back to article Chinese demand end to canine carvery festival

A whopping 8 million Chinese citizens have called on Beijing to call time on the country’s infamous Yulin Lychee Dog Meat Festival, saying it was harming the country’s image abroad. The 10-day festival begins this week, and an estimated 10,000 pooches – and a substantial side of cats – are set to be served up each day for the …

  1. Dave 15

    At one level

    At one level the organizers are right, it is ridiculous to complain about eating one sort of animal while eating another. (and yes I am a meat eating dog owner).

    However, it is not really the eating of meat that annoys me so much but the barbaric practices around the killing. According to the Chinese the meat is better if the animal dies in fear and agony, for this they go to quite hellish extremes. They aren't the only ones, seems to be a far eastern culture in general.... using sledge hammers to slaughter cows is fresh in the mind from earlier in the week, and pumping large whales full of harpoons is hardly friendly.

    No slaughter house is going to be nice, no killing is 'cute' or 'done tenderly with love' - I know I used to work in one when at college. However there are some limits in western culture and a desire not to make things worse than needed.... a total opposite to the eastern approach.

    Perhaps people should remember this when buying Chinese made products... both directly or because so many of our manufacturers have most of it made in China and merely stick a label on in the UK.

  2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    A dog isn't just for Christmas...

    Beyond taste and texture; how is eating one edible animal different to eating any other?

    There are plenty of things which can be eaten which turn my stomach at the mere thought, and it wouldn't surprise me if I eat some things which disgust others. But I am pretty sure there would be things I would eat if I didn't suspect they weren't something I couldn't.

    Each to his own. Live and let live. Though perhaps not entirely appropriate when we are talking of animal slaughter.

    1. Mikel

      Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

      Animals that eat other animals rather than plants - particularly feral ones - tend to be a more risky disease vector.

      We eat pork and pigs are omnivorous, and chickens are fed meat meal also, but in agriculture great care is taken to preventing introduction of disease in animal feed. Not so with feral pets.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

      I can think of one differentiating factor usually quoted by the dog and cat lovers crowd - intelligence.

      However, on that count, we are not doing particularly great as far as differentiating. A domestic pig is at least as intelligent as a dog or cat (quite amazing for an animal that has been bred solely for food). It can be trained to a similar standard. In fact, it can even be house trained.

      In any case, my guinea pig pet is a Bolivian's fav stew, British ruling class prized pet horses brings in several other Eu countries thoughts of nice salami and so on.

      IMHO the line should be drawn at wild vs domestic. If it is domestic, if it is bred for eating, well it can and it should be eaten. Now do you like it or not is a matter of taste.

      1. eesiginfo

        Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

        From what I have learned... pigs are in a different (higher) league to dogs and cats, when it comes to genuine intelligence.

        Primarily this is based on conceptual understanding of a given scenario.

        One particularly memorable test, was when pigs were taught to control a joystick to manoeuvre a digital ball into a goal.

        The pigs quickly grasped the concept... the goal could be placed anywhere on screen, and they would easily move the ball into the goal.

        No dog tested could ever become conceptually aware, so they could only ever put the ball in the goal by accident.

        The horrific conclusion is that pigs can conceptually understand what is going on around them.

        Do I still eat pork?

        Yes.... I can deal with this..... but yeah.... don't spend too long thinking about this.

      2. PNGuinn
        Stop

        "IMHO the line should be drawn at wild vs domestic"

        I'm afraid have to disagree:

        Domestic: Bred for food, compliant with health regs etc - ok. Bred as a pet, could be ok on health grounds (eg rabbit, hamster, chicken etc) or not - omnivorous feral cat, dog (ie pet)...

        Wild: Fish, pheasant, partridge, deer, wood pigeon... ok. Sewer rat, mouse, feral pigeon ... err...

        Ok its late - there are better examples.

        I think the definition's slightly awry. Although, I have to admit whatever it is, somewhere in the world it's probably a delicacy.

      3. Putters

        Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

        "In any case, my guinea pig pet is a Bolivian's fav stew."

        I have a 1930s UK published Homekeeping book. It has a large pet care section. And a good section on keeping guinea pigs as pets. The last paragraph of which reads "In flavour they are rather like rabbit, but due to their small size are best opened out flat and fried with bacon".

        Interestingly it doesn't refer to how to cook rabbits, though they have their own pet care section. Probably because in the 1930s it was so common as to not be worth writing about

    3. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

      "Beyond taste and texture; how is eating one edible animal different to eating any other?"

