Dogs on the streets of Lucknow | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Representational image| Dogs on the streets of Lucknow | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
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The urge to ‘civilise’ people from the northeast, to make them seem more ‘like us’ is an itch Indian mainlanders can’t seem to get over. The ban on dog meat is the latest example.

The Nagaland government, clearly under pressure, banned “commercial import and trading of dogs, dog markets, and also the sale of dog meat” earlier this month. The ban was applicable to both cooked and uncooked meat. But can you ban something just because others don’t like it being eaten?

A lot of people welcomed the ban, and animal rights activists hailed it as a landmark decision. But as Vir Sanghvi wrote, “Object to one kind of meat and you have made the case for legally-enforced vegetarianism.”

Us versus Them

‘They eat anything and everything’ is used often as a racial slur against northeast Indians, whose diet includes meat/flesh of animals, insects, mammals, that most mainlanders would balk at.

From ants to snails to yes, dogs, various tribes and communities in the region have consumed different kinds of meat for generations, which have been also a marker of their cultural identity.

But the urge to ‘civilise’ people from the northeast, to ‘assimilate’ them still hasn’t left us.

It is the language of ‘activists’ such as BJP MP Maneka Gandhi that ensures we choose the customs we believe are right as the best for everyone in India—pluralism and democracy be damned. Not only that, we also ensure that it is legally enforced. Food is no longer a choice then, it is an imposition.

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Also read: Nagaland bans sale of dog meat after incidents of pets being ‘shot at sight’ spark outrage


The activism of it

I would understand if one stood against meat-eating in general—because, no doubt, the rearing, culling, consumption and trade of animals involve deeply cruel practices.

But to eat chicken and pork while tweeting rabidly against dog-meat in China or northeast India is just plain hypocritical.

One of the ‘concerns’ raised was that dogs are a man’s best friend, often kept as pets. Would you kill a pet? But goats, cows, fish and even chicken have been kept as pets too by many in India.

Social psychologist Brock Bastian writes in detail about how humans tend to only eat animals that they believe lack complex emotions, making it easier to forget we’re killing them, or that they feel pain or complex emotions.

Chickens and goats are ‘stupid’ after all, but dogs are so, so wonderful. And therein lies the problem with the ‘pets’ argument. It’s not about pets at all, but our perception of which animal deserves to die, and which doesn’t. Which animal is too ‘cute’ to eat and whose pain we can ignore.


Also read: Urban India’s love for pets is growing. Without any rules


Who decides the ban on dog meat and beef?

In both instances of dog and beef ban, clearly the BJP-led government’s politics, aided by ‘outcry’ of animal lovers, have a part to play.

On 26 May 2017, India’s environment ministry under the Narendra Modi government called for a nationwide ban on the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.

With that, the word ‘secular’ was trampled upon. It is just one cultural/religious view that sees cows as ‘holy’. For others, beef or pork is just meat, like chicken or mutton. Again, if it’s an animal you respect, don’t eat it — but to make it illegal and force your view down someone else’s throat is no vegetarianism either.

Choice of meat is sometimes as simple as nutrition, compulsion or simply a budgetary call. If one meat costs lesser than the other and is more nutritious according to a community, there’s a chance it will be consumed more.


Also read: Gobi manchurian and chilli chicken are ‘made in India’, Athawale’s ban on Chinese food futile


Level the ‘ban’ ground

If eating dogs is cruelty, poisoning them, setting them on fire is cruelty too. Every day there are stories of dog feeders being beaten up, dogs being attacked, hit and kicked, even in big ‘civilised’ cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, but that evokes no disgust. At the beginning of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, Indians were abandoning their pets by the dozens. And what did we do about it?

I am tempted to ask for a ban on hypocrisy and our discriminatory attitude towards ideas, cultures, customs, especially those of the northeast.

Views are personal.

