Saturday, October 31, 2009

A maltese proposal

In what may be a somewhat tongue-in-cheek article, Jonathan Foer, author of the upcoming Eating Animals, suggests in the Wall Street Journal that eating dogs might be a good thing. After all, the Koreans, Indians (both South Asian and North American varieties), Chinese, Hawaiians, Filipinos, Nigerians, and even some Europeans have done it for quite some time.

Essentially, he says, this kills two birds with one stone:
Of course, something having been done just about everywhere is no kind of justification for doing it now. But unlike all farmed meat, which requires the creation and maintenance of animals, dogs are practically begging to be eaten. Three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized annually. The simple disposal of these euthanized dogs is an enormous ecological and economic problem. But eating those strays, those runaways, those not-quite-cute-enough-to-take and not-quite-well-behaved-enough-to-keep dogs would be killing a flock of birds with one stone and eating it, too.

In a sense it's what we're doing already. Rendering—the conversion of animal protein unfit for human consumption into food for livestock and pets—allows processing plants to transform useless dead dogs into productive members of the food chain. In America, millions of dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters every year become the food for our food. So let's just eliminate this inefficient and bizarre middle step.
Mr Foer touches on some issues, such as eliminating cruel forms of preparing dog traditionally (a point with which I agree), and then goes on to present a Filipino recipe for dog meat. Wow, hardly the kind of thing you'd expect to find in the conservative WSJ.

This article comes on the heels of a sympathetic piece in The Guardian about legalizing the consumption of dog meat in Korea. I wonder if such articles are leading toward creation of critical mass where, like gay marriage and legalized pot, the US and UK are going to go through some sort of sea change in attitude and the formerly unacceptable becomes a tolerated norm.

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