Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a British food writer and TV personality, has declared that meat-eaters might as well be eating puppy chops instead of pork chops. "In principle, but not in practice, I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm," he says.
"You can't object, unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It's an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs. Both animals could be used the other way round — although pigs probably do make better meat than dogs and dogs better pets than pigs. But it's not a foregone conclusion."
He's right, of course. Our food sources are a social construct. This argument — that if you eat one animal you should eat 'em all — has been used before, by various animal rights groups and vegan folks. In 2009, Heather Mills famously suggested humans drink rats' milk instead of cows' milk, and eating dog is fairly common in southern China.
The problem, of course, is that context is everything. And in the context of Western society, we treat dogs like family members. They have names. They sleep in our beds. They are spoiled and coddled and posed alongside children and grandparents in photo albums. And even if Americans do, someday, see eating meat as inhumane and view pigs and cows as relatives, won't our arrogance in knowing we're at the top of the food chain (and our penchant for juicy, fatty food) keep hot dogs and hamburgers on the menu?
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Defends Eating Puppy Meat [Mirror]
And Hugh Calls It Puppy Love? Yeah, And Pigs Will Fly [Guardian]
Why Can't We Have Dog For Dinner? [Daily Mail]