The ethics of eating dogs
July 23rd, 2014
01:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN's Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

The dog photos are difficult to view.

Of course.

They show man's best friend being stuffed into wire cages and trucked, illegally, across borders in Southeast Asia. The destination: restaurants in Vietnam.

That thought alone - that someone would sit in a public restaurant and order dog from a menu - is likely enough to get most "dog people" to stop reading this column, much less look at the photo essay featured this week by CNN's photo blog.

Here in the Untied States, we will spend $58.5 billion on pets this year, according to one industry projection. We pamper dogs with Christmas presents; send them to "doggie daycare"; bring them on planes (more than 2 million pets and animals fly per year); and trot them around show rings, judging the perfection of their pedigree.

Eat them?

Read - The argument for eating dog

Previously in taboo food news:
Down the rabbit hole
Lawmaker battles to ban lion meat
Horse: Coming soon to a meat case near you?
Poll – making a meal of mustang
Top Chef trots into taboo territory

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Berk Demirbulakli

    I don't see what the big problem is. Puppies are very tender and juicy.

    August 22, 2014 at 10:56 am |
  2. David Phooter

    Islam tells not to eat anything that eats meat, because those animals tend to be intelligent. That includes pigs, hence muslims do not eat pork. Chicken and fish are not intelligent, so they are exceptions. Herbivores tend to be dumb coz it does not take much brain to chew herbs. So, there is an ethical backing to it. Not that I am a muslim, but I was raised as one. Know a religion before you attack it.

    July 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
    • Just

      a troll.

      July 29, 2014 at 5:03 am |
  3. Karen

    some people will eat anything including human meat they did in ancient times across the globe now that china has killed off almost everything living I am sure they will start consuming each other. The world is a sic place pollution is wiping out millions of fish and other species, plants and all that will be left is solent green!

    July 26, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
  4. I

    don't care if it is cultural. It's wrong.

    July 25, 2014 at 8:09 am |
    • Gee

      My, how myopic and unworldly you are. KUTGW

      July 25, 2014 at 8:15 am |
      • And

        gladly so.

        July 25, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • Gee


          July 25, 2014 at 9:14 am |
  5. karen14217

    It is an animal. As long as it is killed humanely, the owner can do what s/he wishes with it. No different from buying a cow or a pig and eating it.

    July 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm |
    • yousavage

      all of you will pay!! wonder all of your breaths smell like dog poop!!

      July 27, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • David Phooter

      Humans are animals too.

      July 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
  6. RichardHead

    Ate 6 dogs yesterday–chili cheese coneys from Sonic for National Hot Dog Day.

    July 24, 2014 at 7:17 am |
    • AleeD®

      I'm rather partial to certain types of wieners myself. ~_~

      July 24, 2014 at 9:05 am |
      • Thinking things through

        ... but not named Anthony, I trust?

        July 25, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
  7. kitchenunruly

    This is exactly the kind of awareness we need to have. My latest article takes a look at the ethics of our simplest everyday food purchase.

    July 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm |
    • Carn E. Vore

      No one cares about your article.

      July 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
      • kitchenunruly

        Thanks for your comment Carn E. Vore! You are a great example of the Consumer and you were successful in driving more people to read my article :)

        July 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
  8. Biff

    I think one day if we are truly living in a modern world, no one on the planet will eat any animals at all.

    July 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • VladT

      Inclduing carnivores?

      July 24, 2014 at 3:56 am |
    • Carn E. Vore


      July 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
  9. Arthur in the Garden!

    Vincent- cows and chickens have personality. Trust me. I have had both. Eatting dogs is a cultural thing. HIndus don't eat meat. Muslims and Jews don't eat pigs. You cannot just someone's cultural norms through your cultural norms.

    July 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
    • skygod

      hindus eat meat. they just don't eat cow

      July 27, 2014 at 8:50 am |
  10. Proving the Point

    A dog lover, not a dog eater.

    July 23, 2014 at 2:22 pm |
  11. Vincent

    A dog's different. A dog has personality.

    July 23, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
    • Lauten

      So do cows

      July 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • Ally

      A whole slough of other animals that we DO eat regularly have personalities too. When was the last time you hung out with a cow long enough to realize this?

      I don't think I could eat dog. But I think it's more important to clean up the cruelty in the industry than to focus on whether people should eat dog or not.

      July 23, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
      • Vincent

        Apparently none of you have seen "Pulp Fiction"...

        July 23, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • Thinking things through

          I haven'['t. What am I missing?

          July 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • Jerv@Thinking things through

          Dude, just watch the da mn movie and you will get it.

          July 26, 2014 at 6:29 am |
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