Dogs are friends!

I know we have many problems with human rights just now, but dogs in Cambodia face a worst fate. At least humans can join and create associations to defend their rights, but dogs, evidently, no. Then I declare myself a dogs’ right advocate also, including cats, tigers, monkeys, elephants, the pristine Cambodian jungles under threat and even the tiny sea horses of the Sihanoukville Bay destroyed under the idea they are natural medicine.

It must be this sudden ambition to get money at any cost that makes us see the environment as a rich restaurant to eat. The richness will diminish by sure and we hope not to see a big dessert in our green Cambodian plains soon.

It is true that dogs and cats are inside the menu of several peoples of Africa and Asia. Then we get the speech of many defending it as a part of their culture. If we eat cows and pigs, why no dogs and cats…? But if it is true in that way of logic, why not humans? If we have to respect the custom of a people eating dog meats, we should expose the same argument to defend cannibal peoples and slavery.

– ‘Dogs are not humans!’

Sure, but they are our friends.

I suppose that if our human specie will survive until the end of the Sun, our evolution should bring us to the point to stop meat consumption. Science should get the way to replace meat with other kind of protein that will make us to stop the sacrifice of our living companions in this planet.

Many religious systems prove us that it is possible to survive without eating meat. Hinduism is probably the most strict on this regard. Then Buddhism – and it is ironical that Cambodians argue they are Buddhists and many of them eat dogs – keeps also a honorable respect for every living creature.

‘However there are some meats which are specifically prohibited for monks to eat: human meat, for obvious reasons; meat from elephants and horses as these were then considered royal animals; dog meat – as this was considered by ordinary people to be disgusting; and meat from snakes, lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas – because one who had just eaten the flesh of such dangerous jungle animals was thought to give forth such a smell as to draw forth revenge from the same species!’ (What the Buddha Said About Eating Meat, Ajahn Brahmavamso)

The Monotheistic religions where several Western principles resided, teach a strict meat menu, banning certain animals from consumption under a complicated moral rule that distinguish ‘pure’ from ‘impure’ animals.

But I see this topic as a social election. Cambodians can reflect over if it is really kind to dogs to see them as food or not. There are plenty of reasons to understand that dogs are not food or natural medicine – neither cats, monkeys or many other endangered animals. The war is over. More or less we have enough food in the country: big rice fields, plenty of fruit trees and other animals that make us feel compassion, but are more ‘globally acceptable’ to eat until all humanity stop to eat meat for something more ‘civilized’ food. Then, there is not reason to terrorized our dear doggy friends.

We should show to children more good examples of what is a dog. How lovely and courageous it can be.

‘I dedicate this post to the Unknown Dogs that are sacrificed to be food in many countries. I am very sorry. If I could protect you all, I would do. Just I claim everybody try to do something. Stop it. Care for our planet, our ecology…’

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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

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