Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported the results of an investigation into the intentional staging of dog torture by animal rights activist Marc Ching. They published two articles on the subject.
The first is “Times Investigation: He was a Hollywood darling for fighting dog meat trade. Butchers say he staged killings; he denies it.” It was written by Paul Pringle, Alene Tchekmedyian and David Pierson.
What Marc is accused of is sickening.
As to the second article, David Pierson’s “Why the dog meat trade persists in Indonesia, despite consumption being illegal,” a quick Google search reveals that eating dogs is common in many cultures.
Eating dog meat in rural parts of Indonesia, for example, is as acceptable as eating pig meat in the U.S.
Pierson quotes Indonesian historian H.B. Palar, “Dogs have always been used in rituals.” According to Palar, limited food choices mean Indonesians have few taboos about which animals they eat.
He explains that during the civil unrest of the 1950s, government forces drove the local rebels into the jungle. They survived by eating whatever they could find, including “monkey, snake, dog and even bats!” The practice continued after peace returned.
Perhaps, however, such dog-eating cultures consider Westerners who “love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows” (in Melanie Joy’s words) as the ones guilty of inconsistent taboos!
Scientist Marc Bekoff often asks factory-farm researchers and other scientists, “Would you do that to your dog?” Most find the simple question startling. But given the opportunity, he explains his reasoning:
“ If we wouldn’t do something to our companion animals that we do daily to mice, rats, monkeys, pigs, cows, elephants, chimpanzees, or even non-companion cats and dogs, we need to ask ourselves why!”
One thing is certain. With all the organic, plant-based food available to us every day of the year, we can’t use limited food choices as an excuse!