Why are Americans so oppossed to eating horse and dog meat?

Jennifer - posted on 10/30/2011 ( 111 moms have responded )

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I am probably really going to start a fight here, but I'd rather see some real debate on this.
I've been involved in rescue for most of my life, and it seems that things just are not getting any better. I know a few people who have stated that it is crazy that we euthanize so many pets(horses included) in this country and turn a blind eye, but get so up in arms about other cultures who routinely eat the animals we consider pets. So why do we get so distrought about it? Would it be better to let some of these animals facing a meaningless death be consumed instead? What brought this up was an incident where an Asian man(don't know country of orgin, but he was an immigrant) 'adopted' a dog that was slated for euthanization, and then promptly disapeared. Some in our shelter feel he ate the dog. Some are calling for extra measures before allowing any Asians to adopt now. Some feel that either way, the dog would be dead now, so forget it!

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and...

I, personally, think it would take some severe starvation to drive me to eat a dog, but what are your thoughts?

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Johnny - posted on 10/30/2011

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For Hindu's it's not morally right to eat beef. For Muslims & Jews it's not morally right to eat pork. For me, it's not morally right to eat cat. It's really all relative and culturally based.

[deleted account]

There is not one person on here who wouldn't chop up Fido if the family were starving. I'm sorry, but that's a bunch of hogwash. It's understandable not to be able to imagine having to do that, to be in such a bad situation that it becomes necessary, but I do NOT believe that anyone would let their kids starve to death just to spare the dog's life. If it comes down to it, our kids will win out over any animal.

As for me, I have no problem with eating anything. To each their own. I eat all the usual suspects (cow, pig, lamb, chicken, turkey, goose, duck, calves, fish and seafood) and have tried many unusual ones (pigeon, pheasant, horse, goat, grubs, crickets, locust, ants, squid, octopus, kangaroo, emu, crocodile, alligator, coconut crab, frog, snails, elk, buffalo, deer, rabbit, snake, bear, waterbuffalo, to name a few). I wanted to try dog when I went to Vietnam, but it was too expensive because it is now considered a delicacy ($50 for a dinner). My father had some during the war and he reckoned it is just like rabbit. I also wanted to try fruit bat (yes, it's just a bat that eats fruit) when I've visited Vanuatu. It's something many islanders eat I've come to learn, but just never had the opportunity. I would also like to try wichety grubs one day. I'll try anything once. Hmm, okay I'm not sure I could do a scorpion because I'd be afraid of stinging myself because I'm that clumsy, but if showed how to eat it without getting jabbed with the tail I'd give it a go.

I believe in doing what locals do (and eat) when travelling. I have never lived off of McDonald's whilst overseas, sometimes to my own detriment (in places like Malaysia where the food is too spicy for me).

Different cultures have different ways of doing things and eat different things. If we become too precious to eat things that may not seem like "normal" food to us, then we may miss out on some fantastic experiences (while travelling) and if times do get really tough and we are forced to eat things that don't seem "normal" then we may find ourselves becoming guilty for doing what is normal (feeding our families). Either way, it just seems a bit silly to have such hang ups over animals.

Katherine B, my 4 yo does the same thing! He collects the heads of the chickens my husband kills, not because he has to but because.... well, I don't exactly know why he does. Maybe he just thinks that the body should have the head nearby?

Oh yeah, Jodi, that's not really that dear. Beef and lamb are around $13/kg, but if you have a big dog (say even 10kg) that's only $15/kg. Little appetizer dogs would be pricey though. :-) Then again, so are frogs legs.

Johnny - posted on 10/30/2011

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Unless you are a vegetarian, I don't think you have any right to question what animal other people eat. In Indian culture, cows are sacred, and yet all around the world other people chomp on tons of beef a day. To me, meat eating isn't going to go away. I tend to believe that there is a great deal of anthropological evidence that humans evolved as omnivores. So my main concern is that the treatment of live animals and the slaughtering practices be humane and well-regulated. If people want to eat cat, that's their business. I would prefer not to eat a cat, because I have them as pets, but if I needed to kill my cat to save my child, I am sure I would. If my cat needed to kill me to survive, I'm sure she would. On that note, I'd better go check to make sure the food bowl is full.

