Speed Reads

man's best friend or menace to society?

China's Communist Party says dogs are a menace to 'social peace and harmony'

Sorry, Fido. It looks like there's a cat running the communications office of China's Communist Party — or at least the editorial page of People's Daily, the party's official news outlet.

A recent op-ed states, among other things, that there is a "dog infestation" in the country, and people who own canines are acting out a "crude and ludicrous imitation... of a Western lifestyle." If you can look past the puppy dog eyes, you'll also discover that dogs are a blight on "social peace and harmony."

So what did Fluffy do to deserve this? Patrick Winn at Global Post writes that the op-ed "coincides with a revived effort to stamp out certain Western beliefs and behaviors taking root in 21st century China." Party officials are "taking aim at bigger perils to social harmony, including democracy, an obsession with 'individual rights' and the 'free flow of information on the internet.'"

This isn't the first screed against dogs the People's Daily, either: Last month, the paper ran another article that implored animal rights activists to stop shaming those who eat dogs. As that op-ed explains, "Over China's long history, they have only recently become pets except in the imperial court where Pekingese were kept exclusively for the royals.... [Westerners call dogs] man's best friends. Chinese people have only ever kept watchdogs or hunting dogs — along with those to be eaten."