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Where Is the Line?

"Yulin Dogs"

Sitting at my desk having a listen a few old songs that have always been my favorites while reading The New York Times, the Black Eyed Peas shuffled through the playlist. Their song “Where is the Love?” popped in my head phones and I was faced with the song’s challenge to us humans who occupy this world. It seems at times that we breathing beings who can talk, use our brains to further humanity on the whole, have forgotten that the word “living” defines more than we humans. But having a brain and the ability to overpower others gives us leave to use that power. In the extreme view this “power” has led a few humans to blood-thirsty measures. I’m sure you can think of a few. Not to confuse the past with the present, but it seems in some circumstances we humans haven’t learned to progress.

The extent to which our cruelty can stretch baffles me. How is it that we’ve created these borders to separate you and I from each other, to say that our views have made us so irreversibly different? And that gives one human an excuse to dismiss another. I’d like to pull the premise further and say that this has let us even think that we can/should treat animals with cruelty.

While reading an article addressing the archaic and asinine steps in a procedure to kill dogs and sell their carcasses to those who consider dog meat a rare treat, while animal rights activists take steps forward to attempt to make the whole venture end. The Yulin Dog Meat Festival before the summer solstice, has been occurring for centuries, and quite frankly it is because of tradition and preservation of culture that it still continues.

Does that make it right? Those of you reading this are primarily thinking “no, of course not.” Sadly that thought does not scratch the surface of some and the idea that protecting and celebrating age old celebrations should continue. The medical practices of 18th century England aren’t practiced still today, most would consider that barbaric. No now we use anaesthetics. To preserve culture though, one might argue to forgo anaesthetics, would you concur? Exactly.

But there is another factor that some are neglecting to entertain as they color their picket signs to march against the festival. Are we angry because these are our pets here in the west, and we’ve always cherished cute puppies? But then we’ll sit down and eat a mass-produced burger. Listen I’m against the festival as much as the next person (even more so, having lived in China) but I have a small issue with double standards. Let’s not get confused here, cruelty to animals of any species is plain cruelty.

My point is simple. If you’re against the Yulin Dog Festival, be against the mass farming of chickens and cows too. Don’t let me catch you crying your eyes out for a starving puppy, but then laughing over a pile of chicken nuggets.

Thank you, and now I’ll step down from my soap box.


Chinese City Defends Dog Meat Festival, Despite Scorn:

Food Inc. (2008) Robert Kenner, A documentary on the corporate food industry.

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