Why we cannot ban bbq dog meat

The huge uproar over a Tongan man found barbecuing his pet dog is a demonstration of cultural insensitivity bordering on ignorance and hyprocrisy. Paea Taufa was found roasting the pitbull terrier-cross in an umu at his Mangere home. “If we eat heaps of… pig you get a (sore) stomach. But when we eat … dog, it doesn’t matter how much you eat, nothing is wrong with the tummy,” Taufa told Sunday News. Major dailies reported this, and today CNN carried the story, citing “the case infuriated and repulsed many New Zealanders.”

The Tongan guy had decided to cook the dog because it was too skinny and had become unmanageable. He rendered the dog unconscious with a blow to the head before slitting its throat. Under the Animal Welfare Act it is legal to kill a dog in New Zealand if the animal is slaughtered swiftly and painlessly.

The SPCA is very upset with Taufa, with the CEO saying “Even though the law says you can humanely kill an animal, you should not be treating any animal like this.” Many people are now calling for a law change, led by the SPCA, petitioning for the eating of dog meat to be banned. Various editorials swiftly condemned the practice of eating dog meat. The Tongan guy was demonised and probably traumatised, and he has since told media that he wouldn’t bbq another dog.

I am opposed to any attempt to ban the eating of dog meat and backyard dog barbecues.

New Zealanders love their meat and is only behind Demark globally (and ahead of the Americans) in terms of per capita consumption, 3.5 times the world average. The average Kiwi eats over 90 kg of meat per year, 65% red meat vs 35%

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white meat.

What is the difference between sheep and dogs? Some argue that dogs are pets. But some sheep are pets too. So are some chickens. Why ban the consumption of one type of meat but not another?

It is more inhumane for most of the pigs in New Zealand to be locked up in cages for all their lives and then slaughtered for their meat, than for Mr Taufa to kill a free-range dog swiftly. Why did people not revolt against pig farmers, especially after Mike King’s expose on TVNZ’s Sunday? When told that the cost of pork in supermarkets will rise significantly if farmers moved to free-range farming, people stopped complaining.

Some argue that cattle and sheep are raised specifically for their meat, and dogs are not. By that token would the protesters be placated if enterprising individuals started dog farms in New Zealand? We export tonnes of horse meat offshore. This means we are killing farm horses in huge numbers. Would horse-killers be regarded as barbaric too?

The argument that we cannot kill dogs for food because they are cute/friendly/small/intelligent doesn’t wash. We don’t see our vegetarian friends getting all judgemental when we meat-eaters confess our love for meat (as long as it’s not from an endangered species). Why can’t meat-eaters afford the same courtesy to dog-eaters? No one is asking you to join them.

SPCA CEO says: “The slaughtering, roasting and eating of a dog or nolvadex pils other companion animal is simply abhorrent to our culture as New Zealanders”. Dogs were eaten in New Zealand long before the Europeans arrived. Taufa himself is probably a NZ citizen. The SPCA is venturing into dangerous territory by becoming an arbitrator of what is culturally right or wrong.

The main thing that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should be worried about is exactly that, prevention of animal cruelty. As long as animals are slaughtered in a humane manner, then what people eat should be left up to them.

The law doesn’t need to be changed. It’s the hypocritical mindset of protesters coming from the second biggest meat-eating country in the world that does.

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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.

36 Comments

  1. S. Jeanie Benson says:

    Yes it is absolutely hypocritical of people to say this. I am a person who has a dog as a pet and has a lot of friends, family and acquantances with dogs as pets also. Despite the fact that I would not wish to eat my own family member (which is how I see my dog), it is far kinder of them to eat the dog than to subject it to various abuses and neglect. I see old people forced to let their animals die early deaths because they cannot afford the vet bills. It is not only cross-culturally insensitive of New Zealanders to make a cafuffle about this event, but its class-ist. We need to get a grip and realise that pets are luxeries and purchasing so called acceptable food is becoming increasingly difficult for many families. The problem is not whether the Tongan family ate the dog, the problem is whether or not there is enough cash to allow people to deal with animal health problems as members of the family, provide adequate health-care and purchase reasonably priced food. Pointing the finger at this family just exposes the pre-existing discourse of immigrant intolerance and general xenophobia that exists below the surface of much of NZ society. We also need to come to accept that people are finding their circumstances tough right now and its not the place of the media or the general public to ostracise people or to expose them to racist discourses.

