In the United States, and many other countries in the world, the thought of eating canine meat is grotesque. It is seen as a barbaric trade that is brutal and cruel. In America we love our pets and think of them as members of our family, but in some parts of the world the domesticated animals that we see as pets are seen only for their ability to provide sustenance to humans. Members of Parliament (MPs) in the United Kingdom are seeking to ban the business of selling dogs for meat.
The UK government will be writing to the country’s embassies in countries where dog meat is consumed. They will be urging them to increase efforts to push for an end to the trade. In a Commons debate, Foreign Office Minister James Duddridge made the commitment to write the letters as MPs described the dog meat trade as “disgusting” and “inhumane”. Called a tradition in many countries, the dog meat trade has been highly protested in recent years.
Rob Flello, Labour MP, says that a country’s tradition cannot be used as a cover for barbaric practices. He called for specific action to stop the dog meat festival that is held in south-west China every year. If you remember, The Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, held in Yulin in Guangxi province in China, sparked many large protests when it was held back in June. 10,000 dogs were said to have been slaughtered at the festival. Residents and vendors attending the festival claim that the canines are killed in a humane way.
At a backbench business debate in the Commons, Mr. Flello summed his view up nicely by saying:
“I don't believe that it is generally the role of this House to tell societies abroad what they should and shouldn't do based on Western sensibilities. But we cannot allow for tradition to be used as a smokescreen for practices that are barbaric, cruel, inhumane, disgusting – pick any word you can possibly pick and it will not come close to what we are discussing here today.”
I cannot agree with Mr. Flello more. It may not be the right of the UK government, or any government for that matter, to tell another country what they should do based on the views of Western society. However, when the practice is cruel and unnecessary, something must be done.
More and more research is done every day that is proving the cognitive ability of canines. Dogs already do so much to help humans, and we are training them to do more things every day. Canines help us track criminals, locate explosives and aid in search and rescue missions. They also have the ability to support us emotionally and help disabled humans perform countless jobs.
I understand the platform of animal rights, and there are many species on this planet that are not treated properly, but this article is about canine issues alone – more specifically the canine meat trade. Dogs are more than just simple animals that serve one purpose. They can do so many amazing things, and to raise and slaughter them for meat is a disgusting trade that is barbaric and evil.
This issue is not just one sided. There are people who believe that the only purpose animals serve is to feed humans. It’s the food chain, and that is the only way they see it.
Is it the right of another country’s government to say that these practices are wrong? Simon Hoare, Conservative MP, expressed his sympathies for Flello’s motion, but also warned against the dangers that these actions could bring, saying that if the UK MPs take the “imperialist route,” they may get the desired outcome but it could very well be followed by “very fierce backlash.”