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A Note from China

In response to Thursday's Good News/Bad News, Chris sent the following (from China) and I posted it, but it disappeared. So here it is again:

Several overlapping groups of "cat lovers", and animal rights activists are involved in anti-cat meat movement.

The speciesist contradiction is there, but, here's a news flash: That contradiction is an issue actively being discussed among the participants in this movement.

You will be happy to know that about 30% of all the communication on this topic in relevant email lists has to do with the contradictions implicit in favoring cats or "pets" over other animals, and there is tremendous amount of talk of about veganism — far more than I've seen among comparable American "pet" rescue groups.

And the level of  peer-to-peer communication and openness and democratic speech rules going on among these groups would be very inspiring to the non-Chinese world if more Western media outlets were a bit less myopic and a bit more linguistically enabled.

(You simply cannot accept the random quote from ANY Western news media report on China as authoritative. The quotes used are generally the ones they UNDERSTOOD, or that their translator managed to capture.)

The main list I'm on is Animal Rights China — which is related to the  China Companion Animal Network. Right now, both groups are all talking actively about the cat meat issue, on cross-posted email discussion lists, and it's a wonderful, civilized, diverse, intelligent dialogue between vegans and non-vegans, united by a common concern for the cats in those crates.

These folks over here, ranging in age from 17 to 78 years of age, are doing grassroots, peer-to-peer, townhall meeting style-activism.

CCAPN, unlike HSUS, uses the word "companion animal", not "pet", and even the term "companion animal" comes under fire by its own members for being anthropocentric.

I wish more people could read Chinese!

Please, please, please let  know that China and Chinese people are doing amazing things for animals, in very sophisticated and groundbreaking ways, with amazing speed, courage and selflessness, and you should basically read every single Western news report with the caveat that "this is only about 5% of the whole picture" on any given issue. Too few news reporters over here speak Chinese and even fewer can read it, and international reports on the Guangdong cat meat markets are already blurring the distinctions between "China" and "Guangdong."

As I've said many times before, it is time to put down the "anti-China" attitude. China IS solving its own problems, and our role is to support their solutions just as they will support our solutions. We're all in this together.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I appreciate this comment. If there's going to be a culture war, it needs to be between people who love animals vs. people who hate animals. It needs not be the west vs. the east or America vs. China or people who eat chickens vs. people who eat cats. In every society where injustice occurs, some people rebel against it. We don't always see them or recognize their actions, but they're there. They're ALWAYS there.

    December 21, 2008

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