12/03/2014 08:43 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2015

People and Other Animals: Eating Dogs and Cats

Surprising to me and I assume to most of us, the practice of eating dog and cat meat is legal and at least marginally accepted in Switzerland. Some Swiss citizens aim to ban that.

Since this is the Internet, I know I may see some over-sized reactions to my obvious dismay at the idea of consuming dogs and cats. "Are you a cardboard-shoe-wearing vegan?" "What is your real agenda?" "What's the difference between eating dog/cat and eating cow/chicken/shrimp?"

So to that: I try to eat consciously and healthfully, am not as consistent (in either regard) as I know I should be, and I have no agenda here to turn you away from beef and to broccoli. However I do believe that there is a fundamental difference between our extremely rich and complex relationship with dogs and cats and that with other animals. Nor am I alone in that belief.

SOS Chats Noiraigue is the Swiss organization hoping to ban the practice through a petition drive and the possibility of a referendum, based on similar success last year outlawing the use of cat fur as a fashion accessory. A quick web search of that name will tell you more.