I am writing in response to Chan’s letter about dog-meat eating. I think dog eating should be banned as it is cruel and inhumane.
First, Chan mentioned that dog meat eating is a tradition of many Asian countries. However, tradition changes from time to time because of various reasons. There is no everlasting tradition. Let’s take Hong Kong as an example. Long ago, burning firecrackers during Lunar New Year was also a famous tradition in the city. However, it was banned by the Hong Kong government because of its safety problem. There are more examples in various countries. In ancient China, foot-binding was an infamous tradition. People back then believed that a woman is considered beautiful only with a pair of small feet. However, foot-binding would cause the woman’s feet misshaped, and huge pain whenever she tried to walk or move. This tradition also got banned by the Chinese government. To conclude, bad tradition can be avoided by banning it. Same for dog meat eating, if it is considered as a traditional dish, it can also be banned so that no more dogs will suffer.
Secondly, Chan mentioned that dog meat can be a solution to the food shortage problem in the world. Let’s not talk about the shortage first. There is a huge logic mistake in the statement. If humans are having a famine, which means humans don’t even have enough food to feed themselves, then how come there is food to breed the dogs? It doesn’t make any sense! And scientific researches show that insects, with a much higher nutritional value and numbers than any other kinds of meat, are actually the best solution to the food shortage. Second question, is there really a food shortage? Or is it only a distributional problem? People in the third world lack food because there is really a food shortage, or is it only the uneven distribution of food between countries? This question is worthy to think deeper than it seems.
As an animal rights activist, I personally think that there are huge differences between dogs and other animals. Dogs are treated as pets, not only because they are cute, but also they can understand humans. They can comfort us whenever we need, that’s why they are different from other animals like cattle and pigs. People won’t keep an ox in their apartment, will they? That’s just way too odd. Even if they’re not treated as pets, but working dogs, they can still perform much more functions than only being a source of meat. They are able to guide the blind after training, be a police dog or a guard dog, etc. They have more usages, other than a source of meat.
Moreover, the overall attitude of the society is against dog meat eating, so why don’t we follow the trend for once? Let’s think about it from a more realistic angle. Where does the meat come from? There are legal, systematic, efficient and humane slaughterhouses and animal farms for poultry, cattle and pigs. But dogs? Most unlikely. Most of the dog meat comes from abduction of strays, urban pets and rural guard dogs. There is no evidence of an existing, legal, systematic, hygienic and humane animal farm or slaughterhouse for dogs, which means there is no guarantee of the dogs’ hygiene and humanity of the existing slaughterhouse in China. It will only increase their sufferings if dog meat eating isn’t banned.
To conclude, dog meat eating should be banned as soon as possible as its legality, hygiene, and humanity are highly arguable. There is no proof that the dogs are treated well before they are slaughtered, or that they won’t suffer during the slaughter. Banning dog meat eating isn’t just about blindly ‘safeguarding’ them, but to prove that humanity, love and care still exist among all of us.
Wong Cheuk Hei