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South Korea Challenges China in Cruelty Olympics

In S. Korea Kills Animals to Stop Bird Flu (AP), Bo-Mi Lim reports that, well, South Korea is killing animals to stop the spread of bird flu. Notice how there’s no mention of birds being killed (not that they should be). No, South Korea thinks outside-the-box. They’re not gonna do something so silly as to focus on birds as transmitters of H5N1. They’re focusing on dogs, cats, mice and pigs, to, I don’t know, maybe sneak up on the virus from someplace really unexpected.

As my husband would say, Is this real?

There’s a plethora of good material in this one. Let’s deconstruct:

  • The article begins with a reference to a 2-year-old dachshund barking while being chained to "its" dingy, wooden house, unaware of "its" fate. First of all, I’m so over referring to animals as objects. But that’s not necessarily the author’s fault, as AP style says that’s acceptable. But what makes anyone think that being chained to a dingy house, spending your time barking in discontent, is worse than being slaughtered by a cruel, ignorant bunch of bureaucrats?
  • One dog and pig owner was worried about losing the pigs. "Dogs are good for keeping us amused. But pigs–it costs us a lot to buy those pigs." People like that shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs or pigs.
  • Have I mentioned that there’s no evidence that killing dogs, cats, and pigs will do anything to stop the spread of bird flu?
  • Yesterday, 677 dogs bred on farms for their meat, 300 pigs, and stray cats and mice were killed.
  • Now, here’s something I don’t get. Why is it that it’s always the rural villager-types who have absolutely no concern for any creature who isn’t human. According to Bo-Mi Lim, "many villagers . . . appeared nonchalant about the slaughtering of their dogs, who are usually kept outside in cages or chained." Meanwhile, the city folk are pampering their pooches with expensive doggie accessories. Why is it that the ethic toward animals changes as you move into the city (not the ethic of the government, but of the people)? I even find that in South Florida. Where does that come from? Anyone . . . . Anyone . . . . Bueller . . . . Bueller.

It looks like China finally has some substantial competition in the animal-cruelty Olympics.

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