  2. Verpal Singh says:

    I fully agree with your reasoning Kenneth. If this “outlawing” advocacy by SPCA is allowed to go ahead, sooner rather than later we will have a petition for outlawing beef and pork as the force of logic behind outlawing “eating a pet” will be far weaker than that behind outlawing “eating a sacred cow” or “eating an unholy pig”!
    SPCA does not seem to have thought through their response.
    Thank you for coming to the defense of the Tongan man.

  3. Paul Spence says:

    This is an interesting case from a cultural perspective.

    I’m neither a dog lover nor a huge consumer of red meat, but from my sheltered, middle class European perspective I personally find the cooking up of any domesticated animal quite abhorrent. On the other hand, you have exposed the hypocrisy endemic in broader society.

    I wouldn’t touch whale meat, seal or muttonbird because I disagree with the way in which they are harvested; but I will happily chow down on cage grown chicken, farmed salmon or spit roasted pig. I disagree with Mr Taufa’s actions, but my discomfort is based purely on my own cultural framework.

    Provided animals are treated humanely, it is difficult for us (in our agricultural society) to raise any complaint. Certainly legislation would be an excessive response.

  4. Matt says:

    This whole subject is based on culture, and, as a born and bread New Zealander of many generations, the idea eating a dog, which is a pet/companion as part of WESTERN culture is utterly repulsive.

    The practice should indeed be banned as it is not part of the framework of western culture, which is what New Zealand was built on. This being the case, the first culutural sensitivities that need to be considered are those of New Zealand, not the culture where dog eating is the norm. As a westerner, can you imagine the uproar if I was to head to a country where pork is not eaten and I slaughtered and cooked up a pig. But then again I would not do that at all because I’d educate myself about my new home so that i knew what was accepatable and what was not.

    In New Zealand it is NOT acceptable to eat dogs – end of story.

  5. Matt says:

    @Verpal Singh
    In New Zealand culture, pigs are not “unholy” nor are cows sacred and they are farmed specifically for our food, based on our western culture. A dog is “man’s best friend” and not for eating. The practice should be banned – now!

  6. Jono Graham says:

    Although you make some good points, do you not think the sensitivities of the wider community should be a factor in establishing laws? Personally, if I joined an ex-patriot community living in, say India, then I wouldn’t dream of butchering a cow and putting it on the barbeque. The same goes for pig-on-the-barbeque in an Islamic country. As much as I enjoy eating beef and bacon, my first priority would be to respect the customs and values of the wider community – not to champion my right to do as I please.

  7. Alastair McNabb says:

    Mr Leong himself is being culturally insensitive. Why does he presume that an immigrant culture has more importance than the New Zealand culture that finds it culturally insensitive to eat dogs (or other pets).

    This makes me really angry that he calls us NZrs culturally insensitive because we don’t like that fact someone defiles our own culture.

    Wake up and realise that NZ culture needs to be respected. It really is not fair to always consider other cultures and worry about their feelings over and above the culture of the host country!

    Sickening!

  8. Cactus Kate says:

    Nonsense Alastair.

    If people wish to eat dog, why not let them? There are plenty of stray dogs around belonging to no one. Eat ’em up I say. As long as property rights (ie. dogs that are tagged as owned by a family or person) are respected, who cares?

    The issue is, it tastes bloody awful. Yes, I have been fed dog. Up in Mainland China.

    If it tasted good then I would be all for it but, hello – it’s ghastly. Somewhere between gristle and mouldy boots is the best way to describe it. All the good meats are farmed for production. Dog meat is not one of those because there is limited consumer demand in Western Countries as it tastes BAD.

  9. Ken Leong says:

    Let’s be clear about this. The consumption of dog meat did not start with the recent wave of Pacific and Asian immigrants. People have been eating dogs here long before the Europeans arrived. It’s not about East vs West. I would say most Pacific Islanders, Maori and Asians in NZ do not eat dogs (that includes me). I don’t buy the “NZ culture” argument. Who decides whether an act “defiles NZ culture”? The SPCA?

  10. Matt says:

    @Cactus Kate
    Nonsense yourself Kate. Alastair is spot on.

  11. Bernie says:

    I think Matt and Alistair have summed up how most New Zealanders of European descent would consider the practice of dog eating in NZ. Sure, others may consider there is some hypocracy in regarding dog eating as abhorrant when we as a nation eat so much meat, but our culture is not to to eat species of higher intelligence and that are largely kept as pets. If immigrants do not respect that then they are being culturally insensitive. I feel Kenneth is trying to defend the indefensible and risks alienating people who might otherwise be sympathetic to his cause of promoting racial and cultural understanding. It is not a good arguement to say dogs have been eaten historically in NZ. It is not so long ago that Maori and Pacific Islanders were eating human flesh but thankfully they moved on from that.

