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knocker

Chinese City Defends Dog Meat Festival, Despite Scorn

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Putting aside for the moment the place of dogs within western culture is this point valid?

 

 

Locals say the moral hypocrisy over the eating of animals is a bottomless grab bag. What about the consumption of beef when cows are considered sacred in India, they say, or guinea pigs in Latin America, or dogs in Korea or turkeys in the United States? What makes eating dog meat any different from eating the flesh of chickens or pigs, they ask?

 

YULIN, China — It was the night before the summer solstice, and the tables at a streetside food stall here were set for the annual feast: steamed pumpkin, sautéed morning glory, smashed cucumbers and cold-skin rice flour noodles. At the center of each table were the two traditional dishes most essential to the celebration here: fresh lychees and heaping bowls of stewed dog, pungent with ginger, garlic, dried orange peels, bay leaves and fennel.

It is this last dish for which Yulin has become notorious, thanks to an annual dog meat festival that ended Monday, and the locals have heard enough, thank you.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/24/world/asia/dog-eaters-in-yulin-china-unbowed-by-global-derision.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&_r=0

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My only problem is the skinning animals alive bit; no living creature deserves to have that done to it! I wouldn't go for a German Shepherd's Pie myself, though.

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Yes there are two distinct issues here. Cruelty to animals and the custom of eating dog meat.

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As much as I like my dog to be petted rather than stewed I do agree with their point about the hypocrisy. What makes it acceptable to slaughter one species for consumption but not another? (Other than I wouldn't advocate killing endangered species).

 

In Western cultures we've become largely divorced from the realities of eating meat. My wife for example is a committed carnivore, as long as she doesn't have to think where it came from. If she'd to slaughter the animals herself she'd probably turn vegetarian overnight. Personally I could/would happily eat less meat, but don't have any illusions at to it's source.

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If the dogs were treated in a humane manner then I have absolutely no problem with people eating them.

 

We have a weird mentality in the west where we distinguish animals between food and pets.

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No weirder than treating cows as holy and ivory as an aphrodisiac. And dogs aren't simply pets but exceedingly helpful if you think of Guide dogs, listening dogs, sheep dogs and sniffer dogs have saved more than a few lives.

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If the dogs were treated in a humane manner then I have absolutely no problem with people eating them.

 

We have a weird mentality in the west where we distinguish animals between food and pets.

 

Exactly. If they are slaughtered humanely and they have good welfare standards during their lives, I couldn't care less what they eat. The issue is that they don't and the animals they use are often stolen pets.

 

I don't get people being squeamish about animals they eat in terms of cuteness. So you don't want to eat a rabbit because it's cute, but you'll quite happily scoff lamb. If you eat one animal, you can't discriminate against another.

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No weirder than treating cows as holy and ivory as an aphrodisiac. And dogs aren't simply pets but exceedingly helpful if you think of Guide dogs, listening dogs, sheep dogs and sniffer dogs have saved more than a few lives.

But weird is weird, knocks...And I suspect pigs could do most of those things, too?

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No weirder than treating cows as holy and ivory as an aphrodisiac. And dogs aren't simply pets but exceedingly helpful if you think of Guide dogs, listening dogs, sheep dogs and sniffer dogs have saved more than a few lives.

 

But so are lots of other animals we eat. Pigs and cows are pretty intelligent creatures, indeed in some parts of the world they can be trained as helper animals too. Chickens and ducks can solve simple puzzles. Octopuses are very intelligent, they can solve complex puzzles, understand the concept of self, show complex emotions etc.

 

If we start deciding what's OK to eat by helpfulness and intelligence of the animal we get into some very unpleasant territory.

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Exactly. If they are slaughtered humanely and they have good welfare standards during their lives, I couldn't care less what they eat. The issue is that they don't and the animals they use are often stolen pets.

 

I don't get people being squeamish about animals they eat in terms of cuteness. So you don't want to eat a rabbit because it's cute, but you'll quite happily scoff lamb. If you eat one animal, you can't discriminate against another.

 

Fully agreed Lauren. If it tastes good and was treated/slaughtered humanely then I will gladly eat it.

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On a personal note I'm uneasy about the consumption of dogs because they are, in their own right, predators and carnivores. It's one thing eating animals that would be lower down the food chain in the wild, but another eating what would be an apex predator in many environments around the world.

I wouldn't eat a lion, Tiger, Bear, wolf. It just wouldn't seem "right". Artificial.

