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Is eating dog meat immoral?
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Dog meat is a traditional and cultural food with religious connotations

Dog meat is a traditional and religious food in some cultures much like sacramental bread is for Christianity. It's commonly eaten in Eastern countries like Vietnam and Ghana. In some places their consumption is believed to bring good luck and have medicinal purposes.


Eating these foods has meaning beyond providing the body nourishment and has religious connotations in some cultures.

The Argument

Dog meat is considered a staple in some Eastern countries, much like chicken or pork is seen in Western countries. The dog meat festival in China is often under protest, but it continues to draw large crowds. At 20 million dogs per year, China is the largest consumer of dog meat in the world. Vietnam is the second-largest consumer and uses almost every part of the dog for consumption. Traditionally it is believed that dog meat has medicinal properties and brings good fortune.[1] In places like North Korea, dog meat is a cultural dish usually eaten at celebrations. Whether tied to a celebration or tied to prayer, dog meat has been a staple food for many cultures. For Western culture, it might seem both cruel and unusual for dogs to be on the menu or used for religious processes. Still, for others, it’s no different than the wafers and wine during Catholic communion. It is as they and their ancestors have done for ages, and to ask them to stop because people are uncomfortable with it disregards the value of their culture.

Counter arguments

While the slaughtering of dogs is illegal in many Western countries, the consumption of their meat is not. However, in some places like Vietnam, there has only recently been an increase in laws regarding the raising and slaughtering of dogs. As a result, treating dogs more humanely is starting to become a universal norm. This does not mean that the laws though are forbidding their citizens from consuming dog meat though. While eating dogs is a spiritual practice for some, it is a necessity for others. For many of those who grew up with consuming dogs being the cultural norm, it is no different than chicken, beef, and pork to them. In many cases, it is considered a better meat source than religiously taboo animals like pigs and cows. For the world's largest consumer of dog meat—China—practicing religion is often far from the reason behind most of the slaughtering and consumptions. While some use it for religious purposes, the vast majority do not.



[P1]While more culturally normative in eastern countries, dog meat is another source of food that people have taken advantage of. [P2] Using dogs in religious proceedings might seem morally unjust to outsiders who don't understand the purpose or meaning of the action.

Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 19:33 UTC

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