Petitioning To Ban Dog Meat in China & What it Means for Impoverished People…
By Madame Margherite
So recently, I’ve been getting a lot of people asking me to sign their petitions. Most of them are not thought out, have little or no authority and the People pushing them have very little understanding of the problems they’re trying to solve and sometimes are completely oblivious to the repercussions of whatever they’re petitioning for.
The petition that inspired me to write this essay is actually an agenda being pushed a few different ways by many different people, but in short, it’s a petition to ban the consumption of eating Dog meat in China. Some of these petitions are very broad and some are specifically centered around the Annual Yulin Dog Eating Festival in June, but all of the ones I’ve seen omit some vital information that activists should consider.
First of all, we’re talking about a country that only has 15% worth of arable land, which means they can’t naturally grow anything in most of the earth that they live on. Fertilizer and Soil has to be brought in from other countries in order for People to productively farm on Chinese land, which comes with a whole world of problems including high costs & the consumption of poisonous levels of pesticides.
To give you a short example to demonstrate what I mean, China gets soil & fertilizer from a place that treats the matter with a high level of pesticides to allow it to make the journey untarnished, it’s used to grow grass that dairy Cows eat, when Cows produce milk that milk is sold and in 2008 more than 300,000 infants in China were poisoned by powered milk with a similar history. The same type of thing happens resulting in poisoned or genetically altered produce.
So China has a serious food problem that effects both the Rural and Urban populations. In the poorest areas of China, the countryside for example, there are about 30 Million children who suffer from stunted brain development due to the lack of iron in their diets, which people get from meat or large quantities of vegetables.
This has really created a problem for impoverished People in China. It’s expensive to be able to grow edible plants so underprivileged People can’t grow crops or grass, that means they can’t keep grazing livestock either. Another thing to keep in mind is that due to an outbreak of bird flu, butchering Birds within city limits has already been outlawed making Chicken & Duck available but very expensive and impossible to afford if you’re poor. That doesn’t really leave a lot of options in many areas.
Animals that have always been abundant in these types of places are carnivores such as Cats & Dogs. There are tons of wild Dogs who live in the countryside of China as well as in the Cities and that, plain and simply is why People in China and all over Asia have eaten Dogs. The Yulin Festival only started in 2009 but eating Dog in these parts of the world is an Ancient practice. Culturally, the Chinese don’t assign jobs and roles to Animals the way we do in America. There’s no such thing as a Cow is for eating and the Cat is for keeping. There, Animals serve whatever purpose the People need them to. The tradition of eating Dog meat came out of survival and the People who eat Dog meat regularly today are doing so for that same reason.
Now in terms of the way Animals are treated in China, I certainly agree that some of the things that way too many People do is absolutely absurd, grotesque and down right inhumane, there’s no argument there. It’s why this festival has been globally criticized, however, attempting to ban a food source in a place where People live on $1 a day and struggle to get the nutritional value they need to function and grow properly is also rather cruel. Considering so many People and Children are already suffering, it would be inhumane to ban something People literally need to survive.
I absolutely agree that Animal Cruelty is a huge problem, Animal Conservation is important and that People should do what they can to solve problems they have power over, but as Americans we have no place telling People in China to further restrict an already starving population, it’s both cruel and absurd. Furthermore it says that you believe our opinion about Animals is superior to their opinion about Animals, because let’s face it, no one is petitioning countries to stop eating Cockroach. This is a cultural issue for Americans.
And America has a reputation for doing that, going into other countries, telling the People there how to live and when they don’t comply we do our best to take over and force our ways onto them. That’s called Colonizing as a matter of fact and it’s audacious. We, right here in the United States, have some pretty severe Animal Rights issues that our peers contribute to which we can focus our energy on. I know a lot of activists do and that’s incredibly respectable. But imagine if other countries tried to Petition the US government to ban Beef because in their Culture Cows are sacred, now imagine that ban would mean you and your already malnourished family have less to eat. Do you still think the People of one country have the right to tell People of another country what to eat under these types of circumstances?
There are plenty of people in China advocating for Animal Rights but Americans are not prepared or equipped to help China with their Animal Cruelty problem, and we’re not willing to help them with their Poverty. We’re a country that slaughters 39 Million Calves and Cows a year, and we do it right in front of their families. America isn’t the country to assist other countries in a problem we can’t manage in our own country. People who push petitions to ban the consumption of Dog meat in China are either not aware of their repercussions or don’t care but either way they aren’t helping any Chinese people with anything.
So before signing a petition, any petition, I really encourage People to do their homework. Ask questions, who’s spearheading this effort? Should you be an authority on it? If successful who will benefit & who will suffer? What negative effects will your actions have? If you still believe in your cause go for it but when we try to treat symptoms instead of curing problems, we do more harm than good so be conscious.