Dog on the menu

WARNING:  The following post may be considered offensive to some.  If seeing a slaughtered dog will upset you, please skip to the next post.

As I worked my way from the “live” chickens, ducks, geese, doves and rabbits, I came to the butchering area.  I’m not sure if you buy your bird at the live stands and bring them here for slaughter if you don’t want to pluck and clean them yourself, or if these vendors just offer a different product – a plucked and gutted bird versus a live bird.

Then, I walked a little farther and was surprised by what I saw next.  I had been told that dog was a delicacy in Guangxi Province but I hadn’t expected this.

Looking back on my visit to this side of the market in Yangshuo, I most remember after I left the market.  I was feeling sick, tormented inside, perhaps a bit sad.  As a dog lover, I looked at these guys with sympathy but there was nothing I could do for them.  What made it worse, I think these dogs knew what was coming.  They watched as the other dogs were pulled out and then slaughtered in front of them.  Aside from the one dog in front who is showing his teeth, the rest looked pitifully sad.

The owners of this dog meat stand didn’t seem to mind at all if I took photos.  I paused for a moment and soaked in what I was looking at.  It was hard to stay “detached,” and just observe as a traveler.  Part of the reason that I am here is to see other cultures and to learn about them.  I tried to not be judgmental.  But, I did feel a bit helpless for those little dogs in the cage.  When I felt that I had just enough, I moved on.

At the next stand, the vendor had dogs and cats in cages.  I guess they eat cat here too.  This vendor did not want me taking photos, but I couldn’t resist.  The scene was a bit overwhelming; the loud “chop chop” of a meat cleaver bearing into dog bone and flesh, each hacking sound causing the cats to erupt with “meows” at every blow.  I switched the camera to video and just as I began taking a, the vendor picked up his meat cleaver and came after me.  I killed the video and ran off.  I only captured a 3/4 second video that won’t play on this site.  I pulled a photo off of it, you can see the guy coming around with the meat cleaver.

I found that the girls had finished their shopping and were waiting outside on the sidewalk.  We departed and I thought about what I had seen…

And yes, they do eat dog in China…

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