As dog and animal lovers, we’ve all been horrified by the Yulin dog meat festival. Thousands of pups, who should be man’s best friends, were served as meals.
Nathan Runkle, founder and president of Mercy for Animals, wonders if our collective outrage over dog meat festivals exposes a deeper issue with the overall treatment of animals throughout the world.
In an article penned on June 30 for New York Daily News, Runkle notes how the dog meat feasts are very similar to the many summer bbq festivals in the United States.
“On the menu in Yulin were 10,000 dogs and cats served with lychees and liquor. In America: millions of pigs, cows and chickens served with fixin’s and beer.”
Runkle is not calling for world-wide vegetarianism. Instead, he is advocating for the ethical treatment of animals, regardless of whether or not we eventually consume them for food. His organization “is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.”
In his op-ed, he says:
“In the United States, someone who tortures his dog, shackles her upside-down, electrocutes her, slits her throat, throws her into a vat of scalding water and then cuts her up, cooks her, and eats her would be charged with a felony and jailed.”
This is, however, what happens to the cows and pigs who end up on many of our tables at the end of the day.
In addition to questioning our butchering practices, Runkle feels that there is a hypocrisy that we all need to recognize. He questions the real difference between dogs and the farm animals we eat for dinner. Pigs are highly intelligent and cows have best friends.
If we choose to ignore these facts, should we so harshly judge those who disregard the love and compassion our pups bring to our lives?
“But even when they exist, differences in physical appearance, intellectual capacity and personality fail to justify the unequal treatment of animals, just as they fail to justify the unequal treatment of humans.”
Runkle believes that cruelty is cruelty. We should be equally enraged by the horrors of some factory farms as we are by the tragedy of dog meat festivals.
No matter how you feel about the treatment of farm animals, one thing we can all agree on, is that the dog meat festivals are a dark spot in the history of humanity. We should all do our part to prevent future festivals and continue to raise awareness about the issue.