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Dog Meat In Beijing Ordered Off Menu For Olympics

As the Olympics with their spectacular venues, always inspiring events and amazing performances by all the athletes involved, are dancing in front of our eyes nightly, if not 24/7 for the next two weeks, I thought it as a good time to remember that although China has come a long way, they still have a long way to go in many areas, including animal rights.  So, I started writing about Dog & Cat Meat temporarily being taken off the menus in Beijing’s restaurants, when I came across the following article written about a month ago. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so have decided to share it instead. Thanks, Deborah!!  Let us hope that  the Chinese might be inspired to live up to their ‘One World Dream’ after being afforded the opportunity to  host the Olympics without living up to many of the standards and promises that went with that honor.  Pay it forward China… and you can start by leaving Dog and Cat meat off your menus!! Marion Algier – Just One More Pet~

With concerns of offending sensitivities of Western visitors and animal rights groups for next month’s Olympics and September’s Paralympics, Beijing’s Food Safety Office has issued a directive forbidding 112 restaurants and hotels from selling man’s best friend — dog meat to be specific (as well as cat meat) — on menus for the duration of the Olympics.

Dogs look out of their cages from a truck on a motorway on the outskirts of China's capital Beijing April 8, 2006. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

Warning, some images and content may be deemed highly offensive. As a passionate dog lover, this puppy’s intentions were meant to instill the realities and horrors [to some] of certain cultures taking place not only in China, but other areas as well for the sale and consumption of dog meat as a delicacy.

Dog meat — commonly known as ‘fragment meat’ in the area — is not traditional food fare in northern China, but it is a regular menu item in the large number of Korean restaurants in Beijing.

And in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Jiangsu, dog meat has recently become the latest trend for hip Beijingers. Fried “long dog tails” are a treat in many areas of China, “as long as all the hair is removed,” usually burning off if deep fried.

It’s become a popular delicacy in the country believed by many Chinese to be an effective element to lower high blood pressure, and said to have warming qualities in winter, hardly an issue in a scorching Beijing August.

The Chinese have eaten dog for 7,000 years , farming them for their meat even today. But dog is less popular these days because of the high feeding costs. Young dogs are preferred because the meat is softer.

The directive ordered Olympic contractor hotels not to provide any dishes made with dog meat, advocating all restaurants serving dog suspend it during the Olympics, and said any canine material used in traditional medicated diets must be clearly labeled. Many have been strongly advised to suspend serving it up to September.

Designated restaurants for the ban which are caught selling dog meat will be blacklisted by the association, but the punishment was not specified.

“We had a notice from the city restaurant association.” said a spokesman for Huatian Cold Noodles, a Korean restaurant chain which has a contract to provide Olympic catering. “We usually have about 20 dog meat dishes on our menu. It will certainly have an effect on our sales.”

One restaurant was claiming to know nothing about the ban yesterday. “If it applies to us, the effect will be huge.” said a member of staff at Dog Meat King, a small, specialist purveyor. “If we get an order like that, I have no idea what we would do.”

The move is part of efforts “to respect the dining customs of different countries” and also aimed at heading off protests by animal rights groups. It’s unclear whether other delicacies including donkey and horse will be kept off the menu for the Games.

Criticism from Westerners caused the dog meat-loving South Koreans to ban canine dishes for a period of time during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Dog Meat Customs
In some countries, apart from being kept as pets, certain breeds of dogs are raised on farms and slaughtered for their meat. Some eat it as an alternative source of meat or for specific medicinal benefits attributed to various parts of a dog.

In parts of the world where dogs are kept as pets, people generally consider the use of dogs for food to be a social taboo.

Though the consumption of dog meat is generally viewed as taboo in Western culture, some Westerners support the right to eat dog meat and accuse other Westerners who protest against dog eating in other countries of cultural imperialism and intolerance.

In Islamic culture, eating dogs is forbidden under Muslim dietary laws.

Cultural attitudes, legalities, and history regarding eating dog meat varies from country to country with very little statistical information available.

China
Dog meat has been a source of food in parts of China from at least the time of Confucius, and possibly even before. Ancient writings from the Zhou Dynasty referred to the “3 beasts” which were bred for food including pig, goat, and dog. Dog meat is sometimes euphemistically called “fragment meat” or “mutton of the earth.”

During a hard season when the food store was depleted in the past, dogs were occasionally slaughtered as an emergency food supply. Today it’s consumed for its perceived medicinal value of increasing the positive energy for the body (the yang), and helping to regulate blood circulation. Due to this belief, people eat dog meat in the winter to help to keep themselves warm. Others don’t eat it, believing it will overheat the body.

Contrary to some popular beliefs, the Chinese only eat dogs raised specifically for meat, not those raised as pets. They’re allegedly slaughtered between 6 and 12 months of age because of their size at that age, and for desirability of the meat.

Despite being a socially acceptable practice, the average Chinese don’t usually eat dog meat since it’s relatively expensive compared to other meats, being generally more accessible to affluent Chinese. 300,000 dogs are killed in the county annually, much of the meat being processed into stew for export across China and Korea.

The Chinese typically cook the dog meat by stewing it with thick gravy or by roasting it. One method of preparing the dog carcass is by immersion in boiling water, allowing the skin to be peeled off in one pull.

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 skinned while still alive.

