Thursday 1 June 2023

We can't show what the Vietnamese cat meat traders do to cats as it is too graphic

Philosophically speaking

Funny that? What the Vietnamese cat and dog meat traders do to cats and dogs is so bad and so graphic that we can't show it. I understand that. We shouldn't see the most gruesomely cruel aspects of this business because it harms us. 

Philosophically speaking that is a very peculiar thing to say. We can protect ourselves from looking at the extreme cruelty that humans perpetrate upon cats but at the same time we allow that extreme cruelty to take place. If that isn't speciesism, I don't know what is.

The fact that looking at extreme animal cruelty is harmful to us surely must remind us that it should never happen. The best way to protect ourselves from looking at extreme animal cruelty is to not do the animal cruelty in the first place!


Vietnam is as bad as China when it comes to cat and dog meat. They treat stray and domestic cats as free livestock to be snatched from the streets and brutally killed and then eaten. It's a good business because the livestock is free! There's no need to farm the livestock, to feed it, to care for it. They simply steal it and kill it.

The tweet

And it's not just dog meat trade that's common. Cat meat trade is also very common in Vietnam. I cannot share most of the content our brave volunteers in Hanoi, Vietnam were able to collect because it's just too graphic but this is how they are cramped up in cages.

The video

I cannot watch this video. I simply uploaded it. It comes from Twitter. One thing comes to mind immediately. These are defeated animals. And they are thrust together, crammed into a disgusting cage, in the most abysmal conditions. 

Domestic cats have a home range normally. They need space around them. In an ideal world that space might be many acres. Here they are on top of each other. Emotionally crushed. Demoralised. Anxious. Terrified. They can do nothing but accept their brutal fate. This is the nadir of animal cruelty in my book.

And, the international community entirely accepts it. The Vietnamese government accept it as normal. Nothing is done to stop it. It goes on year after year. The people who defend the cat meat business ask: what is difference between this and farming animals? 

This is not farming. There are no regulations in the cat meat businesses. Farmed livestock is slaughtered under regulated conditions. The objective is to slaughter the animals humanely so that they don't feel pain.

These cats are going to feel tremendous pain before they die. The whole process is essentially cruel. That is a big difference. And secondly, when we domesticated cats there was not an agreement that we could kill them brutally and eat them. 

The agreement was that we supported each other. That is how cat domestication came about in the first place. What we see here was not on the cards. This was not projected. It is a breach of that unwritten agreement by humans. It is foul animal abuse of the worst kind.

Tradition and culture

The underlying problem, as is the case in China, is that there is a culture of eating cat and dog meat in Vietnam. But that culture is based upon an ancient tradition going back perhaps one or 2000 years. It is bringing an ancient tradition into the modern world which does not work. This is because 1000 years ago people were less civilised and less educated about animal welfare. Traditional practices bring forward into the modern world animal cruelty.

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