March 26, 2017

"Many Indonesians who are still too poor to eat beef, except on special occasions, can now afford dog or cat."

Said one animal protection researcher quoted in "Indonesians’ Taste for Dog Meat Is Growing, Even as Others Shun It" (NYT).
“From a strictly practical, agricultural point of view, growing dogs and cats for meat requires far less space and feed resources than growing cows, and is therefore cheaper,” [Brad] Anthony said. “The economics of it all is likely the primary motivator for production and consumption.”...

[D]ogs are not classified as livestock, the way cows, pigs and chickens are. Because of this, the slaughter, distribution, sale and consumption of dogs are not regulated.... In Jakarta, Juniatur Silitonga... says he slaughters about 20 dogs in an average week....

“It’s cheaper than beef,” he said. “Eating dog meat is a tradition among local tribes, and they are mostly Christian, but Muslims also eat dog meat soup for medicinal reasons.”
There is a belief that meat from a black dog cures asthma.

ADDED: In the comments — those swamps of vitriol and condescension — they're making a beeline for Obama-eats-dog material. Here's my Obama eats dog tag to beef up — dog up — your witticisms.

But what I really want to talk about is poverty and human health. If dogs and cats are cheap and easy to breed and keep, why shouldn't poor people be accorded respect as they embrace this form of food production? The article doesn't really approach this problem, but immediately distracts us with 2 completely different problems: 1. Cruel methods of slaughter, and 2. Rabies.

These are utterly easy to see as problems. There's no debate about ethics, so it's a fine distraction from the harder question I want to talk about.

And aren't these problems solvable? Can't poor people be educated about and convinced to use the most humane method of slaughter? We affluent people — most of us — don't deny ourselves meat because of the suffering of animals. We just expect that the suffering to be decently minimized.

As for rabies, nobody wants rabies! Let's work on that problem everywhere. According to the article, unregulated commerce makes it hard to rabies, which is "a persistent problem in Bali and elsewhere." If this is a reason to deny a meat source to poor people, please explain to me why affluent people are encouraged to travel to Bali. Here's a NYT article from 2015: "Rabies Deaths Higher Than Previously Thought":
Rabies kills 59,000 people a year, or about 160 a day — more than had previously been assumed — according to a study published last week.
That is a terrible problem. Worry about that, not whether some poor people are taking advantage of the profusion of dogs and cats to get some meat in their diet.

86 comments:

Laslo Spatula said...

Cue 'Obama eating Dog' joke.

I am Laslo.

jaydub said...

Barack Obama could not be reached for comment.

Ann Althouse said...

@Laslo, here's the Obama eats dog tag for the convenience of anyone who wants source material for elaborate witticisms.

David Begley said...

Hey, let's bring in more people from Indonesia. Diversity.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Barack Obama's dog could not be reached for comment.

Quaestor said...

Mexico is noted for tiny dogs. The Chihuahua breed is just one of them. They're all descended from canines bred especially for culinary purposes.

David Begley said...

And another way to cut medical costs. Cure asthma by eating black dogs. America's pharma and biotech industries are doomed!

Luke Lea said...

Hmmm. If dog meat is so much cheaper to produce, I wonder if our neolithic ancestors ate dogs before (or even after) they managed the domestication of sheep, goats, cows, and pigs? They domesticated dogs first. Yet I can't recall archeologists and paleo-anthropologists ever writing about this. Anybody know?

AprilApple said...

As long as they don't put em' on top of the car for a vacation, chomp away.


*Progressive privilege*

Drago said...

Cue Laslo for a "Lamar, the black Indonesian dog, gonna set you straight"

Drago said...

I fully expect a CNN exclusive report on increasing acts of eating Black dogs in Indonesia since Trump.

Quaestor said...

When Earnest Shackleton's men were marooned on Elephant Island they tried eating seals, but the flavor of the meat was so revolting that many became sick and vomited. Then they tried eating one of their sled dogs. Shackelton found the meat quite tasty, though as an Englishman he was ashamed to admit it.

I love dogs and I'm against eating them. I'm also against eating horses. But I think "animal rights" people who agitate against the use of dogs as food should shut up and send their money to poor dog-eaters who might use it to buy beef instead.

Darrell said...

The dogs kids love to bite.

jimbino said...

