The controversial, centuries-old Chinese custom of eating cats and dogs has the nation divided. Animal welfare activists and the increasingly pet-adoring middle class find the pratice outdated and disturbing, while more old-fashioned citizens think it’s a tradition worth preserving. However, the practice has gained global attention throughout the years, causing social tension for the still-developing country.
Due to this, there’s been legislation introduced to ban this cruel culinary practice that’s going through the works of the Chinese government since earlier this year. This law, the first of its kind in the country’s history, would punish anyone caught eating this meat with a fine of RMB 5,000 (USD 732) and possibly up to 15 days in jail. Businesses could face a fine between RMB 10,000 (USD 1,464) and 500,000 (USD 73,239). Unfortunately, even if the Anti-Animal Abuse Law is passed, it wouldn’t go into effect for years.
A Hong Kong-based animal welfare charity, Animals Asia Foundation, states over 14 million dogs and cats are slaughtered in the country ever year. In keeping with the cultural belief that “torture equals taste” these animals are often killed in a slow, cruel manner. Butchers have even admitted there’s no way to guarantee the creature under their knife isn’t someone’s pet.
Many Americans assume this practice to be a myth, but for the animals of China it is all too real. These horrors are not a far cry from the pigs, cows and chickens who are slaughtered in this country every minute of the day. These animals feel just as much pain, are capable of the same joyful life and deserve the same respect and consideration we give to our companion animals. If you find the Chinese practice of consuming cats and dogs distasteful, extend that compassion to all animals and go vegan today!
photo credit: http://mrg.bz/xlqd6w
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