      Would you eat human? The issue is with the killing not eating bit.

      I don't feel that strongly about it but I see an argument that dogs are a social species which can be and are integrated into our society and so are deserving of some of the benefits of our society. I can see the same argument for some other species, primates, perhaps even some bird species.

      Can't see a problem with letting them eat cat.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

        I don't see a moral problem with eating humans per se. If they are of low intelligence it doesn't matter morally. Many children, especially mentally disabled children are no more intelligent than adult dogs or pigs. So as long as they are raised with good welfare and then slaughtered humanely with a tractor logo on the packaging I don't see a problem with farming them.

        We could raise a breed of disabled humans, slaughter them at age three or so. Would be good business, good profit. Put it on countryfile on BBC so we can meet the hard working child farmers doing their bit for Britain. Celebrities binding with the children in the field and crying when they are sent to slaughter - shows compassion - but then a quick joke about loving human bacon for breakfast too much to care.

        1. x 7

          Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

          "We could raise a breed of disabled humans"

          no need to go that extreme, just take advantage of the current fad of growing human/pig hybrids for production of organs for transplant. You could breed a race of human-looking pigs for consumption. Once you'd optimised production then the possibilities are endless - use them instead of foxes or deer for hunting (eat what you kill). Or you could house them in tribal-style villages and charge people to take part in attacks, re-enactments of tribal warfare in which the hybrids get wiped out and eaten. |Or use them in a modern version of the Roman Arena. And of course as the hybrids won't be properly human, the laws regarding underage sex won't apply: every pervert could buy his own underage dream delight and do whatever he wanted. All those porno cannibal stories could be for real

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas... @x7

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niOm01dEzzI

          2. Ubermik

            Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

            I think they already do grow human pig hybrids

            But some odd reason they tend to end up with odd coloured hair like purple, blue or pink in colour but they have the habits and intellect of pigs but with the general appearance of pig shaped people

            I think the scientific name for that sub species of people is "Homofeminist" :)

          3. Dave 15

            Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

            If the laws on underage don't apply... you would have to check (as I have no idea) whether bestiality is outlawed ... given how prudish the UK is I expect it is

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas... @NomNomNom

          You're name is Jonathan Swift and I claim my five pounds. :)

        3. Pedigree-Pete
          Thumb Up

          Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

          It had to be you NomNonNom! PP

    4. MrDamage
      Joke

      Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

      They're also nice in a sandwich on Boxing Day too.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        WTF?

        "They're also nice in a sandwich on Boxing Day too."

        Can't believe you didn't post AC on that one.

        1. MrDamage

          Re: "They're also nice in a sandwich on Boxing Day too."

          @ John Smith 19

          I always post under my name. I don't see the point in hiding behind AC for just a simple joke, even though it seems one person didn't have a sense of humour.

    5. joed

      Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

      Coming from different culture I'd not participate in the festivities but I do find an issue with the pet obsessed culture. I'm curious what do "pet loving citizens" feed to their pets. The lesser animals? Can we call this hypocrisy?

      1. Chris Parsons

        Re: A dog isn't just for Christmas...

        I think you - and others - are missing the point that a huge amount of cruelty goes into the killing at this festival. If you think cruelty is acceptable, then I'm afraid I don't.

  3. ma1010 Silver badge
    Alert

    It's more possible to be uncertain than you might think

    True story. Back in the 70's there was a restaurant in Carlsbad, New Mexico which was really popular, the sort of place that got jammed during lunch every day.

    Suddenly, it closed. Turns out a health inspector caught them adding cat meat to some of their dishes. Ewww.

    With my strange mind, I wondered where the cats came from. I doubt they got them from the local deli. Did they send the employees home at night with bags and orders to fill them?

    The world is a strange place.

    1. Putters

      Re: It's more possible to be uncertain than you might think

      Goes back a lot further than the 70's - from Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days"

      " Having transacted his business at the passport office, Phileas Fogg repaired quietly to the railway station, where he ordered dinner. Among the dishes served up to him, the landlord especially recommended a certain giblet of "native rabbit," on which he prided himself.

      Mr. Fogg accordingly tasted the dish, but, despite its spiced sauce, found it far from palatable. He rang for the landlord, and, on his appearance, said, fixing his clear eyes upon him, "Is this rabbit, sir?"

      "Yes, my lord," the rogue boldly replied, "rabbit from the jungles."