I've been hoping for Chinese, Korean or such Indonesian neighbors for years, since dogs and cats are such a nuisance here in Rio, and I've already started calling them "petisco" (appetizer) in preparation.

Original Mike said...

"The dogs kids love to bite."

Even sissy kids.

Darrell said...

Even kids with Chicken Pox.

The medical uses were known even back then.

Laslo Spatula said...

" In the comments — those swamps of vitriol and condescension — they're making a beeline for Obama-eats-dog material."

No nod to my 9:44 AM prognostication? Sometimes it sucks being a Prophet...

I am Laslo.

Bob Boyd said...

Talk about a story for the great grandkids, President Obama-gracious, elegant, tieless-in an Indonesia inflected brasserie,taking fork fulls of German Shepherd pie.

Curious George said...

Hey, hey mama said the way you move
Gon' make you sweat, gon' make you groove

Paco Wové said...

I would think chickens or pigs would be cheaper than dogs on a cost-per-Calorie basis.

Laslo Spatula said...

I find animal cruelty in the States more worrisome than the eating habits of the very poor.

One at least has a purpose. We may find it culturally abhorrent (The Luxury-to-Afford-Pets Privilege) but survival is a primal requirement.

Cruelty, on the other hand, is a sickness of those who believe they have the Privilege to Act That way because of where they sit on the Food Chain.

I am Laslo.

Robert Cook said...

"We affluent people — most of us — don't deny ourselves meat because of the suffering of animals. We just expect that the suffering to be decently minimized."

I don't think most of us think at all about what the animals slaughtered for our food go through. To the extent we think about the experience of animals in slaughterhouses, we may hope or assume the suffering is "decently minimized," but we don't know, and we don't really care. The animals know they're going to be killed and they're terrified.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

[D]ogs are not classified as livestock, the way cows, pigs and chickens are. Because of this, the slaughter, distribution, sale and consumption of dogs are not regulated....

If dogs and cats are cheap and easy to breed and keep, why shouldn't poor people be accorded respect as they embrace this form of food production?


Maybe dogs and cats are cheap and easy to breed because they are not classified as livestock, and therefore not regulated. Maybe the answer is to stop, or at least reduce, the regulation of livestock.

Laslo Spatula said...

@Meade:

If the situation were dire, and there was no other option, would you eat Zeus?

If so, have you discussed this with him?

I am Laslo.

robother said...

No Prophet is honored in his own swamp.

David Begley said...

Ann

Enlightened capitalism and the Western rule of law approach would solve the poverty and food problem in the third world.

And please. Dogs aren't human but they are the animals most like us. An ethical, moral and humane culture doesn't eat dogs. Dogs are our companions. That being said, the PETA crowd's view on cattle, pigs and chickens is nuts. There are levels of animals and dogs are the highest level.

The real story here is that America is exceptional. We have the best culture. We shouldn't degrade (and eventuslly destroy) our culture by bringing in dog eaters and polygamists. The problem is mostly Islam. Churchill was right. Islam is the most retrograde force in the world.

pacwest said...

If it moves - eat it. If it doesn't fuck it.

bagoh20 said...

"As for rabies, nobody wants rabies!"

Rabiphobe hater!

Quaestor said...

I wonder if our neolithic ancestors ate dogs before (or even after) they managed the domestication of sheep, goats, cows, and pigs?

Neolithic people had dogs long before they had any other domestic animals. (Sheep or perhaps goats were the second species to join us in co-evolution.) At that time dogs were too valuable as hunting partners to just eat them. You can eat a dog only once, after all, while a living dog can help you find and kill many deer. However, breeding involves culling, and I doubt culled puppies were just buried in a hole. The only consistent use of dogs as food occurred in East Asia and the Americas. In the case of East Asia, particularly in the more tropical regions, cattle and sheep are rare. Water buffalo were and remain too valuable for agricultural work to regularly slaughter them for meat. Therefore most animal protein comes from fish, birds, pigs (though the dominance of Islam in some areas has fucked that up considerably) and, yes, dogs. These dietary preferences seem to be recent than the Neolithic, though. The Chinese have a reputation of eating anything slower than a Chinaman, though the less said about that the better. In the Americas the story is different. The Mesolithic hunter/gathers who colonized the New World 14,000 years ago brought only one domesticated partner species with them, the dog. Over the millennia between the crossing of the Beringian isthmus and the arrival of the Spanish the Indian domesticated only a few animals, the llama and the alpaca, and both in the Andes. The Central Americans were in the process of domesticating the turkey when the Spaniards intervened, however, for the most part, all they had were dogs.

robother said...

