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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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Of Dogs and Men    

By Achelle Vinzon
8548 Views | 25 Comments | 11/18/2014 3:41:58 PM

Cows are considered holy in India.  A horse lover treats the animal like family, just like any other person would treat a beloved pet.  Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend.  Unless it is the apocalypse, and your beloved pet is dying or already dead, and your survival depends on eating him, you would never, ever think of such a deed; heck, even if this was the scenario, you’d probably rather die than turn your friend into food!

But to each his own, right?  Live and let live.  We should not judge another society’s culture as unacceptable based on our own cultural standards, using our own society’s cultural filters.  But especially in today’s world, standards of humaneness have become universal; there are instances when what is wrong and what is right are simply black and white.  Because there is a huge difference between feeding on an intelligent animal out of desperate need and eating it because it is tradition.  Just as there is a huge difference between revering an animal and keeping it safe, and sacrificing its life to keep traditions alive. 

Here in the Philippines, the slaughter of dogs for food is also widely practiced in certain provinces; in fact, even in the nation’s capital, the eating of dogs is considered acceptable by some people (mostly those from the lower class).  Stray dogs here are, literally, in every corner.  Many dog owners (from the lower to the upper middle class) genuinely believe that it is perfectly okay to keep their dogs chained and/or caged their entire lives, many kept in very poor conditions. 

And just as not everyone deserves to be parents, some people do not also deserve to, and should not, have pets.  Again, it is a simple question of humanity.  Unfortunately, humanity does not come easily to many humans.      

They say you can judge a person’s, or even a society’s, character based on how he/it treats those who are less fortunate; the same reasoning can be applied to a person’s/society’s treatment of animals. 

We have two dogs – one was adopted as an adult because the owner couldn’t have it around his baby, and the other one was a “rescue” (purchased) from a kennel.  Maybe I am biased because I love my furry kids (yes, I consider them my kids) dearly.  I also have a soft heart for all animals and cannot bear to see them suffer or killed by humans for sport and/or profit.  I believe there are animals that should be left alone, in the wild, untamed, and free; and there are animals that need to be cared for, looked after, and loved. 

Of course, there are animals that are raised only for the purpose of feeding humans; we can’t all be vegetarians or vegans.  It is the nature of animals, including humans, to eat other animals (except for herbivores) for survival.  That is what’s natural and acceptable – killing and eating for survival, not for anything else.  Even animals, that supposedly have lower intelligence than humans, know this!            

The slaughter not only of dogs, but of dolphins, sharks, horses, tortoises, and other wild and domesticated animals for food is objectionable when there are many other food sources.  One can ask “Who has the right to tell another person what to eat and what not to eat?” or “Why should a society change its ways to satisfy another society’s demands?”  To quote Edmund Burke, “There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.”  When an atrocity to any living being is being committed, should one just stand idly by, say nothing, and do nothing?  Is forbearance really more acceptable than speaking up in the face of acts of cruelty? 


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#2014-11-18 16:36:28 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Achelle, as a pet owner and animal lover I can't help but appreciate your sentiments here. I suspect that some, like Barry for example, will feel that you haven't gone far enough in your defense of animals, but like you, I am less confident as to where to draw the line on when it is acceptable to kill animals for food and when it is not.

Certainly if we are talking about killing a pig (which is in fact a relatively intelligent animal) in order to feed starving human children, then I have trouble objecting. On the other side of the coin, if we are talking about raising a pig in a crate from birth until death, so that it can be killed in order to provide the 5th course of an 8 course meal for a human being who is already so obese from overeating that he/she can barely walk to the dinner table from his/her nearly permanent position on the sofa, then I start to wonder if we aren't killing the wrong "dumb" animal.

I would like to generally see humans move away from slaughtering mammals as a food source, but don't feel the same way about fish and can't decide about birds. As opposed to a well thought out philosophical stance, this is based primarily on the fact that most mammals are warm and fuzzy, and that we are all from the same family.

