While most Americans and Europeans hold strict food taboos pertaining to dogs and cats, these creatures and other domestic animals are consumed in many parts of the world.
Where Eating Dogs Isn’t Taboo
Dog meat is commonly consumed in China and Korea, as dog farms raise these creatures specifically for eating. For thousands of years, dogs were eaten in China for their medicinal properties and taste.
Many supporters of this practice don’t see any difference between eating dogs and eating pigs, cows, sheep and other mammals.
However, this tradition is causing many social problems within the nations, as emerging upper middle classes are turning their affluence into social pressure. Online petitions, protests and new legal proposals are swirling throughout Asia.
Under strict regulations, dog butchers and restaurants that serve the meat in China could face harsh penalties if new laws emerge. Jail time and fines would be levied on people who turn vagrant or stolen dogs into meat.
Which Cultures Eat Cats?
Eating cat is taboo in many cultures, but some communities still consume these creatures.
Some countries that utilize cats in cuisine include:
• Cameroon: Cats are ceremoniously eaten in this African nation during special events aimed at bringing good luck to a community.
• China: Southern Chinese residents consume nearly all parts of cats in meatballs, soups and other meals. However, recent political pressure has increased the momentum for a ban on consuming and selling cat meat.
• Switzerland: Some rural Swiss communities cook cats in several meals.
• Peru: Eating cats isn’t a daily occurrence in most Peruvian communities, but each September the town of La Quebrada hosts a festival that involves eating cat.
Eating cats is considered taboo in regions of Northern China, where it is believed that cats have souls. Jewish and Islamic dietary laws prohibit the consumption of cat meat.
Cat meat hasn’t been eaten regularly in Japan since the 19th century, while Koreans rarely consume the meat.
Eating Horse: France’s Delicacy
Some Western nations also partake in eating domestic animals, as horse is regularly eaten in France today, despite the country’s proximity to other European nations that revere this creature.
Eating horse is also one of the major food taboos of the United States. Proponents of consuming horse meat, however, argue that this food is not much different that the consumption of other cattle, such as cows.