Strolling through a market in the Deep South of China I’m reminded of a story a friend who lived in Shenzhen regailed me with, whereby some Chinese friends were taking him for dinner, on arrival he questioned why he had been brought to a pet store. The Chinese friends laughed and informed him they were not at a pet store.
As a westerner I’m used to my food being dead when I go into a supermarket, so the sight of live animals, even the ones we regularly eat such as chickens, or ducks seems weird, but when it’s cute ones like rabbits and even cats it’s enough to make even the most hardened carnivore flirt with idea of vegetarianism. But as shocking as even cats are, it’s the live, and dead dogs that most westerners struggle with. Dog is a big thing in Guangxi province, and not just in the villages, even somewhat westernised places such as Guilin, or Yangshuo you will still find dogs in the market.
And then there’s the Yulin dog meat festival, where thousands of dogs get slaughtered every year, causing faux outrage and promises that it will banned, which never happens.
And whatever your personal opinion on dog meat the opinion of most Chinese, particularly in the south is that meat, dog or otherwise is just meat, and the western view that dogs are somewhat different is considered a bit hypocritical. A fair point, but I’d still rather have a burger.