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>Dog food?

> Auckland resident Paea Taufa killed and cooked his dog this past weekend. He was visited by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) but not prosecuted as his actions are legal.

He rendered the dog unconscious with a blow to the head before slitting its throat, which is regarded as humane.

Under the Animal Welfare Act it is legal to kill a dog in New Zealand if the animal is slaughtered swiftly and painlessly.

That did not stop several persons from condemning him and calling for a ban on the consumption of dog meat in New Zealand. SPCA Auckland chief executive Garth Halliday said,

Although we appreciate the difference of cultures that exist in a place like New Zealand, the SPCA finds this sort of treatment of any animal to be totally unacceptable,… Even though the law says you can humanely kill an animal, you should not be treating any animal like this.

And SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said,

The slaughtering, roasting and eating of a dog or other companion animal is simply abhorrent to our culture as New Zealanders.

Korean Garden Trust spokesman Stanley Park was surprised it was legal in New Zealand. He also stated,

Dog eating may be part of our history, but most Koreans today would consider eating dogs totally barbaric – and our culture actually forbids us making a meal of animals that are considered companions.

Save Animals From Exploitation voiced objection as well. Hans Kriek said,

While we are opposed to the killing of all animals for eating, banning the consumption of dog meat would be a good start.

And a variety of others have expressed their thoughts on this, many of the opponents calling for a ban.

Now I have never tasted dog meat. I don’t have a strong desire to facilitate my consumption of it at a later stage, though I would be prepared to try it, or eat it if offered it in a culture where my refusal would be seen as offensive.

But why the call for banning? You don’t like the idea of eating a dog, don’t eat one.

Kriek’s comment is revealing. He opposes all meat eating and just sees this as a step in eventual banning of all carnivory. It is, however, probably the most consistent position among the opponents.

When people find something icky what makes them strongly desire to prevent everyone else from doing it? These same people would likely strongly object if I imposed bans on their preferred behaviours. I am not a particular fan of tattoos or body piercing, but I do not support calls to make it illegal.

I am all for debate, and some things should be illegal. But the speed at which people are prepared to jump from “I wouldn’t do that” to “no one should ever be allowed to do that” is phenomenal. This in an age when the call for tolerance is greater than at many other times in history.*


* I am not suggesting I support this age’s call for tolerance, just noting that we are in it—though rapidly moving away from it.

  1. 2009 August 20 at 13:41

    “When people find something icky what makes them strongly desire to prevent everyone else from doing it?”
    Maybe I have to rethink my belief that Chicago style pizza should be banned…
    Kidding aside, I absolutely agree. For the most part, carnivore meat is disgusting, so I don’t understand the motivation. Carnivore meat tends to be tougher, with less flavors to it. For instance, C. S. Lewis once mentioned that the difference between good ursine meat and bad ursine meat is whether or not the bear mostly ate plants or meat. Plant eaters taste better.
    Also, for the most part, eating an animal that many consider more of a friend than just an animal is a little disconcerting for me. By that I mean I would have trouble being friends with the guy.
    But at the end of the day, it’s only a dog. There is a profound difference between humans and animals. If there is nothing wrong with killing the animal, than there is nothing wrong with eating the animal. We only have an issue because we culturally treat dogs like humans.

  2. 2009 August 20 at 14:04

    While I don’t support banning it either, it stands to reason that there is likely something wrong with this guy. It isn’t normal behavior to do something like this. I would put his behavior in the same general plane as someone who skins cats for fun. Hunting, killing and eating a coyote is one thing, as it is outside of civilization, but a domesticated dog is too close to home.

  3. 2009 August 21 at 09:42

    Perhaps Mike, but consider keeping chickens or sheep or cattle. Now days we mass farm them, but in times past a family may have had a few animals, and the animals were friendly to them. Killing a sheep or lamb that is like a family pet is somewhat similar. Though I concede that a dog is much friendlier.
    The chap was Tongan (non-Western culture) and we don’t know how long he’d had the dog.

  4. Anonymous
    2009 August 23 at 09:15

    The spectrum of what offends people is so funny to me… (in a spiritually disturbing way)
    It would not surprise me if the 12%ers in the recent CIR are supporters of cart blanch abortion under the guise of women’s right to choose. It also wouldn’t surprise me if many of these non-hot doggers and save the animals groups are also dominantly in favour of abortion.
    I could never – in good conscience – campaign for protection of animals etc… when I could be using the time to campaign for children.
    I don’t think that all people should be like me in this regard because everyone has different passions, however I do think that one of the subtle dangers of all the modern movements around is that is can distract us from the most important ones…

  5. 2009 August 23 at 10:17

    It also wouldn’t surprise me if many of these non-hot doggers and save the animals groups are also dominantly in favour of abortion.
    I think this is an important point. While we mustn’t dismiss a point, or disregard another’s cause just because he is in error elsewhere, there is a moral relationship on thoughts of killing people and killing animals that is reasonable to consider. As such, if someone is anti-animal killing but pro-abortion I think his argument can be dismissed. There is no way one can be for the death of unborn children and against the death of animals at the same time unless he is morally confused (on this topic).

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