  12. Matt says:

    @Ken Leong
    NZers decide the culture Ken, and this is something you need to respect when you come to live here. New Zealand has developed as a western country with western beliefs and a western culture. You describe yourself as being of Malaysian heritage (stuff.co.nz), and the cutlture there has many differences. If eating dog there is part of life, then so be it, and I am unable to condemn. However, here in New Zealand, New Zealanders are offended by the fact that people will eat dogs and you need to consider this and respect it. By not doing so you show a distict lack of respect for this local culture and risk causing offence to New Zealanders. Please rememeber you choose to live in New Zealand, and this is a privalege, rather than a right. You should do your best to live as much like a New Zealander as you can. I think it best you buy into this “NZ Culture” argument.

  13. Ken Leong says:

    Bernie FYI pigs are smarter than dogs, and some people keep pigs as pets too.
    Matt part of this discourse is about what it means to “live like a New Zealander”. I’m happy to allow contrarian views on this blog.

  14. Yee Yang 'Square' Lee says:

    @Matt

    Matt, I’m interested to know what you think is “NZ culture”. Georgie Pie, No. 8 Wire, All Blacks and “She’ll be right”?

    Pray tell.

    Because I get the feeling that what you are saying is that NZ is a developed Western monoculture and that is all it is, even though it is, on a daily basis, trying so hard to be bicultural, which in more recent times is complicated by the real need to come to grips with the reality that NZ is, undeniably, multicultural.

    Lest you forget, Matt – Mr Leung, as a Malaysian Chinese New Zealand (as I am) is as much a New Zealander as you are. He (as I) did not take offence at the fact that people may eat dogs. Or horses. Or snakes. Or huhu grubs. Are you presuming to tell Mr Leung – a New Zealander – how he should behave, think, act or eat as a New Zealander?

    Supremacist much, maaaaite?

  15. Bernie says:

    I am aware of the intelligence of pigs and for myself have not eaten any meat for over 20 years although some fish in recent times. I’m not so sure that New Zealanders who keep pigs strictly as pets would like to eat them. I am aware we can debate much over where to draw the line over what species are acceptable to be eaten but in New Zealand despite that we probably eat far too much meat for our own good, the majority of people still think it is unaceptable to eat cats and dogs. It is as simple as that.

  16. will says:

    New Zealand culture or any culture for that matter is constantly changing.Before the Europeans introduced their culture here the Maoris had their own way of life.
    Maori culture was considered the New Zealand culture back then.
    Now with new immigrants from around the world arriving the culture is again changing.The argument that immigrants should follow the local culture and forget all their old ways is out of line.I’m sure that the first europeans that arrived would not have been very happy if the Maoris told them to forget thier roots and live exactly like they do.So yes people can eat dogs if they want to as long as its done in a humane way.

  17. karin says:

    We had pigs when I was younger in NZ, with the express purpose of having them killed later and eating them. We named them and talked to them and they were extremely intelligent. One used to even crawl into a sack in it’s pen every night like a sleeping bag which was pretty cute! But we also always knew they were being raised for meat.

    I, as a kid wasn’t totally comfortable with eating the pigs at the time but my parents showed me it was normal – I ate pork regularly anyway so it would have been stupid of me to make exception for the ones we had raised. This I think was a good lesson – to learn where your food comes from and what you are actually eating.

    I also used to have pet lambs – we would raise the orphan lambs up as most country kids do. They really were friends and we trained them up to walk on a lead and come when we called and stuff for the Calf Club competition, but you also knew when you gave them back to the farmer if they were boy lambs in particular they would be getting eaten. Unless you are vegetarian I think it’s extremely hypocritical to have any issue with this.

    For the record, I personally don’t eat pork now if I can help it as I don’t like the farming practices and it makes me ill as well.

    In terms of the dog issue, there is currently no law about it here and I do see the SPCA perspective. As I understand no culture that eats dog eats the pedigree german shepherds or anything (I have a friend from China who has eaten dog and she loves my family Shepherd and said they would never eat a dog like that of course) but it seems like a way to rid the streets of strays? In countries where food is scarce and there are a lot of stray dogs this sort of makes sense to me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    @Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee
    Yang, those little bits and pieces do indeed make up part of New Zealand’s culture. Another part of NZ’s culture is that dogs are domesticated and generally kept as pets/companions or working dogs. Eating dog meat is NOT part of NZ’s cutlture, and this is my point.

