British TV chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says that people who eat pigs might as well eat puppies too since it’s the same thing morally.
The recently-turned vegetarian has admitted that he once at the likes of bats, giraffes and calf testicles, but he now says you can’t eat one type of animal and object to another.
In principle, but not in practice, I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm. You can’t object, unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It’s an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs. Both animals could be used the other way round, although pigs probably do make better meat than dogs and dogs better pets than pigs, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.
He makes a good point.
Animals are animals, and meat is meat, no matter how you look at it. We have just made eating pigs and cows and chickens a socially-acceptable part of our society, while making dogs a socially-acceptable part of our families. But if you look at other cultures, their definitions differ on which animals are permissible to consume and which ones are taboo.
For instance, in certain circumstances, dog meat is eaten in Korea, Vietnam, and China, horse meat is part of the national cuisine of Japan and France, whales are consumed in Norway, apes and monkeys are part of the sub-Saharan African menu and Japan has long been under attack for eating dolphins. There is even a divide in our country on whether eating deer is acceptable.
So where do we draw the line? We can’t. And that’s Fearnley-Whittingstall’s point. You simply can’t say it’s OK to kill and eat one animal while saying it’s not OK to do this to all animals. This is the same argument that’s been brought up before by other animal-rights activists, like PETA.
Some may say that dogs are truly man’s best friend, and they are smarter and more bonded to humans than any other animal. I have two dogs myself, and can definitely say they are treated like members of our family. They get more loving, more snuggles and more attention than many humans do. But I also know people who have worked with other animals all their lives and would say an elephant, a sheep or a pig is the same thing. They too can be very intelligent, loving, personable animals and can also make great pets. They just can’t lick our faces and sleep in our beds.
So, it’s an interesting debate. Is eating a pig the same as eating a puppy? Tell us what you think.