They Eat What?

Many puppies locked in the cage

Ring, ring. . . . “Hello”

“Mrs. Bell?”

“Yes. ”

” Please hold for a call from Dr. . . . . . ” I recognized the surname of one of my enrichment students, Scott, but I didn’t know his father. My stomach knew this was not an “good job” call to teacher me!

The doctor came on the phone and in a very gentle but firm way, told me what had happened the night before.  As their family parked at a restaurant, Scott had pronounced from the rear seat “I hate Chinese people,” as an Asian woman walked by the car!  Surprised, Dad asked his son,
“Why would you say such a thing?”

Scott’s reply was, “Mrs. Bell told me that they eat puppy dogs! I am calling to get your side of the story!”

I was horrified thinking back  to what had been used as an illustration of different cultures in yesterday ‘s class. I readily admitted that yes, I had used this as an illustration. I had a primary source from  people who had lived in a Chinese village. Shoppers would go to the butcher and then to the back of the shop to pick their puppy for supper!   It was true, but I had no idea of condoning eating animals we cherish as family pets.  It was  just to say  cultures have   different religions, foods, clothes, and entertainment.  I thought I had said, that though these are different from our culture, neither is “wrong or right” just different.  We need to try and understand and respect others’ practices , but I guess Scott didn’t hear that part. He was probably sitting there in shock thinking about puppy dogs!

I thanked Scott’s Dad, and said that I would address this as a class today during “Ancient Civilizations.”  I asked if he wanted me to speak to Scott individually, but he thought the  group approach was sufficient.

I tried again with my explanation.  There were Mama helpers in the room who were surprised at  how I  stressed my point. Jews and Muslims don’t eat pork, but many of us do. Hindus revere cows  but we eat steaks and hamburgers.  I told the moms about the phone call and how I wanted to be sure that not one child misunderstood. Who knows what  happened from my lips to Scott’s ears, but I wanted to very clear in the presentation.

Now I am sitting here thinking that this happens to adults  , too, as practices are judged and misjudged causing misunderstanding leading to hatred  between people and cultures.  This is one of the great aspects of blogging. . . . getting to know people who share our humanity but  are different in outlook, experiences, and cultures.   Each group needs to know that it is alright to respect others’ rights and cultures and still choose not to  “eat puppy dogs!”

I would love to hear your thoughts. . . . . 


About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Animals, Travel, Uncategorized, USA and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to They Eat What?

  1. wingedprisms says:

    I’m sorry this happened. I think you did so well on your explanation. Years ago I taught a Sunday School class to young children. I read a story one day that was very clear about God loving us, etc. The main character was a toad who said, “Croakkk” rather often in this story. One boy’s parents came to me a little troubled – their son told them I taught about a toad who “croaked” – died. They couldn’t figure out the lesson or why I would do that. I explained the story. For some reason they didn’t laugh. I thought it was funny.
    Just a little snippet of my life – perspective…….
    cate 🙂


  2. Jennwith2ns says:

    It’s amazing the way things get misconstrued. I had a conversation with a kid from another youth group this summer, and later had a conversation with his youth leader who confronted me about teaching him a “bad” theology. I had thought this (older) teen and I had just been having an imaginative conversation, but the youth leader thought the teen was being persuaded to doubt what he saw as fundamentals. I’m still not sure what the teen’s perception ACTUALLY was (although I followed up with both him and the leader to try to communicate more accurately/clearly).


  3. Anne, I think your example is a great one to teach tolerance and how to embrace differences without creating barriers.

    Imagine the expressions I receive, verbal or physical, when I light-heartedly answer the “Do you believe in God,” question with my perspective; “Yes, but why choose one when there are so many to love? To answer your question, I believe in gods.”

    From the pagan corner of the room. 🙂


  4. As you know, we are responsible for what we say but not for what the other hear 😉
    Of course you need to be clearly in your explanation to students, but it is not always so easy to be a teacher.


  5. bert0001 says:

    Mind works through simplification and interpretation; conceptualizes the object into a class and records the info from brain, the senses and the emotion associated with the object conceptualized. Big emotions create powerful but buggy concepts 🙂
    The advertisement industry, and politics uses this all the time, unfortunately.


  6. Beth Johnson says:

    Gypsy people in India also eat dogs. I was shocked to see one on a spitz as we drove by a Gypsy neighborhood several years ago.

    I think we have to consider that poverty plays a huge part in what is acceptable in any culture.


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