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73 Comments Share Your Views

73 COMMENTS

  1. Meat eating, copse from whichever animal it Is, is uncivilized behaviour. Humans are no longer living in caves where hunting was once carried out for food. Now, we are paying others to kill for us. Studies after studies have shown that many butchers are alcoholic leading very sad psychological lives while we sit in the comfort of our homes, having done every possible thing to make that piece of flesh look and taste palatable with basically plant ingredients – spices, vegetables, herbs….! And making uncalled for links between racism and meat eating behaviours. What about the emotions of that animal who did not merrily walk to his/her slaughter to be the “food” on a human’s plate? What about their families who were ripped apart from each other? The Covid 19 pandemic (and the ones before and more to come) as all a result of meat eating behaviours. Plants never caused pandemics. Journalists – kindly get updated and change your narratives. Your writings simply push humanity back to the dark ages.

  2. Well i do get the intent of the article but do understand the whole north east does not savour dog meat. The article seems to project that dog meat is the staple diet of the whole region, whilst i do agree with the fact dog meat finds itself on the platter only in this region but its not the whole region. But then you chose to put the whole region in one bucket and that is a clear misinterpretation of the actual demographics in the region. I can understand your zeal and enthusiasm but let that not shadow other facts.
    These are some facts and not my personal views.

  3. Did this lady mean eating dog is cultural heritage. You should go to prohibited andaman island where human flesh was delecacy. Please also write a supporting article for them as well.

    Dogs,chicken,cow pig any animals or classified because we humans classified them in those categories for our own convince but the eternal truth is all of them have a soul which comes under one classification.

    • Suggested headlines for next article

      The itch of mainland Indians to ‘civilise’ andamanese tribal hasn’t gone. Human meat ban another example

  4. I find any meat repulsive.
    I find this article even more repulsive.
    It makes me more nauseous, more sick to my stomach than oozing blood from raw meat, in a gory scene involving shrieking puppies, essence of love and loyalty, yelping to death, burnt, bludgeoned, or boiled alive.
    RIP humanity and patriotism.
    Our national heroes made India free to find a freaking nobody lecture about ‘mainland’ India for cheap publicity.

  5. HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you for such a breathtakingly idiotic article.
    It just made my day.
    You just justified all the pain and torture inflicted on dogs, the essence of loyalty, love & friendship whom humans have domesticated for thousands of years for protection and companionship.
    Plus, you ridiculed India and Indians.
    Bravo! Temptation for publicity knows no bounds.

  6. Tina das who the hell are you to decide this what should indians do or not do .Your article is just so brainless like you ..first go and research properly then say about dog meat ban is logical or not . actually we should ban you .nd u should live in china .
    You have a itch against Indians as we r seeing it .go and get some brain first to then write .little knowledge is dangarous I think u didn’t learn that lesson in ur school .

  7. Well I don’t eat any animal and I also don’t support eating any animal because they are also alive and have right to live or to die for there own. So, in my case I think those who are pure vegetarian have right to oppose these animals eating culture.

    • The only problem over here is that one shouldn’t tell others what they should eat and what they should not. How would you feel to have Dal Chawal for 50 years or till you die.

      Huh.

  8. We love Our North east brothers. Stop dividing us .
    India is One. Eating such animals can only risk another Pandemic.

    But You stupid writers always find some racial angle in any topic.
    China has banned eating wild animals….What is the reason , u oversmart Journalist.

  9. Dear Tina das !! From your word Mainlanders it reflects how critically division is deep-rooted in your mind !! Don’t claim yourself a indian, when you are dividing our own citizens by Northeastern’s and main landers !! No one is criticizing for your food choices like pork, frog and even insects, it’s your food choice !! But when it comes to dogs, dear have you ever loved a dog ? You are a Racist !! We never thought of NE people any different than us !! Just because of people like you,NE people gets hate and racism !! @theprint dear gupta ji, BAN this kind of writers !!

  10. I can’t help but view this as a Chinese propoganda to create a rift between North Eastern States and the rest of India. There’s no mainland India like mainland china. Incidentally the Seven North East sister States are also in China’s radar. Next time you receive a propaganda news from China don’t just post it as it is.

  11. and the rest of India. There’s no mainland India like mainland china. Incidentally the Seven North East sister States are also in China’s radar. Next time you receive a propaganda news from China don’t just post it as it is.

  12. As long as there is democracy in India, such things will continue to occur. Democracy clearly favours the majority. Isn’t that simple to deduce?

