Don’t travel to any country that eats dogs!

Don’t travel to any country that eats dogs! thumbnail

Here are some interesting facts from around the world!

Arctic and Antarctic
Dogs have historically been an emergency food source for various peoples in Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland. Sled dogs are usually maintained for pulling sleds, but occasionally are eaten when no other food is available.

British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition became trapped, and ultimately killed their sled dogs for food. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was known to have eaten sled dogs during his expedition to the South Pole. By eating some of the sled dogs, he required less human or dog food, thus lightening his load. When comparing sled dogs to ponies as draught animals he also notes:

“…there is the obvious advantage that dog can be fed on dog. One can reduce one’s pack little by little, slaughtering the feebler ones and feeding the chosen with them. In this way they get fresh meat. Our dogs lived on dog’s flesh and pemmican the whole way, and this enabled them to do splendid work. And if we ourselves wanted a piece of fresh meat we could cut off a delicate little fillet; it tasted to us as good as the best beef. The dogs do not object at all; as long as they get their share they do not mind what part of their comrade’s carcass it comes from. All that was left after one of these canine meals was the teeth of the victim – and if it had been a really hard day, these also disappeared.”[13]

Douglas Mawson and Xavier Mertz were part of a three-man sledging team with Lieutenant B. E. S. Ninnis to survey King George V Land, Antarctica. On 14 December 1912 Ninnis fell through a snow-covered crevasse along with most of the party’s rations, and was never seen again. Mawson and Mertz turned back immediately. They had one and a half weeks’ food for themselves and nothing at all for the dogs. Their meagre provisions forced them to eat their remaining sled dogs on their 315 mile return journey. Their meat was tough, stringy and without a vestige of fat. Each animal yielded very little, and the major part was fed to the surviving dogs which ate the meat, skin and bones until nothing remained. The men also ate the dog’s brains and livers. Unfortunately eating the liver of sled dogs produces the condition hypervitaminosis A. Mertz suffered a quick deterioration. He developed stomach pains and he became incapacitated and incoherent. On 7 January 1913 Mertz died. Mawson continued alone, eventually making it back to camp alive.[14]

Consumption of dog meat is taboo in mainstream Canadian culture. Nonetheless, it is practiced by some cultural minorities. Under Canada’s Wildlife Act, it is illegal to sell meat from any wild species. But there is no law against selling and serving canine meat, including dogs, if it is killed and gutted in front of federal inspectors.[15]

In 2003, health inspectors discovered four frozen canine carcasses in the freezer of a Chinese restaurant in Edmonton[16] which, in the end, were found to be coyotes. The Edmonton health inspector said that it is not illegal to sell and eat the meat of dogs and other canines, as long as the meat has been inspected.[17] Ed Greenburg, an official with Edmonton’s Capital Health Region, said the fact that the animals were coyotes doesn’t change anything and inspectors are still looking into the possibility that uninspected meat was served at the restaurant.[citation needed]

 China Mainland
Dog meat
Chinese 狗肉
- Hanyu Pinyin gǒu ròu
Mutton of the earth
Chinese 地羊
Literal meaning earth lamb
- Hanyu Pinyin dì yáng
Fragrant meat
Chinese 香肉
- Hanyu Pinyin xiāng ròu
3-6 fragrant meat
Chinese 三六香肉
- Yale Romanization sàam luhk hèung yuhk

Dog meat (Chinese: 狗肉; pinyin: gǒu ròu) has been a source of food in some areas of China from at least around 500 BC, and possibly even before. Mencius, the philosopher, recommended dog meat because of its pharmaceutical properties.[18] Ancient writings from the Zhou Dynasty referred to the “three beasts”[cite this quote] (which were bred for food), comprising pig, goat, and dog. Dog meat is sometimes euphemistically called “fragrant meat” (香肉 xiāng ròu) or “mutton of the earth” (地羊 dì yáng) in Mandarin Chinese and “3-6 fragrant meat” (traditional Chinese: 三六香肉; Cantonese Yale: sàam luhk hèung yuhk) in Cantonese (3 plus 6 is 9 and the words “nine” and “dog” are homophones, both pronounced gáu in Cantonese. In Mandarin, “nine” and “dog” are pronounced differently).

