Let me confess it up front: I have eaten dog.
In Korea, where I once lived, there are many restaurants serving it and, as a good student of local culture, I felt I needed to try what the locals devour - particularly the men, because dog is said to enhance virility.
Dog stew - bosintang - tasted like any other highly spiced stew, but to my mind it was disgusting. It's the idea which sticks in the throat. It's the same with butchers selling horse meat in France.
But a "drover's cut" steak from the local butcher in Queanbeyan? What's the problem?
By the way, that kind of traditional dog restaurant is now giving way to yuppified dog-friendly restaurants called "Bau House" and the like (rhymes with bow as in bow-wow - geddit?).
What is it about doggie people that they can't resist a terrible pun?
They use them unironically, as though they really are the height of wit: "Pet puns are pawesome, and we can't afford to let our fur-llowers down," as one animal health website puts it without any sense of shame.
To which I say: "purr-lease". No.
I raise this because a group of academics from Australian universities last week published an opinion piece under the headline "One cat, one year, 110 native animals: lock up your pet, it's a killing machine".
I love dogs and the companionship they bring - but they are still dogs.
Every time the media runs this kind of story, some cat-lovers get upset. How could our fluffy and adorable friend curled on the sofa be a "killing machine"?
Cats have not always been so cossetted. According to a vet in Quebec, they were only allowed indoors from 1947 - when cat litter became a thing.
"When cats crossed the threshold, their needs became integrated with the family's," Debbie Tacium Ladry says.
"Before, if a cat fell sick, we would assume that it was too late to treat whatever was wrong with it. We assumed the animal would know it was time to head off to a secluded place to die."
In his marvellous book Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals, Hal Herzog says that if we really care about the suffering of animals, we should not eat eggs from a factory farm.
He has some rules if we choose to eat meat (which I choose to do).
One of these is that eating roadkill minimises suffering. "Because dead animals don't suffer, their consumption poses no moral problem," he reasons.
Another is that the ethical eater should shun meat from "industrial feedlots - no dank poultry grow-out houses, no animals whose genetically engineered morphology ensures a life of pain."
And he adds that it's better to kill one big animal than many small ones (pain is not related to size): "It takes about 221 chickens to generate the amount of edible flesh in one steer. That's a lot of happy animals."
Our attitude to animals seems confused.
Two sociologists once showed this via an experiment in which they relayed fake news stories to students.
One involved an attack on an adult person, another on a human infant, another on an older dog and the fourth "particularly vicious" assault "involved a one-year-old puppy that was beaten with a baseball bat by an unknown assailant".
You've guessed it. Or you nearly have.
The baby evoked the most feeling, but then the puppy and then the older dog. The researchers "found more empathy for victims who are human children, puppies, and fully grown dogs than for victims who are adult humans".
I love dogs and the companionship they bring - but they are still dogs. They aren't family.