Across the space of last 24 hours, I have received two very contrasting posts on my Facebook page. One related to the Yulin Dog Meat Eating Festival. The dialogue contained therein briefly outlined the ghastly cruelties that are performed upon countless thousands of rounded up strays and kidnapped domestic pets at this time of year. For the record, I'm well aware of this festival and others like it in the Far East, and the horrific pictures were not nearly as gruesome as some I've seen.
The posting extolled readers to sign a petition to the President of the People's Republic of China demanding that this 'cultural event' be stopped (when I signed there were already several hundred thousand signatures), and requested that signees share the posting upon their personal page. Needless to say, I signed and shared it. The friend who had put it on his wall owns a Boxer dog. His accompanying message read "These hideous practices are not remotely acceptable in the 21st century." I agree.
The second posting was from Animals Australia. I subscribe to their page because they are an animal welfare/rights group who support a 'no harm' philosophy to living and go to considerable effort to promote the welfare and sanctity of being of what are most commonly dismissed by most as simply 'farm animals'. (Probably unknown to them their stance is wholly in accordance with that of the etheric.) The post showed a video highlighting the intelligence, playfulness and lovable nature of cows. It was nice, but not surprising to me. I've seen many others like it, including one that showed the beautiful picture of a cow, obviously adoring attention being lavished upon it, that is at the header of this blog. I am well aware of what 'farm animals' are capable of in their relationships with us, if given a chance.
Of course what I was struck by was the massive irony that such a fuss was being made about the fate of the Yulin dogs, who are only due to be experiencing what befalls 'farm animals' every day, the whole world over. Don't get me wrong. I'm disgusted and appalled by their treatment. The thought of it upsets me deeply. But so does knowing the suffering that cows, sheep, pigs, chicken et al go through.
If you delve a little more deeply into the Yulin festival, you will discover descriptions of heinous atrocities being perpetuated against man's best friend that will turn your stomach; and if you are a dog lover, likely leave you in shock, if not in tears. They get me that way. But with even less effort, you can discover vile and barbaric things being done to other gentle, peaceful, harmless and loving souls whose only crime is that they are more commonly thought of as 'food' and not as 'pets'. Do you dare to do the research? Can you bear to watch the agonies and terror they go through? If Yulin upsets you, why doesn't this? Surely these hideous practices are not remotely acceptable in the 21st century.
I know for a fact that my friend is a meat eater and I know that he would have little sympathy with what is being written here. Yet his outrage stems from the quirk of fate that has determined that it's OK to eat some animals and not others. Aside from considerations of size, physical appeal, feeding costs and general practicality, there is no reason why any 'farm animal' could not be considered a 'pet'. Some are lucky enough to be so and apparently reciprocate the love showed to them with every bit as much enthusiasm as a dog.. But it just so happens that the choice about which beasts we keep alongside us as companion animals was made a long time ago, and we've gone along with that choice ever since. So now it seems abhorrent to us that some cultures should eat what our society chose as something 'better' than foodstuff. It has nothing to do with taste or the quality of the meat. It's just a choice that makes one acceptable and not the other, when the reality of it should be that these hideous practices, i.e. eating any other sentient being, should not be remotely acceptable in the 21st century.
Of course this theme is not new for me. It's a mere eight months since I wrote the blog 'The Animal Lover Hypocrisy' which I am aware pursued a very similar line; but I don't apologise; I want to rattle cages again, it's such a massively important point for old souls to 'get'. I was criticized after that blog by someone who didn't feel that it was really about dogs. My response then is as it is now. Why do you think we have dogs in the first place? What lessons do you think you can learn from your dogs? If you find Yulin and its like as distasteful as my friend, why oh why are you still thinking it's OK to eat meat (or fish) of any kind?