    Ban dog meat, beef, burqa, triple talaq, religious conversion, since these are needed for minorities. And democracy is highly influenced by the majority.

    Any part of the constitution can be scrapped or replaced, by the government.

  13. Am from NorthEast India. And I couldn’t agree more on this. Majority shouldn’t decide what minority should eat. You have no right to decide what I eat and what not. And yes 100% First boycott hipocracy and the likes of self proclaimed activist like Hema Chowdhary. They should be put behind the bar first and then we will talk about what to eat and what not.

  14. I am from Nagaland. I get what the author is saying. Food is both a cultural and a personal choice. However, in case of dog-meat, I believe that it was the right thing to ban it. In the name of culture, we have hunted down our wildlife. Different cultures ought to learn from one another. Banning dog meat is one of them.

  15. @Author Kindly allow me to present couple of points and then ask a question.

    One supposes that idea of opposition of “dog meat ban” is a essentially a protest to protect cultural identity. If one strictly adheres to this principle only, then one fully agrees that even if there is 1 Naga who wants to eat dogs, she should be allowed to. (Assuming that there are no other medico-biological or legal implications).

    For that matter, any Indian should be allowed to, if they want to. The issue is that if you attach cultural heritage protection angle to it.

    (Before I proceed, let me quote Voltaire (lines that I believe are universal) – “No culture has a monopoly on beauty or value, just as no religion has a monopoly on truth”)

    Naga’s are not Christian, if one considers their “heritage”, still so many have adopted Christianity. Why is there no “outrage” by Nagas (or you, Author) on this.?

    Of course any Indian can practice any religion. That is not the point. Point is, either you protect All aspects of the “cultural heritage”, with equal vehemence, Or you don’t at all and let the culture evolve.

    What I ask You is that – How, when you write your article, do not suffer from cognitive dissonance, if you truly believe in your central thesis? Or have you not considered the Full Implications of your position?

  16. @Tina Das, It is definitely thought provoking and interesting perspective/topic. Good job on picking a topic to make people stop and think about i.e. if people/readers here are open to do that.
    As with any topic there are two sides to the story and while I see your concerns about the right to choice within a democracy, we as humans have to draw the line somewhere. I am a vegetarian so “I don’t have a dog in this fight” on meat (pun intended). Although @Sumit Gupta commented sarcastically it popped another thought in my head, with the logic in your (@Tina Das) article should human flesh be up for grabs too (aah darn humans have rights)? As a vegetarian i don’t expect everyone to be vegetarians, because that would put immense economic and resource pressure on the system and nature and practically not possible. But then i don’t know if we all are still living in the age and time (maybe some remote places we are) where there is nothing else to eat but such “special” meats. I believe it’s still a choice to eat, say dog meat not a necessity.
    In lieu of where things are globally, I support @Tina Das on the right to choice (democracy), But in lieu of what’s happening with Covid-19 which started with bush meats and exotic animals’ meat in wet markets, In this globally connected societies we live in, I don’t think we as humans can afford to still live with these practices that were purely driven (per my knowledge) by scarcity of food and fragmented/pockets/groups that were not as globally connected. Within democracy (or even other systems) as we all can enjoy the rights we all as humans do have the responsibilities towards each other and nature.

  17. Absolutely right, very insightful and we’ll researched piece. Keep it up Tina!

    The Print and Independent media is calling out the fallacies being spread and the hypocrisy of the fascists.

    • Yes. I really, truly find the deliberate hyphenation done by people when they employ “Mainland”, abhorrent.

      It’s just a sneaky, low-level trick to bolster one’s arguments.

  18. They have not been able to civilize themselves,but sure like to impose their own ideas upon others.
    When it comes to themselves lying and sheer lack of conscience …….works wonder .We are great,we have mythology to prove so

  19. How is silence the writer made it north east vs rest! These creeps are definitely working against interests of India 🇮🇳

    Paid to write and Disturb peace

  20. What an absolutely idiotic writer. So by your logic, there is absolutely no difference between dogs and chickens. Yes I agree that like dogs, chicken should also not be killed but then present it as a problem of preferential treatment than painting ‘mainlanders’ as monsters/colonialist

  21. North-East n it’s culture good for republic Day parades n for political votes… otherwise too hell wth dre culture n habits… settle hordes of Bangladeshis in dre lands n extinct dre despicable eating habits n culture!

