipedia article says that dogs have been eaten in China for over 400 years. “The local residents and festival organizers claim that the dogs are killed humanely and that “eating dog is no different from eating pork or beef”. Animal rights activists and campaigners, however, claim that the animals are “treated abominably”, based on photographs of the event.”
Which honestly is not any different from the way cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and other animals are treated every day in factory farms across the US.
It seems like the reason for the ban is that some people have claimed that the “dogs killed in the festival are often stolen pets'”. Which is corroborated in the Wikipedia article: “A witness claimed that some of the dogs eaten appeared to be stolen household pets, judging by their collars.”
Back to the original HuffPost article, Peter Li, the Humane Society International China Policy Expert, says that “Dogs slaughtered for food come from suspicious sources. Many are stolen pets and rural guard dogs.” He noted that Chinese activists would protest a beef festival, too, if the animals were stolen cattle.”
I highly doubt as much of a fuss would be made over cows being slaughtered and sold, regardless of if they had been stolen or not.
*Side Note: I wonder if most people in the US know that it’s legal to eat dogs and cats in quite a few states. I didn’t until today. *
To be fair the HSI group does “actively fight for the rights of all animals that suffer in the food industry”. They also say, “Whilst we realize that we can’t stop the suffering of all animals for the food industry overnight, we shouldn’t use the suffering of pigs or chickens in one country as an excuse for inaction to stop the suffering of dogs in another country.”
Bringing attention to this dog-eating festival might get more meat eaters on our side but unfortunately what’s probably going to happen is you’ll get half that will disgusted while they eat their cheese burgers and half will say ‘I’d try it”.
No matter what we try to do there will always be people who will turn the blind eye. Cognitive dissonance is STRONG, my friends. So I leave you with some quotes to help reaffirm the vegan lifestyle! We all need it sometimes.
- “May all that have life be delivered from suffering.” -Buddha
- “Life is too short to make others shorter.” -Anonymous
- “Compassion is the best side effect of being vegan.” -Anonymous
- “Animals are my friends. And I don’t eat my friends.” -George Bernard Shaw
- “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong in the world.” -Dr. Paul Farmer