Animal welfarists are euphoric today that provisions to outlaw eating dogs and cats in the upcoming Farm Bill speak to a kinder, gentler society.
If this isn't a case of the pot calling the kettle black, I have no idea what is. The height of provincialism is to label something as cultural as dietary mores evil if it assaults our senses. What's next, guinea pigs? Those have been a staple in Chile and Peru for millenia.
What, exactly, makes eating a dog or cat horrible and a chicken or cow pleasant? Several years ago the animal welfarists succeeded in outlawing the final two horse slaughter plants in the U.S. This horse meat was not sold in the U.S.; it was exported to countries where eating horse meat is perfectly normal. Many of our pioneering ancestors survived on horse meat when all else failed. They didn't have Costco to save the day.
In fact, never content with whatever today's holiness prescription is, these animal welfarists have now outlawed an owner's ability to even put down his own horse if it gets old, sick, and feeble. It requires a veterinarian using a certain drug in a certain protocol. So people unable or unwilling to comply simply open the gate and turn their horses into the street. A veterinarian friend has had horses dropped off by his house in the dark of night. He owns a pasture and folks open the gate and drop off horses under cover of darkness rather than comply with these asinine and onerous do-gooder regulations.
To be sure, I don't eat dog and cat, and have no intention to start. But it is the height of elitist self-righteousness to decry those who do. What's next on the platitude of plate police? You see, the problem with these prohibitions is that they create a superiority attitude, which I contend is not nice, gentle, or charitable.
Further, they fuel the notion that a few should dictate to others what is an acceptable diet and even what is culturally acceptable. That's a slippery slope toward prejudice and all sorts of prohibitions. What's most disconcerting is that this kind of legislation adds precedent to create more and more outlandish bans.
I thought we were in the era of tolerance, choice, and consent. Next might be turtle eggs. Then chicken eggs. It's not much of a jump philosophically. It's only a jump politically. Philosophically, outlawing eating dog is identical to outlawing eating chicken or pork. To allow something as culturally provincial as eating habits to occupy our time and attention at the heights of federal legislation is unbelievably meddlesome and elementary at best, or tyrannical and intolerant at worst.
Several years ago one of our farm apprentices decided he wanted to eat as many different kinds of things as he possibly could while he was here, knowing that once he left, he might not have the opportunity again. The list was epic: skunk, ground hog, raccoon, possum, mink, weasel. His verdict on the best tasting? Skunk. Go figure. I did not imbibe.
The point is that what people eat is highly personal. When you look around the world and see the variety of culinary traditions, from blood pudding to fried gonads and from monkey to dog to camel, you realize just how varied and wonderful our world is. That some think all this variety is somehow inhumane or anti-ethical, or has some sort of evil morality attached to it, is simply elitist prejudice translated to overreaching governmental tyranny. Enough. Enjoy it all.
What's the most bizarre thing you've ever eaten?