Tag Archives: dog meat

Thailand Battles A Dog Napping Crimewave

19 Apr

From Channel 4 News:

It’s a terrible time to be a dog in Bangkok. It’s not so much a reflection on the city itself – although heaven knows it’s no pooch paradise.

There’s little in the way of green space, the roads are over-run with traffic and it is stinking hot most of the time. When I’m sweating through my suit jacket, I sometimes wonder how I’d get on if I’d been born a Siberian husky.

No, the problem here is more about every day, on-the-street dog reality – and I can tell you that if you’ve got four legs and a keen sense of smell, this is one heck of a tough place to be.

In fact, if the UN or the good folks at ‘Modern Dog’ magazine were to rank the planet’s best places for canines and their masters, Bangkok is going to struggle to beat war-ravaged Mogadishu.

So, here’s the deal. Over the last five months, the Thai border police have made a series of spectacular animal seizures in the north east. Tens of thousands of dogs have been discovered, stuffed into ‘pig cages’, with ten or sometimes even fifteen animals packed into each one.

The cages were stacked up high on the back of flat-bed trucks destined for southern China and Vietnam. The animals were in a terrible condition – fleas, broken limbs, nasty skin conditions – you name it. We saw footage of Thai policemen retching from the smell as they tossed the crates off the back of the trucks.

The animals were heading for regional dinner tables – and the ‘dog-meat’ stands offering ‘thit cho’ and a coke in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Served roasted, stewed or in a shark-fin style soup, the meat is praised for its powers as an aphrodisiac – and in this auspicious, super-lucky ‘Year of the Dragon’ there’s lots of loving to be getting on with in much of Southeast Asia.

Factor in this part of the world’s rapid industrialization – which means the men and women busy stitching our jeans have got more money to spend – if not the time to spend it – and you’ll understand why a small-time racquet in rural Thailand has become a big-time industry in a short period of time.

However, this developing appetite for dog-meat has run slap-bang into another recent phenomenon of the age – a formidable foe in the form of the middle-class, urban pet lover. Unsurprisingly, they don’t much like the thought of humans eating dogs – but what’s really got them hopping is a recent wave of dog-thefts sweeping the towns and cities of the nation.

With the price of the ‘right’ black and brown coated dog now fetching the equivalent of £30 to £40,  unscrupulous dog’nappers have moved into Thailand’s towns and cities, looking for an easy steal – and that’s often what they get. When the bad guys turn up in their pick-ups, the Boomprakorn family’s friendly Labrador – or Ms Wattanapanit’s furry Pomeranian – tend to do as they’re told and jump in the back.

Roger Lohanan from animal charity, Thai Animal Guardians Association, says the tantalizing cash on offer has turned dog’napping into a professional gig. “Everyone wants to get in on this,” he told me sadly. “The dog-men get a truck and some cages and drive from the north of Thailand to the south and they even come into Bangkok. They’ve created so many problems.”

Mr Lohanan says the number of animals involved has grown dramatically; “a few years ago, they use to move 500 dogs abroad each week. Right now it’s probably more than 2500. There’s a lot of competition. That’s why they’re going after people’s pets.”

Faced with this clear and present danger, Bangkok’s dog-lovers have begun to mobilise. Local groups have organised themselves into local ‘neighbour-hound watch’ teams. We went to the house of Aree Rungnirunnon and her elderly mother Sa-ing on Bangkok’s eastern side.

They provide a caring home for a handful of dogs but they’re also working hard to make the streets of Bangkok canine-safe. “A few weeks ago a man pulled up in his truck and tried to round up the local dogs,” said Aree Rungnirunnon, “but me and my mother asked him for his papers. He said ‘oh I’m working for a charity’ but we didn’t believe him so we made him go away.”

Dog lovers also held a large rally at Bangkok’s central Lumpini Park. More than 500 dogs and their owners turned up, demanding an end to all ‘dog-snatching’ and a new animal cruelty bill. Unfortunately, dogs are banned inside the park – so they had to march round it.

Here’s the choice then for upwardly mobile south-east Asian consumers: do you own it – or eat it? It is a matter of good taste I suppose.

 

See the original article here: http://blogs.channel4.com/world-news-blog/thailand-battles-a-dog-napping-crime-wave-serving-china-and-vietnam/20216

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DEBATE: Roger Cohen: ‘I’m happy China eats dog’

17 Apr
OP-ED COLUMNIST

Dog Days in China

By ROGER COHEN

NEW YORK — I see the Beckhams, David and Victoria (Posh), have acquired a couple of “micro pigs” as pets and that said pigs (65 pounds when fully grown) are now a fashionable item in Britain, at least among those who can afford a $1,000-plus price tag.

Perhaps Beckham is heeding Churchill, who had a penchant for pigs. The great man’s verdict: “Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you as an equal.”

Churchill’s view has some scientific basis. Pigs are smart and sociable. They’ve had a pretty bad rap, however. Two of the world’s great monotheistic religions — Judaism and Islam — prohibit their consumption. Generally, the notion of pigs as pets seems bizarre or repellent.

