Stop cruelty to dogs

Stop cruelty to dogs
People eat dog meat at a dog meat restaurant district on the day of local dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Autonomous Region, June 22, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

Over four million people worldwide protesting at hashtag #StopYulin2015 could not stop the recent mass slaughter in China of 10,000 dogs for residents and tourists to eat in time for the "Yulin Dog and Lychee Festival."

Can we really do this to "man's best friend"? Apparently, yes, in China, where it is believed that at least 10 million dogs are slaughtered every year for human consumption. Worse, many of them are caged, battered and then killed in ruthless abandon.

The Yulin Chinese are adamant: They say that eating dog meat in a variety of ways is a cultural thing, and that people of other cultures are hypocrites and should also stop eating meat from cow, sheep, or rabbit - and "no turkeys on New Year's and Thanksgiving Days."

Most of the dogs are stolen pets and strays and bought per piece by slaughterhouses. To the Yulin Chinese, dog meat fights colds, improves circulation and brings good luck. But so do many pills and food supplements, so why dogs?

Most of who us who love dogs or have them as pets are sick about this strange gustatory inclination.

A dog is said to have the intelligence of a two-year-old human, can understand at least 165 words, and is an expert in body language. Dogs are said to have emotions, but scientists claim that, unlike humans, there are no ulterior motives when dogs express emotions. They love their masters unconditionally.

Thus, John Bisling says: "The dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than himself."

A dog has feelings and knows when you are sad or if a member of the family passes away.

He knows when you are sad and can just sit quietly in the corner and watch you recover, or will try to get physically closer to provide comfort. Our 16-year-old Maltese Terrier named Arthur does not at all feel like a King Arthur but serves his masters.

He barks at strangers, fearing they might harm the masters. He can sense if the master is scared and will defend the latter with his life (a great deed that even some security guards will not dare do).

An old dog named Noisy (for that is what he was) was earlier lodged in a cage fronting the gate for 10 years - and we had no incidents of theft and intrusions ever.

You may feed a dog only three times a day but he watches over his masters 24 hours, seven days a week (rain or shine, sick or not).

Sadness envelops Arthur when he sees the masters' travel luggage, as he knows he will be orphaned for a while.

Arthur can also sense the master is leaving for the day's work and rushes to the doorstep for the traditional blessing like a true child to the family born.

Masters are warned, though, not to bring negative emotions like anger and revenge as dogs are so sensitive as to be affected almost as much as humans are. And it is not true that cats and dogs always fight. Arthur has a best friend - a cat aptly called Kitkat.

One must not forget that story about a cat that strayed into a household in Bulacan and befriended the pet dog. When the dog became terminally ill, the cat stayed beside him and pawed his fur until his last breath. BFF they were.

A loving dog who departs from a household casts a pall of gloom over the area. For as Dean Koontz declares: "Once you have a wonderful dog, a life without one is life diminished." And Will Rogers adds: "If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they are." There.

Lawyer Jun Amora once had a mini pinscher (Chilokoi) and a golden retriever (Golda), who had difficulty going up and down two flights of stairs. One morning, Amora espied the two from a distance and saw the smaller Chilokoi literally teaching the hulking Golda how to ascend and descend the stairs.

Big Brother's House? Chilokoi was smart enough to also be able to open the car's power window by pressing his foot on the control.

Chilokoi's boss was Jaz, Amora's kid, and when the lawyer tried to discipline the child for a misdemeanour, the dog barked at the parent. Dogs also have priorities in loyalty, it seems.

It is with these stories - and we are sure readers have hundreds of similar stories - that we are appalled that dogs should be killed for food.

Dogs reportedly can know a man's intention, and one can therefore fathom the deep fear that engulfs the dogs when they are herded into a cramped vehicle bound for a mass slaughter in Baguio or Benguet. Seventy per cent of them die of suffocation before arrival and the rest are beaten to death until they expire and are thrown into the boiling cauldrons.

To be fair to China, 10 other nations also continue to patronise dog meat, including some areas in the Philippines, Indonesia, Korea, Polynesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Antarctica and some parts of Switzerland.

We enjoin readers to report to authorities any attempt at cruelty to animals, especially the lovable dogs. Also, under the revised Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 10536), dog and other meat of non-food animals are considered "hot meat" and are illegal for distribution.

One can also get guidelines from Animal Kingdom Foundation and PAWS. To show disgust over the canine carnage at Yulin, let's start supporting #StopYulin2016 as early as now - and hopefully put an end to the heartless spectacle by next year.

Our Creator made dogs for many reasons which do not include them as part of man's menu.

Let's stop this cruelty.

Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III, a former banker, is a financial consultant, media practitioner and political strategist. He is a life member of Finex but the views here do not necessarily reflect those of Finex.


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