"I doubt culled puppies were just buried in a hole." No, they were taken to that nice farmer in the next valley.

Meade said...

"If the situation were dire, and there was no other option, would you eat Zeus?"

He is not my dog.

Bob Boyd said...

Just don't eat my dog.

Quaestor said...

The animals know they're going to be killed and they're terrified.

Once again Cookie descends into sophistry.

Quaestor said...

If the situation were dire, and there was no other option, would you eat Zeus's owner?

Paco Wové said...

Anything that reduces the feral dog population has my support.

Meade said...

In dire circumstances, I probably wouldn't kill my dog in order to eat him but if he were killed, to not eat him would be a waste of good food. But normally, eating one's dog would be as stupid as eating one's seed corn.

Bob Boyd said...

If the situation were dire and there was no other option, would Zeus eat Meade?

bagoh20 said...

In the case of dogs, they consider themselves part of our family, they expect protection and give it in return, becuase that's how we created them, and we did create them that way. For that reason, I believe it is immoral for humans to use them as food. We bred them to be companions, and bred out their self-protecting natural fear of us. To kill them for food is a breach of contract, and a neglect of our responsibilities according to our own ethics, and I think that ethic is pretty universal. You don't kill and eat family, or companions and protectors, especially when you made them that way.

Inga said...

Bali. If it's not a tsnunami that gets you, it'll be the rabid dog meat.

David Begley said...

Bagoh20

The concept of breach of contract doesn't exist in the Third World. There is no rule of law in the Third World. But we surely need more Third World people here so they can vote Dem. And diversity.

Meade said...

"If the situation were dire and there was no other option, would Zeus eat Meade?"

I don't think Zeus would ever kill me but if I were dead and he had no other source of food, I'd like to think he's smart enough not to waste some perfectly good Meade Steak tartare.

Bob Boyd said...

Ann: Look Meade, Zeus found a bone...Meade? Meade?

tcrosse said...

You are what you eat. Minus what you shit.

Michael K said...

"I would think chickens or pigs would be cheaper than dogs on a cost-per-Calorie basis."

China is a pretty good indicator of what protein sources are best.

Horses have a long history with humans going back to what is now The Ukraine where the Indo-Europeans domesticated them.

Still, if you read Civil War history, the horses did very poorly in war all the way up to World War II. Hundreds of thousands of horses starved to death in military campaigns.

In England, during World War II, dogs were sometimes killed because they could not be fed.

Meade said...

"In England, during World War II, dogs were sometimes killed because they could not be fed."

And German Shepherds had their name changed.

Quaestor said...

To kill them for food is a breach of contract, and a neglect of our responsibilities according to our own ethics, and I think that ethic is pretty universal. You don't kill and eat family, or companions and protectors, especially when you made them that way.

Universal? Hardly. The breeds we have all come from culling the undesirable offspring. Culling is a euphemism, btw. Domestication exists because it mutually benefits the species involved — in this case, Canis lupus and Homo sapiens — and not the individuals. Until one realizes this fact one cannot understand the phenomenon of domestication, which is a unique relationship in nature Every known case of domestication has occurred between Homo sapiens and some other species. Domestication is a special case of symbiosis involving goal-oriented behavior on the part of the human side of the "contract", specifically the control of the reproductive behavior and output of the partner species.

I hate to say this, bagoh20, but your comment is uncharacteristically jejune.

Meade said...

The most common modern human use of domestic dog is Narcissistic Supply.

Achilles said...

"In the comments — those swamps of vitriol and condescension — they're making a beeline for Obama-eats-dog material. Here's my Obama eats dog tag to beef up — dog up — your witticisms."

At least they aren't putting their dogs on the roof of their vehicles to go on family road trips.

Yeah I went there.

Quaestor said...

And German Shepherds had their name changed.

That name change happened during WWI, btw. From German Shepherd Dog to Alsatian Wolf Dog — what was i saying about euphemisms?

Ann Althouse said...

"No nod to my 9:44 AM prognostication? Sometimes it sucks being a Prophet..."

One of these days I'm going to remember the word apophysis and not need to look it up.