Jodi - posted on 11/03/2011

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Or the guy who chopped off his own arm.......127 Hours (haven't seen the film yet though). The human survival instinct is quite amazing, as is the instinct we have to protect our children from death. It changes your perspective on what actions may or may not be acceptable.

Jeannette - posted on 11/03/2011

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Lol! I started this conversation over a year ago. I agree, we should open up shelters as 'grocery marts' if there are people who eat dogs/cats/whatever. Who am I to tell someone else what to survive on? I know that in the country, there are people who eat alligators, squirrels, rabbits...who cares if people want to eat dogs/cats/guinea pigs? I don't.
Let people eat!

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Jennifer - posted on 11/04/2011

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So, thanks again for all your post. I do have to say, as a mom who has lived through the horror of having lost a child, that it does greatly offend me when people say their pets are just like their kids. Of course the last woman who said that to me had just had a fire, and was so relieved her dog made it out. She then gave the dog away a week later. It pooped on her new rug. Also had that said to me as they are dropping their pet at the shelter. Yeah, makes me shudder........
For those discussing buying an animal to eat, our pets at the shelter are $50 to adopt, and that does include neuter and any other needed care. Things are just cheaper here!

And, we voted on extra measures for "Asians". That fell flat, I am very proud to say. I also felt it was bigotry, as did many others, including our half Chinese treasurer!

Michelle - posted on 11/04/2011

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I think us people in the UK would also be against eating dog, horse or cat, among other things. I suppose it doesn't seem fair in the animal world but it's where we place them in society that makes the difference. Not all countries feel the same.

[deleted account]

If there was a fire, I'd get my son out first and then IF the fire hadn't gotten too bad, I would go in and look for my cats. But if I was unable to find them, there's no way I would die trying. I'd stand outside with my son in my arms, crying tears of relief that my family was safe and tears of sadness over the probable death of my beloved cats while watching my house burn to the ground.

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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But you do know that your animals will one day die. But odds are you will die before your kids will so I guess I never let myself bond the same with an animal since I always m thinking in the back of my head that one day I'll have to face my animals death.
I tell myself that I won't ever see my kids die.

Sherri - posted on 11/04/2011

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More I can't say it, but I also can't say I love my animals more. However, I do love them equally.

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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All we hope to hear is that you do indeed love your sons more then your animals.

Sherri - posted on 11/04/2011

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You can speak hypothetically all day long Lauralai. I can not predict every single scenario ever that could happen.

@Katherine the key word in your statement is "in my opinion"

Katherine - posted on 11/04/2011

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ahh Lauralai there are some who will fight to the end that they would, as their pets are like their child....BS no animal can compare to a child!!!! imo

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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Hypothetically though Mary, I'm sure you would choose your daughter if needed. Say the dogs had an accident and had legs coasted or were on heavy mess and unable to walk. I'm fairly certain you would carry out the child before carrying out the dogs.
I'm also certain once you got your daughter out you would be going back in no matter what for each dog. :) there's no way any mother would choose a dog over her child in a real life or death situation.

Mary - posted on 11/04/2011

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My dogs sleep in my bed - so there's no issue there. Hell, even during the day, those dogs are wherever we are, no matter what. They would already be with me. Actually, chances are, they would have woken me before the fire alarm ever sounded.

Yes, I would get my toddler first, but as I said, my dogs would already be with me, on my heels, so it really wouldn't come down to a choice.

And yes,Lisa, Although I've never pondered the presence of a soul in insects, the thought of them being in "heaven" doesn't really trouble me. The presence of a soul in livestock doesn't upset me to greatly, either. I sort of made my peace with it after years of watching my cat be what he was...a predator. There was no malice, nor ill will in his capture and devouring of a bird, mouse, or bunny. It simply was the way he was made, and his actions were for a specific purpose. Eating the meat of another creature for sustenance is not inherently evil. It's not pretty to watch, and I admit to finding documentaries of a lion in the wild hunting and eating an antelope disturbing - but I don't begrudge the cat his meal, either.

