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The mere thought of consuming dog meat elicits feelings of anger and confusion in most people. I suppose this is as a result of years of growing up conditioned to believe that dogs are special companions and man's best friend whereas this is obviously not extended to cows, chickens, pigs etc. Nevertheless, all animals are unique and different. Is consuming the meat of one animal ethically worse than consuming the meat of another? If so, why?
 

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This is the exact reason I went veg*n. For many years I was vaguely aware that dogs were eaten in other countries but didn't give it much thought. A few years ago, I saw an undercover video showing how dogs and cats were killed and eaten in China, and it completely horrified me. It made me really angry too. Then I started thinking about how hypocritical I was being. That's how it all started for me. I've explained this to other omnis before, and they don't ever seem to get it. They'll just say things like, "Well, we don't eat dogs." Or, "I could never care about a cow like I care about my dog." It's really amazing to me how something can be such a revelation for one person and mean nothing to someone else. Sometimes I really don't understand people.
 

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In the realm of ethics, eating anything you're actually close emotionally to seems much worse! I know people who've raised pigs for slaughter and spoke of liking them, but from the beginning they had no issues with killing them for food, so I don't think it felt any different to them than picking garden tomatoes does to me.
The reality of course is the thousands of unwanted dogs (and cats, pet rabbits...) that either live caged in shelters , roam the streets, or face death. How we've come to allow food animals intentionally to be artificially breed to be killed, yet spend money to "save" pets is very sad.
I really hate when people go on about how awful countries that eat dog and cat meat are when they won't even consider how their food is raised, or killed.
 

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I also like to point to those who fell we're meant to be omnivores, and evolved as meat-eaters why they never consider insects for dinner.
 

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It's a cultural thing. They don't want to admit that though. Dogs aren't food here and neither are insects. There isn't any real logic behind it. (especially when you consider "insect-like" creatures like lobsters and crabs)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantDream View Post

The mere thought of consuming dog meat elicits feelings of anger and confusion in most people. I suppose this is as a result of years of growing up conditioned to believe that dogs are special companions and man's best friend whereas this is obviously not extended to cows, chickens, pigs etc. Nevertheless, all animals are unique and different. Is consuming the meat of one animal ethically worse than consuming the meat of another? If so, why?
For the record, dogs are special.
There's a good chance that human beings would never have either had a much harder time during our pre-civilized (i.e., before cities) or have not been able to progress far beyond that were it not without dogs. In fact, it might even be that our evolution went hand-in-hand with dogs.

However, there is no real logic as to why omnivores shouldn't eat dogs versus any other animal. They just draw abritrary lines dictated by culture.

In fact, I was pondering the same thing the other day when talking with my aunt, who loves animals. Seriously, lady has rescued three strays, nursed birds back to health, and spends most of her free time trying to place strays with loving families. She was ranting and raving about the dog fights that have plagued our city these last few years and my only thought was, "She's so out-raged over dog fights, I wonder what thought process has led her to draw the line between what happens to dogs versus cows or chickens?"
 

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I just had this discussion with one of my friends, he ask me why I don't eat meat I also didn't want to be a hypocrite and eat only chicken the only meat I ever use to eat, why do they have to suffer and in other countries they eat dogs and cats and feel nothing for it.

My reply is often, I would not eat my dog or cat so why should I eat another animal.
 

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I get upset hearing about dogs or cats killed and eaten, but I get just as upset hearing how many pigs and cows and chickens are killed everyday for omnivores own needs.
It's very hypocritical to act like you care about animals, then go eat a hamburger for dinner.
That's why I became vegetarian.
 

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Personally I wouldn't eat either dog or farm animals. I think most people don't think about where their food comes from or how it gets to their plate. I had this discussion last night with a meat eating family member. I made the comment that if they were forced to murder and prepare their own meat, they probably wouldn't eat meat. Most people like to stay blissfully ignorant on the subject.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantDream View Post

The mere thought of consuming dog meat elicits feelings of anger and confusion in most people. I suppose this is as a result of years of growing up conditioned to believe that dogs are special companions and man's best friend whereas this is obviously not extended to cows, chickens, pigs etc. Nevertheless, all animals are unique and different. Is consuming the meat of one animal ethically worse than consuming the meat of another? If so, why?
I think part of that has to do with the cultural background. In most Western societies in particular we're raised to have particular feelings for dogs and cats that we're not trained to have for other animals. Even from my vegan perspective I consider anyone who would eat dog meat who was raised to love dogs slightly more psychotic than other brands of carnists. I think that takes it to another level.

