Could you eat a dish containing cat or dog meat?
In some countries around the world, from Peru to Korea, you might find such items on the menu. It seems more of a psychological issue as to whether you might enjoy dining on a dog or cat. In the U.S., we often see them as beloved pets, and thus are very reluctant to consider them as an appetizer or entree. I might have some difficulty eating cat as I do own two and it would seem very strange to me.
Dogs and cats have long been popular food items in China. You'll find plenty of dog, known as "fragrant meat," restaurants in Beijing while cats are most popular in southern China. Cats are generally not as popular as dogs in much of China, as some Chinese are superstitious, believing that eaten cats might return to seek vengeance. Dogs are considered to offer many health benefits. Yet that may all change very soon, if a new law does get passed.
The National People's Congress, China's Parliament, will start its annual session on March 5. They decide which laws to pass and have previously been considered somewhat of a rubber stamp. But public opinion is starting to make inroads on their decisions. One of the proposed new laws they will consider this session would prohibit the "illegal consumption or sale" of cat or dog meat. The penalties would be a fine up to about $730 or up to 15 days in jail, with much larger fines for businesses.
Some Chinese activists and legal experts devised this proposed law, and it has met with much vocal opposition. It is unknown whether the law will actually be passed or not, and discussions concerning the law could continue for years. If it is passed, it would change an ancient tradition, and would economically affect numerous people, from restaurant owners to those vendors that raise cats and dogs.
Do you feel this law should be passed? Is there really a difference between eating dog and eating pork? If we outlaw dog and cat meat, should we outlaw other meats as well? Or all meat? Should ancient traditions be respected? Who is harmed by allowing the eating of dog and cat?
My own opinion is that no such law should be passed in China, or elsewhere. I don't feel there is a real difference between pork and dog, except a psychological issue that may exist with some people. I might have difficulty eating cat, but would not want it banned. If there are issues with raising the dogs and cats, issues similar to pork factory farms in the U.S., then work on those issues rather than ban the meat.
What are your thoughts?