Dog Owners the Newest Dissidents in China
Most Americans will likely have a preconceived notion of the Chinese relationship with dogs. When a developing country can barely take care of all its own people, animal rights tend to sit very low on the totem pole. But the reality is much more complicated, especially with a burgeoning dog culture associated with the rise of young urban elites with disposable income.
That complex reality is being captured in a soon-to-be-released documentary on China and dogs. The film, Oversized Dogs: Chinese Dog Laws and the People Who Break Them, is ostensibly about what the title suggests. It follows several Beijing residents who own dogs that are technically illegal because they are above the size limit stipulated in an antiquated Beijing law. It's not just the Chinese capital—these size limitation rules have popped up in other parts of China, yet Chinese dog owners seem to be flouting them with impunity. Beyond the legal issue, dog ownership in China turns out to be an interesting examination of evolving attitudes in Chinese society today. In particular, it indirectly reflects the rise of rights consciousness among the growing legion of Chinese who count themselves among the middle class.
h/t Charles WT