Have You Eaten Dog (or Cat) Meat? You Might Be Surprised…

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Eating Cat Meat in China

A lot of people HATE the thought of eating dog (or cat).

But, I’m not going to lie to you…

… dog can be really delicious.

Note: Keep in mind that this is not an article about whether it’s right, wrong, or ethical to eat dog or cat meat; This is simply an article about eating dog and cat meat.

As a world traveler and adventurous eater, I keep an open mind (and mouth) wherever I go.

When I was in China, I was able to have a few meals that not only included dog meat… but also cat meat! But let’s first talk about dog…

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Eating Dog Meat in China

Eating Dog Meat

Spending time in Guangxi Province (southern China) I was able to enjoy meals that included dog a number of times.

A few local Chinese friends were just as excited as I was when they discovered that I too was a fan of the prized meat.

Dog meat has been eaten for thousands of years…

… and NOT just in China.

Central America, South America, Polynesia, Europe, North America, Africa, and of course parts of Asia have all been recorded as dog devouring continents (YES, in most parts of the world dog has been eaten).

But as of now, the most famous dog eating nations are China (Guangdong and Guangxi provinces), Korea and Vietnam.

Dog is a delicacy in China, it’s not an everyday meat like chicken or pork – it’s a fragrant meat that’s enjoyed on special occasions with friends and possibly beer. Dog meat should be eaten with respect.

Dog soup, braised dog, dog stew, stir fried dog and dog meat hot pot are all typical and common Chinese dishes.

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Eating Dog Meat – Dog Meat Clay Pot

What Does Dog Taste Like?

It’s a red meat, quite fatty, and extremely fragrant. Take a cross between beef and mutton, add extra meaty flavoring, and you’ve got the taste of dog.

The braised dog I ate was cooked in a clay pot along with huge cloves of garlic and chillies, it was mildly spiced with a splash of soy sauce and I detected a hint of cinnamon or anise in the mix.

Braised on high heat in the clay pot, the dog was cooked so the chunks of meat were extremely tender and slipped right off the bone.

If Kobe beef is the superlative beef of the world, dog is the crème de la crème of all meat!

It was so tasty and delicious that if it wasn’t for the “psychological thought of eating dog”, everyone would probably love it.

After eating dog meat, beef tastes flavorless.

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Cat Meat Hot Pot

Eating Cat Meat

Just like dog, cat meat has been eaten around the world. Nowadays cat is still enjoyed in parts of Peru, Switzerland and of course, China!

I’ve only eaten cat meat once, and it was alright, but definitely what I would call a little on the bizarre side.

I had no idea what to expect when I ordered a braised cat meat hot pot in China. I honestly was thinking the meat might be similar to chicken, but it surely wasn’t.

My preconceived thought of eating cat was blown away.

It arrived at our table, a giant intimidating wok medley of slow cooked spices, garlic, chives, and tons of little bite sized chunks of cat.

There must have been a half a cat in this dish!

My nose detected the delights of star anise and dried Sichuan chillies.

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Yes, that’s a cat tooth.

How Does Cat Taste?

Searching through the hot pot was a little bit disturbing, I could notice the various parts of the cat, like its entrails and even its teeth mixed throughout the dish.

The meat was not like chicken at all, it was a light colored red meat – not that deep dark meat like dog.

It tasted slightly similar to pork, yet full of weird little transparent fish like bones and with an ever so slight tinge of sour aftertaste.

I will say one thing, the boneless chunks were a lot easier to eat than the little boney pieces. The cat intestines were surprisingly good, tender and flavorful – some of the best intestines I’ve had.

Overall, the cat hot pot was tasty, but definitely not my favorite meat I’ve tried in this world.

Dog vs. Cat

In this gastronomic sampling of Chinese food, I’d have to go with dog. The meat was much more tender with a pleasant flavor. Cat on the other hand was average and not something to really look forward to eating.

If you’d like to see some graphic butcher photosclick here (but don’t say I didn’t warn you).

What are your thoughts?

Would you eat dog or cat meat? Have you already tried them?

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Comments

  1. says

    Twelve years ago I spent nine weeks in China for work. During that time I had dinner with new friends in the Suzhou office I was working at. I had a wonderful meal. Afterwards they told me one of the dishes was dog. And while it tasted great I told them that I didn’t want to do that again. If I was starving and was forced to eat it I would to survive but I can’t bring myself to eat dog or cat because I have/had them as pets!

    • says

      Thanks for sharing Andi, and I fully understand. When thinking about eating dog meat it can be disturbing especially if we’ve had a close pet before.

  2. says

    There really is only one logically consistent choice: eat meat, or don’t eat meat. If you eat cows and chickens there is no real reason to reject eating dogs or cats, other than taste.

    If someone finds the thought of killing and eating one type of living creature to be beyond the pale, perhaps it’s time for them to stop eating any living creature.

    For my part, I love a tasty meal. Thanks for sharing your culinary insights into this unusual delicacy.

