December 23rd, 2008 by Michael A. Weber
Cruelty against cats is increasing in Guangdong, China, where over 10,000 domesticated cats are eaten daily. The cats, some of which are apparently being stolen from people’s houses, are transported in small cages to restaurants in the town where they are then cooked, often while they are still alive.
Activists in China are taking a stronger stance against this cruelty, and have begun demonstrating in Beijing against the treatment of cats used for food. 40 people, many of them elders who care for orphaned cats, protested outside of the Guangdong office in Beijing.
A butcher from the province plans to continue using cat meat as the main ingredient in the region’s famous soup, which also includes chicken and dog. She blew the protests off, saying “Cats have a strong flavor.” The animals are likely to continue being used as food, as the Chinese, and the Cantonese in particular, are known for their adventurous taste buds.
But even if cats remain a food source in China, the abhorrent treatment of them must cease. Stealing companion animals from peoples’ homes and skinning them alive is something that would never be tolerated in many other countries, regardless of the type of animal.
With outcry like this, and with landmark animal welfare legislation such as California’s Proposition 2 passing, it is obvious that people are making the connection between the animals we see as “pets” and the animals we see as food sources. Maybe this awareness will even cause more people to make the switch the vegetarianism?
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