In my view, it was always already obvious that people would make Obama jokes. I thought it was so lamely there already that even apophysis was lame. I give MYSELF credit for AVOIDING it.

Drago said...

Meade: "And German Shepherds had their name changed."

From Hans to Biff.

JaimeRoberto said...

The men and woman on the Lewis and Clark expedition ate dogs too, and they said they were quite tasty. Of course when you're hungry, just about anything tastes good.

Darrell said...

Slippery slope. The NYT--having legitimized the slaughter of our companion pets for food--is making a case for cannibalism to solve AGW and reach their "sustainable" population of 1.5 billion. Do you think those Barack Obama dog eating stories would have seen the light of day if George Soros hadn't signed off on them?

Darrell said...

Yeah I went there.

April/Apple went there first.

Gahrie said...

I have no problem with people raising and eating dogs (or cats) for food. The Indians freak out that we eat cows after all. I'm all for horses as food also.

I would prefer that the raising and slaughtering be humane....but animals don't have rights.

Laslo Spatula said...

" I thought it was so lamely there already that even apophysis was lame. I give MYSELF credit for AVOIDING it."

Okay, so I looked up "apophysis":

a·poph·y·sis
əˈpäfəsəs/
1.a natural protuberance from a bone, or inside the shell or exoskeleton of a sea urchin or insect, for the attachment of muscles.
BOTANY
2.a swelling at the base of the sporangium in some mosses.
GEOLOGY
3.a small offshoot extending from an igneous intrusion into the surrounding rock.

First of all "əˈpäfəsəs/" does NOT help me learn to pronounce it. Upside-down 'e's? Is this Greek I'm supposed to learn?

Second: " I thought it was so lamely there already that even 'a natural protuberance from a bone' was lame." I don't get the word usage. I suspect you are using Education Privilege on me.

Three: " I give MYSELF credit for AVOIDING it." But you were quick to add the "Obama eats dog" tag two minutes later. I suspect you had that at the ready, knowing where things would go. So you INITIALLY 'avoided' it.

I guess the end result is you, Althouse, set up Laslo for apophysis.

And people wonder why I am paranoid. I hear them talking. Okay, I don't 'hear' them, but I know what they are saying.

I am Laslo.



Laslo Spatula said...

Re: 11:27 AM

I hope the Tone of Playfulness came through. Never can tell.

I am Laslo.

Bob Boyd said...

"It was obvious people would make Obama jokes"

Probably a good thing it wasn't an article about Indonesians eating cats.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Wouldn't rabbits be cheaper for them? Ot chickens? Or eggs?

Apparently the reason for doing this with dogs and cats is that legally they are considered pets, so there's no problem with keeping them in a city.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Paco Wové said... 3/26/17, 10:20 AM

I would think chickens or pigs would be cheaper than dogs on a cost-per-Calorie basis.

But they are not legal.

The article was quoted as saying:

[D]ogs are not classified as livestock, the way cows, pigs and chickens are. Because of this, the slaughter, distribution, sale and consumption of dogs are not regulated....

Therefore dogs it is, and not pigs (prohibited for Moslems) or chickens.

In the "third world' sometimes governments are quite strong.

Leora said...

Do they have rabbits in Indonesia. I'm sure the Australians would give them some.

Meade said...

By the way, we have a new cat neighbor name "Ida." She's reportedly a descendent of Viking cats. When we returned from our trip out west 2 weeks ago and I was unpacking the car, I was startled to find Ida in the back seat with the remaining cargo. Hunting the ship for rats and other vermin, I suppose. Good cat. Too good to eat.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Man bites dog.

Rob said...

Meade wrote, "Good cat. Too good to eat."

Or too good to eat all at once?

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
I give MYSELF credit for AVOIDING it."

Well aren't you something

mockturtle said...

But PETA says, 'Let 'em eat cake!'

Fernandinande said...

bagoh20 said...
"As for rabies, nobody wants rabies!"
Rabiphobe hater!


After watching that guy peacefully, painlessly and calmly die of rabies in the video, I'd be tempted to suggest using rabies for humane euthanasia.

mockturtle said...

"As for rabies, nobody wants rabies!"

Rabiphobe hater!


Bagoh20, you are right to broach this sensitive subject. Viruses and bacteria are often the objects of virulent [you might say] hatred and subjects of genocide. Who will stand up for these lowly life-forms?

