People eat animals. Cow, pig, lamb, sheep, chicken and rabbit are among the most common for Westerners. Dogs and cats, not so much. I consider myself an adventurous eater and I would NEVER eat dog or cat meat. Wouldn't even taste it! In our culture dogs have been domesticated over the course of 15,000 years and we keep them as pets for companionship. End of story. But in other parts of the world, dogs are fair game like any other animal. They are not viewed as pets. Is a dog different than a pig? Not by much. We've all seen pet pigs in the US...they're actually pretty smart and can give affection. But it's perfectly acceptable to eat bacon! It's ingrained in us. Just like eating dog meat is wrong. But who are we to judge what is best for another culture? Their dog is our pig. Simple as that. But what China should do, and what activists should fight for, is the humane treatment of farm animals. Who are we to judge which is the "right" animal to be killed and consumed?
It is inevitable that China will eventually lose its appetite for dog meat. As urbanization spreads from the cities and the world simply shrinks, the new generation will undoubtedly view dogs as pets and not as food. Having traveled through China and South East Asia I know first hand the dichotomy that exists from city to the countryside. I've seen dogs on leashes as pets in the big cities of Shanghai, Saigon and Bangkok. And as I traveled outside the cities, it was obvious that the mentality had changed and dog meat was part of the peasant life.
In general, China has a long list of problems and hurdles before it becomes a "respectable" world power. Human rights probably comes before animal rights...I hope. How about we start with the smog problems in Shanghai!