Thursday, October 13, 2005

Of Dog Bones and Dog Bones

To break up the political - here's a fascinating piece from the SF Chron on the swiftly changing attitudes toward dogs in Asian countries. Yes, the article addresses both dog chow and dogs as chow, which still happens in some Asian countries. If you just recoiled, consider one source cited in the article who blames Hollywood for anthropomorphizing pooches.

Then think back to how horrified you were at Katrina's human carnage. And then the "Snowball" story. The pet angle really got to you, didn't it?

So what about doggie snacks?

Yet there are those who point out that dogs are no more intelligent than other creatures that Americans quite happily consume -- pigs, for instance. And still others who suggest that by trying to impose their gastronomic morality on those who have no compunctions regarding caniphagia, Westerners are engaging in a patronizing kind of cultural colonialism.
There's a point there. It does seem less necessary to export condemnation of eating dogs than, say, female genital mutilation.

That said, you come near my Patches with a puff pastry and a smile, you will be taken down. Swiftly.

Make sure you check out this Honda concept car as well. (W.O.W. stands for Wonderfully Openhearted Wagon. Woof.)


pamela b said...

It's true. I just came back from China, and people there love their dogs. At least in the big cities.
But things are still changing, and attitudes about dogs still aren't as warm and fuzzy as they are in the U.S.
Beijing has a strict limit on the size of pets dogs. Our Beijing host believed that 'dog squads' still operate in the city. If they find your pet dog has grown over the limit, they kill it on the spot. And although I had the concept covered with "I don't eat meat," our guide book also suggested that Western travels should learn to say "I don't eat dog." We found the, um, delicacy on more than a few menus.

Anonymous said...

People in the U.S. semi-frequently have other kinds of animals as pets that we consider it perfectly acceptable to eat (excluding various vegetarians). The easiest examples are ducks (I had two ducks as a small child), rabbits, and pigs (e.g. pot bellied pigs). I agree that people in the West should be more openminded about other people eating dogs, because we do similar things here.

I'm sure Chinese dog owners (or duck owners) would also be up in arms if someone tried to eat their pet. But I bet there are lots of them that eat that same kind of meat in restauarants, much as we do here.

They're animals with different purposes in life, and we should see them that way.