I feel slightly differently about some Asians or other cultures for whom dog or cat eating is slightly more normalized. To them it's truly interchangeable with eating cows or chickens, although even in those cultures there's a history of dogs and cats being utilized as companion animals and therefore there should be more empathy for them based on the nature of the history between them and humankind.

Ultimately my "awakened vegan perspective" has to be that there's truly no difference at a fundamental level between eating a chicken or eating a Shi Tzu but looking through the filter of social programming, I think a person from America or somewhere who says he'd eat a dog is probably sick on a whole other level from even the hunters.
 

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I never used to think there was a difference between eating dogs or eating pigs. I was vegetarian, in part because there wasn't a significant difference.

But I have to admit, now that I am older and I have strong bonds with two dogs (when I was a kid we had cats but not dogs), I do feel differently when I see or hear about cruelty to dogs. Don't get me wrong, all animal cruelty is wrong, all animal exploitation is wrong. But... dogs are sooo trusting and soooo loyal and soooo affectionate. And so whenever I see or hear about cruelty to dogs I can't help but think of my dogs and it makes me more sad and horrified than thinking about chickens or pigs or cows. It just does.

It's the same now, too, with little kids. Whenever I hear about terrible things happening to babies or toddlers, it feels different now because my son is a toddler. I think of him and it makes me more sad to hear about child abuse, neglect, sickness, or death. It's not that kids matter more than adults or anything, it's just that it feels different now.
 

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I'll go out on a limb and admit that, in my younger and obviously pre-vegetarian days (I've lived in both Japan and China for a few years each, and also spent a considerable amount of time in Korea), I ate both dog and insect on numerous occasions, and worse things that I doubt anyone has any desire to hear about. As an omnivore, I didn't see the logic between eating one with no remorse while completely vilifying the eating of another, and as a vegetarian I pretty much believe the same thing and just act on it differently.

A couple things though... They're not eating dogs from pet stores. It simply wouldn't make economic sense to be turning an expensive dog into a meal. You're not gonna see chihuahuas or pugs on anyone's plate. The dogs that you find in restaurants, or worse hanging skinned at the outdoor meat markets, were raised to be killed just like cows, pigs, and chickens. Again, no difference. Yes, they are treated very bad during their short lives, but I have trouble specifically criticizing Asia, or specifically vilifying the eating of dog compared to other more common food animals, when our own system of cruelty is just as bad.

I say either eat meat or don't... But I'm not going to pretend that being an omnivore and choosing to eat beef that comes from a system whose promotion of suffering is well known and well documented while criticizing Asia for treating dogs badly makes any sense whatsoever. Veg*ns, on the other hand, have the right to complain about both without being hypocritical
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

I never used to think there was a difference between eating dogs or eating pigs. I was vegetarian, in part because there wasn't a significant difference.

But I have to admit, now that I am older and I have strong bonds with two dogs (when I was a kid we had cats but not dogs), I do feel differently when I see or hear about cruelty to dogs. Don't get me wrong, all animal cruelty is wrong, all animal exploitation is wrong. But... dogs are sooo trusting and soooo loyal and soooo affectionate. And so whenever I see or hear about cruelty to dogs I can't help but think of my dogs and it makes me more sad and horrified than thinking about chickens or pigs or cows. It just does.

It's the same now, too, with little kids. Whenever I hear about terrible things happening to babies or toddlers, it feels different now because my son is a toddler. I think of him and it makes me more sad to hear about child abuse, neglect, sickness, or death. It's not that kids matter more than adults or anything, it's just that it feels different now.
I feel the same when I hear/see/read things about rabbits. Before I had them, I knew the horrible things that happened, and it saddened me, but I didn't have the same connection as I did when hearing things about dogs, cats, or fish. When it was a dog I'd see my Cosmo, a cat my Freckles, and now when it's buns I see my babies.

