There's a lot of outrage on social media now regarding the dog eating festival in China. Where do I stand on the issue? I'm against stealing dogs. I'm against being unnecessarily cruel to living creatures. It's the same argument I have toward the whaling in Taiji. I don't want to cause unnecessary pain or stress to any animal or person.
What I want to point out here is that this picture and caption I pulled off my Facebook feed is lumping together two completely different issues: animal cruelty, and eating dogs.
Am I against eating dogs? No.
And I may as well add whales and dolphins here too.
Am I interested in eating dogs? No. I'm not really into eating land predators.
Do I want to eat marine mammals? Not really due to the high mercury build up, and the depletion of marine animals due to commercial fishing (which is why I don't buy fish at the market, and don't usually order it when I'm out either).
I think an emotional argument like, 'I'm your friend, not your food!' is ridiculous. If you're a vegetarian, I respect that, and I immediately shut up because you do not believe in killing animals for food, and I do. But if you eat meat, don't you think it's a little strange that we label animals as food/non-food solely based on our emotional attachment to them? Pigs are extremely intelligent animals, yet we have no problem with someone stuffing them into tiny sensory depriving pens for their entire lives so that we can have a nice sausage or delicious morning bacon. But dogs? No! They're our friends! Horses? No! They're for riding! Cows? Yes. What??? When did we decide that it's okay to eat one herbivore, but not the other?
The wife of a client of mine who lives off of factory farmed meat, hates the fact that I'm a hunter. Her argument was that the animals she eats are raised for food, but the ones I eat are free and should be left wild. My reply was that the animals she eats are in captivity their entire lives, often in deplorable conditions, and most likely undergoing a very traumatic and stressful death at the slaughter house. She has no idea how they have been treated, who has been raising them, what they have been eating etc etc. The animals I hunt have been free their entire lives, and are stressed/suffer for the last few minutes of their lives. They have a chance to escape, and if they're smart and strong they often will. They're eating what is naturally available, and it's a sustainable way to put meat on the table.
Please, let's be emotional about issues we care about, but not get so carried away by them that we are not making sense anymore. I'm all for protesting the ridiculous issues surrounding this festival. Seriously, the stealing dogs and barbaric way they slaughter them (like the fur farming in China) is ridiculous, but have a think about whether you're against the pain and suffering, or against eating dogs as well. If you're against eating them, have a think about why. If you come up with a good argument against it, feel free to tell me about it, as I'm always happy to be enlightened, and am willing to change my opinions based on new ideas.
I don't think I've talked about it much, but I used to customize and restore motorcycles. I definitely have a thing for classics and authenticity, and I think that carries over into everything in my life. That being said, I'm not averse to the new either, or in pumping out hybrids of old and new.
I stumbled across this bit about legendary builder Shinya Kimura's new project. I'm lucky in that with the many different hats I wear, I get to meet people like this gentleman, masters of their craft (I haven't met Kimura-san). It's always an eye opening experience, involving a bit of awe, and a bit of a crush. People like this are the people I want to surround myself with. They'll push you to do more and be more, without even pushing. Just see what they're creating, and you can't help but feel challenged to put out 100% more you. It carries over into everything.
There was another great article about an article debunking the 'alpha' myth. Anytime I hear a dog owner say alpha, and usually it has to do with dealing with some problem behavior in their dog, I cringe a little inside. I'm not a spectacular dog trainer, and god knows I get upset at my dogs a bit more than I feel I should, but when my dogs are acting up I know it's not because I am lacking some magical alpha hold over them.
So I stumbled across this little gem earlier, 'Dog tries to protect her little lobster friend from becoming dinner.' The summation at the end of the 'article' says, 'Eventually her humans do take Sami's little lobster baby away, but not before the duo showed that all critters have feelings, no matter their shape or size.'
You can watch the original video below.
I enjoy a cute video as much as anyone else, but this article is just ignorant, and people who don't know any better (dog owners and non-dog owners) are going to read it and learn something that could end up leading to really dangerous dog behavior.
This dog is resource guarding what it perceives as a high value treat/toy. It has no idea that the lobster is going to be dinner, and hence there is no way that it is trying to protect it from becoming dinner. She's trying to keep it away from the other dog, from her owners, and from looking at her posturing she's not in a comfortable situation.
If you've had a lot of experience with dogs, I think you'll see that right away. I think the people in the video are lucky that their dog is a pretty low energy dog. If this was a Shikoku doing this I think we would have seen someone get bit pretty quickly (of course the lobster might not have survived so long either).
And then a Muntjac it looks like. I've seen one out here before, so I guess there's a population down here now. They're an introduced species that was released from a bankrupt private zoo, and they've done extremely well in the mountains of Chiba.
I was thinking this morning that I've got a lot of pretty amazing friends. I think part of it must be the fact that now that we're in our thirties a lot of us are in our prime, plus with all the different things I'm into I meet a lot of people from different walks of life. Regardless, I figured I'd start giving them all shout outs on my blog.
First up is Shun aka 'Kanekin', friend and sometime gym buddy. He's my ex-wife's younger brother, and we've had quite a similar journey together in the gym since we're both hard gainers and started very thin/small. He's working as a trainer now, and his Youtube channel is starting to blow up with over 10,000 subscribers. I'm impressed.
I'll be taking the piss out of him next time I see him for this video on how to pose.
I remember watching this fight go down in the living room, all of us freaking out. It was the early days of MMA, and K-1 was king. Totally epic showdown between the islanders Mark Hunt and Ray Sefo. I've never seen a fight like it.
The only thing harder than their hitting was their chins. This is what happens when the unstoppable force meets the immovable object.
So after getting a diagnosis for Chacha's skin condition (tricophyton fungus), it looks like all four girls may show symptoms of infection as well.
It is hard to tell in the other 3 girls since all are blowing coat now, and there is no clear hair loss, just some thin areas on the back of the ear. I have them on preventative medication anyway just to be safe. The kennels/house and everywhere the dogs go is being disinfected every few days with a bleach solution, and the kennels are being blowtorched to burn hair and any possible spores. The spores can remain dormant for up to 12months, so that really sucks.
Anyway, I've visited several kennels recently, and all of them have Shikoku with the same symptoms. Loss of hair on the edges of the ears, and some with hair loss on the bridge of the muzzle as well.
It seems to be seasonal, coinciding with the rainy season every year. Anyway, I've learned something new.