Animals

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I have no inspiration to write at the moment… so this post may become one of those rambling post where I just dumped my thoughts on the keyboard.

Recently on my social media I saw a lot of ‘call to protest’ and to stop this certain dog-meat festival that is happening in certain country later this month. I don’t want to put on any specific details, I’m sure it’s googlable. (Hey, new word: Googlable!)

Many of my friends are protesting against this festival for obvious reasons. That dogs are pets, they are human’s best friends, they are cute, etc etc. There are pictures of dogs in various states of ‘going to the slaughterhouse’ – bound up, crammed in cages, etc. Those pictures made me cringe.

Yes I’m against this dog-meat festival. I’m also against cruelty to other animals. Pictures of chickens, cows, pigs going to the slaughterhouse also made me cringe. I see no difference between dogs and cats and chickens and cows and pigs.

I grew up eating meat. Like most people I’m conditioned to see certain animals as pets and certain animals as food. I had dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, turtle as pets. And I ate chicken, beef, pork, and fish daily. There were a few times when my mom purchased a live rooster for cooking – and so I witnessed the slaughtering process up close. I remembered I felt sorry for the rooster, it obviously didn’t want to die, but I suppose it was a quick (albeit painful) process, slit by the throat and had the blood drained out. Yet I happily gobbled down the cooked rooster at dinner time.

In university one of my project is about recycling. And so I read a lot about environmental sustainability that time. I found that one of the action we can do towards sustainability is to eat less meat, due to the resources needed to produce meat. Then I started to venture into vegetarianism. At the beginning it was just an experiment, just to see if I can survive without eating meat. After I graduated university, got a job etc, and I found yoga, and found out one of the Yama, the universal morality, is Ahimsa, translated as ‘non-violence’. Non-violence towards all beings, not only to humans. So there’s more reason for me to not eat meat.

After not eating meat for a while I didn’t even want it. A plate of juicy steak used to be a yummy fare for me, but after not eating meat for a while a hunk of meat becomes overwhelming.

I admit I still eat little pieces and bits if it’s in a cooking like soups or stir-fry and it wasn’t convenient for me to ask for a non-meat version, for example if I’m at home and mom cooked for the whole family. But if I have full control of what I order or cook, I opted meat out.

Anyway. Back to the dog-meat festival. I once ate a small piece of dog meat, in a Batak restaurant, a long long time ago, because I was curious of the taste. It tasted like meat, I couldn’t tell the difference. (Batak is an ethnic group from the North Sumatra, they commonly consumed dog meat)

Viewing certain animals as food, and certain animals as pets, is a culture thing. Like in India, cows are viewed as friends of the family because it help them mow the land, gave them milk, and thus not to be eaten. So cows roam freely and happily, undisturbed. Yet I saw a documentary recently where these cows are smuggled to the borders of the country, because the neighboring countries view cows as food.

Wether a certain animal is food or not food is cultural. There are even cultures or group of people who view other people as food. Read more here: Cannibalism – a history of people who eat people.

I hope the dog-meat festival will not happen, that enough people protest and make it stop. At the same time, I also hope that more and more people eat less meat, so less chickens, cows, pigs, lambs, fish, etc got slaughtered. The dog-meat festival is a once a year thing, whereas the slaughter houses operates everyday to meet the demand of consumers.

What’s the difference between a dog and a cow? Between a cat and a chicken? They’re all animals. Not that much different with us.

Image source: Getting to know each other by Blue Gum

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3 thoughts on “Animals

  1. You’d have to trick me to eat dog meat, and I’d hate whoever tricked me for life.

    I think all life can be violent to something. Eating plants isn’t less violent just because the plants don’t scream when they get whacked or bleed water/sap instead of blood. As humans with “higher minds” (which some would say just think too much), we simply are more sensitive to certain details or matters we observe/perceive with a sort of empathy which may become warped or excessive. But, just like sensitivity to violence on TV/film, we may be conditioned to tolerate more…or less.

    I’ve said this before about vegans and vegetarians; if we all were vegetarian, 1) the food chain would be thrown off balance. and 2) we’d exhaust and pollute plants more often than we do now with both meat and plants being consumed. Plants would be in short supply or fought over because a big section of the food supply just became protected life.

    What’s next? Well, I named my pumpkin. I don’t want her to get eaten. Oh, yea, I gave it a gender. Uh oh. 🙂

    • The food chain is off balance as it is now. A lot of agriculture products, instead of consumed directly by humans, are feed to the factory farmed animals, which in turn eaten by humans. I don’t think plants will ever be in short supply. When the demand for factory farming meats lessened, the number of animals breed will also reduced, the plants consumed by the animals will also be reduced. Eating less meat means consuming less resources, and also less cruel. Plants doesn’t have nociceptor so they don’t feel pain the way animals do.

      • Oh, you don’t? Well, at best, humans would mass produce plants the way they do chickens and other factory-generated animals for food which are not the best for human consumption. But, I still suspect there will come a point when human consumption outweighs supply or we consume the planet like ants at a picnic until war breaks out. If we were true to the food chain, there would be something taking humans out. Oh, wait, there are plenty of diseases doing that, now. So, I guess they are top of the food chain no other species wants to touch. Not even aliens from other planets.

        Say what you will, but I suspect plants have an intelligence we don’t yet understand.

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