Respect traditions of cultures which put dog meat on menu

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 August, 2002, 12:00am

I am disappointed that ParknShop, unlike the Koreans during the World Cup, succumbed to pressure and stopped selling dog meat in its mainland stores (South China Morning Post, August 10).

I am a dog owner and can understand why some people feel dogs have closer ties to humans than other animals. But I do not believe that they have the right to impose their views on others. Hindus do not eat beef and Muslims eschew pork, but they do not demand that other people follow suit. Dog-lovers, too, have no right to demand that others abstain from eating dog meat.

While I absolutely agree that canines killed for food should be slaughtered in a humane manner, that is an entirely different issue and should not be confused with the total banning of dog meat. All animals slaughtered for human consumption, such as cows, pigs, sheep, dogs, chickens and ducks, should be put to death humanely. That is a universal value, unlike abstention from beef, pork, or dog. Such practices relate only to particular groups of humans.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognises 'the right of everyone to take part in cultural life' (Article 15).

It is the cultural tradition of many Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese and other ethnic groups to eat dog meat. We should respect their traditions.