I think that humans are omnivorous, and I don't find eating the flesh of another animal "bad". However, an animal I intimately know, love, and have nurtured - for me, that is different. I never said a person that ate the family pet in the case of starvation was wrong, or evil - just that I personally couldn't do it.

Katherine - posted on 11/04/2011

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If i had a fire raging my cats would be the last thing on my mind, my son and my safety would be first. Besides when the alarms go off the cats/animals would run and hide, I'm sorry, I'm not searching for them while I have the potential to burn to death with my child in my arms.

Most animals are smart and can get out of a burning building, if they do, they have microchips, they will get back to us, if they don't get out, I'd be terribly upset, but they are my pets, I could always get another, they would'nt be the same but they could welcome the love that I could offer...

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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Well for me I'd use my two arms for my two kids and run! I'd prop the door open for the cats and I might go back for them. When I had a dog she was too big to carry so I'd just make her follow but no, as a fire is raging in my house I wouldn't be searching under beds trying to find the cats while by kids cried in their beds. If the cats came to me I'd make suretheygot out too though.

Sherri - posted on 11/04/2011

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Well since my dog sleeps in my youngest son's bed and cats sleep in mine or my older kids beds. They would all get out together.

To me every animal most definitely has a soul.

Minnie - posted on 11/04/2011

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A soul that sends the animal to heaven when it dies? Does not compute for me; otherwise even the smallest gnat would go to heaven. And mosquitoes. And hagfish, or whatever they're called. It's always the fuzzy ones that people insist have souls.



Spin-off: What if the house is on fire, raging, does one gather the child first or stand there deliberating as to whether the dog lives or the baby?

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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If I believed animals had souls then I'd feel like anyone who ate meat was a murderer and I'd have to live vegetarian or vegan. Do you eat meat Mary?
ME, that's why I'd love to quit eating meat but honestly I just don't have the motivation.
I'm sure I could fall in love with a pet cow or pig or chicken or turkey too so IMO eating any meat is eating a potential pet, except this potential pet never got the chance to love or be loved or even see the light of day or feel grass beneath their feet. It's almost worse to eat those poor animals raised just to be killed.

ME - posted on 11/04/2011

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I'm opposed to eating any meat, but I do have a hard time understanding what the difference is between eating a horse and eating a cow...or a dog for that matter...This was part of the reason I quit eating meat...I couldn't come up with a difference between eating a cat and eating a chicken or a pig...seemed like a crazy and logically unsound distinction to be making...

Mary - posted on 11/04/2011

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Laura, I know that many Christian churches don't believe that animals have souls - I'm sure that I was probably told that at some point as well. However, I think they are flat-out wrong on that one. I know in my heart, without question, that every pet I have ever been blessed to share a home with has a soul, and the God I believe in loves them just as much as he does me.

Katherine, believe it or not, there are more than a few of us who really do love our animals that much. It is not that I don't love my daughter more, but her arrival in my life did not mean that I loved my dogs any less. And I know, without question, that I could not murder someone I love to feed another that I loved. To me, it would be similar to having two kids in this scenario, and realizing that one would have a better shot at surviving if I fed him his sibling, who was deteriorating more quickly, and didn't seem likely to survive. I just don't think I could bring myself to do it.

Sherri - posted on 11/04/2011

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Well to you maybe it does. I have never lived in an environment where we butchered or ate our pets. Our pets where treated as members of our family. Even slept in our beds, had birthday parties and even had to stand in the corner with us when we misbehaved. So sorry but it is not something that makes sense to me.

I don't knock you for feeling differently just not how I was raised or something that is an option for me.