      "And this rabbit did not mew when he was killed?"

      "Mew, my lord! What, a rabbit mew! I swear to you—"

      "Be so good, landlord, as not to swear, but remember this: cats were formerly considered, in India, as sacred animals. That was a good time."

      "For the cats, my lord?"

      "Perhaps for the travellers as well!"

      After which Mr. Fogg quietly continued his dinner.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: It's more possible to be uncertain than you might think

        Goes back a lot further than the 70's - from Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days"

        There is a reason why in Italy you are not allowed by food regs to sell rabbit without its head. No further comment is really necessary. Meow...

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Hunger, the best sauce

    I used to be a horse owner and I have eaten horse stew in Belgium on a few occasions, dumplings,carrots and spuds etc, very nice but personally I would not breed horses for food.

    I have done some time in the army and experienced a couple of survival course where we gotto eat squirrel, rat and worms amongst other things and I think if I was hungry enough I could probably eat almost anything.

    If society collapsed and there were no shops to buy food from and not enough time to grow crops and my family and two cats were starving, I would cook and eat the family to keep me and the cats going 'til we could find something better.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Hunger, the best sauce

      If society collapsed and there were no shops to buy food from and not enough time to grow crops and my family and two cats were starving, I would cook and eat the family to keep me and the cats going 'til we could find something better.
      You're only saying that because the cats are reading this, and you are hoping they'll spare you to prep the others. But you don't realize that your youngest has already made a deal with the devilskitties that will have you be the first on their menu. (Maybe you should have paid a larger allowance?)

    2. Bloakey1

      Re: Hunger, the best sauce

      <snip>

      "If society collapsed and there were no shops to buy food from and not enough time to grow crops and my family and two cats were starving, I would cook and eat the family to keep me and the cats going 'til we could find something better."

      I agree, i also have done a few survival course where we eschewed the bunny due to rabbit starvation and went for the larger furry things and the odd one that dwelt in the trees, communal dustbins were also an amazing resource.

      Best to keep the family alive for a bit as their excrement would make good manure for the cannabis and opium poppy fields that you would need to help you chill until the end times. The bones are also quite good as fertiliser.

      Cats, hmmm well you would obviously need some p̶u̶s̶s̶y̶ cat action so I can see where you are coming from, there but i am more of a dog man myself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hunger, the best sauce

        Cats, hmmm well you would obviously need some p̶u̶s̶s̶y̶ cat action so I can see where you are coming from, there but i am more of a dog man myself

        Just wave some cheap booze around at closing time...

        1. Bloakey1
          Joke

          Re: Hunger, the best sauce

          "Just wave some cheap booze around at closing time..."

          How dare you sir! In Wimbledon we do it with a Rolex and some Prosecco. I said I was into dogs and not all things porcine!!!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hunger, the best sauce

      Chris G: If society collapsed and there were no shops to buy food from and not enough time to grow crops and my family and two cats were starving, I would cook and eat the family to keep me and the cats going 'til we could find something better.

      Mmmm, long pig....

  5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    It seems that if there are no farms and it's true that they are stealing the property of other people it is little different from cattle rustling and should be investigated. At some point it will come down to excessive costs of either bribes, fines or simply investigative delays. You'd have thought that in China they would have sufficient bureaucracy to at least duplicate their equivalent of the FDA.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Chinese equivalent of the FDA? Probably the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), but you're talking about the authority that oversaw the melamine in milk scandal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal that had 300,000 victims.

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Roof rabbit, blockade mutton...

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge
  8. x 7

    too many stray dogs in China

    just regard this festival as a more cost-effective version of an animal rehousing scheme. Think of all the strays the RSPCA puts down due to the sheer numbers that can't be rehomed...........

    Eating them would be far less wasteful and also make the roundup self financing

  9. Likkie

    Don't be evil!

    I don't have a problem with people eating dog or cat meat provided the animals are slaughtered in a human manner.

    It's the barbarism that is so abhorrent.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Truth about Cats and Dogs

    Is they taste delicious if well prepared.

    A butcher friend visiting France said he spotted what was being sold as rabbit but he said something about the layout of the kidneys being wrong. Seems like moggy chops aren't just sold in the orient.

  12. Cowfish

    Something wrong with these people

    Eating pets, animals or humans isn't my main concern here.

    As Dave 15 mentioned, the problem is the barbarism.

