“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.”...There is a belief that meat from a black dog cures asthma.
[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.”
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.