Let us take a peek to where we had started this year. There has been a string of crests and troughs, a modern-day quarantine has done well to most of us. But it doesn’t stop there, does it? In his stimulating book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari exclaims that humans have evolved the way they did because their brain knew how to ‘gossip’ and thus, learn. This said humans developed various ways for survival, adapting to their environment, and accessibility to food. Hence, came into being the idea of meat consumption. The following conversations are specifically concerning dog meat consumption.
History Behind The Practice
Historically, there is no particular origin of this practice, several populations living in colder parts of the earth took to consuming this type of meat to generate heat within their body. Some cultures view the consumption of dog meat as part of their staple cuisine, some for traditional or ritualistic meals, and others consider this as a taboo. About 30 million dogs are consumed annually, out of which 10 million are consumed only in China. The Dog Meat Festival (or Yulin Dog Meat Festival) is an annual celebration in Yulin, Guangxi, China during the summer solstice. Attendees rejoice by consuming dog meat.
The festival began in 2009 and each year spans 10 days during which, according to reports, thousands of dogs are consumed. The festival has witnessed criticism from long drawn abroad and domestic populations. Bill Wiggin, an MP in the UK Parliament stated, "Many consumers believe it (dog meat) has medicinal value and believe it brings good fortune, and none of these is scientifically proven."
Agitated Indian Population
In the same spirit, the Indian population took to social media agitation, petitions, and aggressive sharing against the efforts of Nagaland’s population to consume meat. In an attempt to restore humanity, each wave of social media upheaval was drowning the Nagaland government. As the people roared, the ruling powers trembled. Over 1.25 million emails were sent to Temjen Toy, the Chief Secretary of Nagaland. All this started when politicians, Maneka Gandhi shared pictures of captive dogs urging people to ban consumption and illegal trading.
Banning dog meat consumption in Nagaland is only one step with many more to come. Consumption of dogs is unspeakably cruel and they should not be treated as livestock. The implementation of this ban is going to save countless dogs from a gruesome and painful death. Consumption comes later, but the initial processes of slaughter or handling the dogs/dog meat adds the risk of contracting serious diseases such as anthrax, brucellosis, hepatitis, leptospirosis, and even rabies. This is only to say that social media activism, more now than ever works! If each of us as citizens of this country and inhabitants of the beautiful earth, takes one step each, we will be 130 crore steps ahead.
Crocodile Consumption in Odisha
Postscript - An on-going campaign against the consumption of crocodiles in Odisha’s Malkangiri village needs attention. Reportedly, the villagers found a 10-foot long mugger crocodile in the nearby river and consumed its meat on 2nd July 2020. The crocodile was thrashed and killed, hung on a tree, the scene was brutal. Another debate is the consumption of chicken, mutton, and other meat. Now, that is a conversation of its own. India is changing, one step at a time. Let’s celebrate that.
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