Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label traditions. Show all posts

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Working out the age of South Korean kids isn't easy and the same goes for cats!

If you think that you can simply multiply the age of your cat by 7 to obtain the equivalent age in human terms, you are wrong. It is more complicated than that. The relationship between cat and human age is not linear to put it more scientifically. Anyway, this short article is not about cat age but about working out the age of South Korean children.

Working out the age of South Korean kids isn't easy and the same goes for cats!
Working out the age of South Korean kids isn't easy and the same goes for cats! Image: MikeB

Up until now South Koreans had a very peculiar (by Western standards) system which caused confusion. It goes like this. I will quote The Times verbatim just to make sure that I get it right!
By tradition, a Korean baby, however, is one year old at the moment of birth and gains another year every New Year's Day. [Using this system] in an extreme case, a baby born in the last minute of December 31 would turn two at the stroke of midnight, in the second minute of their life. The following New Year's Day they would be three, despite being only 366 days old.
The country has introduced a new system under a "legal revision". It comes into force today. South Korea is adopting the "international age". This means that children are born at age zero and you add a year on every birthday! That sounds logical. That sounds normal; the way it should be by Western and international standards.

Apparently, the president promised to make the change in order to "relieve social and administrative confusion and conflict". The country's minister for government legislation said:
"The unified age-counting system will greatly reduce social costs that were incurred due to using multiple age-counting systems."
Yes, it's being simplified. The old system, the traditional system, is based upon a belief that the months in the womb are also part of life. And The Times tells me that in South Korea forms of address between people change when speaking to an older person. This tradition is very strong apparently and older people are addressed more politely.

Now, some South Koreans are confused about how they should address someone who is a few months older because under the new (for South Korea) international system "they will be older in given age for part of the year and then become the same age after the younger person catches up on their birthday". It certainly is confusing in South Korea on something which shouldn't be confusing.

Saturday 3 June 2023

It is crazy bad to teach a kid of 6 to shoot an animal for fun

Please click on this link to see the image. It has to be on another page where there are no advertisers as they might object. Sorry. The link opens another tab so you stay on this page.

A tweet on the above image by MoS and which I agree with:

"I don't care what anyone says, THIS IS child abuse. At that age the children should be taught about life and the wonders of nature, including the many species of wildlife. Many parents thrust their love of killing animals onto their offspring teaching them life is worthless!!!!"

Many parents such as the one in the image teach their children that animals are NOT sentient creatures able to feel pain. This kid does not know that he has caused a massive amount of pain and distress. It is an aspect of sport hunting which is never discussed by the shooters. For the child it is target practise. It is fun. There is no price to pay; no downside. It is a game. The dad is to blame.

How is humanity to become more civilised and improve animal welfare which is a hallmark of civilisation? How we treat the more vulnerable than us is a measure of our moral code and civility.

This father is educating his child to become like him: an unthinking brute when it comes to his relationship with animals.

Animal welfare is about education; what you put in the minds of the kids. They are the future of animal welfare. Good education invariably improves animal welfare in general.

The more one reads on animal sentience and animal abuse the more you realise that human ignorance is the foundation of animal cruelty.

What about fishing? People see fish as nuts and bolts; non-animate creatures. Wrong. They feel pain. Just an example.

Hunting traditions are throwbacks to the ancient past; hundreds if not thousands of years ago when hunting was necessary to survive.

When hunters say it is their culture based in old, well-established traditions to hunt they are admitting that their minds are rooted in a past when humankind was far more ignorant. That defence for sporting hunting is an admission of ignorance.

These sorts of traditions need to be put in the garbage bin asap. It is not just about the pain caused. Conservation is massive these days as humankind presides over the mass extinction of animal species.

And what about that good old-fashioned word 'compassion'. I guess it is not in dad's vocabulary.

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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