Is it true that some people eat dog in parts of Asia?
One wonders if somewhere in India, a Hindu website, similar to The Loop, is answering the question, “Is it true that non-Hindus eat cow?” Indeed, different cultures eat different things, who’s to judge?, to each their own, right? Well, it turns out this ‘eating dog in Asia’ issue, specifically, isn’t something Asian people are eager to bark about.
Dog meat is said to be eaten in China, Vietnam and Korea, among others. To see if there was any truth to the buzz, The Loop headed to Korea Town in Toronto. Aside from the fact that no one approached would agree to go on the record, it was certainly clear that this wasn’t a warm and fuzzy topic of conversation.
“Please go away, this makes me uncomfortable,” and “You shouldn’t ask that” were a couple of the more delicate responses encountered by The Loop.
One man reluctantly muttered, “Some did, only during the war.” Ah-ha! . . . Actually, that doesn’t mean much. If true, the Koreans wouldn’t have been the only ones eating dog during a war. A Time Magazine article from Nov. 25, 1940, entitled “GERMANY: Dachshunds Are Tenderer” reported, “A new law, effective Jan. 1, states that dogs, wolves, foxes, bears, badgers and wild hogs have been legalized as meat.” People everywhere need protein to fight!
One Korean woman, again, wishing not to be named, made a more direct statement saying, “Yes, some people [in Korea] eat that but I don’t want to talk to you.” Fair enough.
A Chinese woman who runs a convenience store in Toronto’s west end was a little more relaxed: “Yes, in China, some people eat the dog.” When asked if she had: “No. Not me. I don’t want to eat that.”
So, at this point, we have admissions from a reluctant few that yes, at some time, some Asians do or have eaten dog meat. OK. So, now what? Do the rest of us walk around whispering disgustedly about how everyone’s eating Fido Pie in Asia? No! And here’s why:
LOTS OF NON-ASIANS EAT DOG MEAT TOO
Dog meat is considered a delicacy in certain parts of Africa; the Swiss are also known for having some mutt-centric recipes and guess what? Dog meat is even available right here in North America. Yep! PuppyBeef.com touts itself as a “premium online dog butchery” catering to 15 countries, and having three locations in the United States. (They also have a sister site, KittyBeef.com, no joke, cat meat.)
So considering dog meat is actually being chowed-down all over the world, why should Asia be alone in having this stereotype branded across its figurative flag like a Scarlet D? It shouldn’t.
Moreover, who cares? As omnivores, humans eat all sorts of things: Cow, pig, snake, chicken, ostrich, horse. Frankly, dog seems kind of boring in comparison to the fried grasshoppers you can buy on the side of the road in Thailand.
In fact, if it’s legal and you’ve got to feed your family, dog would be a smart choice.
Even a former Canadian diplomat seems to think so.
Dog is a sensible choice for hungry families according to Maurice Hladik, author of Demystifying Food From Farm to Fork.
“A female dog will have two or three litters of eight to a dozen pups a year, and little pups grow incredibly quickly,” said Hladik, who has spent time in Beijing, Bangkok and Seoul. “In a matter of a few months, you’ve got yourself a dozen reasonably sized dogs.”
Hladik also points out that dogs can survive on “scraps” and that from an agricultural viewpoint, raising dogs to eat makes perfect sense.
“Leave the emotional yuck factor out of it, dog is an efficient food product.”
Woof! Well said.
But is it actually a common dish? Hladik seems unsure.
“Any middle class, educated Korean thought [eating dog] was a disgusting thing that their ancestors did,” said Hladik. “[But] near our home in Seoul, there was a puppy farm and rumour had it that those dogs were destined for the stew pot.”
Hladik left off by suggesting that asking if Asians eat dog meat is “somewhat akin to asking if Canadians eat squirrel.”
So, Reader, it seems the tables have turned . . . Do you eat squirrel?