One man’s meat…

Exploring the moral implications of dog meat

Penelope Marshall
Apr 27, 2017 · 6 min read
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Back to the roots

Until the agricultural revolution (around 12,000 years ago), all humans were hunter-gatherers, deriving food from the earth as and when required, without the need to over-exploit. Animals were usually hunted by men, but a balanced relationship between man and animals was maintained. During the end of the last great Ice Age, there was a shift in lifestyle with the introduction of domestication. Necessary to this process was animal husbandry, which brought a variation of animal-human relationships including those with dogs.

Culture, Religion and Law

Melanie Joy, a professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston argues that “meat is not a necessity and that all choices stem from a belief” (watch Joy’s talk here). This statement can be backed up by reviewing the variations of beliefs throughout the world and the choices made because of them. For example, Islam prohibits pork consumption (Surah Al-Baqarah [2:173], 2017), thus adherents do not consume pork products. Buddhist culture believes that everything has a living soul. However, they do not prohibit all meat consumption. They exclude certain meats from their diet such as dog, human, and elephant which are forbidden. This being said, some argue that committed Buddhists are vegetarian as the Buddhist ethical conduct outlines that a Buddhist is not to harm a sentient being. Those strictly following Hinduism also believe that everything has a living soul. However, unlike Buddhism, practising Hindus are vegetarians, as they believe that taking a soul will cause great suffering. In contrast, the Christian religion believes that animals are on earth to be used by humans.

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Right and Wrong

It is evident that behaviours persist over time and they become a strong aspect of the society that people live in. The behaviours, perceptions, and relationships are somewhat a symbol of identity, which is shaped by culture and is what makes different cultures unique.

Reformer

An online platform for thought-provoking, critical, and…

Penelope Marshall

Written by

Writer for Reformer. Writing on Conservation Issues and Animal Welfare. Graduate of the University of Kent — Wildlife Conservation & Animal Biology

Reformer

Reformer

An online platform for thought-provoking, critical, and contextual articles on politics, society, and policy.

Penelope Marshall

Written by

Writer for Reformer. Writing on Conservation Issues and Animal Welfare. Graduate of the University of Kent — Wildlife Conservation & Animal Biology

Reformer

Reformer

An online platform for thought-provoking, critical, and contextual articles on politics, society, and policy.

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