Friday, February 05, 2010

Interesting reflection by a New York Times journalist on China's dog meat consumption.
As it happened, our meal came shortly before the eruption of a furious online debate in China over a proposed “anti-animal maltreatment” law that would outlaw the eating and selling of dog and cat meat, making it punishable by fines of more than $700 and 15 days of detention.

The legislation, now under review, immediately came under heavy fire. One restaurant owner in the Chaozhou region declared: “This is ridiculous! You make dog and cat meat illegal, but aren’t chickens, duck, goose, pig, cow, lamb also animals?” Another noted a local saying: “When the dog meat is being simmered, even the gods become dizzy with hunger.”

I’m with these indignant protesters. I’m not happy that I ate dog. But I’m happy China eats dog. It so proclaims both a particularity to be prized in a homogenizing world and its rationality.
Dog Days in China (New York Times)


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  3. Yup the problem with China is that it has often in historical terms been called the "The Land of Famine"
    China: Land of Famine Book by GM Wrigley, Walter H. Mallory; 1926

    The precis of this book is that from 250BC till 1850 there on average in China they had a famine every other year. Sometimes limited to provinces or certain areas and in severity, but this is why they eat most things.

    Consider this when was the last severe famine in Europe or the USA? , the last big one was the Irish Potato blight famine of 1844.

    The last one in China was man made when Mao took overstated grain harvests of the peasants to buy weapons and repay USSR loans.

    If you've never been absolutely deadly hungry then how can you say what you will and won't eat.

    In the geat leap foward famines it got so bad they started murdering each other and eating them.

    In Chinese TV it is an often used plot device that there is some sort of famine that causes upheaval. The charitable in such dramas are seen giving away free rice to the poor. Even today in Hong Kong it is symbolic to give away free rice. Rice is dirt cheap today but it is still given as a symbolism of charity.

    Oh and to The Korean, Fan death isn't limited to Korea, I've heard anedotes about it in Hong Kong and China.

  4. I side with the protesters on the issue of dog and cat meat: Let them eat whatever they want, whether it be chicken, duck, cow, pork, goat, cat, dog, etc. However, what I do think is that it should be regulated in terms of welfare and hygiene. Dog and cat slaughterhouses in China already have a terrible reputation, so I think instead of getting rid of it altogether like Hong Kong, it should be tightly regulated to meet the animal welfare standards. And judging by your posts on dog meat, I know you agree with me.


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