A reader writes:

During the late 90's I was serving in the US Air Force stationed at Clark AB, Philippines. I had heard stories about Filipinos eating dog meat but didn't think much about it. During my second year there I had a girlfriend who lived off base. The apartment where she lived had this stray dog hanging around the place. We'd feed it scraps and she'd even let it stay in her room during rain storms. One day near Christmas time, I woke up to the horrible screeching of the little dog.

I ran out to see what was going on and I saw the neighbors laboring over a fire pit and a butchers table. They had just killed the dog and were skinning it. I reeled back in horror as I watched them processing the dog and happily chatting about the day's events as if nothing was amiss . The smell really was putrid, even though I had been to several Filipino open air markets with all kinds of meat: snake, heads of chickens and pigs. I left the area upset and shaken up.

Later on during Christmas as I went to visit my girlfriend, one of the butchers came over and apologized for the trauma I witnessed. We set around and had a couple of beers and talked. To Filipinos, dog meat was only eaten during special holidays. They didn't consider what they did as cruel and I began to understand their tradition, albeit I didn't agree with it. It's funny how many times I saw pigs or cows stuffed into tractor trailers and didn't give them a thought. Perhaps we are vastly hypocritical in are dealings with the animal world.

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