Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cultural Imperialism Still Going Strong

Pet soup
Animal-cruelty scandals are myriad in Vietnam. Gangs of thieves steal dogs and sell them to restaurants. Tuan Bendixsen of Animals Asia, an NGO in Hong Kong, reckons that dog thieving for this purpose has become even more widespread in Vietnam since 2013. Neighbouring China cracked down on dog-eating in Beijing when it hosted the Olympic games in 2008, but it remains popular in some parts of the country, especially in winter when it is considered to help keep the body warm. ...Foreign criticism, and the growth of a pet-owning middle-class at home, is putting pressure on the government. Along with other South-East Asian countries, Vietnam pledged in 2013, albeit non-bindingly, to stop the dog-meat trade. A draft of the nation’s first veterinary law is due for debate in May in the National Assembly, Vietnam’s legislature. It is expected to require that animals be treated humanely.
Vietnam should waffle back and forth between doing something and doing nothing to keep the issue alive forever. The Cathedral always needs a target, better to give them an inconsequential one that never truly goes away.

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