We Don’t Eat Our Dogs in Berkeley

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 4, 2016


Photo by Ted Friedman.

Dogs in China are skinned alive and eaten for an annual festival.

Ugly as that seems, this practice is “everywhere,” according to the Berkeley chapter of a national animal rights group, which has staged numerous local demonstrations—some to shame Berkeley meat-serving businesses and restaurants.

In their brochure, the vegans, Direct Action Everywhere, vie to make animals seem human. Indeed, that is the whole point, which is pithily put in the motto: “Pigs got to live, too.” Such appeals work better if the animal is cuddly-cute.

Cuddly cute may save your life in Berkeley, but probably not in China, where taste trumps cute. Take the case of Berkeley dog, Joey, a lap size terrier, hiding behind a big hair-brow.

Joey gets around on Telegraph on the shoulders of Haiku-ist and photographer, Louis Cuneo. Cuneo relishes how he and his wife, artist Marcia Poole, saved Joey’s life, from Martinez to Concord to Berkeley. A worker at Berkeley’s pound called Joey unmanageable, which marked him as a good fit for Berkeley and irresistible to the Cuneos.

Joey is spoiled by Cuneo and his wife, which includes being squired about on Cuneo’s shoulder or head, and posing with Berkeley progressives and mayoral candidates, Kriss Worthingron and Jesse Arreguin.

Cuneo swears Joey is a true progressive. No neutral, he, although neutered.

We want to get the neuter thing in before dogs are given medical privacy rights.

Okay, so we don’t eat dogs in Berkeley, but otherwise how well off are Berkeley dogs?

If the dogs have any beefs with us, they’re not saying anything. Not that they couldn’t. My daughter’s dog recognizes twenty words, and is a good communicator.


Stately-housed communes lined South Berkeley streets like Maoist mansions. From these hot-houses of radicalism emerged position papers for the reform of Berkeley.

In 1970, Kids Lib would have given kids the right to drive and have cancelled de facto curfews, although, in a seeming contradiction, cars would have been banned. Animal lib proposed dogs be untethered, and allowed the run of Berkeley streets.

For several years, Berkeley dogs were—in fact—allowed to roam, some forming packs, which were intimidating. A resultant back-leash led to our present leash-laws, which are popular, even among transients.

A veteran of the days Berkeley dogs ran free, told me, “I remember the days dogs ran free! I vividly recall seeing a group of 3-4 hippie dogs waiting for a green light before crossing Sacramento Street. Some wore bandanas. That was 1971. Those were the days!

For those few years when dogs ruled, Berkeley was an animal rights dream come true.

And, for all you vegans out there: we don’t eat dogs in Berkeley.

More photos by Berkeley Reporter: https://www.flickr.com/photos/berkboy/

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