Summary

Why You're Probably a Hypocrite if You Judge People Who Eat Dogs

Jan 29, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

I have never eaten dog meat, simply because I grew up in a society which groomed me to treat dogs as “man’s best friend.”

So with an emotional connection with canines, I eat the meat of other animals instead and feel alright about it because it seems fine, as the majority of the civilized world has deemed it so. Even my two pet dogs and one cat share my appetite for beef, pork chops and fried chicken.

As a society, most of us have embraced the idea that breeding cows, pigs and poultry is the “humane” thing while the dog meat trade/consumption is often considered an act of barbarism.

Many have campaigned for dog meat trade to stop in countries where generations have grown dogs in farms, which are not too different from other animal meat farms around the world. And while this may be well-intentioned, those who do not subscribe to the stigma against dog meat may find such act as a form of cultural imperialism.

Unfortunately, some Westerners who condemn the practice often express their blatantly racist sentiments against Asians on social media. Due to prejudice and xenophobia, they often become immediately receptive of stories of cruelty without checking or verification, and that’s when it becomes increasingly problematic.

In some cultures, the consumption of dog meat has been part of their traditional cuisine for centuries. There are also cultures which, while consumption of dog meat is taboo, they have consumed it in times of war or famine.

Is it just an Asian thing?

Historically, dog meat has been consumed in many parts of the world, including West Africa, Europe, Oceania, the Americas and Asia.

In fact, it is still legal to eat dog meat in Canada and Australia. In the United States, the only states that explicitly outlawed dog meat are California, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. Dog meat is still reportedly consumed by a few farmers in rural areas in Switzerland.

In Asia, the practice of eating dogs has actually become less common as pet ownership rises. While dog consumption is no longer widespread today, the practice remains in some parts of China, South Korea, The Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and the region of Nagaland in India.

But if one considers such as a cultural practice, is it right to call them out for it?

In Korea, for instance, consumption of it only became widespread during and right after the Korean War. At the time, people were starving and there was an abundance of dogs. With very little choice, people just did what they needed to for survival.

And although many South Koreans have adopted the western concept of treating dogs as pets through the years, specialty restaurants serving dogmeat are still popular in some rural areas.

In China, dog meat is mostly consumed during winter as a Chinese medicine theory has propagated that it can make people feel warm. According to Li Shizhen in the Chinese medicine classic “Compendium of Materia Medica“, dog meat has medicinal properties that “calms the five internal organs, lightening the body, gain pneuma, strengthen the kidney, warm the waist, gain strength, remove infirmities and diseases, aid blood.”

In recent years, China has been the center of global outrage due to the widely condemned Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China. To such criticisms, locals ask “Why eat pork but not dog?”

Is it because dogs are smarter than other animals?

Science have proven through many studies that goats, pigs, cows and even chickens are not only highly intelligent animals, they are also emphatic and sociable.

Multiple studies have found cows to have sophisticated cognitive abilities and complex emotional and social characteristics. Pigs have also been found to be smart animals, can display a wide range of emotions, and possess unique individual personalities. Goats are exceptionally smart, adept at solving puzzles and can communicate with humans. Chickens are also found to be emotionally and socially complex and smarter than the average bird.

Yet we eat them without guilt and condemn others for their choice of food.

Is it because Westerners have chosen to breed pigs, cows and chicken for food and dogs as pets?

Does breeding an animal for a certain purpose change an animal’s capacity to feel fear or pain? However one defends it, animals bred for human consumption suffer just as much at the hands of breeders. If one thinks that pigs, cows and chickens don’t suffer abuse at their local meat farms, then maybe that person is merely turning a blind eye.

As humans, we have evolved to be omnivores and require not just vegetables, but also meat for sustenance. This is why we have depended on both plants and animals for survival since prehistoric times. It should be natural for other cultures and countries to have their own preference on which animals to eat.

Is it because Westerners have chosen to breed pigs, cows and chicken for food and dogs as pets?

Does breeding an animal for a certain purpose change an animal’s capacity to feel fear or pain? However one defends it, animals bred for human consumption suffer just as much at the hands of breeders. If one thinks that pigs, cows and chickens don’t suffer abuse at their local meat farms, then maybe that person is merely turning a blind eye.

As humans, we have evolved to be omnivores and require not just vegetables, but also meat for sustenance. This is why we have depended on both plants and animals for survival since prehistoric times. It should be natural for other cultures and countries to have their own preference on which animals to eat.

Unrepentant teen with a long list of offences is why some parents shouldn't breed

Nov 25, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

Ralph Wee Yi Kai, a 19-year-old Singaporean man, has pleaded guilty to eight charges on Nov. 25 during his plead guilty mention before District Judge May Mesenas.

The charges include consuming weed, causing unnecessary suffering to a frog, possessing imitation tobacco products, trespassing into the rhinoceros enclosure at the Singapore Zoo, and committing mischief by damaging property, reported CNA.

Another six charges will be considered during his sentencing.

Probation is "not realistic"

Wee pleaded guilty via video link from his place in remand, where he has been since Nov. 6.

The prosecution strongly objected to a probation suitability report, noting that Wee is "beyond the control of his parents, which renders probation unsuitable", according to CNA.

The prosecution asserted that probation "is not realistic" for Wee, based on his repeated offences and conduct in court.

