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Everything Between Heaven and Earth and Beyond

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    Henric C. Jensen
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People, rats, cats and dogs…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on July 17, 2007

BEIJING, China (Reuters) — Live rats are being trucked from central China, suffering a plague of a reported 2 billion rodents displaced by a flooded lake, to the south to end up in restaurant dishes, Chinese media reported. Rat vendors had been doing a roaring trade thanks to strong supply over the last two weeks, the China News Service quoted vendors as saying.”Recently there have been a lot of rats… Guangzhou people are rich and like to eat exotic things, so business is very good,” it quoted a vendor as saying, referring to the capital of Guangdong province, where people are reputed to eat anything that moves.”

Needless to say this article caused all kinds of reactions when posted in a Public Forum’s News Section. The Chinese are BAD people, because they eat rats, cats and dogs…

What people seem to forget is that cultural differences not only vary from country to country – but from time to time, and is very much dependent on circumstance and opportunity. Humans are basically opportunistic omnivores, and very versatile in terms of adaptation to their environment and available resources. We will scavenges for survival.

There is nothing to indicate that this in any way is a matter of morals, ethics or “development”.

There really is nothing that says that “our” way of doing things is the better way – just imagine how many poor and destitute would/could get a meal if rat was accepted as a food source in the West…or cats, dogs or pigeons, that would be caught and euthanized anyway, because we do not want them in our cities…

It seems to me that the Chinese have a good idea here – and though it seems repulsive to us – it seems to work for them, so why be morally self-righteous about it and show how culturally imperialistic we in the West are?

Feeding their poor on rat is a small issue, compared to the violations of human rights and civil rights going on in China. Nuh?

Now, this article should actually cause more ruckus, funny enough it didn’t…

Olympics highlight human rights in China

By JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press Writer

“Child labor. Forced abortions. Religious persecution. Jailed dissidents. Cultural cleansing in Tibet and ethnic cleansing in Africa. For China, the run-up to next summer’s Olympics in Beijing is looking like a marathon through a human-rights minefield.

It’s been decades since the games focused on which athletes were faster or stronger. But the Olympics have not been this politicized since the U.S.-Soviet boycotts of the 1980s.

China sees a chance to wow the world as it hosts its first event watched by billions of people. The increasingly image-conscious country will measure success both with medals and whether the 2008 Olympics burnish its rising star. That gives activists, governments and celebrities with a cause an opportunity to influence policies they’ve long assailed.

It’s tragic – rats, cats and dogs take precedence over humans and their rights not to be violated. I am not saying that we shouldn’t care about animals and their conditions. I truly think we should. But to me a news item about China, human rights violations and the Olympics is heavy-weight news in comparison to an article about how a Chinese Province tries to solve a problem that is a result of a natural disaster.

But then, what do I know, perhaps those rats, cats and dogs were humans in a former life…


One Response to “People, rats, cats and dogs…”

  1. Very common sense, thank you. My father-in-law was a POW in Germany in WWII. He and the other prisoners ate rats to keep from starving. (Uncooked, as they had no access to heat.)


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