    I have no problems with NZ being a multicultural societry and actively welcome it. My own wife is not from New Zealand. I do have a problem with other cultures making NZ home and having little or no respect for the basic cultural fabric of NZ. I certainly will not demand that any new residents/migrant give up their own heritage when they move here – I only ask that the beliefs and culture of this country are given the respect and understanding that they deserve. However, if eating dogs is a custom being glorified and lauded as the norm, I will quite happily stand on my soap box and say that this is not what NZers do. If that means I am telling people how to live (or indeed eat) like a NZer then so be it. Perhaps more education is required.

    And on a personal note, I do take persoanl offence to being called “supremecist” and consider myself very much the opposite. It’s comments like that which show a complete lack of respect and understading and only serve to further foster discontent – Well done Yang

  19. Yee Yang 'Square' Lee says:

    @Anonymous

    I assume that is you, Matt, responding.

    Matt :@Ken Leong NZers decide the culture Ken, and this is something you need to respect when you come to live here.

    I presume you were born here – jus soli and all – which is why you appear to speak with the authority of the Real New Zealander. I’m also guessing that you are Pakeha, which makes me question your ‘jus soli = Real New Zealander’ standpoint.

    Anonymous :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee I have no problems with NZ being a multicultural societry and actively welcome it. My own wife is not from New Zealand. I do have a problem with other cultures making NZ home and having little or no respect for the basic cultural fabric of NZ. I certainly will not demand that any new residents/migrant give up their own heritage when they move here – I only ask that the beliefs and culture of this country are given the respect and understanding that they deserve.

    A people’s or nation’s cultural fabric is not and should not be static. True multiculturalism demands more than the nominal act of ‘welcoming’, active or otherwise. It demands the recognition that the arrival of immigrants and new cultures will inevitably have a real impact on the ‘basic cultural fabric’ of any land – be it streching, unhinging, adding to and/or detracting from that fabric. That ‘basic cultural fabric’ does not and cannot stay the same. It is dynamic, and it is manifestly unfair to surmise that peoples of ‘other cultures’ (by which I take it you mean ‘non-Pakeha’ and Maori) making NZ home have little or no respect for the (constantly morphing) basic cultural fabric of NZ, just because they have or act on different, unique or opposing values, opinions, preferences or beliefs.

    To me, the cultural fabric of a land, basic or otherwise, does not belong to or comprise of just one individual, group, class, race, religion, creed, gender or sexuality. It belongs to all on the land, irrespective of provenance or seniority. It exists because we all do.

    Which is why I can’t help but perceive your standpoint to be a little dieu et mon droit.

    Matt :@Ken Leong …here in New Zealand, New Zealanders are offended by the fact that people will eat dogs and you need to consider this and respect it. By not doing so you show a distict lack of respect for this local culture and risk causing offence to New Zealanders. Please rememeber you choose to live in New Zealand, and this is a privalege, rather than a right. You should do your best to live as much like a New Zealander as you can. I think it best you buy into this “NZ Culture” argument.

    Respect begets respect, Matt, and most certainly flows both ways (although it must, I concede, start somewhere). It is not my intention to come across as a discontentment fosterer. I certainly mean no disrespect to you though by engaging in this conversation, I am clearly wishing to foster dialogue (with you and others) and thereby, understand better.

    But you know, Matt, sometimes, one needs to call a horse, a horse. Even if it offends.

  20. matt says:

    @Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee
    Nice reply Yee Yang, but you are missing my point completely. Yes I am a white New Zealander, and yes I was born here, as were many generations before me. I have been raised and educated with certain beliefs based on broad culture.

    The fact you belive that a nation’s cultural fabric should not be static is your opinion. You are of course entitled to it, but is indeed just an opinion and carries very little weight. I do agree to some point as I believe in a mutli-cultural society. However If your belief was a global mantra, I would be able to move to an islamic socitey (just an example) and be able to keep/kill/buy/eat pigs, drink alcohol freely, and my wife would be able to walk around wearing skirts/short sleeves and sunbathe freely in a bikini. In reality this is not possible.

