Often when speaking of Asia people may make the joke of eating dog or rats, especially in China where they seemingly do eat anything that walks, crawls, slithers or flies. Guangxi province, where the beautiful Yangshuo lies is however one of the places where you will find dog a regularly item on certain restaurant menus.
Guangxi province is in fact famous for its canine cuisine and plays hosts to the infamous Yulin dog meat festival which is hated by many worldwide. While I definitely don’t agree with the treatment of any animal in Asia in general, I do eat meat and for those others that do you have to accept that it does come from somewhere whether it be dog or otherwise.
If you make your way to some of the markets in Yangshuo like many other markets in Asia you will see ducks, and geese in cages as well as fish and meat hanging up in markets. In this small town however, you will also see dogs in cages, small, fluffy, cute but not for pets. These are as you guessed, dogs for food. I often see tourists new to this weep for the poor animals and even know of some people who live in the town who have adopted some of the loveable mutts as pets to spare them from the wok-destined finish.
While you may view this as cruel, this is a part of daily life here and is not to be judged by outsiders. After all, westerners eat a lot more meat than Chinese people and by no mean have a clean record of humane methods of animal captivity.
Despite the affliction for eating the forbidden, you will also find Chinese people with pet dogs and not all Chinese people agree with the practice of eating dogs. In this case, in Yangshuo dogs are both friends and food. Personally, I do have a pet dog back home, but am also not opposed to snacking on dog meat every now and then (although my family has ostracised me and didn’t send me money for Christmas it’s a small price to pay for tender dog when the belly rumbles). If you are a meat eater and have doubts or think that it’s insane, have a think next time where your beef, pork or chicken comes from and I guarantee you (particularly if you’re traveling through Asia) that the conditions it was kept it will be far from ideal. I also am sure that this thought won’t change many carnivore’s minds when offered a delicious cheeseburger or beef and black bean.
So, if you’re up for it I say give it a try, head up hospital to road and ask around for a dog meat restaurant. You may even find yourself a convert and craving it in the middle of the night.