To some this may sound like a weird outlook, and it probably is, but it's one that I hold nonetheless.

Anyway, with a rapidly growing middle class and increasing dog ownership as pets there is less of an appetite for dog meat in China, and also growing opposition to it. On a personal level, I hope that trend continues.

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But so are lots of other animals we eat. Pigs and cows are pretty intelligent creatures, indeed in some parts of the world they can be trained as helper animals too. Chickens and ducks can solve simple puzzles. Octopuses are very intelligent, they can solve complex puzzles, understand the concept of self, show complex emotions etc.

 

If we start deciding what's OK to eat by helpfulness and intelligence of the animal we get into some very unpleasant territory.

 

But they don't fulfill another role that cats and dogs play within western society. and that is being a companion to thousands of people which is not to be underestimated. I wasn't actually thinking of intelligence but of course the prime example of being useful is the horse without whom we wouldn't be here.

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But they don't fulfill another role that cats and dogs play within western society. and that is being a companion to thousands of people which is not to be underestimated. I wasn't actually thinking of intelligence but of course the prime example of being useful is the horse without whom we wouldn't be here.

We used cowhide for shoes and clothes and stuck it all together with horse glue? But, why should our preferences have any relevance in China?

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But they don't fulfill another role that cats and dogs play within western society. and that is being a companion to thousands of people which is not to be underestimated. I wasn't actually thinking of intelligence but of course the prime example of being useful is the horse without whom we wouldn't be here.

 

Well yes, but until recently, they weren't really seen as companion animals in that part of the world. As they become more popular as pets, the Chinese are rejecting the use of them as meat. Goats are companion animals in a lot of countries but we eat them here, they probably think it's weird. Each to their own.

 

As to Blizzards point about apex predators. I sort of agree with you there from a conservation point of view. If we must eat apex predators from the wild we need to be very careful about sustaining numbers, otherwise the entire food chain suffers.

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On a personal note I'm uneasy about the consumption of dogs because they are, in their own right, predators and carnivores. It's one thing eating animals that would be lower down the food chain in the wild, but another eating what would be an apex predator in many environments around the world.

I wouldn't eat a lion, Tiger, Bear, wolf. It just wouldn't seem "right". Artificial.

To some this may sound like a weird outlook, and it probably is, but it's one that I hold nonetheless.

Anyway, with a rapidly growing middle class and increasing dog ownership as pets there is less of an appetite for dog meat in China, and also growing opposition to it. On a personal level, I hope that trend continues.

I'm with you on this. I've seen slickening images of domesticated Dogs being boiled alive in large cauldrons. It is inhumane over thousands of years Dogs have interwoven with us humans to have a special bond. We do not have these relationships with Pigs - unfortunately China is riddled with bizarre superstitions/tastes.

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I'm with you on this. I've seen slickening images of domesticated Dogs being boiled alive in large cauldrons. It is inhumane over thousands of years Dogs have interwoven with us humans to have a special bond. We do not have these relationships with Pigs - unfortunately China is riddled with bizarre superstitions/tastes.

If the dogs were killed humanely for meat, i'd have no problem with the Chinese eating them. But as you said, being boiled alive because it imparts a 'better taste' to the meat through pure suffering and pain, that is disgusting to everyone (or at least it should be) God help us all if China ever goes to war with us!

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From the nation that still loves ivory and promotes the killing of tigers this disgusting eating of dogs doesn't come as a surprise. I wonder what the Chinese would think if we started boiling alive  pandas?

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If the dogs were killed humanely for meat, i'd have no problem with the Chinese eating them. But as you said, being boiled alive because it imparts a 'better taste' to the meat through pure suffering and pain, that is disgusting to everyone (or at least it should be) God help us all if China ever goes to war with us!

I think full stop Dogs should not be consumed unless in dire need of protein. China is stuck in yesteryear some of the beliefs are seriously deranged there's a saying in China 'If it moves, it’s food'. Many also believe it tastes better if it died in agony. This is why you hear about the awful accounts of boiling of living things...

