Roast cat for Christmas dinner is not some weird and macabre idea dreamt up by one of the internet sickos. The title to this post reflects reality in a bastion of civilized life and pretty scenery: Switzerland.
There are about eight million people living in Switzerland (about the same as London, UK) so the country is not that densely populated. We are told that 3% of Swiss eat cat and dog meat. That may surprise some people but there is a contingent of Swiss who indulge in eating what I’ll call “pet meat” and others who traded in cat fur which, although banned in 2013, was a not insignificant business in Switzerland. Therefore, for cat lovers, amongst the chocolate box landscape there is something unpleasant going on.
Three percent of the Swiss population represents about a quarter of a million people (250,000), a big number. If half of these eat cat that makes at least 125,000 cats slaughtered annually for food in the heart of Europe. There would be uproar in the UK if a single cat was killed and eaten.
Apparently there is a minimal homeless cat problem in Switzerland (few stray cats). I wonder if this is linked to the subject matter of this article?
What surprised and frankly shocked me was that we are also told that cat can be eaten for Christmas dinner. Dog meat is turned into sausages to help relieve rheumatism. The “rheumatism-pet-meat-remedy” concept is one I have heard of before. It applies to cat meat in China, which indicates to me that this is just ignorant superstition handed down from generation to generation.
Marc (a regular on PoC) who lives in Switzerland says that the Swiss who eat cat meat are farmers living in remote places in regions such as: Appenzell, Lucerne, Jura and Berne.
It is entirely legal and nothing can be done to stop it. It is probably a longstanding tradition. And what is insensitive is that in some households they’ll kill the cat and eat it for Christmas. As I understand it this is not commercial killing and selling of cat meat. It is a person killing a cat which lives in and around the household or on the farm and eaten by the family. It is therefore a behind closed doors process and gross as far as I am concerned. I suppose we have to respect different cultures but I find this hard to stomach.
Some Swiss feel the same way. Tomi Tomek, president of the animal rights group SOS CHATS Noiraigue started a petition which received 16,000 signatures. Will it change things? I doubt it.
Many people don’t see the difference between eating pets to eating pigs. I do. The former is a companion animal, which is the agreed role, while the latter is reared and killed under licence and regulation for the purpose of feeding humans.