Ann Althouse said...

"One of these days I'm going to remember the word apophysis and not need to look it up. In my view, it was always already obvious that people would make Obama jokes. I thought it was so lamely there already that even apophysis was lame. I give MYSELF credit for AVOIDING it."

I'm very sorry I didn't catch the autocorrection that happened twice.

The word is apophasis.

Laslo Spatula said...

"I thought it was so lamely there already..."

Or perhaps my first comment may have been the Apotheosis of Apophasis.

Would that then be the Antithesis of Althouse's statement?

I am Laslo.

Michael The Magnificent said...

"The word is apophasis."

"I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." - Ronald Reagan

FullMoon said...

Token white guy gets invited to neighborhood Filipino celebrations.
Food is good, I don't ask what it is.
BTW, they all sing pretty good.

DKWalser said...

In the 1967 Western, Hombre, Paul Newman is a white man who had been raised by Apaches. In one of the early scenes, when we are being introduced to all the characters, a woman comments on how she saw Apaches on the reservation eat dog. To her it was evidence of their low character and savagery. Newman asks if she'd ever been hungry. Not ready-for-dinner hungry, but hungry where she hadn't eaten for days. He assured her that if she were that hungry, she'd eat dog and fight over the bones, too.

ken in tx said...

In the Philippines, it is traditional to steal dogs for eating. No one wants to eat a dog they have raised.

ken in tx said...

BTW, you won't normally be given dog meat in the Philippine unawares. It is a very special dish and they want you to know you are being honored with it.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya not available for comment?

Original Mike said...

"If the situation were dire, and there was no other option, would you eat Zeus?"

"He is not my dog."


Oh oh, Zeus...

Michael The Magnificent said...

That is not my dog.

Humperdink said...

Just like the tech companies want higher immigration rates select countries, just think of the cost savings if Indonesians were permitted to staff the Humane Society offices and manage their "inventory".

hugh42 said...

Harrowing film about human rabies. So dispassionate -- I could never have been a med student if this is what you have to watch.

Lydia said...

Can't poor people be educated about and convinced to use the most humane method of slaughter?

According to this piece, dog meat consumption has also grown in popularity because "the younger generation of Balinese males, tend to trend towards dog meat because it is a ‘hot meat’; it will make you potent and is generally best eaten after a night of drinking."

And the very cruel way of slaughtering them, which "is shocking even in comparison to the dogs who are farmed for the same purpose in places like China and South Korea," is done because "it increases the ‘hotness’ of the meat."

Rae said...

These kinds of stories get lots of clicks, because in many households of soulless leftists, a pet dog or cat serves as a substitute child. So they react as if you were a cannibal, even though I'd wager that any animal that walks the planet has been eaten by a human at some time.

Then of course, you have the Vegan subgroup of leftists, those who react with disgust at the idea of meat consumption. May they be cast into the outer darkness where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And CNN's Reza Aslan ate human brain. But what do I know?

CWJ said...

Meade said...
"'In England, during World War II, dogs were sometimes killed because they could not be fed.'

And German Shepherds had their name changed."

To Windsor.

Bob Loblaw said...

In the case of dogs, they consider themselves part of our family, they expect protection and give it in return, becuase that's how we created them, and we did create them that way. For that reason, I believe it is immoral for humans to use them as food.

You consider it immoral to eat a dog because of the dog's expectations? I don't see how that follows.

Daniel Jackson said...

Perhaps it is time to make Swift's "A Modest Proposal" mandatory reading; but beware of Hobbes' "dog eat dog" world.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Many of the rescue dogs showing up at shelters are actually from Third World countries. Law of supply and demand. There simply aren't enough abandoned dogs in the US these days to supply the shelters (most are pit bull mixes). And there's big money in it. So there is a pipeline of dogs from Mexico, South America and Korea the West Coast and from Aruba, Turkey and Puerto Rico to the East Coast. Often they are shipped to shelters in the South before being sent to northern shelters, so although the shelter people tell you dog you buy in Minnesota is from an overcrowded shelter in Tennessee, it might actually be from Turkey or Korea.

The problem is that many of these dogs have mange, rabies, worms and other diseases.

Also a problem - people have stolen pets and sold them to shelters.

That video is horrifying. That poor man.