De­bate on dog meat should end

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

Of­fi­cials in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang au­ton­o­mous re­gion, have made a pub­lic an­nounce­ment say­ing the lo­cal govern­ment has noth­ing to do with the dog meat-eat­ing fes­ti­val, and orally asked restaurants not to slaugh­ter dogs in pub­lic or at­tract din­ers for dog meat dishes through slo­gans and posters. This sud­den change in the at­ti­tude of Yulin of­fi­cials has sur­prised lo­cal res­i­dents and ne­ti­zens both, says an ar­ti­cle in Qian­jiang Evening News. Ex­cerpts:

Ear­lier, the Yulin lo­cal govern­ment had adopted a quite neu­tral at­ti­tude to­ward the dog meat-eat­ing fes­ti­val and sell­ing of dog meat de­spite the is­sue spark­ing a de­bate across the coun­try. Per­haps the lo­cal of­fi­cials were ini­tially in­dif­fer­ent to the is­sue be­cause they were not both­ered about lo­cal res­i­dents and/or tourists eat­ing, or not eat­ing, dog meat; what mat­tered most to them was whether the dog meat-eat­ing fes­ti­val at­tracted more tourists and thus busi­ness to in­crease the lo­cal GDP.

It’s pos­si­ble that the lo­cal govern­ment now has re­al­ized the im­pact on the lo­cal econ­omy of a large num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing Yulin be­cause of the con­tro­versy. Maybe be­cause of this re­al­iza­tion, it has asked restaurants not to pro­mote dog meat dishes.

If that is in­deed the case, then the lo­cal govern­ment’s lat­est move is a more di­rect and ef­fec­tive way to re­spond to people’s dif­fer­ent views and tastes. But an­i­mal rights ac­tivists protest­ing against the slaugh­ter of dogs and sell­ing of dog meat have not yet re­al­ized this and are still call­ing dog meat eaters “un­civ­i­lized” and “killers of man’s best friend”.

On the other hand, dog meat eaters in­sist they have the right to de­cide what to eat, claim­ing that the prac­tice of eat­ing dog meat can be traced to me­dieval Europe and even mod­ern­day South Korea.

With the lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cially declar­ing its stance, the de­bate should end with­out any win­ners, be­cause people still con­tinue to eat dog meat, al­beit in fewer num­bers, and an­i­mal rights ac­tivists say their protests are re­spon­si­ble for the re­duc­tion in the num­ber of dog meat eaters.

A per­son has the right to de­cide whether he/ she will eat dog meat or not. Of course, it will hurt the feel­ings of dog lovers and an­i­mal rights ac­tivists. But that does not mean that those op­posed to the prac­tice of eat­ing dog meat should force other to fol­low their dic­tum and call people who eat dog meat “sav­ages”. A bet­ter and more civ­i­lized op­tion for an­i­mal rights ac­tivists would be to make doc­u­men­tary films and pro­pa­ganda ma­te­rial on the im­por­tance of dogs and use them to ed­u­cate the people and turn them into dog lovers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.