Is Ban on Eating Dogs in China Right, or Hypocritical?

dog eating festival banIt may be the end of an era as a 600-year-old dog eating festival in Qianxi, China was banned this year, for the first time in its history. You know there are some puppies in the region breathing a sigh of relief right now as the festival usually slaughters 15,000 dogs for the celebration. (Although, should they be worried about dog overpopulation now? Hmm.) Run free, doggies!

It's hard to wrap your head around a festival that kills thousands of pups when we live in a country that puts people in jail for running dog-fighting rings. But it's culturally acceptable in some regions to eat dogs and cats. What this shows is that those customs and attitudes are changing, and that's a great thing. There's even a proposed ban on dog meat for all of China, though it's still a common and accepted food in many parts of the country.

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As a dog owner myself -- but also a carnivore -- I am admittedly biased, but I just don't think eating a dog sandwich and having a turkey wrap are the same thing. Do you?

Without condemning a different world than the one I live in, I cry big puppy tears at the thought of eating cute little dogs. Probably because they've been domesticated for so long, and cuddling up to a cow is not usually an option. Dogs have been shown to save people and understand when their owner is sick. They can also be trained as service animals to make lives easier. While pigs may be smart, that extra level of intuition and connection to people doesn't seem to crop up as much -- making it easier for some of us to eat them on a bun. A dog is your friend. A chicken is a nugget. Right?

Not really. The weaknesses in that argument are the prime reason I consider being a vegetarian on a regular basis. Everyone could just decide that eating any animal is all the same thing and shouldn't be acceptable, period. I predict, far, far into the future, that people will look back on us and be shocked at the level of our animal consumption. Heck, the regular outbreaks of E. coli in ground beef should be warning enough to stay away from cow burgers.

Still, the idea of having Fido for lunch is just unfathomable. I'd rather eat a cricket. 

Do you think there's a difference between eating dogs and eating cows?

 

Image via Katie@!/Flickr

 

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