Why? There’s nothing rational about the view that taking a pig for a walk on a leash is weird, while eating a pork chop, if you so choose, is reasonable. But then, after a visit to China, it seems to me that reason has little or nothing to do with the way we view animals and food.

The Chinese, for example, eat dog (as well as cats, but I’m going to focus on dogs here). They ascribe to dog meat a formidable “warming” quality — the Chinese divide nutrition into “hot” and “cold” elements and seek balance between them — which makes it prized in many regions during winter.

Now, we are appalled in the West at the notion of eating dog while considering it natural to have a dog as a pet — I own a Beagle myself (“Ned”) and I’m very fond of him. This is the inverse of the preponderant Western view of pigs: fine to eat (religious objections aside) but not to pet.

But do pigs have any more or less of a soul than dogs? Are they any more or less sentient? Do they suffer any more or less in death? Are they any more or less part of the mysterious unity of life? I think not.

There is a rational, and for some people a spiritual, case for being a vegetarian: Killing animals is wrong. However I cannot see a rational argument for saying eating dogs or cats is barbaric while eating pork or beef is fine. If you eat meat you cannot logically find it morally or ethically repugnant to eat a particular meat (I’m setting cannibalism aside here.)

That’s the theory at least. Yet I must confess I’ve been having a hard time. My bout of anguish began a few weeks back on a wintry night in central China, in the restless megalopolis of Chongqing. I was cold, wet and seeking refuge.

“What’s that?” I asked my resourceful interpreter, Xiyun Yang, pointing to a steamy, crowded establishment with a big red neon sign (the Chinese approach is, when in doubt, make it gaudy).

“You don’t want to know.”

“I think I do.”

“It’s a dog restaurant.” It was then that I noticed the image of a puppy with floppy ears beside the Chinese characters.

I gave Xiyun a long, hard look. “Dog’s really good,” she said. “I love it.”

Images of Ned (and his floppy ears) popped into my head, as well as thoughts of what I’d tell my daughter, but I’d come to admire Xiyun’s gastronomic antennae (particularly for Sichuan noodles) and I tend to adhere to the I’ll-try-anything-once school. In we went.

The menu was predictably dog-dominated: dog paws, dog tail, dog brain, dog intestine, even dog penis. We went for a dog broth, simmered for four hours, with Sichuan pepper and ginger. It was warming, with a pepper-tingle. The meat was tender, unctuous, blander than pork, but stronger than chicken. Later, the owner, Chen Zemin, explained how the best dogs for eating had yellow coats, weighed 30 pounds, and did miracles for arthritis.

I’ll take Chen’s word for it. Dog was not easy for me. The memory has proved hard to digest.

As it happened, our meal came shortly before the eruption of a furious online debate in China over a proposed “anti-animal maltreatment” law that would outlaw the eating and selling of dog and cat meat, making it punishable by fines of more than $700 and 15 days of detention.

The legislation, now under review, immediately came under heavy fire. One restaurant owner in the Chaozhou region declared: “This is ridiculous! You make dog and cat meat illegal, but aren’t chickens, duck, goose, pig, cow, lamb also animals?” Another noted a local saying: “When the dog meat is being simmered, even the gods become dizzy with hunger.”

I’m with these indignant protesters. I’m not happy that I ate dog. But I’m happy China eats dog. It so proclaims both a particularity to be prized in a homogenizing world and its rationality. Anyone who doesn’t want China to eat dog must logically embrace pigs as pets.

But, as I’ve learned, logic has its limits. It’s the heart not the head that governs this world under the sway of the dizzy gods.

SOURCE: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/05/opinion/05iht-edcohen.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

After reading this article, what are your views? The animal welfare of these dogs in the meat trade are the focus of this blog, but in order to act we need to understand the market that is out there for dog meat in order to make a difference!

See the Real Face of the Fur Industry

15 Apr

From PETA:

Millions of individual animals, including more than 2 million cats and hundreds of thousands of dogs, will be skinned for their fur in China this year alone.

For a few of these animals, death will come swiftly from a knife slash across the throat. For many others, their fate is to be skinned alive.

Please watch our new video exposing the abuse that animals on Chinese fur farms endure.

Many people are still unaware of the horrific animal suffering that occurs on Chinese fur farms. We need your help to spread the word about the following facts:
1. There are no regulations governing fur farms in China—farmers can house and slaughter animals however they see fit.
2. Countless animals are skinned alive on Chinese fur farms. Some of these animals remain in agony for more than 10 minutes after the skin is peeled from their bodies.
3. Fur farmers say that it is easier to get the skin off an animal who’s alive and warm than one who’s dead.
4. Products ranging from cat toys to shoes have been made from real fur and have been labeled as “faux” or synthetic to deceive the public.
Our campaign is educating people worldwide about the abuse of animals by the Chinese fur industry.

You can help our new video reach 100,000 views by watching now!

Kind regards,

Ingrid E. Newkirk
President

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