How is eating dogs morally worse than eating other animals?

By flowerplantyt   March 10, 2024 | 08:31 pm PT
How is eating dogs morally worse than eating other animals?
A vendor sells dog meat in Hanoi, January 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Khoa Lai
I love pondering this moral question about whether or not it's immoral to eat dogs. So far, I have yet to see even a single compelling argument as to why eating dogs is morally worse than eating any other animal.

Worse yet, the arguments made by the people who are against dog eating have revealed severe moral deficiencies in themselves, if not straight up racism and Western chauvinism.

First, all concerns about disease and stolen pets can easily be quelled by going to a reputable source for the dog meat. Plus, pork and other meat can have the exact same problems. So for the sake of the argument, if someone knows for a fact that the dog meat is clean and was not a stolen pet, is it morally wrong to eat it?

The only other arguments against eating dog meat are:

1. "Dogs are not 'meant' to be eaten, they are 'meant' to be friends." Ok, meant by who? Our ancestors? Our ancestors are not nor should ever be the moral authority on what we can and can't do, for multiple reasons. One, is that ancestors' morals vary greatly from place to place. Another is that the morals of people past are often extremely skewed by religion, superstition, and lack of knowledge about the world. Many of our ancestors also never meant for democracy to be extended to women or people of "lower class" such as slaves. In fact, many of our ancestors believed slavery was perfectly moral and that those who are designated as slaves are meant to obey their slavers. What our ancestors believed means literally nothing when we are talking about morality in the modern day. And what is considered socially acceptable is not always what is morally right. In fact what is socially acceptable is often completely divorced from morality.

As for dogs being companions, this is extremely subjective to people on an individual level. In my culture, dogs are not companions. In fact they are seen as filthy and dangerous. I never grew up with dogs nor ever viewed them as a companion, thus I see them as no different than pigs. I did have pet chicken on the other hand, and guess what? They DID in fact run up to greet me whenever I would come home from school or an outing. The only reasons you don't see chickens run up to greet people is because people rarely choose to keep them as pets, but those who do choose to keep them as pets can easily see they are indistinguishable from dogs when it comes to the bonds they can form with us. Your belief that dogs have a special bond with people is due exclusively to your own short sitedness and close mindedness. Not everyone views dogs as pets or companions. Not everyone views chickens and pigs and cows as just "livestock."

In addition, this argument really boils down to the belief that killing an intelligent sentient creature isnt wrong on its face as a standard moral rule, but rather that the morality of killing is subjective. How horrifying is that? To believe that killing is only wrong if you or someone else has sentimental feelings for the victim? It's like saying killing an orphan is morally justified because no one is there to mourn them.

Surprised I compared killing an animal to killing a person (orphan)? Well I'm only taking a page out of your sides book. Many people on the "shouldn't eat dogs" side do make it: That killing a dog is worse the same way a hate crime is worse than a regular crime. The example someone else who wrote an article about this used was "burning a synagogue is worse than burning a community center". Yikes! This brings me to point 2, the sheer racism and Western chauvinism.

2. "Its such a bad look! No civilized country would allow such a thing to continue!" I mean need I even say more? I think you all KNOW this is a bad and racist argument, but just don't care. Western morality is not objective morality. Some Western morals are good and should be adopted worldwide, such as the desire for gender equality and getting rid of racial and sexual discrimination, but these morals have concrete arguments as to why they should be followed that are rooted in core principles that virtually every society follows. Principles such as we should desire to do no harm to another, and that people in general should be all given the chance to live happy and healthy lives. There is not a single concrete moral principle that underlies the "dogs are not food" argument. Expecting other cultures to change to appease arbitrary Western sentiments is racist, as is comparing eating a dog to burning a synagogue.

We can choose to eat what we want in this modern world. And just as they choose to eat beef and pork, maybe I will choose to eat dog. Morally, these are exactly equivalent. As in this day and age, MOST of us can choose to not eat ANY meat at all. As long as we choose to continue to eat meat, I will continue to laugh at hypocrites with poor morals codes who think there is any functional difference between eating dog or cattle.

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