If you thought all along that it was illegal to consume dog and cat meat, there are a few things that you should probably know. Perhaps the most shocking thing is that the House just cleared a bill that prohibits it. If you’re like most people, you probably thought that it was prohibited decades ago. It’s actually a little bit disconcerting to think that people might have unknowingly consumed meat from domesticated dogs or cats in the United States. This is always something that you think about happening in other countries, but most people automatically assume that the United States was somehow above and beyond allowing such things. Perhaps that was not the case to begin with.
If you’re an animal lover, this story is sure to disturb you a great deal. The very idea that you could go to a restaurant and end up consuming meat from a domesticated dog or cat is upsetting enough to make you refrain from eating meat of any kind for a very long time. In addition, there are a lot of questions when it comes to any potential health concerns that might exist from consuming such meat. It’s a little mind-boggling to realize that a bill like this wasn’t passed years ago.
Furthermore, there are currently only five states which actively prosecute people that try to pass off dog or cat meat for human consumption. Aside from New York, California, Michigan, Virginia and Georgia, there are no other states with such laws regulating this type of activity. Even in the five states that do actively prosecute, it’s only a fine of up to $5,000 per offense. In reality, that’s not enough to make most people stand up and take notice so if they were inclined to do it before, it probably isn’t going to stop them from doing it now.
According to the FDA, it’s not only illegal to serve this kind of meat for human consumption, but it’s also illegal to import it from other countries. Thankfully, they put some verbiage in the law that made it illegal to donate meat that comes from dogs or cats, or you would probably see a very large increase in the number of animals euthanized in shelters.
For anyone that thinks about their pets like members of their family, this is completely unacceptable. After all, there’s a big difference between consuming farm animals that are raised specifically for the purpose of providing meat and consuming Fido or Fluffy. If you think that’s upsetting in the extreme, imagine what it could do to you if you didn’t even know what you were consuming until it was too late to make a conscious decision about it.
For the most part, this news leaves a lot of people shaking their heads. It’s hard to imagine how so many people in the general public could have assumed that laws preventing this type of thing already existed, only to be wrong. That’s bad enough to get the attention of most individuals. The other part that’s so troubling is the fact that the law that was just passed really isn’t that strong to begin with. It doesn’t require all states to come on board immediately and the penalties are so relaxed that it’s really not enough to get the attention of anyone who would be inclined to do such a thing in the first place. Granted, the FDA is supposed to be going around making inspections of restaurants throughout different parts of the country in order to ensure that it isn’t happening, but there’s absolutely no way they can check all of them.
One thing is certain, the next time you make the decision to go to a restaurant, especially one that you’re not familiar with, you might stop and think twice about what’s really on your plate. How can you be sure that the hamburger or the steak you ordered is really what you ordered? If you’re one of those people that always contemplates what might be going on in the kitchen where you can’t see what’s happening, this just might be enough to make you think twice about going out to eat. For everyone else, it’s enough to make you hug your pets just a little bit tighter, not to mention ensuring that you know where they are at all times.