Tom didn’t want to post any pictures or announcements about this momentous event in his life, probably due to a mixture of shame and embarrassment but mostly because of a sense of delicacy towards our canine-loving American friends, but I’ve decided to expose him because I believe that if you’re going to do something, you should admit to doing it and if you’re too ashamed to admit it, then you shouldn’t have done it. In reality, Tom isn’t all that ashamed of himself, and our philosophy on dogmeat is very similar, at least in theory. Even so, I refuse to try it and probably never will.
We don’t have any pets at home and I’m not a dog person. I don’t have anything against dogs, they just seem to be more trouble than they’re worth. I like animals but I’m not passionate about them. I hate the idea of cruelty towards any living creature. We buy cage-free whenever we can and I aspire to be vegetarian at some later point in my life. Right now I enjoy meat too much to give it up. In my mind, the only distinction that should be made among types of meat is taste (and maybe availability, sustainability, and environmental impact). Dogs shouldn’t necessarily enjoy a privileged status because they’re treasured pets in some parts of the world. Maybe pet owners would never eat their pets or their pets’ species of animal, but that shouldn’t stop someone else who doesn’t have qualms about it. Pigs are more intelligent than dogs and their capacity for suffering is not in any way inferior to dogs, so I feel like the stigma surrounding consumption of dogmeat shouldn’t be any different than the stigma surrounding consumption of pork. Animals are animals and I have as much sympathy for cows and pigs as I do for dogs. Yet I’ll eat beef and pork but I won’t touch dogmeat, ever. It’s because I’m American and I understand the deep-seated affection that many Americans have for their cats and dogs, and there’s a cultural stigma that you can’t ignore.
Based on my appearance, I’ve been pegged a foreigner my entire life, and it’s been an uphill battle to fit in. I’ve always been too shy or too nerdy or too standoffish or too weird or too sarcastic or too obnoxious or too Asian or not Asian enough. When you’re accused of eating cat or dog as a child, in addition to all your other eccentricities, you’re none too anxious to run out and try cat or dog as an adult. I have a hard enough time trying to get society to accept me and perceive me the way I want to be perceived without adding the label of “dog-eater” to my list of quirks. I’m simply not curious enough about dogmeat to accept the stigma attached to eating it. Tom is braver and less hypocritical than me in that respect. He’s been wanting to try dogmeat since the first time we visited VN over 13 years ago and now he can finally cross it off his bucket list.