  22. Frauds are promoted as journalists by the wire the print and many more! This is a new found hobby and opportunity for the communist separatists to channelise its energy into questioning everything under the sun! They are mushrooming every month in new funded online business

  23. It’s just mainlanders defending themselves and clearly proving what the article said about dog meat, they don’t like it so they go against it.

  24. The writer is ignorant of the fact that DOGS are not ‘ commercial import’ into the state of Nagaland but rather ‘stolen’ from the neighbouring states and ‘smuggled’ in.
    This is a notorious illegal smuggling which has been on since ages.
    Not a single Dog has been imported commercially from another country either for food so far.
    None of the Dog market traders are registered. It’s an illegal trade.
    Dog Meat is also NOT recognised as a recommended animal produce by the Nagaland State Animal Husbandry, hence no checks of live Dogs or Dog meat is carried out unlike Pigs/ Livestock/ Cattle or Poulty products.
    So an animal (mostly non-vaccinated stray/ homeless) that is stolen & smuggled in could be a carrier of deadly Zoonotic diseases like Anthrax, Tuberculosis, Rabies and other Canine diseases which are quite common across India & South East Asia.

    After ignoring the health & welfare of the citizens for years now that was compromised due to consumption of Dog meat finally the State Government has come forward with a BAN that would not just ensure no one suffers.
    Yes, you May see the Dog being saved from becoming a piece of meat, but what you should also CLEARLY SEE and UNDERSTAND that millions of lives of mostly the uneducated poor in the state stands protected who would otherwise risk it by consuming food that is NOT RECOMMENDED in the State by the authorities who know best.

    The questions therefore:

    Does the writer actually care for the people of Nagaland (firstly it’s not the entire northeast that eats dogs, it’s just Nagaland)?

    When a writer of Them Print’ is ignorant of the fact that Dogs are stolen & smuggled rather than misleading masses claiming it to be ‘commercially imported into the state’.

    When a writer is not bothered about the health & welfare of the citizens of Nagaland state who would be at a serious risk from consuming prohibited and non recommended meat of animals.

    All this only goes to prove that before taking command over challenging such issues, one must do his/ her homework. Do some research on ground. And should abstain from spinning a cocktail of invalid theories, emotional and issues to push Humankind in danger.

    Urge Ms. Tina Das to be more responsible hence in the interest of not Animals but Mankind

    • That post by Azan Siddiqi was a real beat royal punch rt dwn the middle of whoever is peddling this awesome BS thatDog meat is a legall food available to the people of India & that the people at the center have no rt in prohibiting its consumption. No1 could have put it more brilliantly than you in hearing this report apart. my dr friend any sensible civilized person or even any sensible& responsive political party will do what the party at the center has done. Going they the posts its quite obvious that not many will are what the writer had expressed. May be her personal opinion but no ma’am, plz go paddle your wasted elsewhere, no ones buying it OK. Another Thing it takes a lot of guts to host a post like that and face the brick bats that followed and printed that too.I love that that’s very fair on your part. Thumbs Up for that. Oh BTW printing or taking up such silly misguided posts isn’t going to earn you any brownie points. you’ll be shedding many readers, and that I guess is more imp than brownie points…

  25. The print and the article writer both brainwashed, ideologically guided and thoughtless.
    If it’s come to other issues you try to impose communism, secularism and Maoism, you ok with you bloody ideology. If others are trying to do some useful activities you will come with big arguments.

  26. CONSTITUTION DECIDES THE BAN ON BEEF!
    Article 48 in The Constitution Of India 1949

    48. Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of COWS and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

  27. The shit wrong with you? You condemn dog eating in China and supporting it here? And what’s this mainland India? Are you living in Andaman Nicobar? Useless, Tina Das you’re stupid as hell

  28. Please care for those people on the roads who have no foods to eat than cuddling and giving food to that dogs. Nowadays some people love dogs more than fellow humans, this is real hypocricy. Killing of animals in industry is worse, but if you grow yourself its your choice, by the way I am vegeterian !

