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Cruel Cultural "Prerogatives"

Story ID:10755
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various
Person:Wayne Pacelle
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It was sometime in the 1980’s when I received a brochure from In Defense of
Animals which horrified me. It showed a live hung dog being beaten with a stick
by a South Korean man. The purpose of the beating was suppose to make the dog
meat more tender. I didn’t even know at the time that there was such a thing as
dog meat. A feeling of revulsion came over me. I absolutely abhor any nation’s
“culture” which results in animal cruelty. Sadly, a handful of Asian countries – China,
Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam are guilty of this atrocity. There is no other
word for it.

My generation fought in the Korean War, and I have always been disappointed that
it seems to me that no one in my age group fighting there made it a point to tell the
world about this cruelty. Of course, I don’t know how In Defense of Animals found
out about it, but I am grateful that they did and clued us in.

I participated in the small measures IDA employed to help stop it, but it has been
largely an exercise in futility. It is like condemning and fighting to stop the bull fighting
horrors of Spanish countries which continue to this day. But thankfully, I recently read
that the EU has made known to the bull fighting member nations that there will no
longer be any more EU money allocated to promote this “sport.”

Imagine that not even one of the popes was able to stop these people from exercising
what Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS labeled a “cultural prerogative” though in his blog he
was referring to the practice of dog eating which of course equally applies here as well.
Hopefully, the EU measure and finally a realization by many more Spanish people that
bull fighting is a cruelty which needs to end and with it a very sad page of Spanish history.
Also, I hope it wil stop the terrible “festival” of the burning of the bull horns –where the
horns of the bulls are lit with fire, and then the bulls are chased through the streets where
they try to bump into anything which will extinguish the cruel lapping flames and stop their
suffering. What kind of people find pleasure in causing this terrible pain to innocent bulls?

Finally, a paragraph from Wayne Pacelle’s blog re dog eating deserves quoting here. Titled
“Don’t For a Minute Excuse Eating Dog Meat As a Cultural Prerogative”: The very idea of
dogs as meat is unthinkable for most people, but an estimated 30 million dogs are slaughtered
each year for local consumption in a handful of Asian countries, including China, Philippines,
South Korea, and Vietnam. We’d be wrong, however, to think the vast majority of the people
in these countries participate as suppliers or consumers. Dog meat is considered something
of a delicacy, and not a staple food for the poor. We would also be wrong to assume that
the vast majority of people in these countries are comfortable with the whole crude, sickening
enterprise. It’s partly on that assumption that The HSUS and Humane Society International
have made ending the dog meat trade a major priority, getting on the ground in these nations
to help bring an end to this betrayal of a bond first forged between humans and dogs 30,000
years ago.”

I think Pacelle is too kind in absolving most of the people in these countries as participants
in this cruelty, but I do hope he is right and I am wrong.