Here’s a story from a man I know who was originally from Fresno . . .
“My Dad’s friend offered his horse for sale last year. The horse was old; of course there was a fondness for the animal and this man expected the horse to go to a good home, for example, an animal for kids to ride. Well, two Hmong answered the ad and this guy didn’t know any better—he sold it to them.
“They brought a flat-bed truck. The owner wondered how in the world they would take the horse home on a flat-bed truck.
“As soon as the $ was exchanged they pulled a gun and shot the horse dead right on the driveway, then took it home to eat (some sort of celebration)!”
There are few areas where multicultural reality is more at odds with its supporters’ sentimentalized view than the treatment of animals.
But in many non-western cultures, animals endure brutality that Americans can hardly imagine. Animals are despised. Gratuitous cruelty is the norm.
In the Islamic world, dogs are considered unclean. Their ownership is sometimes regarded as a western corruption. Iranian hardliners have even campaigned for the arrest of dog owners. In fact the cleric Gholamreza Hassani called dog ownership a “moral depravity.” He also declared that those soldiers who had died in the 1980s war against Iraq were fortunate not to see behavior that was such an affront to Allah:
One of the more shocking practices is the extraction of bile from bears in China, where the substance is highly prized for its alleged Viagra effect and for other uses in traditional medicine. The reported rate for a kilo of bear bile is worth $1000 in China, quite a sum there. The bear is kept in a tiny cage, so cramped that the animal can hardly move. An incision is made into the bear’s gall bladder to insert a tube and “milk” the valuable bile, as the wound is kept open in conditions of cruelty and neglect. An estimated 7000 bears are kept in “bile farms.”
When Jill Robinson saw her first bile farm in 1993, she was so appalled at the condition in which the animals were kept that she started working to end the practice entirely and rescue bears in the meantime. The British woman now has a bear sanctuary in Sichuan Province in cooperation with the Chinese government.
Naturally, it’s not surprising to hear similar tales of immigrant diversity against helpless creatures being brought to this country. One instance was of Thai Chia Moua, who ordered a German shepherd puppy beaten to death so he could chant over it. As a Hmong shaman, he believed he could force the animal’s spirit to attack an evil spirit which had been annoying his wife.