Friday, December 19, 2008
PET LOVERS PROTEST CATS ON THE MENU IN CHINA
(AP) GUANGZHOU, China – While animal lovers in Beijing protested the killing of cats for food on Thursday, a butcher in Guangdong province — where felines are the main ingredient in a famous soup — just shrugged her shoulders and wielded her cleaver.
"Cats have a strong flavor. Dogs taste much better, but if you really want cat meat, I can have it delivered by tomorrow," said the butcher, who gave only her surname, Huang.
It was just this attitude that outraged about 40 cat lovers who unfurled banners in a tearful protest outside the Guangdong government office in Beijing. Many were retirees who care for stray felines they said were being rounded up by dealers.
The protest was the latest clash between age-old traditions and the new sensibilities made possible by China's growing affluence. Pet ownership was once rare because the Communist Party condemned it as bourgeois and most people simply couldn't afford a cat or dog.
The protesters' indignation was whipped up by recent reports in Chinese newspapers about the cat meat industry. On Monday, the Southern Metropolis Daily — a Guangdong paper famous for its exposes and aggressive reporting — ran a story that said about 1,000 cats were transported by train to Guangdong each day.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, issued a statement Thursday decrying the cruel treatment.
Naturally, this story made me think "Cats In The Cradle" by Harry Chapin, which I have taken the liberty of rewriting. Before you read it, though, let me say that I like cats and agree that killing them for food (or any other reason) is revolting, so save your hate for people at the mall and Wall St. bankers. Thanks. See you in Hell!
Cats In The Ladle
My cat disappeared the other day,
Slipped out the back in his usual way,
'Cause there were mice to catch,
And kitties to lay,
Then somebody turned him into cat pâté.
And I was eatin' 'fore I knew it, and as I chewed,
I said, "Whatcha puttin' in this food, man?
Ya know I'm really diggin' this food."
And the cat's in the ladle at the greasy spoon,
Meow Shu "Pork" and Tabby Rangoon,
When ya coming home, cat? I don't know when,
But try me in the Number 10, man,
I'll be in a spring roll then.
And as I let out a belch it occurred to me,
Cat's a bit string-y, man,
Yes, it's a bit string-y.
(A list from my pal TheMovieGuru, who waxes nostalgic about the Christmas albums that were foisted on him as a kid. I'm glad he has warm memories of these, because to me it sounds like the sort of cruelty you only read about in Dickens.)
Christmas albums that were staples in our family and some that still are...
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Killer song. I never even knew what was on the rest of the album. Still don’t. That song was all that mattered.
One of my dad’s personal favorites. Yes, you guessed it. It’s simply recordings of music boxes playing Christmas songs. I remember about 10 years ago my dad found out he could order it on CD and was so excited he could hardly contain himself. Yes, they actually printed this album on CD.
Our family’s (and my personal) favorite Christmas album. Doesn’t get any better than this. Recorded in 1958 and still popular today. We wore out the original album and had to buy another one. It wasn’t until my teens that I found out Johnny was black. I always thought he was white. (Wait. What? - C.)
He actually reads the entire “'Twas The Night Before Christmas” story which I always loved as a kid. However, when he said that Santa said “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night” at the end which always irked me. Who the hell says “Happy Christmas?”, I thought to myself.. and that was when I was 5 years old.
My mom and I always used to love to sing “The 12 Days Of Christmas” because you hear each Muppet sing. You’d look forward to the part when Miss Piggy sings way over the top for “Five Gold Rings.” Lots of fun.
Another one of my dad’s favorites and one of the albums that makes me want to vomit as soon as I hear it. To this day, whenever I’m at my parents’ house I make a point of trying to hide this cd so my dad can’t find it. Torture song – “Christmas In Dixie.” (There's a worse one. I'm gonna post it later. - C)
Goulet was the man. His version of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is still the best. I always thought he was a badass, even when I was too young to know what a badass was. (I don't think I've ever put "Robert Goulet" and "badass" in the same sentence, but hey, it's your list, T. - C)
Yes, when I was little I loved “Merry Christmas Darling.” I was too young to know I could get beat up for saying that.
Best part of this album is, it’s funny. His rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” is hysterical. He puts an “a” before everything he sings. “He’s a making a list, he’s a checking it twice…. Santa Claus is a comin… to town.”