Dog meat delicacy

By Linda Wen Source:Global Times Published: 2016/6/23 18:43:01

When my colleague and I were on a business trip in Yunnan Province last month, our local guide offered us a special treat: dog meat hotpot, which he said is the local's must-eat dish.

He presented it with a lot of enthusiasm, trying to talk me into it. Even though my colleague has a dog for a pet, he joined in persuading me to give it a try. "The dogs are not pets, but rural dogs especially for eating," he said.

Eventually, I gave in and tried it. The dog meat was already cut and cooking in a pot when we arrived. The soup looked creamy, and there were vegetable dishes on the table. To eat the meal, diners are to wrap the dog meat in lettuce, and if they want it spicy, they can dip it into a bowl containing seasoning.

My companions wasted no time in enjoying the meat. They told me how yummy it was and offered me a slice. I tried to use hypnosis, telling myself that it was just chicken.

Surprisingly, when I took the first bite, it did taste like chicken. The quality of meat was fine, and the flavor was not too strong.

But when I took the second bite, my stomach began to protest. I couldn't swallow it at all.

It was because I am not used to the idea of eating a dog, an animal which for many of my friends is a member of their family. I felt guilty.

I stopped eating and kept myself to drinks. After the meal, my guide told me that he understood that in the city, where people keep dogs as pets, eating dog meat can make us feel uncomfortable. But for those in his community, eating dog meat is a tradition and a culture which has existed for a long time.

His words touched me. I don't agree with eating dog meat. But do we (dog lovers) have the right to ask them to abandon it because we dislike it? Do we have a higher moral standard than them?

A month after my dog eating experience, the Yulin dog meat festival is now being hosted in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a place where eating dog meat is a part of the local culture.

Unlike before, this year's media reports showed less feverish protest against the festival. To me, it is a good sign. Eating dog meat is still a small crowd's tradition. To confront it is no better than to understand it.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times. 

Posted in: Twocents-Opinion

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