"They eat dogs in China you know."
How many times have I heard this statement and wondered what the underlying message was designed to be. For goodness sake, other people eat snails, snakes, eels, kangaroo, lambs, deer, fish, pigs, horse, insects and all sorts of creatures. It's what many humans tend to do to fill their bellies - often because they enjoy the taste, sometimes through necessity. If the need arose, I suspect I'd gnaw on some foods that right now I'd prefer not to think about.
And just to put the record straight, not all dogs, fish or snails in China are destined for the dinner plate. Many of them will become pets, kept for their beauty, serenity, good fortune or plain lovability.
Every morning we'd look out of the hotel window and see groups of people training their dogs, chatting or walking briskly along before the heat of the day became unpleasant. Often the dogs would be off-leash and we nervously watched as the traffic streamed past and the dogs roamed free. But not once did one come close to being splattered! Although small dogs were most common, there were some large animals as well - Samoyed, Chow Chow, and others I didn't know.
Even though dog is on the menu at various restaurants, it's clearly not the meat of choice for everyone!
It's odd though, while I'll cheerfully eat some animals, others aren't quite as tempting. I don't pretend it makes sense and my somewhat more logical brain says that if I'll eat one animal, then why not all of them? My brain then tells me that if I'm unhappy about munching on dog then I shouldn't eat any meats at all. I'm obviously not as rational as I like to pretend I am!
My previous posts about Teaching in China were our Arrival, Banquets, Culture and Comfort foods, Driving, Exercise, Fabulous Food,Games, History, Illness, From Jerilderie to Jiangsu, Kenny (which is about toilets) Lists and Communication Misunderstandings, Non-verbal communication followed by The Observations of an Onlooker, and the next will be Questions!