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A Dog's Life in China

Posted Friday, August 1, 2008, at 7:31 PM

China is hosting the 2008 Olympic Games in August. In an effort not to offend civilized human beings arriving in China for the event, 112 designated Olympic restaurants have been ordered to remove dog meat from restaurant menus until after the civilized human beings have returned to their civilized countries.

The Beijing Catering Trade Association will blacklist those restaurants that fail to cooperate, however they'll make an exception for dog meat "for medicinal purposes."

Dog has been eaten in China for at least 7,000 years. It is sometimes referred to as "fragrant meat" or "mutton of the earth."

An estimated 300,000 dogs are killed in China annually and processed for meat. Some of it is exported to Korea.

Factory farms import large, docile breeds, particularly St. Bernards, which are then cross-bred with local dogs, and raise them under horrendous conditions, grouped extremely tightly in stacked cages.

Rather than simply killing the dog for processing, they slowly torture it to death over a long period of time, claiming the adrenalin rush gives the meat more flavor.

A dog is a domestic animal whose main purpose in life is to love and please their human companions.

Anyone who would do such a thing to such a wonderful, loving creature should be slowly tortured to death using a baseball bat, a blow torch and a rusty screwdriver. After all, it gives the meat more flavor.

Rather than put an end to such barbaric behavior, the Chinese government merely halts the practice of serving dog meat for a couple of months, then it's back to business as usual. In a country ruled by mindless bureaucrats, the perception of goodness is more important than actually doing the right thing.

It's bad enough that human beings use animals as circus performers or rodeo attractions or game to be hunted or as clothing items or objects of experimentation or stuffed decorative items or whatever. But when a human being is deliberately cruel to an animal, it becomes an earth-shattering event to everyone who understands that animals are defenseless creatures requiring the appreciation and protection of humanity.

When thousands of innocent, lovable dogs are slowly tortured to death, in an unspeakably horrific manner, day after day after day, sanctioned by the culture of a society, we all suffer. It's a cancer on all of humanity and it must not be allowed to continue.

Rather than presenting a false image, China should live up to the bogus perception it has tried to create. Stop pretending to be civilized human beings and actually become civilized human beings.

The truth will set you free.


Quote for the Day -- The greatness of a nation and its moral purpose can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi




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I can't even comprehend how this is possible (to eat dogs). Things need to change there, and anywhere this is allowed. I am sickened to even think of it and I pray it changes. Thank you, Mr. Burquest, for bringing this to our attention. I know you well and I know for sure you are a fair and non-judgemental man; and you are NOT a racist.

-- Posted by maltney on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 7:47 PM



Thanks for your comments, chiefs86 (Go Vikings).

We are all products of our genetic makeup, our surrounding environment and our culture. We are products of products.

For most of its history, China has been a self-contained unit, ignoring the rest of the world and following its own path. They've made substantial economic and productivity strides recently, but have remained culturally linked to the past.

Obviously not all Chinese people are the same. In the past, it was the country peasants who ate dog meat, partially due to overpopulation and lack of other options. But today, dog meat is considered to be a delicacy by trendy upscale elitists.

Yes, there is hope. As China becomes more affluent, more Chinese people are choosing dogs as pets.

The Olympic Games will shine a spotlight on China this summer. They have an atrocious record regarding human rights. While the Chinese government will do everything it can to give their homeland a positive spin, there remains much darkness behind the propaganda.

The Chinese government is presenting a false image to the world. It's a dreadful police state, ruled by communist bureaucrats who have zero tolerance for individual freedom or dissent.

To most people, perception is reality. But if you take a closer look sometimes, reality stinks.




-- Posted by Bret Burquest on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 6:57 PM

Our dog was treated like a member of the family (he recently died at age 12). We wouldn't think of leaving on a trip without him and only went to dog-friendly places, so he could go along.

However, ironically, the one time we did have to leave behind our beloved family member (he was well taken care of by the way) was a trip to China to receive our daughter. We were warned by our adoption agency about the treatment of what Americans consider domestic animals in China, and were even told when sending in our family photos not to include our dog in the pictures. This was very disconcerting to us to say the least-- but our daughter was waiting for us, and while the eating of what we consider our life-long companions was inconceivable-- the journey to our daughter took precedence.

The Olympics are undoubtedly bringing world-wide attention to China and all it's flaws and ugliness

will be included-- I'm sure the one-child only policy will be commented on and discussed as well as other notable communist topics as imprisoning dissidents, and the ongoing religious persecution of Tibetans and other factions. I appreciate Mr. Burquest's comments and viewpoint and am a regular reader. I just hope the world can look at some positive things about China and it's rich culture and history and know that all countries have their faults and problems as well. And please remember that not all the 1.3 billion people in China are inhumane and cruel, but simply a product of their culture and beliefs.

One last observation-- when we were in Guangzhou, China we visited the zoo there and their "petting zoo" consisted of a variety of breeds of dogs-- very interesting-- and it was packed with Chinese children and their parents petting and loving the dogs-- so maybe there's hope yet???

Thank you for the freedom to let me post my viewpoint and keep up the good work!

-- Posted by chiefs86 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 11:13 AM



The attitude of the author (me) is contemptuous -- absolutely.

I have supreme contempt for people who would slowly torture a dog to death, then eat it.

I have supreme contempt for a society that would accept such a heinous tradition.

I have supreme contempt for a government that would allow such disgustingly savage behavior to continue.

I have supreme contempt for a government that would attempt to deceive others by temporarily hiding the inhumanity of their culture.

Yes, I am utterly contemptuous of acts of unspeakable cruelty toward hundreds of thousands of innocent, loveable animals annually.


If my twin brother were involved in such sadistic behavior, I would be equally contemptuous of his actions as well.

Fell free to call me a jerk or a fool or whatever, but don't call me a racist for being contemptuous of barbaric acts of cruelty.




-- Posted by Bret Burquest on Sun, Aug 3, 2008, at 12:52 PM

All that need to be said in this article is said by the attitude of the author, which is as contemptuous as it is racist.

Racism against the Chinese is the only racism that seems to be allowed these days.

-- Posted by Faithful Reader on Sat, Aug 2, 2008, at 2:05 AM

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Boldly Going Nowhere
Bret Burquest
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.
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