Monday, February 12, 2018

Today in Hey, I know that Guy!
A friend and co-worker, Sam, has started up a blog.  Link HERE
Like me, Sam has spent time living in both Cambodia and Vietnam.  He's currently in the Vietnamese Countryside, and has been blogging about life out there.

Of particular interest is his post:
The Death of a Puppy and the Fallacy of Moral Equivalence

...which combines a personal story about dog thieves in Vietnam with an opinion piece on why it's wrong to eat dog meat.

For a counterpoint, a Vietnamese writer recently defended eating dog meat in one of the English speaking magazines in Vietnam:
Telling Vietnamese to stop eating dog meat is barking up wrong tree: In Vietnam, dog meat is the norm
He basically says: "Foreigners are hypocritical for criticizing Vietnamese for eating dog meat.  You should either put up with it, and accept that it's the custom here, or go back home."

The latter article was posted to the Expats in Ho Chi Minh City Facebook page, where people argued about it endlessly in the comments thread.  (As I mentioned before, this Facebook page attracts people who just want to argue.)
Many people argued that eating dogs was no different than eating other animals.  Many people argued that eating dogs was morally wrong because dogs are man's best friend.

My own bias is as follows:
Dogs are not like chickens.  Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that they are capable of showing humans a level of affection, and  a level of loyalty, that cows and chickens do not. 

I read on the Internet years ago that the domestication of dogs happened because some wolves started hanging around human tribes.  Humans would give them the leftover bones from the meat. In return, the wolves started helping them hunt.  Pretty soon, the wolves trusted the humans enough to leave their puppies with the humans while they went out to hunt. 

To then kill and eat dogs now seems like a violation of this trust.

(My friend Sam makes exactly the same points in his blog post, but I'm also claiming them as my own because I've been using these same talking points for years during various "bar stool" debates about eating dogs.)

All that being said, this is one of the issues I do kind of go back and forth on depending on what mood you catch me in.  There are days when I'm close to agreeing with people who say that there's no moral distinction between different types of animal meat.  
But most days, I'm anti-dog meat.  For the reasons mentioned above.

No comments: