Voices Of Youth: Don't impose West's ideology on tradition

Don't impose West's ideology on tradition

Recently, there has been a flood of protests on social media against the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival ("Chinese city faces flak over serving dog meat for festival"; June 22). I was shocked by the scale of the protests.

Many of these came from Western agencies. This is not the first time the West has stepped into the affairs of other countries and condemned them. There seems to be an underlying sense of Western supremacy and ignorance of others' culture.

I wonder how many people who "liked" and "shared" these news articles and petitions have an actual understanding of the issue at hand, and how many were swayed by misleading, dramatised headlines.

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The most common reason for the opposition has been that eating dog meat is simply cruel, as dogs are "man's best friend".

Some people may feel this way about dogs, but not everyone does. Who are we to impose our values on others or judge them, especially if we do not fully understand their culture?

While the Yulin festival started only around 10 years ago, people in China and other areas have eaten dog meat for centuries.

Most people consume meat such as chicken, pork and fish, but there is no public outcry of inhumanity. Hindus do not eat beef, but they do not protest against others consuming the meat.

I do not hate animals nor eat dog meat. The people of Yulin can decide for themselves if they want to participate in this activity. I should not impose my ideology on them.

Wee Min, 16, Secondary 4 student

Raise awareness on importance of health

I read with concern the report that there has been an increase in the number of diabetes patients ("NHG data shows spike in diabetes patients"; June 17).

Diabetes is a common disease but it could lead to serious complications.

Some diabetes patients might be struggling to cope, due to a lack of awareness of how to control their condition.

Awareness about diabetes and about having a healthy lifestyle should be increased.

It is very important to maintain good health in order to reduce the chances of suffering from the disease.

Nowadays, most people do not lead a healthy lifestyle. They assume they are unlikely to suffer from diabetes, do not take care of their health, and let their guard down - they do not eat healthily and often consume sweetened beverages.

Most of the time, in a fast-paced society, they also do not have time to exercise.

Information on the ways to manage diabetes could be provided, especially to those who are already suffering from it.

This would enable them to have better control over their condition, so as to prevent it from worsening.

Toh En Qi, 14, Secondary 2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Voices Of Youth'. Print Edition | Subscribe