Katherine - posted on 11/04/2011

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@sherri, no my "adoptive" children would not be eaten, they would be like my own! My pets how ever are animals. their pets yes, but like me, i grew up with pet chickens and pet cows, all of which we butchered and ate!!!! Life cycles are wonderful, we as humans are supposed to eat the animals,



Just sit back, relax and think about it, if you are all without food, you and your hubby are larger then your kids, you will live longer, you will watch your child suffer, why put yourself through that, why not just eat the cat, the bird, the dog



makes sense to me

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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But I watched a show on a guy who was stranded in the amazon for weeks and he was literally starving to death. His dog found him in the woods and faithfully followed him. Finally the man was hallucinating and passing out frequently from hunger and he was also dying of malaria. So he killed his dog and ate it. He was so starving that he vomited up anything he tried to eat. So he left the carcass and walked as much as he could. He was minutes away from a tiny village.

He killed his dog to survive but the death didn't even help him, he couldn't eat it. And then he found helpso close.

He needlessly killed his best friend and it did him NO benefit.



So yeah, my kids are way more important to me, but I doubt killing my pets to eat would ever be a realistic choice.

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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I guess to me it boils down to souls. I think humans have them and animals do not. So in my eyes animals are not equals to humans in importance.

That said I could never literally kill my pets, or any animal. Heck I will trap and release flies, moths, centipedes, etc cuz I hate killing anything. Fruit flies and sugar ants I kill no problem :)
But I might make Matt do it if the kids really truly would die without it and if I knew it would buy them more then a few days.

Sherri - posted on 11/04/2011

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@Laura maybe and that would be a huge maybe if my pet died of natural causes but it certainly wouldn't be because I killed it.

@ Katherine to me my pets are no different than my own children that would be like saying because you adopted a child they are worth killing to feed your bio children. Really what is the difference??

Katherine - posted on 11/04/2011

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@ April, if you didn't eat ANYTHING for a whole school semester you would be dead!!! I'm sure you ate, you just didn't sit back and starve yourself!!!!

I couldn't imagine those who say they could never imgine eating their famiy pet, if times are tough (post war end of the world kind of deal), anything could happen!!! I just know that I personally would rather feed my child over myself and I would rather feed my child over my pets, my child is my own flesh and blood, my pets are not. yes my pets are my fur babies and a huge part of my family but really, I couldn't imagine watching my child starve to death!!! That would litterally rip my heart in two! just thinking about it hurts me on the inside. It also makes me hurt that people would rather watch their child die instead of feeding them what they have available.

Mary - posted on 11/04/2011

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I have to agree with Sherri here - I can almost guarantee that I would never, ever be able to bring myself to kill my Charlie for food, even if we were starving. Maybe a random stray, if I was truly that desperate (I'm talking end-of-the-world, the-aliens-have-landed type of scenario).

My dogs are cherished and adored family members. I could no more eat them then I could any other member of my family. Laura, I could just as easily eat my dog's body (that died of causes other than my hand) as you could your husband's; perhaps, in that "Alive" scenario - but it would have to that bad for me to do it.

Merry - posted on 11/04/2011

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Sherri, would you kill and eat a random stray dog?

Or what if your pet dog was killed already by some natural disaster.

What if your house was being attacked, would you grab your kids and run while your dog fought the intruders?

I wouldn't leave my kids to fight off a killer but if my dog was strong enough to save us by defending us I would not stay to die with her!

Minnie - posted on 11/04/2011

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Jodi it was a really good movie. Surprising, because nearly the entire film was him reflecting on his life and his situation while trapped in a teensy crevasse.

[deleted account]

I dislike most meat but I know if my family were starving in a post apocalyptic world (i doubt we'd survive, but if we did) you bet I'd eat any meat I could get including pets! I honestly think most people would, if not for them for their family. I cannot fathom how a good mom or dad could allow their child to starve when there is food available even if that food was their family pet!

For the pet adoption I think the only things that should be took into account are whether or not the person adopting can provide a good home for the animal, the race of the person should not matter!

[deleted account]

Kate, that's an honest answer. I don't think anyone likes the idea of eating their pets, for the most part. But if push comes to shove, we humans can manage some pretty amasing things in order to survive.

Take the guy that was trapped under the collapsed freeway after the '89 Loma Prieta earthquake. He was pinned inside his car for almost a week and had to survive by drinking his own urine. That idea churns my stomach more than eating something squishy and wriggly.... or Fido.