The eating of dog meat China dates back thousands of years. Dog meat has long been thought by some to have medicinal properties, and is especially popular in winter months as it is believed to generate heat and promote bodily warmth.[19][20][21][22] Also, dogs have occasionally been eaten as an emergency food supply.[23]

The Chinese usually only eat dogs raised specifically for meat, not those raised as pets. The dogs are slaughtered between 6 and 12 months of age.

Despite it being a socially acceptable practice,[24] the average Chinese does not usually consume dog meat, which has led to a decline in the price of dog meat.[citation needed] However, dog meat has become relatively expensive in recent years[when?] compared to other meat choices. More concentrated dog meat consumption areas in China are in the northeastern, southern, and southwestern areas.[25][not in citation given] Peixian County in Northern Jiangsu is well-known in China for the production of a dog-meat stew flavoured with soft-shelled turtle. The dish is said to have been invented by Fan Kuai and to have been a favourite with Liu Bang, founder of the Han dynasty.[citation needed]

The Chinese normally cook the dog meat by stewing it with thick gravy or by roasting it. Some methods of preparing the dog carcass are by immersion in boiling water, or flash-burning the fur off in a fire.[citation needed]

Some controversy has emerged about the treatment of dogs in China not because of the consumption itself, but because of other factors like cruelty involved with the killing including allegations that animals are sometimes skinned while still alive.[26]

A growing movement against consumption of cat and dog meat has gained attention from people in mainland China. Those changes began about two years after the formation of the Chinese Companion Animal Protection Network, a networking project of Chinese Animal Protection Network. Expanded to more than 40 member societies, CCAPN in January 2006 began organizing well-publicized protests against dog and cat eating, starting in Guangzhou, following up in more than ten other cities “with very optimal response from public.”[27]

Since January 2007, more than ten Chinese groups have joined an online signing event against the consumption of cat and dog meat. The signatures indicate that the participants will avoid eating cat and dog meat in the future. This online signing event received more than 42,000 signatures from public and has been circulated around the country.[28] Supportors of this online event also organized offline events in many cities, including several high profile performance-art shows.[citation needed]

Some Chinese restaurants in the United States serve “imitation dog meat”, which is usually pulled pork and purportedly flavored like dog meat. e.g. “Northern Chinese Restaurant”, Rosemead, California [29]

In 2008 a series of incidents of increased consumption of cat and dog meat in Guangdong areas have appeared in local mass media.[citation needed]

On 26 January 2010 China launched its first draft proposal to protect the country’s animals from maltreatment including a measure to jail people who eat dog for up to 15 days.[30][31]

 Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the Dogs and Cats Ordinance were introduced on 6 January 1950 [32], it prohibits the slaughter of any dog or cat for use as food, whether for mankind or otherwise, on pain of fine and imprisonment.[33][34] Four local men were sentenced to 30 days imprisonment in December 2006 for having slaughtered two dogs.[35] In an earlier case, in February 1998, a Hongkonger was sentenced to one month imprisonment and a fine of two thousand HK dollars for hunting street dogs for food.[36] Apart from this, a large proportion of Hong Kong residents are currently against the consumption of dog meat.[citation needed]

In Taiwan, dog meat (Minnan: 狗肉 gǒu ròu) is known by the euphemism “fragrant meat” (香肉 xiāng ròu) in Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan. Eating dogs has never been commonplace in Taiwan, but it is particularly eaten in the winter months, especially black dogs, which are believed to help retain body warmth. In 2004, the Taiwanese government imposed a ban on the sale of dog meat, due to both pressure from domestic animal welfare groups and a desire to improve international perceptions, although there were some protests.[37][38] According to Lonely Planet’s Taiwan guide, it is still possible to find dog meat on some restaurant menus, but this is becoming increasingly rare.[citation needed]

 East Timor
Dog meat is a delicacy popular in East Timor.[39]

