Eating dogs makes people sad/is inhumane
by John Looby
Man’s best friend is apparently edible, scarily edible. For most of the western world dogs are a closely loved part of the household and not the dinner table. In America most people cry if they see a dog fake die in a movie. A fair portion of the disgust in observing the Asian market for dog consumption could be attached to cultural differences between the west and the east, up until you account for the sheer amount of cruelty.
The Korean and Chinese dog market is large, active, and from a western and at least decently humane perspective legitimately terrifying. Thousands of dogs are slaughtered each year and in one particularly brutal festival in Mainland China 10,000 dogs are inhumanely killed over a matter of a few days in ways that are more suited for a horror film than a dinner table. Dogs are burned, electrocuted, and boiled alive in front of each other before being served to those eagerly awaiting their “medicinal” properties. Not unlike the practice of hunting endangered rhinos to ingest their horns this practice is built up from a bizarre superstitious concept of masculinity.
The idea behind slaughtering one of the most empathetic breeds on the earth is that it boosts their virility. Fathers in a disturbing ritual to celebrate their children becoming men will take them to eat a dog that will more likely than not die in horrific fashion. Too many of those overseas see what they are doing to be no different than the American system in place for the consumption of say chicken or beef, which be an accurate statement were it not for the fact that in the United States these are industries face a great deal of regulation and public scrutiny, whereas places like Mainland China have no formal animal welfare laws on record.
To get into the more alarming practices of dog consumption the first thing that should be addressed is the idea that the fear and suffering the animal goes through makes the meat taste better. Not only does that sound like a quote from Hannibal Lecter, but a minimal level of research could tell you that frightened animal’s meat is measurably tainted. The practices which could understandably make someone lose the desire to eat for the next two weeks include sticking an electrode in the dogs mouth and providing shocks until the dog is dead, placing the dog in water and proceeding to boil it alive, torching the dog to burn it alive, and worst of all hanging the dog by neck and then beating it to death for the sole purpose of terrifying it. Furthermore in China for the Yunlin festival where 10,000 dogs are brutally prepared and eaten some of the dogs are stolen pets or abducted strays. As if the horrific conditions farmed dogs lived in wasn’t enough abducting a loved pet and then brutally killing it seems like an additional level of needless cruelty.
To finally bring things to a more upbeat note, activists throughout the world are actually moving to do all that they can to help transition theses markets away from a dependence on the production and sale of dog meat. As a lot of these regions modernize and pets become of a more status symbol, the idea of raising dogs for slaughter becomes unappealing even to those directly involved. Most would be willing to transition to a different career or even place the dogs up for adoption if they had the money to do so. For this reason groups such as the Change for Animals Foundation have begun paying farmers cash settlements in order to have them sign a legally binding contract and agree to supervision insuring they no longer raise dogs for slaughter. These settlements have reached amounts as large as 60,000–a strong show of commitment but also the fact that the disgusting practice of torturing and killing dogs is so deeply ingrained in to the economy that for one man to walk away he needed 60,000 dollars.
Cruelty seems like an inescapable reality in the modern world, something that most people only hope to shelter themselves against rather than eliminate. Yet when certain issues come to light like say burning alive the animal that many people consider the embodiment of unconditional love, it’s reassuring to see people actually raising up to take a stand. Ending a centuries old practice across multiple countries probably won’t be the quickest process but the easiest labors are always labors of love.