Why We Should Eat Dogs

One of the most controversial issues in modern society relates to eating dogs. Society members are sharply divided on this emotive issue. Dog lovers argue that consuming dog meat is a retrogressive and barbaric tradition that should be prohibited. They posit that consuming dog meat is not only morally repugnant, but also a health hazard, and a cuisine tradition that promotes animal cruelty. Critics of persons who consume dog meat have also argued that dogs are intelligent, friendly, and loyal canines that serve the primary purposes of providing security and companionship to their owners and for this reason, killing and eat dogs is a breach of trust that these animals have to the human race. In this regard, animal rights activists opposed to the practice of eating dogs often organize protests with the ultimate goal of pressuring the government to criminalize the selling or purchasing of dog meat. Whereas consumption of dog meat is frowned upon by Americans and other western societies, this cuisine tradition is popular in China, South Korea, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. People in these societies perceive dog meat as a delicacy with cultural, economic, social, and religious significance. Given the diverse cultural attitudes towards eating dog meat, it is difficult to make the global population concur on whether it is appropriate to eat dogs. The eating of dog meat should be encouraged because this practice is central to food security, environmental conservation, and cultural preservation.

One of the reasons why people should consume dog meat is to enhance food security. People in developing nations face food insecurity due the reliance on rain-fed agriculture, adverse weather conditions, soil erosion, poor quality seeds, abject poverty, and high cost of food prices. The consumption of dogs can enhance food security for people in developing countries by increasing the quantity of food in society. Since dogs have higher rates of reproduction than farm animals including sheep, cattle, and goats, the commercialization of dog farming for food purposes would increase the global production of meat. The government and NGOs can purchase meat from dog farms and distribute to persons facing starvation for free or at subsidized prices. The popularization of dog meat can also foster a nation’s food security since there are millions of stray dogs roaming city centers and villages. I have personally witnessed hundreds of abandoned dogs in streets and in animal rescue centers. The government tries to control the population of these dogs through euthanizing them as evident in the quote, “Three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized annually” (Foer). Rather than euthanizing these dogs, people can slaughter them and consume their meat. The slaughtering of stray dogs would significantly increase the overall supply of cheap meat in society. Accordingly, people with severe malnutrition due to the lack of a protein-rich diet would become more food secure if they embraced the cuisine tradition of consuming dog meat. The consumption of dog meat can also enhance a nation’s food security because it is cheaper to operate a dog farm than raising herbivores for meat production. Unlike herbivores which require large grazing areas and costly feeds, dogs can be raised in confined spaces by feeding them leftovers. The low production costs associated with operating dog farms would result to dog meat being sold at affordable prices. Thus, economically disadvantaged nations would be able to purchase and feed their populace dog meat. Ultimately, eating dogs is a controversial but effective measure of enhancing food security for people in developing nations.

The eating of dogs is a cuisine practice that should be encouraged since the mass consumption of dogs is central to environmental conservation. The raising of dogs for meat is more sustainable and eco-friendly than raising cattle. Unlike cattle farming that promotes deforestation as farmers cut trees to pave way for growing cattle feed and expanding grazing lands, dog farming is environmentally friendly since a large number of dogs can be raised in small spaces. This claim is supported by my personal observation of dog breeder raising over a thousand dogs in a small plot of land. Dog farming also promotes the conservation of the environment since rather than dumping food leftovers on landfills, these foods can be fed to dogs. Accordingly, the rearing of dogs in large scale for their meat would be a sustainable way of reducing soil pollution. The raising of dogs for meat is also eco-friendly since dog farming does not put a strain on water and energy resources as evident in the quote, “If we let dogs be dogs, and breed without interference, we would create a sustainable, local meat supply with low energy inputs that would put even the most efficient grass-based farming to shame” (Foer). In contrast, raising cattle for beef is unsustainable since cattle consume a lot of water per day. Moreover, cattle farming is energy-intensive since farmers spend significant amounts of electricity and fossil fuels operating machinery used in the growing, harvesting and processing of cattle feeds. Unlike cattle, dogs do not contribute to global warming by producing significant amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane. Dog farming is not an environment hazard since dogs, uncle cattle do not cause soil erosion. In summary, raising dogs for meat can be the panacea to combating farming-triggered environmental pollution and global warming.

People in dog-eating cultures should continue consuming dog meat to preserve their cultural traditions. The practice of eating dogs is entrenched in the cultural fabric of many societies in Asia and elsewhere. In particular, people in societies where dogs are perceived as sources of lean meat have for centuries developed recipes of cooking and serving dog meat. I have personally interacted with people of Chinese ancestry who disclosed that eating dogs is considered a norm since their ancestors have always reared dogs for their meat. Banning the consumption of dog meat would therefore be an attack against the cultures of dog-eating societies. Dog meat is also construed as having medicinal and libido-boosting abilities in some cultures. In this regard, discouraging people in these societies from eating dogs may be construed as disrespecting or undermining their cultural beliefs. Equally important banning or discouraging the eating of dogs would be a form of imposing one’s cultural beliefs and preferences on another person’s culture since it is culturally appropriate to eat dogs in certain cultures as evident in the quote, “But dog eating isn’t a taboo in many places, and it isn’t in any way bad for us (Foer). Therefore, as a way of showing respect to other people’s cultures and in the spirit of promoting cultural diversity, people in societies where dog meat is considered a delicacy should be allowed to derive nutrients from consuming dog meat. People from cultures that do not perceive dogs as sources of human food should eat dog meat as a way of exploring and appreciating other people’s cultures and traditions. In summary, eating dogs is an important cultural tradition that should be preserved , maintained, and passed down to the next generation.

The eating of dogs can be justified under several economic, cultural, and environmental grounds including making people to be food-secure, a way of conserving the environment, and as a measure of preserving cultures anchored on consumption of dog meat. In the wake of increased droughts and high food prices, consuming dog meat can improve food security of developing nations since the citizens would be assured of a steady supply of cheap and quality dog meat. Eating dogs is associated with environmental conservation since the raising of dogs for their meat is more eco-friendly and sustainable than cattle farming which is associated with deforestation, depletion of water and energy resources, soil erosion, and the production of greenhouse gases. The consumption of dog meat in societies that have traditionally kept dogs for meat purposes is crucial to preserving and passing on this unique cuisine tradition to the next generation. Given the economic, cultural, and environmental advantages of eating dogs, the governments in western societies should popularize the consumption of dog meat by combating the stigma relating to this cuisine tradition, formulating laws relating to killing dogs in humane ways, and establishing best practices relating to cooking, preserving, and retailing dog meat in a way that does not endanger public health and safety.

Works Cited

Foer, Jonathan S. “Let Them Eat Dog.” The Wall Street Journal, 31 Oct. 2009, ecocomposition.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/let-them-eat-dog-wsj-com.pdf. Accessed 12 Feb. 2024.

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