Or there's the story of the Uruguayan rugby team that crashed in the Andes and had to resort to cannibalism to survive, as depicted in the movie "Alive". They didn't want to do it, but in order to survive they had to.

No one chooses to be in such terrible situations where they have to decide to do something that seems extreme, but when placed in such a position only one's imagination is the limit to what we would do.

Kate CP - posted on 11/03/2011

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I honestly have no idea what I would or wouldn't be capable of killing and eating were my children genuinely starving. The idea of eating my pets is rather stomach turning...but at the moment I have better alternatives than eating my dog. I don't know if I could or not. I hope to hell to never have to find out.

Sherri - posted on 11/03/2011

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I have to say yes I would NEVER and I mean NEVER kill any of my pets to feed myself or my family. We would literally all starve first. To me my animals are just as important as my human kids and that is no joke. It is not right to spare one and not the other in my opinion. So although it sounds most of you would, I would not.

Merry - posted on 11/03/2011

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You can eat it raw and wrrrrrrigly! Lol. I hope someone gets that reference :) April, love you but you're weird!!! I could never starve myself! I can barely go 4 hours without eating!

[deleted account]

lol And from what I've been told, you're supposed to eat them alive... so they'd be wiggling in your mouth if you didn't chomp and swallow quickly.

Sorry, couldn't resist that chance to gross someone out. :-)

April - posted on 11/03/2011

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i am guilty of possibly allowing myself to starve before eating horse, dog, cat, guinea pig, squirrel, raccoon, rats, mice. i wouldn't have a problem killing a pet for food for my son and husband if it came to that, but i just couldn't bring it to touch my own lips. when i was in college, living in the dorms, i once refused to eat for a whole semester (15 weeks) because i didn't like the food in the dining hall. i mean completely didn't eat anything ever that whole time. that was all normal food too (chicken, hamburgers, ham) but so so nasty and prison food like. that's how i know i would let myself starve, because i did it before!

Krista - posted on 11/03/2011

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Yeah, it might be a little less heartbreaking to have to shoot Rover if he's been driven mad by hunger and is now lunging for your toddler's throat...

Although really, the cannibal route could work well. Lord knows there's enough flesh on just one of my ass cheeks to sustain a family of four for a month.

Krista - posted on 11/03/2011

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Besides. You think our starving-to-death animals wouldn't turn feral and start trying to take chunks out of us?

Krista - posted on 11/03/2011

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Yeah, I loved every pet I've ever had, but if my child was literally dying of starvation, I'd make that decision, as heartbreaking as it would be.

Feck, if my kid was starving to death, I'd start cutting bits off of myself and cooking them for him to eat, if it came down to it. I'd rather he be an inadvertent cannibal than be dead.

[deleted account]

Jodi, it's the same process here. When you get a dog or cat from a shelter you pay for it because they've spayed or neutered them and gotten them up to date with shots. So what you're saying makes sense. Why WOULD someone buy a dog (which usually costs around at least $150 at every SPCA I've been to) only to eat it?



And Sherri, no offense intended at all here but I just don't understand that line of thinking. There's NO WAY I would sacrifice my son's life for my cats. Ever. Not in a million years. And sacrificing your children is exactly what you'd be doing, IMO. And don't get me wrong, I get that you love your pets and consider them family. I love my cats too but to me, if I had to choose, there would be no choice. Just like if my husband and son were both drowning and I could only save one? My son would live and I'd be a widow. If it was a choice of my son surviving another day by eating our cats? Flitter and Coco would be eaten in a heart beat. No questions asked. Would it break my heart to have to do it? Most definitely. I've had these two cats for over 10 years. But to me, my son and husband and myself are far more important in the grand scheme of things if it ever came down to flat out survival and (again, no offense intended) I have a feeling that if you were ever in that unfortunate situation, you'd maybe re-think it. Just my opinion though :)



Edited to correct my dollar amount :)

Katherine - posted on 11/03/2011

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@Jodi, the cost of adopting a dog here is upwards of $300-400!!! how sickening is that? But I can see if you are raised eating something and really want that again you'd do it!!!!

