Dogs are loyal domestic mammals that are known to be mankind’s best friend, about 63.4 million households in the U.S own them, so it must be taboo for some people to consume them, no? Whereas multiple countries have a history of consuming dog meat for their own reasons, such as Switzerland, Nigeria, Ghana and more, one specific group of people is constantly targeted with the insult “dog eater.” More or less Asians, specifically East-Asians, have faced questions like: Do you eat dogs? Not from genuine curiosity but as a “joke” just because they are Asian, and more often than not the answer would be no, they haven’t eaten dog meat, but even if they did, then what?
Dog meat has a long tradition in China, being consumed in some regions from approximately 500 BC or even earlier. Today dog meat can be found in parts of the country, particularly in rural areas. Reasons dog eating may still be around today could be from traditions, ritual or cultural purposes or simply because it is a dietary staple or delicacy for some. A portion of Polish people believe that dog fat has medicinal properties such as relieving joint pain and body aches. For countries like South Korea, the most prevalent purpose of eating dogs was to fill their stomachs during the postwar food scarcity. Today this practice has mostly faded away, especially in the city where dogs are pampered pets.
Thus, it is true that a minority in Asian countries have considered dogs as food, as well as non-Asian countries. It is not offensive if the statement is left as that, yet the issue lies when it becomes a normalized and racist stereotype. Pigs are considered to be more trainable dogs, Muslims and Jews do not eat pig products due to their respective religions, yet one does not see them criticizing everyone who consumes pork. Moreover, western countries too have unique practices such as some people in the Southern United States having alligators in their cuisine, but one does not see an U.S citizen and immediately assume they eat alligator meat.
All regions have their own history and culture, if one doesn’t agree with the practice and prefers not to try it, simply move on to a different conversation instead of making derogatory phrases like “dog eater”.
Serena Ren / Orchard Hills 8th Grade
<Serena Ren / Orchard Hills 8th Grade