The Boss's Dog

Some things should be off the table

By The General

The Boss likes his proverbs – he’s a bit old-fashioned like that – and this virus thing is just giving him more encouragement.

“It’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good,” he said the other day, shaking his head like he wasn’t quite convinced.

“But every dark cloud has a silver lining, General,” he added, looking more pleased with himself.

This came a few days after “Afflictions are blessings in disguise” and “The darkest hour is just before dawn.”

The Missus reckons he is a master of the cliche, and says so in a tone that suggests he lacks original thought. And who am I to disagree with the Missus?

But, at least on the virus, the Boss has put his finger on it.

Just this week I heard the news that the Chinese government has signalled an end to the human consumption of dogs.

Now, I’m no activist, as you know – I prefer to go with the flow, take the line of least resistance, maybe even take the easy way out.

However, I do take personal offense at the idea of eating a dog, on account of it could easily be me if things got out of hand. My loyal readers will recall I have felt bound to raise this issue before.

So I was cheered when the Boss found a report in The Guardian saying the Chinese Agricultural Ministry released a draft policy that forbids eating canine meat.

And the reason they gave was “the progress of human civilisation.” This is noble of them, although the cynic in me is inclined to think the virus has prompted the Chinese to reflect nervously on the possibility of disease transmission from animals to humans.

You would have heard the theories about the virus starting in the wet markets of Wuhan where they sell all sorts of strange critters for their sheer culinary excitement, including bats, pangolins, bamboo rats and pickled ferrets.

So we don’t need to celebrate just yet – the Chinese government doesn’t go out of its way to stir up the populace unnecessarily.

Still, the ministry announcement went on to describe dogs as a “special companion animal” – I was hoping the Boss might read that out again, loudly – which suggests to me that being kept in a kennel is approaching cruel and unusual punishment.

Apparently the draft policy follows a decision by the city of Shenzen to ban consumption of dog and cat meat. I would have left cats on the list of edibles myself but I’m told some people like them as pets too.

The Humane Society International people say between 10 and 20 million dogs are cooked up by the Chinese every year so it’s not going to be easy to wean them off it.

And around 4 million cats, so they say.

The Chinese have quite a bit to answer for and a way to go to reach the pinnacle of human civilisation. But banning the eating of the likes of me is a start.

As the Boss might say, “Sweet are the uses of adversity.” Woof!