The United States has an identify crisis. Do we have a culture of our own or do we constantly “update” our social mores to accommodate new arrivals from other cultures? I think it’s time we take a stand against dog and cat eaters.
Yes, we do have a culture and it does not include slaughtering pets for human consumption. All societies have taboos (i.e., incest) and perhaps the eating of animals considered as pets (cats and dogs) qualifies as an inviolable taboo in our society. If this is not supported in our courts, then all our pets will become easy dinners for those who consider cats and dogs as “delicacies” rather than companions. And, if we accept the defense mentioned in The Times (“Culture Clash or Animal Cruelty?” Metro, March 13), then these pet killers will not be convicted as long as they can prove a pet was killed “humanely.”
As a child I was a United States citizen living abroad. Even at a young age, I accepted the necessity of adapting to the cultures in which I lived. I recall a train trip from my boarding school in India to Bombay when some rambunctious boys in our group came close to being arrested for throwing rocks that “almost” hit a cow. Our response was a sincere apology for thoughtlessness rather than maintaining that our “American” culture made cows fair game. I understood this when I was 10 years old; I’m confident that adult Cambodians are no less sensitive to the culture in which they now live.
BARBARA R. DOODY