It’s already started. The notorious Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which takes place in southern China, is underway. The “festival” is not a celebration of dogs; it is a celebration of dog meat.
Beagles, golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, collies, chows, muts, you name it, are often stolen from people’s yards and the streets and violently beaten to death for human consumption.
The anti-Chinese racism is underway as well – much of it from passionate dog lovers. Horrified by the practices in Yulin, activists have lashed out at China, perhaps without realizing that only 8 percent of Chinese consume dog meat. Do we forget that 98 percent of Americans consume cows, chicken, fishes, goats and pigs?
Pigs, dogs — are they really so different?
People who live with pigs understand they are not. All animals feel pain, all animals love their young, all animals desire freedom of movement. If animals didn’t feel these emotions and desires, how would they survive?
Animals regarded as mere things or as cogs in a machine in this country suffer – the same as the dogs of China. Yet do you see Americans taking to the streets to protest this violence? Not often. But recently in China over one hundred thousand people came out to protest the dog trade and some animal rights groups based in the United States have joined them asking the government of China to stop this horror. So far, Chinese officials haven’t budged.
It’s not so hard to understand the reluctance. What if millions of Chinese sent petitions calling on the American government to stop the production and consumption of animal products? Would Americans suddenly shut down butcher counters, restaurants and animal farms? Absolutely not.
I would suggest that the American reaction to some Chinese eating dogs smacks of colonialism. Americans and Europeans arrive to save the day and stop the barbarism of the “developing nations.”
How easy it is to point a finger at others and fail to see our own complicity.
The United States kills some 9 billion land animals a year. Each American eats, on average, 270 lbs. of meat per year. Each Chinese person eats about 130 pounds a year. Yet we sit on our couches watching ABC’s recent episode of “Nightline” recoiling in horror at the cruel exploitation of dogs in China.
How helpful it would have been if the producers of the show had also, at the very least, noted the violence, suffering and anguish inherent in our own system of animal agriculture? While the horrors of the dog meat trade are indisputable, true change must start with an unsparing assessment of our own behavior.
True understanding must start with the realization that all nonhuman animals are deeply connected to human animals. Scientists have even shown that rats have empathy and will forgo food to help another rat.When will us humans achieve that same level of compassion?
As the noted animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) proclaims, “It’s not food, it’s violence.”
— A Vicious Vegan blog post —