Since the Beijing Olympics, menus in China have come under fire and have intermittently been in world news. The menus themselves aren’t the issue, it’s some of the ingredients – (see which ones). While yes these may not be the most appealing items to an international community, it doesn’t mean that China should eliminate them from menus, let alone criminalize cultivation of the meat. Globalization, the influx of tourists and the rapid growth of a Chinese middle class have forced the issue onto the Chinese legislative agenda (Woof Woof). A Chinese academic claims that banning cat and dog from menus demonstrates China’s ascent into a new level of civilization (Meow). Yet shouldn’t China demonstrate their assent into the new and “upper” echelons by addressing coal emissions (Cough Cough AND Burn Baby Burn), limiting cyber warfare (Old AOL dialup noise), addressing gendercide (No More Girls) or addressing human rights (Get in line or else…)?
Eliminating a long-held cultural practice is far from a demonstration of civilization, instead it’s an illustration of the de-culturization caused by globalization. Was Samuel Huntington right (Clash of Civilizations), are clashes between civilizations the future if more cultures do not conform to Western standards and norms of civilization and humanity? I hope not because that will make the world far less interesting.