    I believe you are looking more to cause controversy than continue a debate – “It is dynamic, and it is manifestly unfair to surmise that peoples of ‘other cultures’ (by which I take it you mean ‘non-Pakeha’ and Maori)… ” Your ‘take’ here is completely wrong. Maori culture is a big part of NZ’s overall cultural make up, and is deep set in our history. Even as a white New Zealander, you might be suprised that I am proud of this heritage. Many cultures do add their own colour to our intricate mix.

    I fully agree with you that respect begets respect and it needs to flow both ways, however i will be brutally honest with you in that i feel there is very little flow (perhaps either way) in New Zealand at present. Unfortunately this is likely to continue. But I am sure the fault will lie squarly with us Real NZers for not being accepting.

    At the end of the day, the majority of New Zealanders (white or not) are utterly disgusted at the practice of eating dogs, seen in this society as pets/companions – this is my point. Yet becuase this is the norm in some scoieties, some of which are now moving here, we are expected just to accept it? I’m sure that with your level of education (and you appear highly educated) you must be able to see the problem with this. Just because other cultures eat dogs, doesn’t mean the practice automatically can continue here. Should we also allow Bull Figthing because we have a Spanish community here?

    As far as labling horses goes, if you you do still consider me to be supremecist, then I will happily maintain your lack of respect given your opinion and your expectance that New Zealand needs to change its cultural fabric in order to befit the other new and diverse cultures wishing to make this great country home. Giddyup little pony.

  21. Jono Graham says:

    Ken, you ask “who decides” what constitutes NZ culture. It should be obvious that no one ‘decides’ what culture is, here or anywhere. The cultural values of a society are values of the general population. You don’t choose them, you learn them through your interactions with society. Judging by the uproar that this dog-eating fiasco has caused, it should be quite clear exactly where the vast majority of NZers stand on this issue.

    Multi-culturalism should never descend into a free-for-all where any course of action can be justified by reference to the perpetrator’s cultural background.

    I wonder whether, if your family went to Saudi Arabia, you would ignore local laws and customs about female dress?

    I also wonder whether you be happy head-hunting, cannibalism, or female circumcision on the grounds of multi-culturalism and the perpetrator’s background?

  22. Jono Graham says:

    @Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee
    You seem to be advocating a form of neo-cultural-imperialism, in which the existing local culture is forced to accept whatever values are thrust upon them by migrants. Interesting . . .

  23. Gavin says:

    Alistair McNabbs points out “…Why does he presume that an immigrant culture has more importance than the New Zealand culture that finds it culturally insensitive to eat dogs (or other pets).” Which is funny- because if we take New Zealand culture to includes Maori culture (they were here long before pakeha, and ate dogs), and the immigrant cultures to include pakeha (such as myself), then prioritising ‘New Zealand culture’ would make it absolutely fine to eat dogs.

    One thing I find fascinating about this business is the marked difference in style, between the two groups involved:

    1. The dog-eaters: acting within the law, they quietly do their own thing, without presuming to tell anyone else what they ought to do. (No-one is suggesting that we must ALL start eating dogs).

    2. The dogs-are-special brigade: causing a sensationalized fuss, talking about trying to get laws changed; in short, trying to force their personal opinions on everyone else in this country. It’s also interesting how happy they are to speak for all NZers – e.g. Matt saying ‘However, here in New Zealand, New Zealanders are offended by the fact that people will eat dogs’. I’m a white pakeha, British heritage, and think it’s just fine to eat dogs. So please don’t make these absurd statements on my behalf.

    There’s an impressive level arrogance demonstrated by the latter group… why are they so unable to accept other cultures and ways? (The two groups to me seem to represent tolerance versus bigotry).

    Lastly- as we know, Mr Taufa was acting entirely within his rights- has there been any talk of compensation, or court action, against those that stole his dinner that day?

  24. Yee Yang 'Square' Lee says:

    @matt

    Dear Matt,

    matt :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee The fact you belive that a nation’s cultural fabric should not be static is your opinion. You are of course entitled to it, but is indeed just an opinion and carries very little weight. I do agree to some point as I believe in a mutli-cultural society.

    A partial agreement here to me is a great victory. And thank you for respecting my opinion, despite its weight or lack thereof.

    matt :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee However If your belief was a global mantra, I would be able to move to an islamic socitey (just an example) and be able to keep/kill/buy/eat pigs, drink alcohol freely, and my wife would be able to walk around wearing skirts/short sleeves and sunbathe freely in a bikini. In reality this is not possible.