  29. Tina Das has little understanding of the north-east and the same is visible in her articles.
    Name any well respected and civilized country/community where dog meat is acceptable as diet?
    If we are to follow her “logic” we would end up consuming bats and pangolins too. God knows how many more pandemics will emerge because of our food habits.

  30. By that logic is it ok to eat human meat as well ?? btw this is not something only India has done. A similar law was introduced in the USA in 2018 banning dog and cat slaughter for meat.
    And also why ban hunting endangered animals ? Are we discriminating one species over another.
    Your article is completely one sided. I see your point but just want to bring to your attention the whole thing is not so simple.

  31. Just to clarify, I’m not against eating of any kind of meat. I’m just here to share some points.People always get the beef-ban policy wrong. Beef was banned in some state not because it is holy to us, but because their were large cases of cattle stealing, and these cattle smugglers always targetted poor farmers, they steal their cattles, in some cases they even killed the owners and then they either sell it to the nearby slaughter houses or export it to Bangladesh. Now, what my concern over dog meat is that, dogs are being ‘imported’ and here, imported evidently means ANIMAL TRAFFICKING. So, it would be advisable for the government, either to start some kind of ‘dog-poultry’ there rather than ‘importing’ dogs. Now coming to your ‘civilised mainland Indian’ remarks. In this ‘mainland India’ there are people who eats rats, rabbits, some birds(swan, ducks, pigeons, etc) and worms too

  32. Agree with this but the reason dog meat was banned in Nagaland was due to illegal trade of dogs and not what one guesses after reading the headline.

  33. Can you please tell when are you gonna write an article to legalise cannibalism. (PS dont call the police, if you get the sarcasm)

    • Mainland India…what’s that?
      The Print, Quint, Outlook, Swaddle…. all specialise in propogating anti-India sentiment. Be it in any form.

  34. Itch of mainlanders ?
    we don’t care what our northeastern brothers eat , the views on this news alone tell the how much mainlander have to do on this matter .Furthermore , organisations like PETA and Animal aid unlimited are far more responsible for this so instead of rift between parts of India and following footprints of tukde tukde gang ‘THE PRINT’ should do more useful like discussing votebank politics and minority appeasement policy of CONGRESS and other leaders like mamta bannerjee and akhilesh yadav

    • Excellent reply! The Print like Wire and few others are dens for Communist and separatists. Today any thing can be written in the name of free press not looking at what is right and wrong! Sekhar Gupta is a fraud seeking donations

  35. Has the writer lost her mind completely?
    These parasites take special pleasure to widen the perceived fissures in Indian society for their selfish interests.
    Shame on her.
    Precisely for such writing Gupta ji, we do not want to subscribe.
    We do not want to give platforms to cretins like Tina Das.

  36. This is not about discrimination against the northeast or about ‘civilization’ of the northeast. As Human beings we are simply too attached to dogs. The emotional relationship between us and dogs is atleast 40,000 years old . Both us and dogs have evolved to love and get attached to each other immensely over this huge period of evolution . Yes , in a way you can that we have a flaw of loving one species so immensely over the others ( chickens, goats and other livestock) and that’s just the way it is. That is the reason why this fact bothers me and many others on a personal level

  37. I have to agree with the author here. The beef industry is the largest on the planet. No one dare touch them for cruel practices. If eating dogs is bad, so is eating Cow, Chicken and Pork.

  38. What do you mean by mainland???As far this order goes it was supported even by local animal activists who actually help these stray dogs and other pets in the area….Even there were some people who said that this habit exists only among select few tribes as illegal trade….So don’t generalise meat eaters and wild meat traders.Even these dogs were being taken from West Bengal and Assam.There is a difference between poultry meat and wild meat.

  39. The media Like ThePrint, TheWire, NDTV etc and So called secular and Human rights champions always jump out to set their agenda. it’s not about stopping those who eat these stuff OR making them vegetarian But it must be seen as preemptive action to avoid any issues like covid-19 .

