It almost sounds like an Onion headline, but it's not. As The Daily Beast has noted, animal rights activists are trying to put a halt to an unorthodox eating practice in Switzerland that many may find gruesome. Apparently, it is legal for the Swiss to eat their pets.
Approximately 224,000 people (or about three percent of the Swiss population) reportedly eat domestic animals like cats and dogs on occasion, though that number is in dispute. Swiss food safety officials see that number as too high, while animal rights activists claim that the practice is so widespread that people share recipes based on pet proteins. Dog meat is apparently ground into sausage, while cat meat is cooked in crock pots in a similar fashion to rabbit.
“In almost all rural areas of Switzerland, it is customary to eat cats and dogs,” activist Edith Zellweger told The Daily Beast. “So the number sounds right in my head. We have been condemning the consumption of domestic animals for more than 20 years.”
Activists are now sending around a petition requiring 50,000 signatures in order to urge the Swiss government to ban the private culling and consumption of domestic animals. Last year, activist group SOS Chats Noiraigue were successful in having the sale of cat fur made illegal in the country, but is seeking further protections for animals.
As controversial or unseemly as the practice may be, Switzerland is far from the only nation dining on domestic animals. PETA, meanwhile, noted that eating dog meat is no worse than eating pork, which it sees as equally cruel.
And, while it's highly unlikely that your next trip to Zurich will involve some kitty cuisine, this issue should give any animal lover pause. (The Daily Beast)