Here is where vegans lose me, says rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in The Atlantic. "Lately, it seems as if every time I turn around, a vegan is insisting that feasting on a pork chop is morally equivalent to eating a hunk of dog meat." They argue that since in some places — most notably China — dog meat is considered "delicious," it is "irrational, illogical, and hypocritical" for Americans to "treat pigs as meals but dogs as friends." But the "dog-equals-pig argument has some serious flaws." Here, an excerpt:

The human relationship with dogs is unique. For as many as 30,000 years, dogs have literally been indispensible members of the human family. Quite naturally, many humans have qualms about eating a family member. ... Pigs have benefitted humans while dogs were fundamental to their existence. That is to say, people could get by without pigs (by eating other meat, for example), but their success — and, in many cases, their very survival — depended on dogs.

The Inuit people are a striking example. Archaeologists have determined that the relationship between humans and dogs in the Arctic has existed for at least 1,000 years, notes a United Nations report. The Inuit dogs have aided in hunting, carrying, transportation, protection, navigation, and companionship. In a recent PBS documentary on dogs, an Inuit man says simply, "Without them we would never have survived; without them we wouldn't even be here."

Read the full article at The Atlantic.