Sunday 27 January 2013

Cultures Are Not Equal And Do Not Deserve Equal Respect

The article (see below) about tourists in China shooting live chickens with arrows reveals how atrocious and diverse people's values are. China never ceases to amaze me about many inhumane practices that occur, nor how many people there tolerate or accept such practices that show a blatant lack of empathy and disrespect for life.

This also reminded me about a recent article in The Guardian about Jared Diamond, seemingly a proponent of the Noble Savage, who believes modern society has a lot to learn from primitive cultures. Diamond's story about widow-strangling was particularly memorable. Just because a culture exists (and hence, the existence of it's own particular cultural values), does not mean we must respect them, their values and their traditions. One should have better reasons to live their lives and value others than simply using a poor reason such as "tradition".

Take the recent case of sharks fin soup (see Playing the Race Card). The traditionalists (and people in the business) will always resort to saying "Respect our culture; respect our tradition" as if this was a rational method of argument.


Live chicken shooting game sparks controversy (SCMP; paywall)
Wednesday, 16 January, 2013, 1:08pm
Amy Li

An Ice festival in Jilin has invited tourists to shoot at live chickens. Photo: Screenshot from Weibo.

Organisers of an ice festival in China’s northern Jilin province thought they were being clever by inviting tourists to use live chicken as shooting targets. Instead, it has sparked controversy and anger when people across the country learned about the cruel game.

The photos, published by major newspapers including the People’s Daily, showed people shooting arrows at live chicken at an ice park. In one photo, a chicken is seen struggling after being shot with two arrows.

Festival staff said they were only following tradition in using chicken as prey, but many have found it too unpleasant to watch.

After China’s influential Southern Metropolis Daily posted these photos on their official Weibo on Tuesday, netizens responded with different opinions.

“If this is cruel, what about the chicken humans kill and eat everyday,” said one Weibo user. “How is this killing different,” he asked.

“Not even human lives are valued in this country," said another netizen, "so who cares about animals.”

Others were more sympathetic .

“Imagine if humans were killed the same way by more powerful creatures,” commented a netizen, “Would you still be so callous?”

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