I was teased recently by a group of visitors. "Do you eat dog meat?"
This is the season to eat dog meat traditionally in South China. And with one of the coldest spells of winter in the last 30 years in Asia many people have taken special precautions to "heat up" their bodies. A traditional method is the eating of dog meat and drinking brandy or rice wine.
Caution : Those who have abhorrence of reading about dog meat eating please stop reading here......
Dog meat eating is nothing new in Asia.
Some people I know used to regale friends and acquaintances with stories of their escapades in the eating of dog meat and other exotic meats in some friendly restaurants in Sibu. I suppose officials in bygone days usually turned a blind eye and remained sporting. Some would have even joined such dog meat eating parties all for the sake of gaining some good health .
A few of my friends even took trips overseas and overland in fact to eat dog meat in Thailand and now Vietnam. Taiwanese restaurants serve good dog meat dishes too. There are no laws there against dog meat selling.
And I remember several times a long time ago my Sibu relatives could even buy black dogs to slaughter to brew some special hot pots to help the elderly gain their strength back after a bout of illness. In fact some older sinseh even suggest a pot of dog meat stew or two when strength seems to fail . Special herbs are available to cook the dog meat. However with the Sibu Municipal Council and the SPCA getting stronger dog meat eating is rarely heard of nowadays.
We Chinese have a saying "Hanging goat head to sell dog meat" which refers to fraudulence practices. But it could be literally true too as most people would not sell dog meat publicly.
In fact once in Sibu one of my black dog disappeared and I suspected that one of my "naughty" neighbours had taken him to his pot. I never would adopt any more black dogs after that. Mine are now either white or brown or spotted in black and brown. Black dogs usually end up in someone's pot (even those with license plates).
However I have heard that Sarikei is very well known for dog meat eating. Some some VIPs (sorry!)are even given special treats of the delicious and health giving meat. According to a friend they have the "jalan".
And as a cure for asthma dog meat is really good according to one old wife who continually gave her husband the dog meat treatment for several years. Finally according to her he was really cured. Believe it or not!! Saveral members of my family have asthma but they have never tried.
It is not for me to say that dog meat eating should be banned because eating of dog meat is a folk custom. I know many would condemn outright the eating of dog meat. And again some would also say that if it is really for a medicinal purpose then it is alright to eat dog meat. We have to consider animal rights and the health concerns surrounding dog meat which could be diseased etc. And please do not eat my dog.
My neighbour has a beautiful Alsatian and I do not think I could eat him. He is so lovely and he keeps good guard along all the fences. Remember the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not covet your neighbour's dog/wife/bonzai."
But it can be one's personal choice to eat or not to eat.
All photos are from Google Images.
My sincere apologies to all those who eat dog meat for specific purposes.