Cruelty to animals?

[Ed. -- I'm posting, with permission, some interesting comments from an email one of our readers sent me recently in response to our article on how animals are treated in Chinese culture]

Dom says:

" It's great to care so much for the fates of animals, but what about other people? "

I understand where you're coming from. To me it comes down to the simple fact that most animal cruelty would appear to be man-made, inflicted by choice - and therefore rather avoidable, whereas floods in Bangladesh and India are natural disasters, rather more accidental and less intentional.

Regarding the media, the newswriters and reporters know that a story about violent death, to humans or otherwise will fascinate and hold viewers' attention more than stories about water shortages, famine or disease, which is why a tornado killing a dozen in the US midwest (or a flood killing a dozen in Europe) will always top a story about aids in Africa or testicular cancer anywhere!

Ironically, though, when other humans or animals are responsible, i.e. death by murder, or by attack from wild animals, these will beat all other stories hands down, no contest! A man eaten by a shark, crocodile or lion .. is juicy news, especially if they are a Western tourist.

It's about what can hold our attention, combined with stories /plotlines. And terrorist attacks anywhere are right up there. With terrorism we have a clear and evil enemy - the bad guys, and a Hollywood-calibre plot.

Another aspect to the debate: fatalities in the 3rd world will always be given less apparent importance than those in the 1st world, by at least a factor of 10. Even a genocide of 1m people in Rwanda can't generate the same coverage as that of 50 commuters in London.

So there is little equality in reporting given to exclusively human suffering - it would seem, and so the debate is could be much wider than just the difference in reporting between human and animal suffering. However, your point about how the Hong Kong'ese and Chinese treat animals, and how this differs between them, and the West, is indeed an interesting point.

Though I would bet there is just as much cruelty in the West: it is just kept away from public viewing and packaged much more neatly. Battery farming, slaughter-houses and vivisection (a clever and profitable business sham, or a scientific and medical necessity?) cannot be much fun.

Re:Cruelty to animals?

really I couldn't stand such people who are cruel to animals...I'm not a social activist on animl rights and protection or anything such but yes I do animals yes all those in the reptile class I don't like thats another matter. I have a pet dog and I always do go through this foum on pets it helps me a lot..maybe you peopl who love animals and have pets will like it too and find it useful.

That cannot be more

That cannot be more accurate!