But now it's also the same for me with other common farmed animals, after I got to know a couple hundred of them. When I hear stories about specific parts of the animal agriculture industry, I can picture the one(s) who went though/was going to go though the same. Those veal calves are Phoenix and Cupid; those turkeys are Jordan, Comet, Reese, Magnolia; those battery cage hens are... uh I can't remember anyone's specific name; those goats are Ramona, Noel, Hal, Chili, and Debra; those goat 'lawnmowers' are Melvin, Jacob, and Bones; those pigs are Rosa, Lily, Cesak; those ducks are Daisy, Matt, and Lenny; and on and on.

Most people in NA, Europe, and parts of Oceania had a disassociation with "those" animals, and a lot of those who do see them on a daily basis have removed the idea of them practically even being a life or just see them as things of disposal after retrieving what is wanted from them. We see dogs and cats everywhere, it's acceptable to love them, and the market for supplies for them as pets is huge. We don't see them as anything but that. But in reality there is no difference between them, or a duck, or a pig, or a cricket, or even a human. We are all animals, and some animal out there eats them. The difference is in the US we are taught that cats and dogs are only friends, while chickens and cows are only food. In China, although I think there is a small push for all dogs to be seen only as friends (can't remember what breed but there's one that goes for thousands of dollars as pets; no one would imagine eating them (I'd think) but then again people eat woolly mammoth, tigers, giraffes, etc. simply because they can and it seems "rich" so who knows), they're the same as a chicken or cow and raised as such.
 

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This has never made sense to me either, not when I was 7, not when I was 12, not when i was 18 and certainly not now. If someone eats a horse or dog or whatever it's all over the news. Obviously some animals are domesticated much better, but that shouldn't affect our morals too.

And being veg*n , people always talk about this stuff with you too, like ''did you know they eat dog in china'' etc, so annoying. I really don't get into this argument except w/ people I know well.
 

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There's a great book that addresses this called "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals." I haven't personally read it yet (it's on my library hold list), but it seems very interesting. To answer the original question, no, I don't think it's any better or worse to eat a dog versus another animal. All are morally reprehensible. We can argue that dogs are more special, but pigs are as intelligent as 3 year olds.
 

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I hope my reply doesn't offend vegans and animal rights activists, as I respect them very much.

I think there is a hierarchy of morality in the taking of life. In the extreme case, it is more moral to take the life of a bacterium than the life of a human being.

Going down and up the scale, I think it's better to take the life of a mosquito than a chimpanzee, and so on. I think cannibals are less moral, much less moral, than people who eat chicken.

For me, the more consciousness, the greater the sin in killing.

I also think that even vegetarians and vegans kill. Carrots are born, live, reproduce, and die.

My philosophy is to minimize suffering in my eating, and give respect and thanks for the life I take to sustain my own, even if it is the life of a humble plant.

It's hard to say if eating a dog is worse than eating a cow. They're both pretty highly evolved, in my opinion, and I wouldn't eat either one. Cows get more respect in India, which is great. Dogs get less respect in SouthEast Asia, which is not great. I think its fair to say that sparing animals that happen to be popular in one's culture and killing the unpopular ones is hypocritical.
 

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The difference is, in addition to more typically being companions/pets, canines and felines are predators. Cattle is prey, as well as most birds, fish, etc. that people have eaten for millenia. Most people would be equally appalled if they ate reptiles or eagles or vultures. It just seems totally unnatural. Possibly desperation (food shortages) has lead to people eating more types of animals, including insects, crustaceans, etc.
 

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I just asked my dog
He assures me that Cows are much better to eat than dogs.

When he comes out of hiding, I'll see if he thinks there is a difference between pet store dogs and farm raised dogs for food.
 

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I can't stand it when people think it's OK to eat cows and chickens, but not dogs and cats. I mean it's bad to eat any animal, of course, but the double standard really makes me angry. A living being is a living being.
 
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