Fish, on the other hand, seem hardly more worthy of my caring than a plant. They are both living things and they both have their purposes, and I don't object to them both having a place here on Earth, but I will readily partake of a fish fillet sandwiched between two slices of whole wheat bread without giving a second's thought about the lives cost in my doing so.

And insects, don't get me started about insects. I'm phobic about many forms of insects and have no use for the other forms, and would happily have them all removed from Planet earth. Out of sight, out of mind.

Which is all to say I am probably pretty much a part of the majority of people on this topic. What say the rest of you?

#2014-11-18 16:37:27 by Barry1 @Barry1


"The slaughter not only of dogs, but of dolphins, sharks, horses, tortoises, and other wild and domesticated animals for food is objectionable"

Thanks for the thoughtful article, Achelle.

One thing I would add to your sentence above though are the words cows, pigs and chickens.

So the sentence would then kindly read:

"The slaughter not only of dogs, but of dolphins, sharks, horses, tortoises, cows, pigs, chickens and other wild and domesticated animals for food is objectionable".

#2014-11-19 12:32:05 by melcyan @melcyan

We need to choose the food we eat and the resources we use each day according to the future we want for ourselves, our grandchildren and our grandchildren's grandchildren.

The Earth is a single living system made up a vast number of different ecosystems. Everything is interconnected. Fossil fuel use by one country affects every country. Fossil fuel use takes resources from the Earth's past and uses them in a way that damages the ecological balance of now and the future.

Most fishing is taking resources from the future. Overfishing and destruction of marine environments affects every country. On average over 90% of the fish you eat comes from unsustainable fishing practices such as long line fishing, large scale netting, cyanide and blast fishing. The resulting massive environmental damage ( not to mention immense suffering to animals that include dolphins, seals, sea lions and whales) contributes greatly to Humanity's present oversized ecological footprint. Current methods of land food production are similarly unsustainable.

Humanity's long term survival depends on us reducing our “ecological footprint” to a size less than or equal to Earth's capacity to renew. This ultimately requires a smaller human population size on Earth. Mother Earth seems to be “helping” us plan for the future to reduce our numbers by increasing the the numbers of our natural predators – viruses and bacteria. The effectiveness of antibiotics in medical treatment is quickly reducing. If antibiotics stop working human population size will fall rapidly.

We also need alter the way we live to environmentally sustainable ways at an individual level, at a whole of society level and at a whole of humanity level. Simplistic ideas like replacing mammal meat with fish or all becoming vegan do not help. We need to reestablish new environmental balances at the local level and all the other locations that we use to source our daily needs. Regardless of whether we are vegan or omnivore we still have to be part of an environmentally balanced system.

If Humanity eventually does succeed in making the transition from its present unsustainable ecological footprint to a sustainable ecological footprint I believe that China will prove to be a driving force in producing that change.

#2014-11-19 14:08:59 by Barry1 @Barry1


"If Humanity eventually does succeed in making the transition.......... I believe that China will prove to be a driving force in producing that change."

You've got to be kidding here, Melcyan.

Or do you truly believe China - with its appalling record as far as pollution, overpopulation and environmental damage - can be a "driving force" in becoming environmentally friendly?

Maybe in a LONG TIME distant. But certainly not in our lifetimes.

#2014-11-19 18:18:37 by Barry1 @Barry1

Coincidentally, with respect to this topic, research released just today from the University of Queensland showed that nearly EIGHTY PER CENT of all antibiotics in the world are in fact given to captive animals being bred and used for food - mainly chickens, pigs and cows.

The thesis being that the more and more that antibiotics are being fed to animals to help keep them alive and well up until they're slaughtered, the less and less effective they'll become for humans in their fight against infection and disease.

The sheer irony of this doesn't escape me. The harder that humans try to keep their captive animals healthy in order that they can then be sold and butchered, the less healthy humankind will become, as their antibiotics become increasingly ineffective against infections.