Although consumption of dog meat is not well-known in France and now considered taboo, dog meat has been consumed in the past. The earliest evidence of dog consumption in France was found at Gaulish archaeological sites where butchered dog bones were discovered.[40] Similar findings, corresponding to that time or earlier periods, have also been recorded through Europe. French news sources from the late 19th century carried stories reporting lines of people buying dog meat, which was described as being “beautiful and light.”[41] Dog meat was also reported as being sold by some butchers in Paris, 1910.[42]

Dog meat has been eaten in every major German crisis at least since the time of Frederick the Great, and is commonly referred to as “blockade mutton.”[43] In the early 20th century, consumption of dog meat in Germany was common.[44] In 1937, trichina inspection was introduced for pigs, dogs, boars, foxes, badgers, and other carnivores.[45] Dog meat has been prohibited in Germany since 1986.[46]

In Ghana, the Tallensi of Ghana consider dog meat a delicacy. The Mamprusi generally avoid dogflesh, but it is eaten in a “courtship stew” provided by a king to his royal lineage.[47]

There have been reports of locals in remote parts of North-East India, such as those in Mizoram and Nagaland, consuming dog meat.[48][49][50] Apart from these areas, eating dog meat is a taboo throughout India. Hinduism, the primary religion of India, has a strong vegetarian tradition. Eating any meat is considered a taboo by many devout Hindus. However, in Hindu mythology, there is a story of people eating dog meat when in complete scarcity of food supplies.[51]

In Indonesia, the consumption of dog meat are usually associated with the Minahasa, a Christian ethnic group in northern Sulawesi, and Bataks of Northern Sumatra who consider dog meat to be a festive dish and usually reserve it for special occasions like weddings and Christmas.[52]. Popular Indonesian dog-meat dish are rica-rica, called variably as “RW” or Rintek Wuuk, rica-Rica Waung, Guk-Guk, and “B1″. Locally on Java there are several names for dishes made from dog meat such as Sengsu (Tongseng Asu), Sate Jamu, and Kambing Balap.

Dog meat was consumed widely in Japan until 675 A.D, when Emperor Temmu decreed a prohibition on its consumption during the 4th-9th months of the year.[53] During the Tokugawa period (17th ~ 19th century), it was observed that eating dog meat was a common practice around the region of Edo.[54]

Today Japan imports some of its dog meat from China, which amounted to 31 tons in 2006.[55] In Japan dog meat is available in Koreatowns such as the ones found in Tsuruhashi, Osaka and Okubo, Tokyo.

South Korean name
Hangul 개고기
Revised Romanization Gaegogi
McCune-Reischauer Kaegogi
North Korean name
Chosŏn’gŭl 단고기
McCune-Reischauer Tan’gogi
Revised Romanization Dan(-)gogi

Main article: Dog meat consumption in South Korea
Gaegogi (개고기) literally means “dog meat” in Korean. The term itself, however, is often mistaken as the term for Korean soup made from dog meat, which is actually called bosintang (보신탕; 補身湯).

The consumption of dog meat can be traced back to antiquity. Dog bones were excavated in a neolithic settlement in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang Province. A wall painting in the Goguryeo Tombs complex in South Hwangghae Province, a World Heritage site which dates from the 4th century AD, depicts a slaughtered dog in a storehouse. The Balhae people also enjoyed dog meat, and the Koreans’ appetite for canine cuisine seems to have come from that era.[56]

 Current situation
Selling dog meat has been illegal in South Korea since 1984, as manufacturing and processing of dog meat has been outlawed. This is because that South Korean Food Sanitary Law (식품위생법; 食品衛生法) does not include dog meat as a legal food ingredient. Also, dog meat has been categorized as ‘repugnant food’ (혐오식품; 嫌汚食品) based on a regulation issued by Seoul Metropolitan Government, of which using as food ingredient is not permitted.[57][58]

However, the laws are not strictlly enforced and some portion of South Korean population still consume dog meat. The primary dog breed raised for meat, the Nureongi (누렁이), or Hwangu (황구; 黃狗); which is a kind of mix-breed dog, differs from those breeds raised for pets which Koreans keep in their homes. In March 2009, an article in the Korea Times reported that some 9,000 tons are being served at about 6,500 establishments across the country annually.[59]

