Myths and Facts about China – Dog-Eating

You have the right to feel uncomfortable about anything, but don’t be sanctimonious.


First off, dog eating – yes, that is a fact. Although not common, it is practiced, and thousands of dogs are killed each year. Before you jump in to condemn it as an abominable crime against human’s best friends, one quick question: are you a vegan? If the answer is yes, that you condemn all forms of torture and slaughter of animals equally, you have my deepest respect. I agree that animals deserve better, and we have no right to subject them to human will, but I confess it is my weakness that I simply don’t have the will to eliminate all meat product from my menu permanently.  But if you feast on animal flesh no less than I do, be it turkey, pork or beef, and you are appalled by the idea of dog eating –  that is the textbook definition of hypocrisy.

You may find it difficult to stomach the thought that the animals that are frolicking in millions of people’s households, enjoying every right as the beloved member of the family, are caged in tiny cells to be slaughtered and served on dinner tables. Well, so do I. But does the death of a hog, which is an even more sensitive animal than a dog, strike anything in you at all? Many hogs live in even more deplorable conditions than dogs, subject to prolonged torture and overfed each day just to be slaughtered for their tasty flesh.

In fairness, China’s per capita meat consumption is only half that of an average US citizen. But surely dogs deserve better – they have been humans’ loyal friends and servants for thousand of years, and what have pigs ever done to even compare with that? Dogs are indeed known for their benevolent and servile nature, which was cultivated when humans began to domesticate them from savage wolves, crossbreeding them excessively for their cuteness and servility, until they have lost the ability to survive in the wild on their own and have to rely on their masters. It is the most successful enslavement. Maybe they are happier as pets than as wild animals, maybe they are not, there’s no way to find out. What we do know is that in domesticating them we have assumed the role of a superior being, taking our ability to force our will on nature as justification for our right to do so. It certainly would be cruel to strip them of their natural instincts only to feed on them, but then again, the people that eat dogs today are not the ones that domesticated them in the first place. So what makes dog eating different from eating other species of animals is exactly the kind of human arrogance that presumes other animals should naturally be subject to our will. Ironic isn’t it