Cultural Delicacies: Dogs (and cats!)

It is not uncommon for people to eat dog meat in parts of China, Korea, and the Philippines. Historically, in times of famine people in France and Germany ate dogs too. As a pet lover, I can’t bear the thought, but I know this practice is more far-reaching than meets the eye. Earlier this year, Honolulu experienced its own case of dog-eating men who stole, killed, and ate a couple’s beloved poi dog.

When traveling in third world countries and observing the poor treatment of street dogs, it is easier to understand the apathy that most possess for canines. I think it’s acceptable, too, that in desperate times people take desperate measures to stay alive. It’s unfathomable, however, that people would knowingly steal a pet for consumption. It doesn’t matter where you are or what your culinary practices are.
Complicating canine consumption with feline consumption and you now have a serious case on your hands. This is exactly the latest news coming from China: cat owners are now scared to leave their cats alone now because they disappear. People steal domestic cats now, killing them, and selling them for $1.32 per pound (the same price for lamb). Pet owners in China are speaking up. It appears even the Chinese are developing a conscience nowadays.

The eating of dog meat — or cat meat, for that matter — is a cultural practice that Westerners may never come to accept or understand. Maybe one day we can all be green-eating, tree-hugging consumers in a free world.