    I was born and grew up a non-Muslim in a Muslim country where even though I did not keep or kill pigs, I will unashamedly admit that I freely bought, cooked and ate the tribe of Piglet, often whilst sipping away at bevarages that could hardly be considered ‘soft’. Sometimes, I even ventured as far as to do so whilst sunbathing freely in my speedo. It is possible, I kid you not. So if you and your family are still keen on experiencing all that, I (and I’m sure Kenneth would agree with this, at least to some extent) would recommend Malaysia (Truly Asia). 🙂

    But I take your points completely – that a) in reality, this is often not possible, and b) that my belief is not a global mantra. Shame.

    matt :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee I believe you are looking more to cause controversy than continue a debate – “It is dynamic, and it is manifestly unfair to surmise that peoples of ‘other cultures’ (by which I take it you mean ‘non-Pakeha’ and Maori)… ” Your ‘take’ here is completely wrong. Maori culture is a big part of NZ’s overall cultural make up, and is deep set in our history. Even as a white New Zealander, you might be suprised that I am proud of this heritage. Many cultures do add their own colour to our intricate mix.

    I stand corrected on my assumption. I am not at all surprised that you are proud of this heritage – you should be, as I am, as we do. Also very chuffed to know that you accept other colours into the mix – I’m sure your sentiments extend to the Pacific Island, Asian and other cultures as well, no? Or will, in due course, as NZ gradually redefines itself to not just be Maori-Pakeha (assuming it hasn’t already)?

    matt :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee I fully agree with you that respect begets respect and it needs to flow both ways, however i will be brutally honest with you in that i feel there is very little flow (perhaps either way) in New Zealand at present. Unfortunately this is likely to continue. But I am sure the fault will lie squarly with us Real NZers for not being accepting.

    Interestingly, I do feel similarly that there is insufficient flow of mutual respect amongst not just NZers but people generally. And I too have a cynical, almost fatalistic outlook on this. But one can but hope, right?

    As for pointing fingers (of which I am not a fan, at all), my provocation here is that just as sure as one is accepting, there will be another who is not, Real NZer or otherwise. I hope that the weight of blame will not rest squarely just on Real NZers shoulders as you predict. But if it does, I hope that the Blamed will seize the opportunity to reflect – for one hand clapping makes no sound – and return an informed response.

    matt :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee At the end of the day, the majority of New Zealanders (white or not) are utterly disgusted at the practice of eating dogs, seen in this society as pets/companions – this is my point. Yet becuase this is the norm in some scoieties, some of which are now moving here, we are expected just to accept it? I’m sure that with your level of education (and you appear highly educated) you must be able to see the problem with this. Just because other cultures eat dogs, doesn’t mean the practice automatically can continue here. Should we also allow Bull Figthing because we have a Spanish community here?

    I do see the problem as you put it, but I must admit to be more fascinated by your ability to tap into and represent the psyche of ‘majority of New Zealanders’. No one is expecting you to ‘just accept it’ – you are, after all, allowed to your opinions, however lofty or feathery it may be. Just be prudent with how you express that opinion, I say. If truth be told, I was as driven to respond to your post by your sentiments and arguments as I was by how you delivered them, and in particular to a fellow New Zealander like Kenneth.

    As for Bull Fighting… I don’t personally have a moral, cultural, religious or ethical problem with that, so why not? ¡Ole!

    But I imagine that I wouldn’t go to a fellow New Zealander (of Spanish or other origin) and rule unequivocally that he/she can’t partake in, enjoy or sanction it because it just ain’t Kiwi. I don’t have to agree with or like it, but I should respect that a fellow Kiwi is as much a Kiwi as I am, just that we differ as informed by our separate upbringings, education, beliefs, cultures and ancestry. Heck, it may be that the act of immigration is the only thing we have in common, but we are still both equally yet in our own separate ways, uniquely, Kiwi. (Which then means two things in common, really.)

    A little less “Be Kiwi like me” and a little more “Be Kiwi like us”, methinks.

    matt :@Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee As far as labling horses goes, if you you do still consider me to be supremecist, then I will happily maintain your lack of respect given your opinion and your expectance that New Zealand needs to change its cultural fabric in order to befit the other new and diverse cultures wishing to make this great country home. Giddyup little pony.

    So on balance, it appears that we must agree to disagree. But not on all points – we have certainly managed to agree on a few salient issues.

    I am gladdened to see that perhaps I have been mistaken, for how can one who is willing to take heed of another’s opinion and expectations, despite fundamentally disagreeing with it, be supremacist?