Even though a fair number of Koreans (anywhere from 5 to 30%) have tried it before, only a little percentage of the population eats it regularly.[citation needed] There is a large and vocal group of Korean people that are against the practice of eating dogs.[60] There is also a large population of people in Korea that do not eat or enjoy the meat, but do feel strongly that it is the right of others to do so.[60] There is a smaller but still vocal group of pro-dog cuisine people in South Korea who want to popularize the consumption of dog in Korea and the rest of the world.[60]

Although technically illegal to sell dog meat in Korea, some restaurateurs still do so even though they risk losing their restaurant licenses. Currently, one can find dog meat in such cities as Gunsan, South Korea.[citation needed] In 1997 one dog meat wholesaler in Seoul was brought up on charges of selling dog meat illegally.[61] BBC claim that, in 2003, approximately 4,000-6,000 restaurants served soups made from dog meat in Korea.[62] The soups cost about US$10 while dishes of steamed dog meat with rice cost about US$25. The BBC claims that eighty-five hundred tons of dog meat are consumed per year, with another 93,600 tons used to produce a medicinal tonic called gaesoju (개소주).[62] Koreans raise exceptional dogs which are edible.[63] At the present day, the dogs are not beaten to death as they were in the past.[64]

Dog meat is often consumed during the summer months and is either roasted or prepared in soups or stews. The most popular of these soups is bosintang and gaejang-guk, a spicy stew meant to balance the body’s heat during the summer months. This is thought to ensure good health by balancing one’s “ki” or vital energy of the body. A 19th century version of gaejang-guk explains the preparation of the dish by boiling dog meat with vegetables such as green onions and pepper powder. Variations of the dish contain chicken and bamboo shoots.[65]

Consumption of dog meat is taboo in Mexico. However, in the time of the Aztecs, dogs were historically bred for their meat. Hernán Cortés reported that when he arrived in Tenochtitlan in 1519, “small gelded dogs which they breed for eating” were among the goods sold in the city markets.[66] These dogs, now extinct, were called itzcuintlis, and were similar to the modern Mexican Hairless Dog. They are often depicted in pre-Columbian Mexican pottery.

In May 2008 a man named Rubén Cuellar of Veracruz-Boca del Rio was accused of engaging in the slaughter of dogs and selling the meat to local taco restaurants. He was detained by police pending investigation.[67]

Dogs are eaten by various groups in some states of Nigeria including Cross River, Plateau, Taraba and Gombe of Nigeria.[47] Plateau, Taraba and Gombe of Nigeria. They are believed to have medicinal powers.[68][69]

In the capital city of Manila, Metro Manila Commission Ordinance 82-05[70] specifically prohibits the killing and selling of dogs for food. More generally, the Philippine Animal Welfare Act 1998[71] prohibits the killing of any animal other than cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, poultry, rabbits, carabaos, horses, deer and crocodiles with exemptions for religious, cultural, research, public safety or animal health reasons.

Nevertheless, as is reported from time to time in Philippine newspapers, the eating of dog meat is not uncommon in the Philippines.[72],[73] an organization working in the Philippines to eliminate the eating of dogs in the country, estimates that 500,000 dogs are killed annually in the Philippine Islands for human consumption.[73]

The Province of Benguet specifically allows cultural use of dog meat by indigenous people and acknowledges that this might lead to limited commercial use.[74]

While the meat is not eaten, in some rural areas of Poland dog fat is by tradition believed to have medicinal properties – being good for the lungs for instance. It can be made into smalec – lard. In 2009 a scandal erupted when a farm near Częstochowa was discovered rearing dogs to be rendered down into smalec.[75]

Dogs were historically eaten in Tahiti and other islands of Polynesia including Hawaii[76] [77] at the time of first European contact. James Cook, when first visiting Tahiti in 1769, recorded in his journal that “few were there of us but what allowe’d that a South Sea Dog was next to an English Lamb, one thing in their favour is that they live entirely upon Vegetables”.[78] In Hawaii, the eating of dog meat was reserved to females until the system of kapu was overthrown in favor of ‘Ai Noa (free eating) in 1819. Efforts to restore the kapu ended and free eating became policy after a feast of dog meat that King Kamehameha II partook of with his chiefesses.

