Perspective: What's Okay to Eat?
This is a bit of a throwback for me, having had this conversation with a South Korean friend of mine years ago as she explained to me why it’s okay to eat dogs in South Korea and how dog meat was all her family could afford back home (and only a few times a year at that), all to my dismay as this wasn’t a particularly common or comfortable discussion for me at the time. I distinctly recall being rather disturbed by the whole thing (while regularly eating meat, by the way). I feel this is relevant given the recent outrage that culminated in the form of a petition with approximately 4.2 million signatures as of this writing due to the annual dog meat festival in Yulin, China. Let’s take a moment and attempt to evaluate the problem with this picture.
There are millions of vegetarians and vegans worldwide and the numbers continue to grow in the United States, with approximately 5% of the population in one of these categories. Despite the possibility that many of the petition-signers are in fact vegetarian or vegan, what we have here is carnism at work in all of its glorious hypocrisy. Dogs are considered “man’s best friend” in the United States and are given a pet status that comes with a serious stigma when it comes to the slaughter and consumption of dogs, even elsewhere. But this, much like the taboo of consuming horse meat, is complete nonsense. I’m not calling for the slaughter and consumption of dogs, as much as I’m going to put it bluntly: if you consume pigs, cows and/or chickens and signed the petition (or are simply outraged by the festival), it’s time to re-evaluate how you think about your food and whether or not you have any place criticizing those that also choose to eat meat, particularly when it’s an animal that you don’t believe is appropriate for consumption. I read in the petition that “thousands of dogs will suffer, be butchered, beaten to death, skinned alive and eaten,” and if true, that’s absolutely tragic. However, these exact circumstances occur on a daily basis for billions of chickens, cows and pigs (which are just as intelligent as dogs, by the way).
Thus, I challenge all non-vegans that take issue with the Chinese festival to ask yourselves one simple question: Why is dog meat unacceptable to you while beef, chicken and pork are absolutely fine?
Image source: https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-people-s-republic-of-china-stop-the-yulin-dog-meat-eating-festival?source_location=search_index&algorithm=curated_trending