Giving dogs the royal treatment goes way back in China; Pekingese were the palace dog of Chinese emperors.
Where international pressure and petitions failed to end the practice of eating dogs in China, prosperity may turn the tide. A recent New York Times story described the rising tide of dog-love in prosperous Chinese cities such as Beijing—where treat boutiques, dog swimming pools and dog-friendly cinemas and bars are thriving. Meanwhile, the practice of eating dogs is becoming less socially acceptable.
An intriguing point in Michael Wine’s story is how the one-child policy may have fueled the passion for pets. “Many owners also say China’s one-child policy has fanned enthusiasm for dog ownership as a way to provide companionship to only children in young households and to fill empty nests in homes whose children have grown up.” It makes sense and it’s good news if the end of dog-meat is an unintended byproduct of the policy.