Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

Chinese man bites dog, swallows


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posted March 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm

What is so disturbing? You can see worse in any puppy mill. Food is food. Gotta go. Soylent Green just came into the Safeway.

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jen a

posted March 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Adam Minter had a piece on about how the dog meat question has become something of a new class struggle. Titled “Rich Dog, Poor Dog”. One source he quotes is that once per capita GDP reaches $3,000, pet ownership increases rapidly. In first tier cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, this has been achieved. It’s almost as though dogs-as-pets is part of the status of middle class, as if to day “Our parents and grandparents and even rural cousins still eat them, but we are so economically well-off we can let them lie about the apartment all day.”

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Sotto Voce

posted March 9, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Sometimes, I ask myself aloud: “How emotionally dissociated does one have to be to kill and eat an animal that has so intimately co-evolved to serve as a companion to human beings?”
On the other hand, there have been a handful of individual dogs I’d consider it a pleasure to eat. Grilled. Fried. BBQ. Whatever.

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Francis Beckwith

posted March 9, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I think you’re barking up the wrong tree, Rod.

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posted March 10, 2010 at 1:37 am

As my Chinese father-in-law commented about a family watchdog turned sweet and sour, “He wouldn’t obey. We ate him.” There’s something very economical about that. Tastes terrible, by the way.

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Grumpy Old Man

posted March 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

A pig is as intelligent as a dog. It seems this is a cultural prejudice. As an American dog-owner, I find it distasteful, but it’s not a moral question unless one embraces vegetarianism generally for moral reasons.
However, dogs and cats are basically predators. It’s not very efficient to dine on predators, as opposed to herbivores like goats, rabbits, and cattle.

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John E. Agn Stoic

posted March 10, 2010 at 9:58 am

Cultures have the ethics they can afford.

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posted March 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

Re: Cultures have the ethics they can afford.
The interesting thing is that you would think this, but it isn’t necessarily true. To stay just on the topic of dietary taboos, a lot of Indian Hindus would not eat meat even if they were really hungry (perhaps in the last extremity, but not before). I lived for a few years in an African country which was extremely poor, and where malnutrition was very common. In spite of that, people from different clans had various animals that they were bound by custom not to eat, even if they had no other meat to put on the table (depending on the family it might be sheep, goats, ducks, certain fish, etc.). In many regards our moral standards have gotten laxer (to use the classic example, the shift from limited warfare in the medieval period to total warfare in the twentieth century) even as we have gotten richer.

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John E, - Agn Stoic

posted March 10, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Hector, one author I’ve read, possibly Asimov, speculated that the Indian religious taboos against beef evolved from the economic need to protect the cattle, which are important draft animals and sources of milk, from being slaughtered in times of famine.

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posted March 10, 2010 at 2:20 pm

John E., I agree the economic argument for the Indian religious taboo against beef is a valid one. And further highlighted by the fact that the Vedas do not forbid eating beef (or any other animal for that matter). I know devout Hindus who have no compunction about eating beef because scripture doesn’t prohibit it.
Anyway, I don’t find the Chinese practice of eating dog to be all that vile. If the animal is raised as food, it is food, not a pet. And I’m the proud parent (haha, parent) of a 7-yr old Beagle that I would never eat!

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Joe - Tucson

posted April 10, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Usually you see poorly trained dogs biting people, not the other way around! Shame on him. I hope they send him to some behavioral school! 😀

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