I've been getting lots of emails like most internet using animal lovers have been getting in the last couple weeks about the horrible stuff that's been going on over in China - the massive slaughter of companion dogs because of 3 human rabies in death in one province of China and the overall country wide death of 2,000 human deaths a year due to rabies. They're planning on killing another 500,000 dogs in another province over the next couple of weeks (this is the middle of August 2006 that I'm writing this).
Just about anybody who reads this would have their initial reaction be revulsion - how could anyone in this day and age allow this to happen? to actually have gangs of people walking down the streets of neighbourhoods banging pots and pans so that the dogs inside houses would bark and they could hone in on the barking and then go inside the house and kill the dog? Or instructing every dog owner in town to bring their dog to the town centre so that their beloved companion animal would be hanged? And people actually complying with that order? What kind of a world are we living in.
Well if you know me and have been reading my blog you'll know that I blather on about the fact that I don't see any difference between a cow and a dog and a pig and a human (and a seal too - THANK YOU Paul McCartney!). The death of one is the same as another - and they're all equally valuable - or worthless, however you want to value them.
We kill millions of chickens so we can eat them, and pigs and cows. But that's so we can eat them - that serves somewhat of a purpose right? But killing these dogs is COMPLETELY senseless because some of the dogs they killed were innoculated against rabies. Well what about all the 1,000's, maybe even millions (I'm not sure) of COWS - we here in CANADA - KILLED - because of the THREAT of Mad Cow Disease? We slaughtered huge herds - completely decimated the cattle industry in this country almost - because of ONE or TWO suspected cases of mad cow disease. And that's in CANADA that this happened. Is that okay because it was a cow? Have you ever looked a cow in the eye? They have the longest eye lashes. I'd say the only reason we don't have THEM as pets is because they're hard to house train and they don't fit our beds as easy as dogs do - because close up - they're pretty damn cute.
And I'm not even going to talk about the CAJ-JILLION of chickens that have been killed for the bird flu outbreaks worldwide. And probably you can count on one hand how many of those birds died humanely.
So why are dogs so much better than those cows and those chickens? They've all died for no reason - completely non-sensically.
And I read one of the best articles today that I've read in a long time - by this Mark Murford guy from the San Francisco Gate in a piece called "Let Us Now Kill All The Dogs China slaughters tens of thousands of canines with giant clubs. How appalling is it?" and he brings up the fabulous idea of how we here in North America kill MILLIONS of dogs and cats every year in shelters - how is that any different than what the Chinese people are doing in the streets over there right now? Do you know what I think? I don't think it's any different. It's just a lot gruffer.
China has a lot of people in a very small space. They are growing so fast in so many ways. 10 years ago Beijing still banned companion animals. I'm sure as humans they have as much compassion as anyone else on this planet. They just maybe have forgotten about the fact that everything that breathes is in fact sentient and deserves the benefit of life. I don't think they give equal benefit to other humans - so to give it to animals at this point is a lot to ask. Maybe to start with animals they can see how good it makes them feel and they'll start showing it to their fellow humans too - and then China will really be a stunning culture. It would be amazing to see. I hope it happens a little bit in my lifetime.