  40. This journo should stand in red light area to get attention than bark on digital media. Pathetic. Who breeds this class of people who have zero knowledge of constitutional rights, Federalism, state laws??. Who allowed her to write on The Print? She shouldn’t even open her illiterate mouth in public.

  41. The author Tina Das is an extremely uneducated person. She doesn’t know the Directive Principles of Indian Constitution bans beef selectively across states.
    So it is not constitutional and not religious.
    The ban on dog meat by Nagaland is by the state and not Centre.
    Such writers snubbed with legal notices so that such writers stop using media platforms to spread misinformation. They shouldn’t even be called journalist. An insult on journalism profession.

  42. Hey how can you say mainland indians discriminate northeast because of their food culture , i have stayed 18 years in Nagaland i have seen dogs and cows being beheaded infront of me but i didn’t utter a word because i knew that it wasn’t my place i was a non local but surely if any body comes to my home town and does that surely i will put up a fight.
    Eating is a personal choice i don’t discriminate neither the northeast people but the real problem is you know is actually the ignorance , the inhuman activities towards other , go and see the streets of nagaland they don’t care about anyone how they feel they will cut cow in front of a hindu and literally they don’t care but we mainland people we feel them we don’t do such things which can hurt them , i can say it has been 5 years since i left Nagaland and came to delhi i have not seen any of my educated friends saying anything towards northeastern people but you don’t get the same things from theirs side . I have seen the deepest of north-east if you have doubts i will clear it .

    • Excuse me,that’s the problem with you nontribals,u people earn livelihood in northeast,earn money here. and then speak against northeast people.shame on u .

  43. You at least leave some animals on earth freely, what’s the problem if the BJP or Congress or Some other party should Ban on dogs consumption.if you think like this then just you erupt the borders of nations and borders of states and borders of villages and houses also.
    Why You are in safe jone,why you think like this ugly, is they were not supposed to live on earth,yes ofcourse consumption of sheep and cows also wrong I agree,but we can’t stop that completely but try to minimize the consumption of nonveg,try if you can.
    God made this earth not only for humans but also to other creatures and animals also.this is not right journalism, this is not an article to wrote.

  44. Madam there’s always a beginning and banning consumption of dogmeat is very good for that. You can’t straight up go ban chicken and pork consumption, people would go nuts as they are in so much majority.

    You talk about cultural identity ? Hindus were known to kill a wife if her husband died. Do they still do that? These stupid old age cultural processes should stop or I may say living in the past.

    Ps : Get a puppy

  45. Shame on you, barbaric news blogger, don’t call yourself journalist. And btw you’re Racist too… I hope you gets banned for such kind of divisive articles.

  46. Really lame click bait article!!
    Dogs have been companions to humans from time immemorial!!
    Dogs have a higher understanding compared to other animals, heck even some humans.
    Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Mutton and beef are reared to be slaughtered. It’s called animal husbandry, Google it.
    It’s not about deciding what Northeastern people should eat or not, it’s about basic common sense, which you the Author of this article and the dog meat eaters lack.
    If they were cannibals, I’m sure you would write another article saying India isn’t democratic anymore cuz people from “Mainland India” think killing people ruthlessly and eating them is frowned upon or is in human.
    Oh and ofcourse to finish it in your style,
    “Views are personal”

  47. First of all the very headline of your article comsisting of term ” Mainland India ” shows an inherent divide that you have in your mind about people from NE and other parts of India. So here you expose your hypocrisy unintentionally though as its not easy to catch. There is only one INDIA, nothing called Mainland India. Secondly, the ban was mainly due to pressure from Animal rights activists and not some political party. Maneka gandhi which you mentioned have been one ARA before she joined BJP for a long time and then suprise suprise its people from the left. I agree with you when you say about the beef ban but its not just India, people globally called out china for their dog meat fest and their wet markets. So if you want that we should not raise concern for the dog meat then we should not call out China for their activities in meat Market. Agree ??

    • Lets file an fir against her under section 505, let’s show her what it means to speak against India. She’s speaking in china’s language, it’s her agenda to break arunachal apart from India so china can take over.

    • No it’s not, any meat eating animal is not halal, wild animals, sea animals other than fish are also haram.

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