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Fighting the Dog Meat Trade

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

It’s easy to prefer dogs to people. The loyalty. The unconditional love. Humans may be at the top of the food chain, but as my brother says: Shit floats to the top.

I scroll past news articles about human cruelty, without a tear in my eye. But I cry like a baby when shown images of cruelty against dogs. As a species, we’re collectively sick and tired of each other, with good reason: There’s 7 billion of us. But only five northern white rhinos in the world… (Just one of which is male, guarded by armed rangers 24/7 and fixed with radio transmitters to increase security). Only about 700 mountain gorillas surviving in the wild. Maybe around 3,200 tigers.

It’s useful to keep things in perspective - in order to feed our ravenous growth, we’ve been annihilating everything else for quite a while now. We may not get as mad about illegal whaling or a decreased number of pandas. But we are truly angry that over in some Asian countries, some people are torturing dogs (our best friend after all!) and then boiling them alive to eat. That’s the limit of what we'll tolerate.

Although we will very happily boil a lobster to death, we´re a little squeamish about boiling a dog to death. We can´t relate to the emotions of a lobster, so obviously their feelings don´t count (or even exist) – a very serious flaw in human reasoning and a failure to fulfil our capacity for compassion. In a brilliant essay (that you must read) entitled “The Cetacean Brain and Hominid Perceptions of Cetacean Intelligence” Captain Paul Watson (my favourite captain) discussed how human beings are not the most intelligent life-form on the planet; that we can’t even begin to compare intelligence between species.

We often express childlike delight when discovering that animals from different species have formed loving relationships with each other (such as in the case of best friends, Mr. G the goat and Jellybean the donkey) - but why should we be surprised that other animals have a capacity for love, loyalty, family and companionship? With an absence of human ego and selfishness, we would take these connections for granted.

Recently in Brazil, police raided a home, ordering gang members to get down on the floor. The gang´s pet dog also surrendered, lying on the ground with his pals, belly-up, to show his submission. As the dog was not actually under arrest, the police tried to make him leave, but he wouldn´t. He was prepared to go down with his gang, and he had their back to the end. So let the world crash and burn around us. Let the apocalypse come - but spare the puppies. Dogs are better than us, and we know it.

Therefore, despite our generally barbaric treatment of each other and everything else, the majority of us have decided to draw the line when it comes to mistreating dogs (you have to start somewhere). I received a heart-warming newsletter from John Dalley, Co-Founder, Soi Dog Foundation, updating me that the fight against dog meat traders has been taken to the UK parliament/UK House of Commons. “Which means international pressure is growing to end this despicable trade.

I think this is absolutely fabulous! But I am also wondering if there are an increasing number of starving people throughout Asia, and the world? If this is the case – then eating dogs is simply a symptom of a much larger problem. Sure, we can fight the symptoms that we’re uncomfortable with. But what are we doing to address the real problems?

Things to do:

  • Stop Cooking Live Animals - sign the petition
  • Support The UK Parliament's Call To End The Dog Meat Trade! - sign the petition
  • Buy a billboard that tells Thai people about the dog meat trade and offers a reward to help shut it down
  • Donate today to help Soi Dog continue helping the dogs of Thailand
  • Share my blog post and help spread the word!

 

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