    Until I searched on Youtube I didn't actually believe that in China dogs are very often skinned alive, or have blow torches methodically applied to them to add flavour to the meat from adrenaline.

    It might spoil your day if you search online for this.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What always surprises me is that for what's usually a fairly scarily authoritarian state, particularly if anyone engages in oppositional political activity, China seems to be completely unable or unwilling to deal with this.

    From what I've read it's completely illegal under Chinese national and regional laws. It's causing a massive international PR disaster for the state and the region.

    Very à la carte approach authoritarian dictatorship, if you ask me!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As long as its done in the same way as say a similar thing would be for lamb, beef and other meats I cant see the issue.

    I have been a dog owner most of my life and although I am not a big fan of cats and view them closer to vermin than pets, or a "pet" for people too lazy to actually look after a proper pet in most instances bear them no ill.

    But they ARE just animals, and animals have meat which is still one of the most concentrated source of protein there is. Which in countries where food isnt as abundant as it is here in the west (partly because a lot of THEIR food is shipped here) eating a wider range of animals just makes sense

    If two thirds of people object to it then all that should really mean is that two thirds of people shouldnt attend the show. After all, the remaining third is still more people than you can shake a VERY big stick at.

    But I suspect as with most modern day news stories the "statistics" quoted are going to be on a par with feminists, governments and global warming activists "statistics" in terms of being true and were probably obtained by only polling people that were protesting the event lol

  15. Chris Hunt

    "Puzzlingly, according to the report, 69.5 per cent of respondents said they had never eaten dog meat – which leaves a chunky majority who either have or are simply unsure."

    Do Tesco operate in China, by any chance?

  16. JaitcH
    Unhappy

    Think about cats, rats, monkeys and cute bugs as well as dogs!

    Dogs are eaten in many parts of the world including South America and Indochina.

    Chinese residents in the areas bordering VietNam love Vietnamese cats - in fact the illegal exports were so bad that heavy jail sentences were introduced for smugglers as the Vietnamese rat population rebounded in the absence of cats.

    In the MeKong Delta, VietNam's rice bowl, rats are the meal de jour after the rice harvest has been gathered. The rats feast on the rice as it dries in the sun.

    In ZhenZhen, China, a delicacy is to catch a live bug from a bowl, dip in chile sauce and munch on it, spitting out the shells.

    In HongKong, in the classier restaurants, you might notice a round 'lid' in your table. If you glance at a nearby table you might notice that there is a leather harness hanging under the 'lid'. These harnesses hold scalped monkeys, with the bared brain held centrally under the 'lid'.

    At the appropriate time in the multi-course meal, the wait staff will lift the lid off and lay a large spoon next to it. Then the guests will literally 'dig in', scooping the erstwhile live monkey's brain on to their plates! The monkey's feel nothing as the brain has no nerves - the monkey just get a mental 404.

    Then there is the cooked, breathing, fish!

    Back in the day, the powerful Empress Dowager Cixi - the one who built a stone boat - liked fresh fish, the fact attested to as the fish, with a well fried rear end was attached to it's real, breathing head. The cook would catch the fish from a tank outside the kitchen, wrap the head in a cloth - which served as a handle, then wok the hell out of the nether end then rush it in to the empress.

    If the fish was not breathing when the fish was served, the cook would be executed!

    You can still get this dish, even in London, but the cooking technique has changed (RSPCA). These days they take a gutted fish, i.e. definitely dead, and cook it. Just before serving, the cook pours some alcohol in the cooked fish's gills. The heat causes the alcohol to change to gas, and to push the gills open - creating an illusion that it is breathing. I have seen grown, adult, diners faint at seeing this!

    Bon appetite!

    1. Lamont Cranston
      FAIL

      Re: Think about cats, rats, monkeys and cute bugs as well as dogs!

      You left out the part where you saved all the children from the Thuggee cult of Kali.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Post-pub nosh neckfiller

    Where is El Reg Special Projects Bureau when you need them... My recommendation is Kung Pao Chick..ur.. substitute you choice of canine or feline for chicken. I can not be the only one who thought they ate a cat after waking up the next morning after a long night at the pub.

    1. x 7

      Re: Post-pub nosh neckfiller

      a few years back a local Chinese takeaway was caught with seagulls in the freezer

  18. Pedigree-Pete
    Happy

    Local Chinese Take Away.

    Our local Chinese Take Away is affectionately known as "The Rat & Cat". I've never had cause to complain about the food I've had from them. PP

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