Let’s eat some dogs

Campbell Live had a slot tonight about dogs being stolen, mistreated and killed for human consumption in the Phillipines. They profiled Elly Maynard working with Sirius and the Animal Kingdom Foundation trying to help the dogs – and considering the conditions the dogs were in, good on them.

However, the main thing that Elly Maynard was saying was “Dogs are not for human consumption”. Her primary motivation did not seem to be preventing suffering (although she was obviously very concerned about that), but that eating dog or cat meat was intrinsically wrong.

But why?

Why should dogs (or cats, or whales) be considered cuddly and cute animals that we cannot eat, when sheep, cows, pigs etc are fair game?

It isn’t intelligence – pigs may be more intelligent than dogs, yet we eat them. It isn’t diet, for we eat plenty of carnivorous fish, while pigs and chickens are omnivores and we eat them, and dogs can live on a vegetarian diet. It isn’t Biblical statements about what food is ok, because modern society rejects the Bible and even most Christians believe the Jewish food laws no longer apply. It cannot be disease, for although you can catch rabies from eating a stray dog that should be no problem if they were farmed.

It can only be the Western perception of cats and dogs as pets (as that is the role we have grown up with them as), and sheep and cattle as meat.

So who is a New Zealand animal lover to tell the Filipinos they cannot eat dog, provided they farm and kill them humanely? If Hindu Indians were to come here and say we can’t eat beef we wouldn’t stand for it, so why do we tolerate Westerners trying to force their views on other cultures?

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts. Have any of you tasted dog?

Refutation of pro-choice arguments

John Smith commented on my last abortion post, and managed to fit pretty well every classic pro-choice argument there is into one paragraph. So I thought I’d go through his comment and discuss each of his arguments:

Abortion should be allowed because it is a personal choice that should not be dictated by law.

But it is a choice regarding somebody’s life. If it is to be a personal choice, that is a choice for the child, not the mother. As we don’t know what the child would choose, but can assume they would choose to live (wouldn’t you?), we can only allow the child to live.

Many children are born into bad families. To single mothers or abusive parents, and in some of these cases the parents blame their kids for their hardships. Abortions are typically performed on mothers who do not want to be mothers,

If they didn’t want to be a mother, what on earth were they doing having sex? The birds and the bees are pretty obvious, if you have sex you may (and probably will eventually) end up pregnant. Sex is to make babies, and it is very good at it. It happens to be pleasurable to ensure people actually do it – if it wasn’t fun the human race might die out! If you aren’t prepared for pregnancy, don’t have sex.

If they don’t want to be a mother, but still get pregnant, it isn’t as though abortion is their only option. Many couples are crying out to adopt a baby, and there aren’t enough babies available, because so many are aborted. Adoption is a far better option to abortion, and there are plenty of organisations and individuals who will pay all the legal expenses associated with it to ensure that the baby’s life is saved. Having more adoptions would save the lives of babies, give children to parents who want them, and provide a simpler and cheaper option to infertile couples considering IVF treatment – saving a lot of public and private money.

women who cannot afford to take proper care of kid,

Irrelevant in NZ, our state welfare system pays you more if you have children. And they can adopt the child out.

someone who had been raped,

This is a red herring, as it is extremely rare. Few women conceive due to rape, as it is hard to conceive when under stress, and rape is one of the most stressful situations a woman can be in. Furthermore the odds are she won’t be at a fertile part of her cycle. Just because a child is the result of rape doesn’t mean it should be denied the right to live (kiwipolemicist explains that well here), and some women can actually find having a child therapeutic after rape, as she has something good in the middle of the terrible situation she is dealing with. But ignoring the moral aspects, even if you allowed abortion due to rape, but stopped the rest, abortion in NZ would nearly disappear because abortion due to rape is so rare anyway.

and many other reasons. Those women should not be denied their individual right to abort their pregnancies and many are doing it for the well being of their developing child.

I’m going to kill you. It’s for your own good, trust me. Huh?

In this country people are not allowed to force a religious or philosophic belief through force of law and by getting rid of abortion our country would be doing just that.

But abortion forces the belief of the mother (that she can kill her child) on the child, in a completely irreversible way. Allowing the child to live is PREVENTING someone forcing their belief on it.

I understand that with today’s knowledge people can be informed while the child is still developing if the baby will have any sort of complications. If the baby will have any mental problems or if they will be handicapped and I agree that mothers should not base their choice on those outcomes.

Glad to hear that, we agree on one point!

I think abortions should have regulations for those types of problems but I do believe that women should be able to make the choice of having an abortion. Should abortion ever become illegal and a woman still wishes to have an abortion it may lead to people doing illegal abortions which are very serious. Many illegal abortions end in death for both the mother and her child.

The flaw in this reasoning is the idea that abortion becomes safe if it is performed in a state hospital. It doesn’t. Abortion is a risky procedure, sure you can reduce some of the risks, but ultimately you cannot get rid of them. Women still die from abortion. Furthermore, abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, and can have other detrimental effects on the mother, all of which exist whether or not the abortion is performed in a hospital. I understand the international experience is that when abortion is restricted, the number of deaths due to abortion is actually lower.

These common myths about abortion are refuted all over the net, one example is here.

Right to Life survey

The initial results of the Right to Life candidate survey on pro-life issues are available here.

As expected, both the Family Party and Kiwi Party candidate responses are a sea of green and yellow (pro-life positions).

The response from the major parties was very poor, with only 4 from National, 5 from Labour and 3 from Green, so it is hard to know how representative these are. But if we assume they are representative, the other parties in order from pro-life to pro-death(?) are something like:

  • National
  • United Future
  • Act
  • Labour
  • Green

Alan Liefting of the Green party is the only candidate to have a full line of red dots as his answers – I have talked to Alan a bit in the past at university and this doesn’t surprise me at all. We must get rid of the Green party.

It is interesting that National looks better than United Future on a cursory glance, but there are few responses to judge them by. This does confirm why the Family Party will find it much easier to work with National than with Labour.

Hat tip: Right to Life New Zealand