Dog is by no means regulated and placed into the meat markets/grocery stores, so those who are used to eating it obtain it in other ways.

however horse, lamb, rabbit is sold in the stores alongside chicken, turkey, beef, pork etc.

@sherri, you would allow your children to starve to death instead of allowing them to eat good ol'fluffy or scruffy????

I know that if I were in a position of watching my family starve I too would butcher up ol'fluffy and have a purrfect meal!!!! That being said, my cats are my fur babies, but my son and husband would come first if we were starving!!! Besides, if we were starving, my son would be the first to die without food as he is the smallest and i'm not nursing, so I would have to sit there and watch him die, slowly, screaming and crying in pain and hunger!!!!!! Nope, couldn't do it, fluffy would be food instantly!!!!

Sherri - posted on 11/03/2011

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Well to me it is because my pets are just as important to me as my human children. So if it came down to starving or eat our pets. We would all starve together.

Jodi - posted on 11/03/2011

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" the thought of shelters taking extra measures when letting Asians adopt. That's outright discrimination."

The thing is, here in Australia, you have to pay to adopt a dog, because it covers the cost of having them sterilised, having their shots, etc, etc. So you tell me, why would someone pay $150 (or something - I think it is more than that) to buy a dog, only to eat it? Even the price of lamb is cheaper than that, and that's saying something at the moment. You'd just buy chicken drumsticks for $3.99 a kg.

[deleted account]

Well I don't think you're mad or sick Jodi ♥ It's all cultural and it's about survival sometimes too. On a slightly different note, when my cats claw my couch, I sometimes threaten to turn them into slippers lol I'm so meeean!

I think what bugs me about the OP more than anything is the thought of shelters taking extra measures when letting Asians adopt. That's outright discrimination. I have a friend who APPEARS to be Asian (and is, by heritage) but is as American as I am and if she EVER tried to adopt an animal from a shelter and was given "extra measures" first.....Oh just the thought pisses me off lol

Jodi - posted on 11/03/2011

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LOL Joy, people think we Aussies are sick because we are the only country in the world who eat the animals on our coat of arms - both kangaroo and emu are eaten here. I'm sure people think we are mad.

[deleted account]

I don't have a problem with people from other cultures who eat dogs or horses. I've never tried either and don't plan on it anytime soon. But it's probably the same as Indians (India Indians) believing cows to be sacred. But we still eat them in giant quantities and expect to be allowed to have the right to do so. I also don't think Asians should be treated any diffferently when it comes to adopting animals from a shelter.



ETA: I also think that in the American culture (I use that example because I AM American), we are sooo uptight about what we will and won't eat. If my family were starving? I have two cats and you betcha they'd be dinner. Love them and all, and I'm sure that's not a popular opinion and y'all may think me heartless but....my HUMAN family comes before my animals. And by starving, I mean like post war, apocalypse, NO WAY to get food starving. I just don't see why it grosses people out so much. I mean, I get that things that we aren't familiar with can sometimes make us go "ICK" but to say you'd NEVER eat cat, dog or any animal you emotionally associate with as a pet? You'd really let your child starve rather than sautee Fluffy? I doubt it. Just my opinion though, and it's not directed at any person in particular. Just those who say they'd NEVER do it lol

Merry - posted on 11/03/2011

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Dogs and horses are too cute to eat!
Then again even cows pigs and birds are too cute to eat I think.
I eat meat cuz it tastes good and is filling. If horse or dog meat were sold I'd maybe try it but I haves hard time eating any animal but dogs and horses are so kind and loving and faithful it would be sad.
I've heard pigs are that way too but I haven't had any personal experiences.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/03/2011

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I am not a pussy when it comes to bugs (hey...lol...pussy...eating cat...BAHAHAHAHA....think you can see where my mind has wondered) except spiders. But I still don't want any bugs in my mouth.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/03/2011

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When I am washing my veggies, if I see a dead spider in there...I cannot even touch it again let alone eat the washed food. I can deal with dead bugs on the lettuce, I just really scrub them. If a fly lands in my food, I do not proceed to crunch it (funny as hell Johnny) that piece of food gets thrown away.

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