There are reports the Chinese are to take dogs (and cats) off their menus.
The regulations – if they are approved – have been 11 years in the making and anyone eating pets could face 15 days in jail.
Dog, which is known as “fragrant meat”, has been eaten in China for thousands of years – some view it as a tonic, others make a stew which is aid to warm the blood.
The proposed rules are based on anti-cruelty legislation, rather than a cultural issue about eating the animals, but it does raise a number of issues that may well be worth discussing.
And to be fair, other countries eat dogs too.
I was in South Korea (from where the above picture of a steaming pot is taken) during the World Cup in 2002 and the caretaker of a block of flats we were broadcasting from in Seoul invited us to taste some, angered by the foreign media’s view of what he called “protein food”.
I had some . A colleague of mine had a similar experience in Cambodia – the polite thing to do was to try it. We both agree it tasted like goat.
We both also agreed that we felt a bit uncomfortable, even though here and in many other countries we breed all sorts of animals to eat, which in other countries may be seen to be wrong.
To the left is a picture of a man tucking into dog meat in Abuja, Nigeria, and here’s a story just a few days ago from the Phillipines.
So why shouldn’t we eat dog ? is it a “cuteness” issue, an intelligence issue or a cultural problem ?
Is it right that China and other countries falls into line with other parts of the world ?