In recent years, Chinese people are increasingly changing their attitude towards eating it from personal choice to unnecessary cruelty. A growing movement against consumption of cat and dog meat has gained attention from people in mainland China which began about 2 years after the formation of the Chinese Companion Animal Protection Network.

CCAPN began organizing well-publicized protests against dog and cat eating in January 2006, starting in Guangzhou, following up in more than 10 other cities “with very optimal response from public.”

Some Chinese restaurants in the United States serve “imitation dog meat” which is usually pulled pork, flavored to taste like dog meat.

According to the recent documentary TV from BBC, Tibetan monks in China also eat dog meat.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, a local ordinance dating from British colonial times which has been retained after the handover to Chinese sovereignty prohibits the slaughter of any dog or cat for use as food, with penalties of fines and imprisonment. Four local men were sentenced to 30 days imprisonment in December 2006 for having slaughtered 2 dogs.

Apart from this, a large proportion of people are currently against the consumption of dog meat.

Korea
Gaegogi — “dog meat” in Korean — is often mistaken as the term for Korean soup made from dog meat, bosintang. Since 1984, selling dog meat has been illegal in South Korea. Dog meat manufacturing and processing are not allo

The consumption of dog meat can be traced back many centuries. Dog bones were excavated in a Neolithic settlement in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang Province. One of the wall paintings in the Goguryeo tombs complex in South Hwangghae Province, a UNESCO World Heritage site which dates from 4th century AD, depicts a slaughtered dog in a storehouse.

Types of dishes include:
• bosintang — dog stew including dog meat as its primary ingredient.
• gaejangguk — dog meat soup.
• gaesuyuk — boiled dog meat.
• gaesoju — a fermented drink that is distilled by cooking the dog in a double boiler. Dog’s penis used to be added as a medicine to supplement energy.

Use of dogs for meat and the methods of slaughter used have generated friction between dog lovers, both Western and Korean, and people who eat dogs.

Today in Korea, a segment of the population eat bosintang (literally “invigorating soup”), believing it to have medicinal properties, particularly for virility. Dog meat is also believed to keep a person cool during the intense Korean summer.

Many Korean Buddhists consider eating meat an offense, which includes dog meat. Unlike beef, pork, or poultry, dog meat has no legal status as food in South Korea. Some in South Korea and abroad believe that dog meat should be legalized so that only authorized preparers can deal with the meat in more humane and sanitary ways, while others think that the practice should be banned by law.

In recent years, more and more Korean people changed their attitude towards eating dog meat from personal choice to unnecessary cruelty.

Japan
For Korean people in Japan, China is the only exporter of dog meat to Japan and exported 31 tons in 2006. Dog meat is available in Korean towns such as Tsuruhashi, Osaka and Okubo, and Tokyo.

Indonesia
In Indonesia, the consumption of dog meat is usually associated with the Minahasa, a Christian ethnic group in northern Sulawesi, and Batak tribe of Northern Sumatra who consider dog meat to be a festive dish and usually reserve it for special occasions like weddings and Christmas.

Popular Indonesian dog-meat dishes include Rica-Rica, “RW” or Rintek Wuuk, Rica-Rica Waung, Guk-Guk and “B1″.

Taiwan
Eating dogs has never been commonplace in Taiwan, but it is eaten in the winter months, particularly 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.

According to Lonely Planet’s Taiwan guide, it’s still possible to find dog meat on some restaurant menus, but becoming increasingly rare.

Vietnam
Dog meat is consumed throughout Vietnam to varying degrees of acceptability, though more predominantly in the north. Many dishes feature dog meat, often including the head, feet and internal organs.

Groups of male customers spend their evenings seated on mats sharing plates of dog meat and drinking alcohol as a form of ‘male bonding.’ They believe it to raise the libido, considering it unsuitable for women, although it’s not uncommon for women to eat dog meat.

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 only open for the last half of the lunar month.

Germany
Dog meat has been eaten in every major German crisis at least since the time of Frederick the Great, commonly referred to as “blockade mutton.”

In the early 20th century, consumption of dog meat in Germany was common, but since 1986 dog meat has been prohibited.

Switzerland
According to the November 21, 1996, edition of the Swiss newspaper Rheintaler Bote, 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 fibers than cow meat, has no hormones like veal, no antibiotics like pork.”

The production of food from dog meat, however, is illegal in Switzerland.

Canada
Consumption of dog meat is taboo in mainstream Canadian culture, but it may be practiced by some cultural minorities. In 2003, health inspectors discovered 4 frozen canine carcasses in the freezer of a Chinese restaurant in Edmonton.

The Edmonton health inspector consequently said that it’s not illegal to sell and eat the meat of dogs and other canines, as long as the meat has been inspected. The 4 canine carcasses were actually found to be coyotes.

Under Canada’s Wildlife Act, it’s illegal to sell meat from any wild species. There is no law against selling and serving canine meat, including dogs, but it must be killed and gutted in front of federal inspectors

United States
It’s considered a social taboo to eat dogs in the United States. Under California Penal Code, it’s a misdemeanor to possess, import into, or export from the state, sell, buy, give away, or accept any animal traditionally or commonly kept as a pet or companion with the intent of killing or having another person kill that animal for the purpose of using or having another person use any part of the animal for food.

Beijing Olympic Ban of Dog Meat

Sources: Reuters, Yahoo News, Telegraph, Independent, and Wikipedia

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By Deborah • July 11, 2008

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August 13, 2008 - Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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