Sunday, April 2, 2017
Yulin Dog Meat Festival
I will occasionally receive emails from change.org informing me of trending petitions which the robots at the website believe I may be interested in signing. The latest of these petitions is one started by a self identified "professional dog groomer" from Michigan, named Jennifer Tavernier, who wishes to put an end to the Yulin Dog Meat Festival which is held annually (since 2009) at the beginning of the summer soltice, in Yulin, Guangxi, China.
Obviously, like many in the West, the woman who started this particular petition has an emotional attachment to dogs. In the petition, she writes, that ".........as a mom to three dogs — one rescued from Hurricane Katrina — I consider my dogs as family members, and would do anything to protect them".
Like it or not, not everyone shares Ms Tavernier's views on the consumption of dog meat. There are parts of Asia where the eating of dog meat is quite common and one might say Ms Tavernier's "privilege" is showing, and as pointed out in an opinion piece published at independent.co.uk/, the western distinction between dogs and farm animals is completely arbitrary.
In another example of an American who might want to check his privilege, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) has introduced legislation condemning the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and urging China to end the dog meat trade. Why this event should concern the U.S. government is beyond me.
I have no way of knowing the dietary habits of Congressman Hastings or Ms Tavernier, but many would argue that eating dog meat is no different that eating chickens, cows or pigs. At least the vegans at animalsaustralia.org, who want to abolish all consumption of animal flesh aren't hypocrites.
How would those signing Ms Tavernier's petition respond to a petition from India demanding that Americans stop eating beef, or one from the middle east asking that the U.S. give up pork? I doubt that a majority of Americans would go along with that.
In 2016, a similar petition was started by a Canadian group called RAISE UR PAW which garnered over 4 million signatures and according to the BBC, another petition calling for the festival to be banned collected 11 million signatures. These petitions have failed to stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and I doubt this latest petition will stop it either.