Political Perversion (not Culture) led to China Dog Meat Trade
If you speak to the average person in western society about the Dog Meat Trade in China, you will usually be met with the same response. Dismissive or impassioned, the answer is almost always the same:
“It’s in their culture.”
Sadly, very, very few people know that the dog-eating trade in China has absolutely nothing to do with culture. Subsequently, this mass ignorance does nothing to help the millions of dogs that are tortured and slaughtered for consumption every year. Both international governments and citizens alike do not dare criticise another’s “culture” for fear of being deemed racist. The result? A country with zero animal welfare laws, countless dogs being burned, boiled and skinned alive on a daily basis and millions of grieving, weeping dog-lovers and owners throughout the country who have had their dogs snatched and killed for the trade and are utterly powerless to act, because they have a government that simply will not listen to them. For it is true that the majority of these dogs are stolen pets – and why? Because if the dog is under-nourished, this could cause a potential health hazard for the consumer, and if a dog trader wants to ensure his meat is plump and well-fed, he only needs to look to the beloved pet of a family home where the dog has been cared for and looked after. This adds a whole new layer of sickening depravity to the trade; and even if it was in the name of culture, in what world is it morally or remotely acceptable to steal a person’s pet dog before hauling it off to the slaughterhouse?
And yet, culture has nothing to do with it. While Ancient China condoned the consumption of dogs, the spread of Buddhism in the 10th Century saw a massive decline in dog meat, and from 1644 to 1912 when the Qing Dynasty reigned, dog meat was banned. The Qing (Manchus) considered killing and consuming a dog to be barbaric. This stemmed from the legend of the first Manchu leader, Nurhachi, whose life was saved by a dog; after, he told his followers:
“In the mountains, there are so many kinds of animals which you can hunt for food, but from now on, no one is allowed to eat dogs, nor wear dog skin. When dogs die, they should be buried because dogs can read man’s emotion and can rescue their masters. Dogs are loyal.”
For almost three hundred years, dogs were revered and beloved by rulers of China who considered the slaughter and consumption of them to be so heinous that they outlawed it; only in the south did they continue to defy this rule. It all changed drastically in 1912 when the Kuomintang (KMT) Nationalist Party got to power; as a symbol of their hatred towards the Manchu, they would boil dogs alive simply to spite them.