According to the November 21, 1996, edition of the Rheintaler Bote, a Swiss newspaper covering the Rhine Valley area, the rural Swiss cantons of Appenzell and St. Gallen are known to have had a tradition of eating dogs, curing dog meat into jerky and sausages, as well as using the lard for medicinal purposes. Dog sausage and smoked dog jerky remains a staple in the Swiss cantons of St. Gallen and Appenzell, where one farmer was quoted in a regional weekly newspaper as saying that “meat from dogs is the healthiest of all. It has shorter fibres than cow meat, has no hormones like veal, no antibiotics like pork.”[79]

A few years earlier, a news report on RTL Television on the two cantons set off a wave of protests from European animal rights activists and other concerned citizens. A 7000-name petition was filed to the commissions of the cantons, who rejected it, saying it wasn’t the state’s right to monitor the eating habits of its citizens.

The production of food from dog meat for commercial purposes, however, is illegal in Switzerland.[80]

Dog meat is barbecued in a umu in Tonga and considered a delicacy.[81]

United Kingdom
Eating dog meat in the United Kingdom is a social taboo. Euthanasia is not, under UK law, an act of veterinary surgery, and may be carried out by anyone provided that it is carried out humanely.[82]

United States
In the United States, it is considered a social taboo and illegal in some jurisdictions to eat dogs or other animals traditionally considered to be pets or companion animals (see horse meat).[83]

During their 1803–1806 expedition, Meriwether Lewis and the other members of the Corps of Discovery consumed dog meat, either from their own animals or supplied by Native American tribes including the Paiutes and Wah-clel-lah Indians, a branch of the Watlalas,[84] the Clatsop,[85] the Teton Sioux (Lakota),[86] the Nez Perce Indians,[87] and the Hidatsas.[88] Lewis and the members of the expedition ate dog meat except William Clark who reportedly could not bring himself to eat dogs.[89]

Native Americans
The traditional culture surrounding the consumption of dog meat varied from tribe to tribe among the original inhabitants of North America, with some tribes relishing it as a delicacy and others (such as the Comanche) treating it as an abhorrent practice.[90] Native peoples of the Great Plains, such as the Sioux and Cheyenne, consumed it, but there was a concurrent religious taboo against the meat of wild canines.[91] The usual preparation method was boiling.

See also: Vietnamese cuisine
A dog meat platter found in a street market a few miles east of HanoiDog meat is consumed in Vietnam to varying degrees of acceptability, though it predominantly exists in the north. There are multiple dishes featuring dog meat, and they often include the head, feet and internal organs. On Nhat Tan Street, Tây Hồ District, Hanoi, many restaurants serve dog meat, often imitating each other. Dog meat restaurants can be found throughout the country. Groups of customers, usually male, seated on mats, will spend their evenings sharing plates of dog meat and drinking alcohol. Dog meat is supposed to raise the libido in men and is sometimes considered unsuitable for women.[citation needed] Eating dog meat can serve as a male bonding exercise. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for women to eat dog meat.[92] The consumption of dog meat can be part of a ritual usually occurring toward the end of the lunar month for reasons of astrology and luck. Restaurants which mainly exist to serve dog meat may only open for the last half of the lunar month.[93]

Almost all dogs that are used for meat are imported from other Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, etc.)[94] and from dog robbers.[95]

In 2009, dog meat was found to be a main carrier of the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, which caused the summer epidemic of cholera in northern Vietnam.[96][97]

 Types of dishes
In Vietnamese cuisine there are many ways to cook dog meat. Typically a chef will choose one of seven ways to cook dog, collectively known as “cầy tơ 7 món”.

  1. Thit cho hap – steamed dog meat
  2. Rua man – steamed dog in shrimp paste, rice flour and lemon grass
  3. Doi cho – dog sausage
  4. Gieng Me Mam Tom – Steamed dog in shrimp paste, ginger, spices and rice vinegar
  5. Thit cho nuong – grilled dog meat
  6. Canh Xao Mang Cho – Bamboo shoots and dog bone marrow
  7. Cho Xao Sa Ot – Fried dog in lemon grass and chili


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