They cited his "blatant disregard for rules", and urged for a reformative training suitability report instead.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Melissa Lee said Wee "has a tendency to abuse drugs and alcohol", which caused him to behave aggressively towards his parents.

He also "posed a risk" to them, which led him to be admitted to the Institute of Mental Health.

"Never expected it to come to this"

Wee's defence lawyer Shashi Nathan requested for the addition of a probation suitability report, according to CNA.

Shashi maintains that his family is able to supervise Wee, and added that his client "comes from a good family" who are "able to look after him".

He said that Wee was undergoing "a severe emotional crisis" when he committed his offences, and shared that the case has also affected Wee's family, especially after their home address was released to the press.

"While Ralph understands that what he did was wrong, he never expected it to come to this," said Shashi.

Difference between probation and reformative training

Wee was ordered to go though both assessments for a probation suitability report and a reformative training report, reported Yahoo News.

Offenders who undergo probation will not have a criminal record, while reformative training, which provides a more structured environment, results in a criminal record.

What Wee's lawyer said

Wee's lawyer said his client acted out after breaking up with his girlfriend, 18, who was the one who filmed the video of Wee backflipping in the zoo.

The defence lawyer, Shashi, said Wee spiralled into an emotional crisis as a result of his break-up.

Wee is homeschooled.

The court was told Wee saw a video of a man riding a giraffe and decided to make a video in the rhino enclosure, Yahoo News reported.

The ex-girlfriend had filmed the act and posted it on her private Snapchat account.

Wee posted it on his public TikTok account and a police report was made by a zoo personnel within the same day.

Wee removed the video when he was told to do so by the police, but reposted it on Dec. 18, before being told to remove it again, claiming he thought the video had been made private when he reposted it.

Wee had also included a link in his Instagram account biography to directed to a page selling t-shirts with the words "rhino ralph".

But he denied creating the merchandise profile.

He later removed the link.

Wee will return to court on Dec. 20 for his sentencing.

Timeline of events with updated details

Oct. 9, 2020, 2:40am: Allegedly committed an act of vandalism by hitting an information panel at a bus stop in Sixth Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road, causing S$900 in damage.

Allegedly caused damage to two cars -- S$2,800 to a Mercedes-Benz and more than S$1,600 to a BMW -- in nearby Sixth Crescent.

A taxi driver passing by reported him to the police, as Wee was standing in the middle of the road with a beer bottle in hand.

Dec. 16, 2020: Wee was placed on compulsory supervision for 60 months from Dec. 16. He was required to present himself for urine tests on each Tuesday and Thursday, but failed to turn up on four occasions.

He was placed on e-tagging during this period of time, after having been charged for his earlier offences.

He had to stay at home from 10pm to 6am as part of his bail conditions.

Dec. 17, 2020, 2.40pm: Accused of trespassing into the rhinoceros enclosure and taking a video.

Dec. 18, 2020: Reposted zoo video, despite taking it down earlier after being told to do so by the police. Told to remove video again.

Dec. 24, 2020: Accused of abusing a frog, which subsequently died, by hitting a ball against it on a foosball table, causing "unnecessary pain and suffering".

The incident allegedly took place at a Sentosa Cove property.

July 2021: First hauled to court and charged with two counts of mischief, as well as one count each of vandalism and criminal trespass.

Bail was then set at S$15,000.

Aug. 6, 2021: Allegedly consumed cannabis while out on bail. Arrested at his residence and two urine samples obtained tested positive for weed. S$15,000 bail revoked.

Sep. 14, 2021: Allegedly possessed an e-vaporiser and six e-cigarette pods at a ward in the Institute of Mental Health.

Three police officers showed up at IMH, where Wee was warded, to arrest him for failing to attend court.

He was admitted to IMH due to his drug and alcohol abuse, as had acted aggressively towards his parents when they demanded the drugs from him.

He was warded in IMH due to the risk he posed to his parents.

Oct. 13, 2021: Charged with one count of drug consumption while still in remand.

Bail raised to S$20,000 and Wee was released.

While out on second bail, Wee committed a string of offences, including cutting his electronic tag, according to ST, as well as not reporting for his urine tests on a few occasions, CNA reported.

The prosecution has called for an urgent bail review hearing to have Wee's second bail revoked for the alleged fresh offences.

Oct. 26, 2021: Allegedly cut a S$100 GPS ankle tag at an address on Leedon Road at about 12:10am.

Prior to this act, Wee was upset at his father, who had asked Wee to sleep early since he had to report for his urine test in the morning.

After arguing with his father, Wee decided to leave the house, and used pliers to cut off his e-tag before cycling to his friend’s house.

Upon discovering that Wee was missing, his father called the police.

The e-tag, worth S$100, was damaged and could no longer be used.

It was found in Wee’s house.

Oct. 28, 2021: Allegedly possessed an e-cigarette pod at the Leedon Road address.

Nov. 5, 2021: Warrant of arrest issued, as Wee could not wake up to attend court.

Nov. 6, 2021: Wee arrested.

Nov. 12, 2021: Slapped with four additional charges.

Nov. 25, 2021: Pleaded guilty to consuming weed, causing unnecessary suffering to a frog, possessing imitation tobacco products, trespassing into a rhino enclosure, and committing mischief by damaging property belonging to others.

Ordered to go though assessments for a probation suitability report and a reformative training report.