100 Dead Dogs

Last modified on January 31st, 2011

As most people on Twitter now know, a dogsledding company in Whistler has recently admitted that it killed 100 of its dogs after demand was less than anticipated after the winter olympics. Instead of euthanizing these animals, allegedly some employee was given the task of killing these animals one by one and then burying them, some apparently while still alive.

Obviously this act is causing a lot of people to be upset. I personally think it’s an extreme form of cruelty, and that the company and people involved should be punished. These animals should have been offered up to others, or at the very least, have been euthanized humanely and without pain.

But Darren on Twitter raises an interesting point – why is it that these events cause people to be so worked up, when they are relatively common place within our own food system? In fact, I know a few people who have purposefully avoided watching movies such as Food Inc., mainly because they don’t want to know how bad things really are, as if that someone absolves them of the responsibility for supporting such a system.

While cows are supposed to be rendered unconscious using a bolt stunner prior to being processed (many actually don’t become unconscious immediately though, and are often skinned and processed while still conscious), chickens aren’t privy to the same luxury, and most are slaughtered alive by having their throats slit so that they bleed to death. Why is it that killing a chicken inhumanely is an acceptable act in our society, but killing a dog isn’t? Is it because chickens are food whereas dogs aren’t? If that’s the case, dogs are in fact eaten in many parts of the world. Should it be acceptable there?

I’m not trying to take away from the serious nature of what occurred in Whistler, and fully support the legal system doing what it can to punish this form of animal cruelty. But I encourage everyone to become more knowledgable about the commercial food system, since it is filled with examples of animal cruelty such as this, and most of us (myself included when I buy commercially prepared meats) help perpetuate it.

7 responses to “100 Dead Dogs”

  1. Hipster Designer says:

    When an animal, such as a cow or chicken, is processed, almost every single part of said animal is used. Those parts are made into food, clothing and many other types products we use every day.(elmers glue for example) Admittedly, the mass processing of animals, however cruel and disgusting, is brutally efficient. There are entire industries, employing tens of thousands, if not more, dedicated specifically to the processing of living creatures. As awful as this is, change is occurring slowly, due to films such as The Cove and Food INC. We must applaud these efforts and support those who expose how our food or clothing gets to us.

    The difference between the slaughter of livestock vs the slaughter of the dogs in Whistler is that the entire process was completely inefficient and an example of extremely poor judgement and management by the members of a small(ish) local company. A company that provides “experiences” to wealthy (or at least middle class) clients and whose management rubbed its hands in anticipation of the Olympic goldrush that never actually came. Had this company done any form of market research, they would have arrived at the conclusion that perhaps that extra hundred dogs might not be a good idea. Plus, the company couldn’t be bothered to rehome or to pay to have the dogs euthanised by a qualified professional. No, they left the job to some poor schmuck who was too dumb or scared to question a decision that would have serious consequences down the line. [They have] proven that [they’re] a company that has no idea what it’s doing. They should have stuck with white water rafting and snowmobiles.

    This is the difference between The Food Industry’s wholseale slaughter and [their]’s. Big food knows exactly what they are doing and they are very good at it. They have specialized processes. The Adventure Group is a fly by night operation with no idea what they are doing. Hence the inevitable backlash.

  2. Duane Storey says:

    So you’re saying that the backlash is because they were inefficient killers, whereas in the food industry they are efficient killers, so the cruelty (which exists in both) doesn’t matter as much?

  3. Hipster Designer says:

    No. I’m saying that [they] acted irresponsibly. Big food, although cruel and stupid, is in the business of slaughtering animals. The Adventure Group is in the business of entertaining humans and should have found another way of dealing with their poor business decision.

  4. While I fully agree that cruel handling on dogs or any domestic pets should not happen at all. Food industry for me is alittle different. I see a lot of people complain and then tell me how good this steak tastes. They are concerned how it was feed (grain or natural). Not onced have I ever been asked how it was killed or even asked myself. So I look at it this way if I was to go hunting for food and shot a deer, the deer suffered because I don’t shoot well would that be ok or is it ok because I did it myself. We are killing this creature for food the moment we choose that doesn’t really matter how it is killed. Honestly if cows could talk do you think they really care how they are killed. I would think they just don’t want to be killed.

  5. I would agree that the cruelitly doesn’t matter at all. In this country we live in dogs are not food. If they were then it would be nice to kill them as efficiently as possible.

  6. Dale Mugford says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – Mahatma Gandhi.

    He made no distiction between pets or food.

  7. Annie says:

    I feel for the family who actually started the business and later sold it. Those 2 people with big hearts loved their dogs, raised several of the puppies in their own yard right across from the barn, where their 2 young children would name them, pet them, play with them. They even took one really old female husky home as their own pet, after her long running career was over. They were life and dog lovers. I hope their name does not get dragged in all this.

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