Another point often forgotten is that it's not just the act of killing the animals that's often inhumane, it's the cruel way that they're often crowded together and treated, in the weeks, months and sometimes years before the actual butchering occurs.

#2014-11-19 20:24:23 by zqy2014 @zqy2014

My two lovely dogs have been shot and poisoned in Feb and Oct 2014 respectively. It is a heartbroken thing for me and a lot of tears on their lost. Actually I have been have strong rebelling to buy any meat including the living chicken or duck when standing at the market since long time ago.After lost my two dogs, I began to officially try the vegetarian food although still have eggs.Some night before, the neighbor upstair has given us some living fishes and we finally put them into the river...

Hope more and more people in the world can particiate the vegetarian group and more innocent animals' life can be saved up...Let's pray for all those gone animals and hope they can be safe for ever in the heaven!

#2014-11-19 21:32:18 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

@melcyan and others....

The earth is one big round ball of food..........The only boundaries are our own cultures, imaginations and religions

We have a 'food-chain' (natural - which we don't need to go into). Animals are kept as PETS - which we prefer not to eat - others are kept as food, but become PETS - but we still eat them

For westerners, the thought of eating a dog maybe repulsive, but we love to eat pork

Yet Muslims may find eating pork just as repulsive

Hindu people find eating beef just as repulsive

Live and let live

#2014-11-20 14:44:57 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot


Sorry Barry, but I have to agree with Melcyan on this one. It seems to me that you must be unaware of the incredible advances being made in China these days under the new leader. China and the US signed an agreement to work together towards a substantial reduction in harmful emissions just a few days ago, something the US has refused to do consistently up until now.

If the current leadership is allowed to carry on unhindered as he has been since coming into power, China is going to be a very different and vastly improved place within a decade. I'm not sure about you but I intend for that to be within my lifetime.

#2014-11-20 20:59:11 by melcyan @melcyan

As far as antibiotic use goes MOST of the resistance problem in humans has arisen from HUMAN USE. Human use must change for antibiotic use to continue long term.

When I was last in China I was really pleased that a leaflet on correct use of antibiotics was placed in the letter box of the apartment I was using. The danger of antibiotics becoming useless is due to poor large scale use by humans. Poor use of antibiotics is a problem in every country. Every country needs to address this problem. We all need to use antibiotics with great care so that they can be used in the future by us, our grandchildren and our grandchildren's grandchildren.

Steps YOU can take to reduce Antibiotic Resistance

-Never insist that your doctor prescribe an antibiotic for you
-Practice good hand-washing techniques to reduce your risk of getting or spreading an infection. Hands should be washed with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds
-Never take antibiotics for viral infections
-Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, drinking enough liquids, exercising, and getting enough rest
-Only use antibiotics prescribed for you by a doctor
-Never take antibiotics that were prescribed for someone else
-Never take antibiotics that were left over from a previous infection
-If antibiotics are prescribed for you, finish them even if you feel better and follow the dosage and timing of the dosage exactly as prescribed.

#2014-11-20 21:47:15 by melcyan @melcyan

Sometimes you make serious comments. Sometimes you make joking comments. I will assume that your comment to me was intended to be a serious one. I can assure you that my words were 100% serious. It seems like we see China through very different eyes.

Over the last 12 months I have seen many more positive signs from China about dealing with Climate Change than I have from Australia. Australia seems to be moving in the wrong direction. China is already planning for a future where fossil fuels are no longer used as the primary source of energy.

I have to admit that I am not confident that Humanity can reduce its ecological footprint to a size that has a long term future. Tough decisions within a short time frame are needed. China does offer me some hope. China has the will and the power to make the tough decisions needed to guarantee its future. The “One child policy” is evidence of this power. The same will and power will be applied to taking action on Climate Change. As China takes action, her trading partners will follow.

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