I recall being told in more than one Communist nation that pets like dogs and cats were “Symbols of American wealth, waste and decadence.” Dogs and cats were not allowed as pets. But dogs and cats could be kept if they were destined for the dinner table….
A southern Chinese province must stop the “shameful” and “cruel slaughter” of cats for food, a group of more than 40 animal lovers in Beijing said Thursday as they unfurled banners in a tearful protest.
Thousands of cats across the country have been caught in the past week by traders and transported to Guangdong province to be killed for food, said the protesters gathered at the Guangdong government’s office in Beijing.
“We are very angry because the cats are being skinned and then cooked alive. We must make them correct this uncivilized behavior,” said Wang Hongyao, who represented the group in submitting a letter to the Guangdong office.
The protesters urged the provincial government to crack down on cat traders and restaurants that serve cat meat, although no law says it is illegal to eat cats. It has long been common for cats and dogs to be eaten in some parts of China and in some other Asian countries.
The demonstrators held up banners saying “Cooking cats alive! Shame on Guangdong!” and “Resolutely oppose cruel slaughter” as they met with a representative of the Guangdong office.
A pet owner looks at banners reading ‘ Resolutely protest the slaughtering of the Pet’ and ‘Live cooked cat insult of Guangdong’ at an animal lovers protest in Beijing, China, Thursday, Dec.18, 2008. Beijing residents have unfurled banners in a protest urging a southern Chinese province to stop the ‘cruel slaughter’ of cats for food. The protesters say as many as 5,000 cats across the country, mostly strays, have been caught in the past week by traders and transported to Guangdong province — to be killed for food.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel)
Calls to the Guangdong provincial office in Beijing rang unanswered, while the government news office in the province refused to comment.
The protest was apparently in response to Chinese media reports in recent days that carried pictures of furry felines peering out through bamboo crates and metal cages, apparently en route to Guangzhou, Guangdong’s capital. Other pictures show cats being skinned in restaurant kitchens.
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In many places, dogs and cats are members of the family and not on the menu. Pet care is better in many places than at a human nursing home. Here, Gareth O’Connor holds his friend’s dog ‘Spanky’ as he sits in his pet ambulance in Sydney. Australian duo Niccole George and Gareth O’Connor have established a 24-hour ambulance service just for pets, to help desperate animal owners unable to transport their sick animals to medical help.(AFP/File/Greg Wood)