Let us begin with an appeal from one of my dogs, and let me second his emotion:
Don’t eat me, please.
This is in response to the Sassy Lawyer where the Sassy Lawyer wrinkles her nose at a recent assembly of dog lovers:
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m confused. Was the event meant to protest animal cruelty per se or to gain publicity by creating a new world record? In short, was it a serious protest? Reference to a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Pomeranian-Spitz, wearing a crown of red roses, and an English bulldog wearing a red scarf around its bodyÃ¢â‚¬Â makes me wonder.
Darling Sassy, think of it like a gay pride parade. Protesting serious things can be fun and zany, too.
Anyway, Sassy opines,
You just canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change culture with a law or two. It cannot be dictated. More importantly, a few thousand moneyed dog-lovers cannot impose their twisted standards just like that. Sure, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a law prohibiting the sale of dog meat as food. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s as much a dead law as the law on easement of light and view.
First off, what is this “law on easement of light and view”? In easement; definition, there’s a definition of easement,.: Derived from the Old French aisement, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœconvenience or accommodationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. A right or privilege that the owner of one parcel of land enjoys over another parcel of land by which that owner derives a particular benefit from the use of the other land, but does not have a right to take anything tangible from the other land.
It’s best understood by knowing why skyscrapers in New York City, build in the 1920s and 1930s, have their characteristic multilevel, step-pyramid profile: it was to guarantee that Manhattan would not become a completely dark canyon composed of streets between looming walls of block to block skyscrapers. Building codes were established that said a building, after a certain number of stories, would have to recede from the lot level so that the building tapered to a point, allowing light and air to somehow reach the streets. While these regulations were eventually loosened, the principle of ensuring a portion of light and air to others persists in many urban developments. For example, in Fort Bonifacio Global City, there are zoning and other regulations that set limits on the ration of building floor space to lot area; this prevents row upon row of enormous skyscrapers side by side.
Anyway, this is a deviation from my observations on Sassy’s views on the realities of a dog eat dog and man eat dog world. It is utterly wrong, and unfair, to think that dog lovers belong simply to the ranks of the well heeled and the idle rich, or even the vanishing middle class. An affection for dogs is a cultural sort of condition that has less to do with wealth than a kind of attitude, and one, incidentally, that permits no possibility for eating pets (in particular, dogs). Tied to this is a long standing cultural crusade felt by quite a few Filipinos who have lived abroad, who resent the country being known as a nation of Dog Eaters (recall Jessica Hagedorn’s novel). The only allowance pet lovers make for an unbiased discussion is to point out that dogs were never bred to be eaten, they were adopted by humans to be partners, either in the hunt or in the protection of hearth and home. Unlike cows and chickens, goats and fish, dogs, like rats, have never been primary food items; thus their historical standing as “man’s best friend” should assure them the privilege of not being considered pettable dimsum. Guinea pigs, for example, while also pets, might not spark as much outrage if they became a popular snack item, since guinea pigs were regularly eaten by the Incas (or was it the Aztecs) although guinea pig owners and breeders today would be up in arms if any society suddenly rediscovered a taste for them. Also, dog lovers are against allowing dogs to be eaten because they aren’t even assured a humane death as the law requires in the case of pigs and cattle.
Oh, and today’s light -hearted note, this sign, from Manila Domestic Airport, which says so much of our Islands Philippines.
My column for today is A good shave – INQ7.net.
And it seems, I’ve finally figured out how to upload photos from my phone, to this blog. Hoorah!