How Not to Think Logically about an Animal Issue

Hawaii’s state House briefly considered a bill that would have banned the sale of cats or dogs for food in the state.

The bill never made it out of committee, and Hawaii state Rep. Alex Sonson complained that merely introducing the bill raised harmful stereotypes about Asians.

The bills supporters used a priceless form of logic — since they had no evidence about any sort of widespread eating of cats and dogs in Hawaii, it follows that eating cats and dogs must certainly be widespread.

Here, for example, is Derrick DePledge of the Advertiser Capitol Bureau, on one such supporter,

The Hawaiian Humane Society and animal rights groups wanted the Legislature to pass the bill to protect both pets and strays. “I’m disappointed,” said Renita Chang, president of the Hawai’i Dog Foundation. She said she has only heard stories about people killing dogs and cats for food, but believes it is more common than people think.

“I don’t think it’s exaggerated at all,” Chang said.

Well, of course. If you’ve only heard stories and not seen any actual evidence, it must be true. You know, just like that Irish kid who wants to set a record for receiving the most cards or the terrorists buying UPS uniforms on E-Bay. I heard stories about it somewhere — must be true.

Sources:

No Law Against Eating Dogs And Cats. Associated Press, March 2005.

Bill to ban sale of cats, dogs for food dies in the House. Derrick DePledge, Advertiser Capitol Bureau, March 5, 2005.

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