One thing about China, everything is always fresh. You go to the market, you get fresh food, and you cook it. Canned and pre-processed foods are not as widely used as in the west. Of course, this means that you become more “intimate” with your food. For many Americans, probably most westerners, this may be a bit uncomfortable when dealing with animals. In China, most animals are alive when you select them for dinner. You actually look into the fish tank and pick the fish you want and in a very unceremonious fashion, the vendor nets it out and then slams it down into the ground killing it instantly.
The fish vendor’s wife must have had a long night as she is sleptt in her chair. In the tanks I saw all sorts of snails, fish, eels, and turtles – all for eating. Most of the locals would select the small fish and eels and take them in little plastic bags full of water in the same way a child in America takes home a pet goldfish. Well, you can’t get any fresher than that!
I wandered around the market taking photos. Eventually, I worked my way over to the “meat” area and found all sorts of critters to go on the chopping block: chicken, duck, geese, rabbit, dove, and even more. To save on download time and space, I’ll put the rest of the photos into a gallery below and you can look at those photos as you please. I did capture a video of the “animal” section of the market and posted it below this photo.
When I worked my way to the back of the market, I found some more critters that most westerners would find a bit distasteful. I urge everyone to remember that our standards and values are different from those in other countries. Ours aren’t necessarily better or worse, just different. Perhaps, as a hunter, seeing a live animal killed is less traumatic to me than someone who is vegetarian, but in countries where there is no supermarket, it is a way of life to kill your own food. As for the “type” of meat that one chooses to eat, this varies from region to region throughout the world. Eating beef is as equally offensive to most Indians as eating dog is to most Westerners.
I recommend reading Solbeam’s blog post regarding looking at the eating of different foods from the point of view of a person from another culture:
If you find the sight of slaughtered dogs distasteful, I recommend that you skp the next blog post “dog on the menu.”
Below are a few othershots showing the chickens, ducks, dove, turtles and rabbit that were offered for sale. The fish tank looks a bit crowded & one vendor was selling meat cleavers.
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