Dogs are getting a very temporary reprieve from slaughter in Beijing due to the Olympics. A farcical and pretentious gesture, especially since cats and dogs are being culled in the name of the Games. Is offence at the cruelty of dog (AND cat meat eating) limited to non-Chinese during the Olympic season?
The same measure was adopted during Seoul 1988, but today, TWO decades later, alongside China, Korea still shares the disgrace of being a dog and cat eating nation. Animal death camps, whether in China or elsewhere cause the same suffering.
As with such issues, armchair critics do tend to take potshots without thinking things through or looking first in their own backyards. So I’ll add here a quote and ask anyone who wants to condemn all of China wholesale, to please make sure you’re not abetting this atrocity:
Undercover videos taken for Swiss Animal Protection, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the Humane Society show Chinese dogs and cats trucked to market without food and water, pulled from their cages, sometimes disemboweled, sometimes bashed on the ground to stun them, then hanged by wires, and skinned alive. These investigations led to a ban on the importation of dog and cat fur to the United States, Australia and a few countries in the Europe Union in the early 2000s. A full EU ban will take effect on Jan. 1, 2009.
These steps haven’t ended the killing. A 2008 investigation by the Humane Society revealed that Chinese dog and cat fur continues to be exported to Russia, where it’s turned into clothing and figurines. Since borders are porous, and only a DNA test can reveal the difference between the fur of domestic and wild species, the trade from China to Russia and on to other countries continues.
Set against the great human persecutions that China supports, the loss of these 2 million dogs and cats may seem insignificant. Nonetheless, each one of them is a life, full of consciousness and joy, as anyone who has lived with a dog or cat knows. Many of them are pets, mourned by Chinese families. It’s one more shadow cast by the Olympic flame.
The current spotlight on China’s human rights record fails to illuminate its cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs and cats.
By Ted Kerasote
‘Other countries’ where fur products land up include Singapore, my home country just 1 degree north of the equator.