The Chinese, or Lunar, New Year that began last Friday is a major holiday celebrated around the world. Characterized by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, lamb, monkey, rooster, dog and pig – this is the year of the dog.
Since in Asian astrology, the zodiac animal for a person’s birth year is believed to determine personality traits, think dog: loyal, dependable, sincere, faithful to family, friends and work, popular in social circles.
That may bode well for people born in a dog year – if not for dogs themselves. In many parts of Asia, the expression “lucky dog” simply does not apply. For instance, every year is a gruesome year of the dog in South Korea, where a dinner featuring dog meat can easily be had within walking distance of the Olympic Games, with all the related human positivism and camaraderie.
South Korea “boasts” thousands of “dog meat farms,” where, as in China too, dogs are bred and raised for slaughter. Both their lives and their deaths are hideous, as illustrated by this excerpt from a Humane Society International (HSI) appeal to South Korean government leaders:
I am deeply concerned about the millions of dogs caught up in South Korea’s brutal dog meat industry, and I respectfully urge you to take action to protect them.
South Korea is the only country in the world known to have established a large-scale intensive dog meat farming industry, in which more than 2.5 million dogs a year endure brutal lives and painful deaths for their meat - a delicacy food that fewer and fewer Koreans choose to eat.
The suffering of these dogs is undeniable. They are kept in small barren cages, without protection from the harsh elements or even a solid floor on which to stand. Physical injury from self-mutilation or fighting are commonplace, and death from disease, hunger, or exposure is rife.
For those who survive the grim farm life, death by electrocution is painful and terrifying. . . .
HSI is just one organization combating South Korea’s dog meat farms by offering other options to farmers and rescuing dogs. This week I learned about a laudable Olympic athlete who has joined the fight, speaking up against the practice and bringing saved dogs home with her.
To me, Duhamel deserves more praise for her humane actions than for her athletic prowess. She wants to keep the spotlight on South Korea’s abuse of dogs and cats (who are barely ever mentioned in stories about this infamous practice) long after the Olympics end. I hope her advocacy wins support for as long as it takes to ban the dog meat trade in South Korea.
California cat haven-heaven
Even though I’ve blogged before about this wonderful woman and her home for cats, seeing a story about Cat House on the Kings (a river) in The Dodo was irresistible. So here we go again. I told a friend that if a travel company offered a trip – or would it be a pilgrimage? -- to this Cat House, it would be very hard to resist. But would I ever come back?
Oral health affects other health
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