    Perhaps you are, like me, just opinionated. Well met, Matt.

  25. Yee Yang 'Square' Lee says:

    @Jono Graham

    More like neo-cultural-imperialisism, with a liberal dash of fatalism. Not forced. Just can’t avoid it. It’s a-coming, like it or not. The important thing, perhaps, is how to respond, react and adapt to it.

  26. matt says:

    @Gavin
    Hi Gavin. I certainly am not making any comments on “your behalf”. You are completely entitled to your view regardless of what it is, however, if you would like to quote me correctly, I did say that the MAJORITY of NZers would find this practice repuslive. Consider yourself then in the minority and therefore excluded on that point.

    One thing I can’t understand is your thought that only the latter group in this debate demonstrates arrogance. Surely, given that there are 2 schools of thought here, is there not arrogance, and some ignorence from both sides? Or is that, given my stance, bigotry.

  27. Terry says:

    Weather or not I eat meat is not the issue.
    Weather or not I kill and eat whom or what I have invited into my home IS.

    Perhaps Mr. Leong is sharing his living space with the family livestock.

  28. Yee Yang 'Square' Lee says:

    @Terry

    Terry :Perhaps Mr. Leong is sharing his living space with the family livestock.

    Now now, Terry. I’m sure Mrs Leong would not appreciate your suggestion. Quite rude, frankly. Tsk tsk. 🙂

  29. Gavin says:

    @matt
    Hi Matt, you may be right, about the majority bit- I don’t know the percentages for/against (and don’t know that the right or wrongness here is the sort of thing to settle by voting anyway). Although it does feel like some broad generalisations are being made (in general- by SPCA, media, etc)- perhaps ‘some New Zealanders are offended…’ is more accurate than ‘New Zealanders are offended…’ (which implies we are all offended)?

    There are certainly 2 schools of thought. There does seem to me to be a fundamental difference between them, in that only one of them feels the need to impose their way of behaving, upon the other group. Where do you you see arrogance from the dog-eaters? (inaccurate group name perhaps- really it’s those who defend other peoples’ rights to do so).

  30. matt says:

    @Yee Yang ‘Square’ Lee
    I know Malaysia very well, having visited many times and supped afew of the local beverages – Anchor Draft is a fine drop. You will however agree that Malaysia is a very moderate Islamic state, somewhat different to say, Iran.

    I’ve watched Bull Fighting in Spain, and it’s part of Spanish tradition. This is fine and i have no issues with it nor with Spain’s desire to maintain it. I just wouldn’t see the need for it here. Nor could i see it being accepted here.

    The same goes for dog eating. I realise that there are many societies where it is the norm. Personaly I don’t wish to see it commonplace here as I see dogs as pets/companions/guide dogs/working dogs.

    I have no issues with other cultures, nor am i supremest, however I don’t see why New Zealand and New Zealanders have to accept every single part of every single culture that chooses to move here. That’s what i see as one sided.

    If some on this thread can’t accept that this subject may be causing offence to a large part of this multi-cultural society, then that shows a lack of understanding that many ‘real NZers’ often accused of – quite one sied i think. This ‘psyche’ you refer to is the way i was raised, like many of my peers.

    I was always taught to respect other people and other cultures and this was a big reason why i chose to travel to many differnt places and experience many different cultures. My mantra when I was travelling was to respect local customs/beliefs/cultures – when in rome etc. I just feel that same cannot be said for many who choose to visit and/or live in this country that I care greatly about. Sometimes i do get angry, but on the whole it saddens me that it often appears that me and my country (I make no apologies for my patriotism) are not afforded the same courtesies that i proffered in the years i travelled.

    I’m glad you are able to enjoy your partial victory, however, to me that is just another example of the lack of respect and understanding afforded to mutli-generation NZers, yet demanded in return.

    Obviously we will agree to disagree. Enjoy your partial victory, but I for one don’t wish to see BBQ dog commonplace in this wonderful country. I realise it is practiced regularly in other countries and have no problem with that, but I would prefer it not occur here.

    Nuff said.

  31. Alastair McNabb says:

    Yee Yang, judging by your attitude and comments you are obviously not a NZer and don’t care for the way we think, live and feel. Also, it’s call a “spade a spade”, not call a “horse a horse”.

