According to Hawaii’s official website², Go Hawaii, residents of Hawaii are extending an open invitation for tourists to share their beautiful Islands.
But while folks are being gently beckoned to visit Hawaii, one of the most popular tourist spots in the world boasting pristine beaches, brilliant azure-blue water, magnificent waterfalls, thick green forests, lush mountain scenery, and fabulous cuisine, the 50th state in the USA has also been keeping a deep, dirty little secret which is now just coming to the forefront and slowly being publicly aired.
Last month a large group of Hawaiian animal-lovers accompanied by their beloved pets attended a legislative hearing to implore their lawmakers to initiate a ban on the eating of cat and dog meat in the state.
SB2026, a bill to ban this practice, was later advanced by the House Committee on Agriculture.
Emphasizing that his family members have pets, Representative Romy Cachola (D) questioned the need for a new law since one already is in place. He said, “I cannot understand why we’re doing this.”
Explaining that the bill strengthens the existing law, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Jessica Wooley, (D) said, “There are cases every year, and they’re not able to prosecute fully because of the way the law is currently written.”
Inga Gibson the Hawaiian senior State Director for the Humane Society, the organization pushing for the bill said, “When we do get these reports of cases of dog or cat slaughter, unless they’re caught in the act, law enforcement is not able to really prosecute”
Cradling her Pomeranian, Sara Knaus, a woman who was attending the legislative meeting, read a note her son wrote to the lawmakers. It said, “I love my dog too much and all dogs should be loved, not eaten.” She went on to say that dogs can help people with disabilities. Knaus added that the note her son wrote was the first letter that her autistic son had ever written.
Passionate animal lover, Honolulu resident, Ane Shiraki said that dogs also sacrificed their lives for the country while working with the military. She said, “Dogs are people too, because they have the ability to experience emotions. Please protect these animals.”
The consumption of the meat of cats and dogs is widely accepted in Korea, Mexico, the Philippines, South America and other countries. While pigs and cows are regularly eaten in Europe, America and elsewhere, eating the meat of these animals is considered a disgrace in other parts of the world.
According to a recent item in the New York Post, The Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say that in many Hawaiian households, cats and dogs are considered family members. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) says that slaughtering dogs for meat for human consumption is happening throughout Hawaii.
At least two reports are made to HSUS concerning cats or dogs that are being slaughtered for food in Hawaii, but law enforcement officials have great difficulty catching the people who are slaughtering these animals.
The committee amended the bill to include all pets, not just cats and dogs. Cachola and Rep. Clift Tsuji voted against the measure, with several other lawmakers expressing their reservations.
A hearing notice concerning this bill has been posted for Friday, April 4. Since there are loopholes in the present statutes. This writer cannot understand the reticence expressed by several committee members to pass the bill into law. What do you think? Express your thoughts in a comment.
- Photo credit: Flickr User blue5ky