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Anybody who thinks the cruelty of giving animals a torturous death like this is missing a vital aspect of their humanity. And I don't understand how they can feel so hard hearted. I have nothing against eating meat as I do myself and like it too much to go vegetarian, but I like to think what I'm eating has been slaughtered quickly and painlessly without distress. And as March Blizzard said there is something unnatural about eating predators, as wild carnivores and ourselves usually eat herbivores which seems more natural. There are exceptions of course like I suppose fish are carnivores and so are frogs which eat invertebrates and we eat them as do other carnivores but I suppose they have a lower order in the food chain. You don't hear of a carnivorous mammal eating another carnivorous mammal. Actually just thought of one, killer whales and polar bears eat seals, but this seems to be an exception, plus there much larger than them and have limited options and less broadly diverse food chains living in the polar regions. Then again are humans naturally carnivores, when we have to cook our meat usually for it to be edible? Not to mention we have to use tools to kill big mammals and don't have the bodily adaptations to take down a cow for example. Most other apes tend to be herbivorous, though i've heard some gorillas raid bird nests for chicks for example. Nevertheless making any animal suffer as much as possible in the belief it tastes better that way is seriously delusional and desperately low and it needs to stop.

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I think full stop Dogs should not be consumed unless in dire need of protein. China is stuck in yesteryear some of the beliefs are seriously deranged there's a saying in China 'If it moves, it’s food'. Many also believe it tastes better if it died in agony. This is why you hear about the awful accounts of boiling of living things...

 

Why don't you think dogs should be eaten? Just curious.

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Why don't you think dogs should be eaten? Just curious.

Why should they be eaten...there's no need I'd understand if there was a famine. It is based on Chinese folklore it is thought in Summer time especially eating Dogs enchances the chance of good health and luck. Spiders are rich in protein that does not mean I go out my way to consume tarantulas. I take it China is a developing country but with such medieval delicacies I wonder. If I went in a Chinese restaurant for instance and I saw dog featured on menu I'd walk out. Simply I'm against it. As much as cows are used for milk and beef, Dogs are there as 'man's best friend' IMHO not for food simply for pleasure. It shows the advancement we've made and it distinguishes us from apes we in the developed world exemplify this.

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Why don't you think dogs should be eaten? Just curious.

 

Have you ever owned a pet dog Nick L ?  Just curious.

The intelligence, interaction and bond I have with my dog exceeds any other animal I'm sure.

 

B.

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Have you ever owned a pet dog Nick L ?  Just curious.

The intelligence, interaction and bond I have with my dog exceeds any other animal I'm sure.

 

B.

 

Nope. Fair point. I'd happily eat dog if it were slaughtered in a humane way.

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Why should they be eaten...there's no need I'd understand if there was a famine. It is based on Chinese folklore it is thought in Summer time especially eating Dogs enchances the chance of good health and luck. Spiders are rich in protein that does not mean I go out my way to consume tarantulas. I take it China is a developing country but with such medieval delicacies I wonder. If I went in a Chinese restaurant for instance and I saw dog featured on menu I'd walk out. Simply I'm against it. As much as cows are used for milk and beef, Dogs are there as 'man's best friend' IMHO not for food simply for pleasure. It shows the advancement we've made and it distinguishes us from apes we in the developed world exemplify this.

 

You know dogs were domesticated so they would work for us, right? They weren't domesticated to be pets. Nor were cats, they were domesticated to kill pests. It was only after we started domesticating that we found they could be great companion animals too and the pet thing began. I'm sure if we domesticated traditional food animals, we'd find they make great companion animals too and indeed in many countries our food animals are often domesticated as pets. My point is I don't think we should define what we eat by our relationship to it, because that's very subjective. One mans companion animal is another mans food.

 

I think the best argument for not eating dogs and cats would be the food chain, diversity argument and if we apply that argument then we really shouldn't be eating sharks, whales, crocodiles etc.

 

Have you ever owned a pet dog Nick L ?  Just curious.

The intelligence, interaction and bond I have with my dog exceeds any other animal I'm sure.

 

B.

 

I have never owned a dog, but I have dogs in my family. I adore them. I do own a cat and have owned cats in the past (or in the case with cats, they own me). The bond I have with my cat makes me happier than my bond with many humans and we for sure have a mutual loving pet-owner relationship. He is a family member. I could never eat him personally, but then again I couldn't eat any animal I had formed a bond with including 'food' animals. However if another culture doesn't see them that way and they slaughter them humanely, then I don't have a problem with them eating them. We eat other peoples companion animals after all.

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I'm too weak as i have dogs and so would feel funny about it. If i never had one though, i'd happily eat it. I'm told from Vietnam that Poodle tastes like Pigeon. 

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