Sunday, July 29, 2007
the far eastern front in the war to shrink the pet-child gap
The sociologist who wrote the article on "Animal Selves" that I highlighted here a couple weeks ago has written a letter to ASA protesting their plan to offer a tour to China (I couldn't find the link, so I've pasted as jpg above). Me, I'll admit I don't understand how ASA's tour business works and so don't know what I think of the enterprise generally. I guess if ASA is going to be in the tour business, I wouldn't agree with them letting the political views of some members prevent other members who want to go on the tour.* (I presume the substantive importance of China to those interested in global society is without question, as is China's dismal human rights record.)
Anyway, the protest is made on both human and animal rights grounds. Comparisons are made to Nazi Germany and to ASA's decision to hold its meetings in Montreal. China is said to be "bankrolling genocide." Even so, "Although [China's] treatment of people is shameful, its treatment of animals is far, far worse." That said, by my tally, description of human rights abuses does edge out animal rights abuses, by a word count of 141-139.
BTW, according to a post on this site, eating dogs was banned in South Korea in 1988 just before the Olympics, but is presently legal in China (but not Taiwan or Hong Kong). I wonder if China will ban eating dogs before the 2008 Olympics open.
* I might feel differently if, say, ASA were talking about holding its annual meetings in China, although there would be nonhumanitarian grounds for complaining about that decision as well.