Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can't hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run and play, be mischievous and reciprocate affection. So why don't they get to curl up by the fire? Why can't they at least be spared being tossed on the fire? Our taboo against dog eating says something about dogs and a great deal about us. [...] Responding to factory farming calls for a capacity to care that dwells beyond information. We know what we see on undercover videos of factory farms and slaughterhouses is wrong. (There are those who will defend a system that allows for occasional animal cruelty, but no one defends the cruelty, itself.) And despite it being entirely reasonable, the case for eating dogs is likely repulsive to just about every reader of this paper. The instinct comes before our reason, and is more important.I am not ready to give up meat (yet) nor am I ready to begin eating dog. I'm troubled, but am I bothered enough to do something about it? At the margin, my consumption of meat isn't changing much. Is it enough to say that I'll support higher taxes on meat, and the end of feed subsidies? As a vegetarian you might say that if everyone followed your stance then the horrible treatment of animals would end. But I can argue in turn that if everyone supported higher taxes on meat and the end of feed subsidies, then those problems would also be highly mitigated. In the end, I don't think my opinion or my stance matters very much. After a decade of being the pickiest eater in the family I'm now the most adventurous. My brother and sister are both vegetarians, which is great for them.
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