On the Banning of Eating Cats and Dogs in China
I've been blogging here less partly because I've been blogging at Animal Rights & AntiOppression (check out my latest post "On Corporate Personhood and Animal Rights" and the better-than-the-post comments) but also because I've been feeling like a broken record and I don't want to bore anyone.
It seems like the answer to most questions/responses to most issues is one of these:
- It's just another excuse people have concocted because they like the taste of cow/pig/chicken/fish flesh.
- It's not difficult once you get the hang of it–it's just different at first.
- We can care about animals and people at the same time; they're not mutually exclusive.
- If you don't have to enslave, rape, dominate, or kill someone (or have someone else do it for you), why would you? Why choose enslavement, rape, domination and slaughter?
- Just because you did something for years doesn't mean it has some magical inherent value and you should continue to do it today and tomorrow.
Sometimes an article has a couple of the above, as in the case of "Chinese Legal Experts Call for a Ban on Eating Cats and Dogs."
- Legal experts in China are proposing a ban on the eating of dogs and cats.
- Many people support this, particularly affluent types, who have become dog and cat people and now own them as "pets." This is what I hear: The wealthier people become, the more likely they are to want to own others for their pleasure.
- The reasoning is fascinating: "We are proposing that all dog and cat eating should be banned because it is causing many social problems." So the ban isn't being suggested because eating cats and dogs is wrong, but because it's creating conflict. No one will propose a ban on eating chickens because there's no conflict there.
- Here's an interesting combination of great sentiment and horrible sentiment that involves two responses from the above list: "Online critics said it was hypocritical to protect only dogs and cats, and that the government should focus on human welfare before protecting animals." Yes, it is hypocritical (speciesism), but who said that we either protect humans or animals? Where do people get that idea?
- Let's just say the ban was meaningful. Notice how the story ends: "The focus has now been narrowed to prevention of animal abuse, which is defined as inflicting unnecessary pain and brutality." So we went from a ban to a vague statement about the prevention of abuse that clearly doesn't consider slaughter abusive. And I'm sure it will be claimed that what is done to the dogs and cats is necessary and isn't brutal. Or if it's brutal it is necessary. I think we all know where this is going. It sounds like it might not even help cats and dogs in a meaningful way.
Now, I haven't heard from Chris, who lives in Beijing, regarding this issue. He often has insight into why something might be different in action than what I think in theory when it comes to China. But my initial reaction is that this is like Americans giving up "red meat." All they do thereafter is replace cows with chickens and pigs and fish.
What do you think?