Her Name was Trixie - Why We're Asking for #DogMeatPlease
By Wilson Wong
I grew up in Malaysia, and, unlike most of my cousins, I didn't grow up in a family filled with many siblings. I only really had one big sister. Her name was Trixie.
Trixie was a large, powerful German Shepherd. I call her my big sister because she was my big sister. She saw herself as every bit a guardian to me as did my parents. My mother still recalls proudly the one time my grandmother was babysitting me (both of my parents were out at that time): my grandmother decided that she wanted to take me on a walk, so she picked me up and moved towards the door. Trixie immediately tensed up, started circling Grandma, and growled whenever she took a step too close to the door.
To Trixie, my grandmother was effectively a stranger— a stranger who was taking her baby brother away. So she did what any big sister would do.
Like many people, my memories of my early childhood days are fuzzy at best. However, one memory always stuck out vibrantly: the day Trixie died. It was Labor Day in Malaysia— all of the vets were closed, and despite my mother's best efforts, she couldn't save her. Trixie died in my mother's arms, and I watched my mother sob into Trixie's neck until her body went stiff. It was a confusing day for me, seeing death for the first time, but I understood enough to know how much my mom so deeply loved Trixie, and what a big loss to my family her death meant.
Ever since, my mother loved all dogs of all kinds. She often preferred the company of dogs to humans— “At least you always know exactly where you stand with dogs,” she’d say. When we moved to Dubai, my mother (and I, occasionally) volunteered at a dog shelter for almost a decade. She worked hard to nurse back to life dogs who had been left to die in deserts, to regain trust in dogs who had every reason to distrust humans, and to find new homes for dogs who have only known at best apathy, and at worse violence.
It may come as a rude shock, then, that my mother had eaten dog in her childhood. A large fraction of my family did.
This explains why this month's action theme, #DogMeatPlease, is particularly dear to me. For forever, I've watched as the West fumed at people just like me in the East for killing the wrong kinds of animals, all while the West not only kills an unfathomable number of animals but also leads the way in designing quicker, more efficient ways of killing and dismembering the “right kinds” of animals.
So this month, we take it back. This month, we disrupt Western establishments serving the “right kinds” of animals, by asking for the “wrong kinds.” This month, we ask for #DogMeatPlease.
Let's expose the hypocrisy in being outraged at the murder of lions like Cecil and the dogs at Yulin, while being completely indifferent to the murder of countless cows, pigs, chickens and fish.
PS: My mom is now a vegan, and has been for several years.