Eat Pray Love - Woland's Cosmopolitan Dog Blog
That awkward moment when your neighbor is served for dinner
While in one part of the planet people barely recovered from the New Year's feast and festivities, in another part of it, living on the lunar calendar, preparations for the feast are just beginning. For dogs living in Southeast Asia, this means only one thing: the human mafia goes hunting! But unlike the detective game, in the realities of Asia they hunt not for civilians, but for dogs. What for? - you will be surprised. Then, so that the local population celebrates the New Year, treating themselves to a dog baked on the grill with ginger and lemongrass. And for lovers of exotic, the chef will languish on the fire with a warm blood broth with pieces of stew: as they say, the dog is in its own juice.
According to the International Society for the Protection of Animals, about 30 million dogs are brutally killed and eaten every year in Asia. Of these, 5 million murders are in Vietnam, the country in which I lived (and survived) throughout 2016. If I had studied these statistics before, my paws would not have entered the sinful earth. But then I was naive and stupid, trusted people on the street and did not suspect that I was, in fact, one step away from a kitchen knife and barbecue.
Vietnam, in general, is a country of contrasts. Today you see your four-legged neighbor driving a moped, and tomorrow on the same moped they take him to a restaurant marked giả cầy, but, believe me, not to feed him a soup.Dog meat, no matter how treacherously it sounds from my lips, is rich in protein and is considered a healthier alternative to pork. Locals are sure that having eaten a dog on New Year's Eve, they will catch luck by the tail and gain good health. Unless, of course, choke on dog bone.
“Nothing personal, these are the traditions,” they will tell me in Asia. And they will be partly right, because eating dog meat is part of Asian culture and has its roots in the distant past. But does this tradition have a right to exist if the sadism and cruelty with which people kill us for meat is amazing? Is inhumanity in relation to animals the norm of Asian culture?
The answer to this question lies, oddly enough, in Asian cuisine. The more painful the dog’s death, the tastier (and more expensive) the meat will be, the local chef will tell you with confidence. No wonder the notorious dog meat festival in China is famous for the sophisticated methods that the butchers use to give us a "special" taste. Despite the fact that most Chinese claim that they have never eaten dogs, it is China that is the world leader in the number of "gastronomic" animal killings.
Last year, Taiwan became the first Asian country to introduce an official ban on eating dogs and cats. Will others follow suit, or will the New Year of the Dog again take away tens of millions of innocent dog lives?