28 July 2011

A few weeks ago, a canceled dog meat festival in South Korea prompted this Rice Bowl blogger to ask: What's really wrong with eating dog?

A few things, turns out.


Here is what Dr. Robinson had to say:

(1) Dogs are carnivores and are inherently different in temperament to most domestic livestock species that are more commonly raised for food. As pack animals, hierarchy is important. The dogs are crammed into cages to be transported to the markets, which leads to aggression and fighting. Equipped with efficient canine teeth — carnivore attacking carnivore — they are seen tearing into each other, inflicting horrific wounds.

(2) In many cases, dogs are bludgeoned to death slowly. They are given a blow across the muzzle, using an instrument resembling a baseball bat. The blow is not hard enough to render the animals unconscious for long — they regain consciousness within seconds, and try to get up, sliding around in the blood and crashing into other dogs also flailing around. At this point they are howling pitifully in pain and confusion, with blood and mucus pouring from their nose and mouth — only to be bludgeoned again and again.


But, to me, these arguments fail to address the crux of the issue.


So, I suppose there is a new question: Can the slaughtering of dogs be done humanely?


I'm not sure what the answer is, but given that millions of dogs are euthanized every year, it is worth talking about.

As Jonathan Safran Foer pointed out in the Wall Street Journal:

The simple disposal of these euthanized dogs is an enormous ecological and economic problem. But eating those strays, those runaways, those not-quite-cute-enough-to-take and not-quite-well-behaved-enough-to-keep dogs would be killing a flock of birds with one stone and eating it, too.

Given that we put an end to the lives of so many dogs every year, doesn't it make sense to put those lives to good use?


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