    Gavin: You are missing some of the point. It’s not just a “dogs are special brigade”. I don’t like cats very much, yet I wouldn’t eat one for the same reason as not eating a dog. They are pets, companions, gaurd dogs, etc and the NZ culture is one that does not eat these animals. Other animals such as rabbits are both pets and eaten by some. You need to be a NZer to be able to understand the differrence. It must be too subtle for non-NZers to tell the difference.

    NZrs are asked to respect the customs and values of other countries we go to, so why shouldn’t other people respect ours??

  32. Alastair McNabb says:

    Not that I have a grudge against the Tongan man who ate the dog. I believe he made a genuine mistake and I feel sympathy for the press he’s had.@Alastair McNabb

  33. Yee Yang 'Square' Lee says:

    @Alastair McNabb

    Alastair McNabb :Yee Yang, judging by your attitude and comments you are obviously not a NZer and don’t care for the way we think, live and feel. Also, it’s call a “spade a spade”, not call a “horse a horse”.

    Alistair, I know. I was just sticking to the animal theme, that’s all. (Didn’t want to use ‘dog’ as Matt might have taken it the wrong way…)

    And yes, I am not a jus soli NZer as Matt is or you may be, having been a live-in immigrant for a mere four years. But surely after my two long diatribes, you would have picked up that I do consider myself a New Zealander?

    Clearly I’m not invited to the NZers party.

    But it’s okay. I’ll just hang with Kenneth at the Malaysian Chinese New Zealander club. You’re all invited.

  34. Wayne says:

    Kenneth Leong – cultural practices do not have to be logically consistent, be easy to rationalize in order for them to be respected.

    I would fully agree with you, if you had taken a similar stance in respect of say whaling, and as a Chinese am disgusted with the constant whining about so called ‘human rights’ or Tibet by Western do-gooders when it comes to countries like China and Singapore.

    However all this stuff you trot out about NZrs being top meat eaters, treating pigs like crap, while true is entirely beside the point.

    The simple fact is, NZrs, like most other Western derived countries find the consumption of dog meat to be culturally abhorrent. To me there are good reasons why dogs should be afforded a status different from that of other animals – ie their inherent friendliness towards man, their loyalty, their sensitivity to human emotions and vice versa, and their service to man – they rescue humans in natural disasters, serve in the police and military, and most movingly act as guide dogs for the blind.

    But all this aside, the simple fact that most NZrs find killing dogs for food repulsive and upsetting, is reason enough in itself, for newcomers to respect our feelings. Cultural sensitivity is a two way street. If one goes to a foreign land, is welcomed by people of that foreign land, one should respect the customs and traditions of those people – and not demand that a custom have to be logically rationalized in order for it to be respected.

    The feelings and sensitivities of most NZrs deserve at least as much respect as those who have come in just the past couple of decades. NZrs do not require sanctimonious lectures from you on cultural respect, when you seem to have none for them.

    And in fact, happily, most Pacific Islanders and Asian people I know would agree with me that dog eating is an abhorrent practice. It is certainly not just white NZrs who would support such a ban as proposed by the SPCA.

  35. will says:

    New Zealand is also moderate or is it like Iran?
    Bull fighting and eating a dog are two completely different things.Human life is at stake in bullfighting and it is done as a sport like dog fighting.Of course it will never be accepted in NZ.
    This is food we are talking about.Animals being killed for food.People do it everyday.If you don’t like eating dogs don’t eat it.How would you like it if vegeterians started telling you to stop eating meat.

  36. Ken Leong says:

    @Wayne

    Wayne :

    And in fact, happily, most Pacific Islanders and Asian people I know would agree with me that dog eating is an abhorrent practice. It is certainly not just white NZrs who would support such a ban as proposed by the SPCA.

    This is not about white vs Asian vs Tongan or dog-lovers vs dog-haters. It is far more complex than that. As you have illustrated, some Chinese New Zealanders would support the banning of dog-eating. Some pakeha see nothing wrong with dog-eating. I do not purport to represent the views of all Chinese. In fact my ethnicity has nothing to do with my position. However, I can see that if I wasn’t Chinese, I wouldn’t be getting hate mail asking me to GO HOME.

    One of the things I do is to help immigrants better understand Kiwis and hopefully better integrate with the citizens of their new homeland. My organisation also does a lot of work in the area of helping Kiwis work more effectively with people of other cultures. One way this can happen is to NOT shy away from controversial topics. Part of the problem here is insufficient two-way dialogue between immigrants and the host culture. As such, I take exception to you saying I have no respect for New Zealanders.

    How can people hope to better understand one another without genuine dialogue?

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