César Chávez, the famous civil rights leader and labor organizer who did so much for farm workers, was also a vegetarian. Chavez was a genuinely religious and spiritual figure as well as a community organizer and social entrepreneur, a champion of nonviolent social change, and a crusader for the environment. He also deeply loved his two German Shepherds.
The German Shepherds provided security for Chávez and his family at La Paz, the United Farm Workers’ headquarters in Keene, Calif. They went almost everywhere with him, including on the road when he traveled by car. He credited them with deepening his belief that without exception, all lives are valuable.
The dogs even helped deepen his commitment to vegetarianism. As he said, “I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry and unhappy like we do. I feel very deeply about vegetarianism and the animal kingdom. It was my dog Boycott who led me to question the right of humans to eat other sentient beings. The basis for peace is respecting all creatures.”
Chávez also was committed to animal rights. Chavez said. “Kindness and compassion towards all living beings is a mark of a civilized society… “Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cock fighting, bullfighting, and rodeos are all cut from the same defective fabric: violence.”
It’s very upsetting. In some regions dogs are used for food and slaughtered in an especially cruel manner. This was the case in the Nagaland region of India.
But there’s good news. Nagaland has just banned the import, trading and sale of dog meat, in a move celebrated by animal rights activists. The region’s government announced the ban following a sustained campaign by animal welfare groups. They hailed the decision as a “major turning point” in ending cruelty to dogs in India.
Eating dog meat is illegal in parts of India, but some communities in north-eastern areas consider it a delicacy. Indian media said the ban came after a picture of dogs bound in sacks at a wet market was circulated widely on social media, provoking outrage.
An estimated 30,000 dogs a year are smuggled into Nagaland, where they are sold in live markets and beaten to death with wooden clubs. Horrible! The eating of dogs does take place in some other countries, including regions of China, South Korea and Thailand. We hope that dog meat will be banned world wide.
On April 30 the World Dog Show supposedly had a “joyful gathering for dog lovers and lovely dogs across the world” in Shanghai, China. The presence of a celebratory canine event in a country where some still sell and consume dog meat, had many animal lovers outraged.
According to Humane Society International (HSI), their partner group in Shanghai found dog meat for sale in restaurants less than 12 miles away from the expo center where the “joyous” dog show was held. At least one of the offending restaurants had “a sign boasting that its dog meat is supplied by slaughterhouses in Xuzhou city, notorious for the country’s biggest dog meat processing industry” reports HSI.
HSI’s Chinese activist partner recently visited one of the slaughterhouses in Peixian and discovered 22 filthy, injured dogs. The animal organization believes these animals used to be people’s pets because they also found a pile of “pet collars discarded in the corner” near where the canines were caged. HSI’s Chinese partner was able to negotiate the release of these 22 canines, many purebred dogs, and is currently caring for the pets.
This investigation exposes the horrifying way that millions of China’s dogs are abused for the meat trade. HSI hope that by exposing the cruel reality of the dog meat trade, China will decide to put an end of this outdated industry.
Can you imagine eating cats and dogs? There’s a new law on its way that would prevent this from ever happening by prohibiting this cruel practice. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “The House and Senate provisions will prevent this appalling trade from taking hold in the U.S., and strengthen our hand in seeking to end it worldwide.” This bill has broad bipartisan support and is very likely to pass.
While the practice of eating cats and dogs is uncommon in the United States “Around 30 million dogs and untold numbers of cats are subjected to this brutal industry globally every year, with animals often snatched off the street or stolen from loving families, still wearing collars as they are subjected to unspeakable abuse to end up on someone’s dinner plate” according to the Humane Society.
The new law would alter the Animal Welfare Act to forbid people from knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption. Punishment for violating the law would be up to one year in prison and a fine of $2,500.
It’s bad enough that we eat farm animals – we shouldn’t expand that to include cats and dogs. Of course, we wish cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and fish were covered under the law as well. We love cats and dogs, but we also care about farm animals just the same. While there’s no law pending to prevent eating them, there’s still something you can do – switch to a plant-based diet!