The cruelty being inflicted on dogs and cats at the Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China, is sickening and morally indefensible. But those of us who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
The animals we consider food in Canada are crowded into filthy factory farm warehouses, transported long distances without food and water, and gruesomely killed.
Chickens are bred to grow so enormous so quickly that their bones and hearts give out; their very existence is like something out of a horror film. Pigs, who share many endearing qualities with dogs, are confined in crates so snug that they can't even move-not just for a few days, but year after miserable year before they are finally killed.
Many tens of thousands of chickens and pigs are scalded to death each year in Canada when they are improperly slaughtered, and too many cows are skinned alive on fast-moving slaughter lines. Sound familiar? It should: these are the very practices for which many of us are currently condemning China.
Some Western spectators accuse those in Yulin of torturing animals because of a belief that this makes the meat taste better. Accuracy of the claim aside, this is precisely what foie gras is: ducks and geese are intentionally inflicted with severe and painful liver disease to create a luxury food product. The process is so inherently inhumane that it has been banned in countries from Australia to India to the United Kingdom.