Dog meat by mattsteinglass
November 2, 2009, 6:02 am
Filed under: Food

Living about a kilometer from a row of dog meat restaurants, I take Jonathan Safran Foer’s point that if we’re not going to eat dog, we probably shouldn’t eat anything else that has feelings. But I also believe that one’s arguments are formed in an implicit dialogue with one’s audience, and Foer is clearly speaking exclusively to a Euro-American and South Asian audience when he makes this point. There’s just no way this argument is gonna fly in East Asia or Africa. The philosophical underpinnings needed for the argument don’t exist here; they’re not present in people’s brains. I think we need to start out with the “humane practices” argument, first in the developed world — stop torturing pigs in our own slaughterhouses, etc. Then we can start making the case to East Asian farmers that you shouldn’t stuff 12 dogs into a wire cage, put it on the back of a motorbike and drive down to the market to sell them off, with the wires slamming into their paws and chests at every pothole; that you shouldn’t tie two ducks together by their feet and drape them over the handle of your motorbike, then drive along as they flap to try to keep their heads out of the spokes of the wheel; that you shouldn’t splay a pig upside-down, feet trussed, across the metal carrying rack of your motorbike; and so on. (In some places you may also need to make a similar case regarding treatment of humans. And the most effective grounds on which to make these arguments, in many places, may be religious.)


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Makes sense in a “First they came for the poodles, but I said nothing for I was not a poodle” kind of way.

Comment by citifieddoug

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