    • says

      Great input Brian. Other than the psychological thought of eating a dog, it’s really the same as eating any other animal. One may have a pet pig and never want to eat pork. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      • jen says

        hmmmmmm, not really. I know I’m late to reply as just stumbled across this, but have you ever researched the way dogs and cats are farmed….? There really is no way to farm these types of animals humanely in the same way as a domestic herd animal like a sheep or cow. It is an extremely cruel process from beginning to end and they will often beat and torture the cats and dogs prior to slaughter as it apparently makes the meat more “tender! Dogs and cats will be in small cages, not fields or large sheds. They live a life of misery, discomfort and totally the wrong type of living conditions for their species.

        • Sally says

          They torture those poor animal with impunity, they think that this will make the meat tender. They feel nothing for these beings. The dogs feel fear and pain as mush as we do.

          I feel a great weight on my shoulders, and so powerless. I have decided to give up eating meat after as my protest against this inhumane practice. I wish I could do more.

          SB

    • john zolis says

      so the difference between a animals IQ.. how much it understands what is going on … how it is subjected to life and death for our purpose of food not to mention that in China dogs are skinned alive but for the barbarians on this page thats ok… I say why not eat people and you guy would be the first on my table…disgusting homo sapiens…

        • john zolis says

          I did read your post about the ethicacy- regardless of that fact, by promoting a culture that TORTURES ITS FOOD BEFORE CONSUMING IT – Is a blatantly irresponsible as the act itself.

          • Davina says

            I agree. That’s the real atrocity. The fact that the animals are tortured beforehand. I don’t, and wouldn’t eat dog just as many Asians don’t eat dogs. (especially those trying to be close to Buddha as dog is one of the forbidden meats). BUT each to his own. If this is going to happen, treat the animal with respect. Other predators don’t have the intelligence or the compassion to do that but we do. (Cc Mark Wiens)

      • vietquan says

        Dog also have IQ,like us.They know what is happening.Like us, if we are dogs people will take us or our friends away,kill it and roast it and then cut it’s head off.It’s yicky.

        • says

          Vietquan, Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals.

          All mammals have families and friends and care about what happens to both…and what happens to them.

          You are practicing Species-ism (it’s true, Google it :)

          Mark, great article – you may be interested in understanding why we eat cows, pigs and lamb, but not dogs or cats. It is called Carnism and it is fascinating.

          http://www.carnism.com/

      • moni says

        I totally agree! Its not ok just because it has been done for thousands of years! Are gladiators still around ? It would be nice to think we have evolved. Dogs and cats are mans friend and pet and are extremely smart and whomever thinks they are not are the unitelligent ones. Especially partaking within a culture that is boldly and openly cruel makes one as barbaric as them and again, I like to think we have evolved. Shameful.

      • Yong says

        You talk shit, do you skin you cow alive ? May be for an idiot like you!

        Best wishes from a simple China man.

      • Yong says

        You talk shit, do you skin you cow alive ? May be for an idiot like you!

        Best wishes from a simple China man.

  3. says

    While we are not vegetarian when we are on the road (we are at home) and I am not saying eating meat is bad, but when you really think about it, it’s all a little gross.

    I am not sure how a culture comes to value one animal so much over another. We have no problem eating beef, poultry, pork, etc. but dogs, cats and horses are totally off limits. Intellectually, it doesn’t make any sense.

    • says

      Thanks Caanan, yah, it is a very interesting thought, and you’re totally right. For instance in the US, think about a cow and the next thought is probably either milk or steak or a burger. When thinking about a dog, the thought is definitely not dinner.

  4. says

    I never thought I’d try dog, but then you just said it’s like a richer beef… those words made me melt a little. Red meat is my favorite. However, my dog ollie is sitting right next to me. It’s kind of hard to imagine. I’ll be in China by this time next year, so I’ll have the choice to make for myself! Very intriguing post!

    • says

      Haha, thanks for sharing Ava. If you do enjoy red meat, I’m guessing you’ll probably like dog meat. I honestly think it’s way more flavorful than beef. If you do decide to sample some in China, you’ve got to let me know how you like it!

    • john zolis says

      disgusting that you are a guardian to a companion animal and would consider eating a similar species – you appall me.

      • นกกระจอก says

        I eat chicken? I also have pet chicken.

        I eat fish? I also have pet goldfish.

  5. says

    I can’t say I’m crazy about the idea of eating either one. But really, I can’t say why, either. It really makes no sense to discriminate between animals, as the other commenters have said.

    Bravo to you for writing the post.

    • says

      Thank you Heather! I actually wrote this post months ago and just finally decided it was the right time to hit publish. Can’t blame you about not being crazy about the idea!

  6. says

    Oh dear. I agree with Caanan here – weird how we can eat some animals, but others not. I guess it’s the emotional bond we have with dogs. Having had dogs as pets all my life, I really couldn’t possibly try dog meat. Ever. But I admire you for trying it!

    • says

      Thank you Christina! I think part of the reason I don’t have much emotional problems with eating dog and cat is that I haven’t had them as pets before – only as guard dogs. I fully understand the way you feel though, and it’s definitely alright to never eat dog!

  7. says

    whaha!!!!…. I eat dogs meat but not cat because here in the Philippines dog’s meat is one of the delicacy dish and one of the famous dish is CALDERTA it is like pot roast but i little bit
    spicy and it taste like beef and you wouldn’t know it a dog’s meat……

    yhum!!.. yhum!!..

    Holly crap!!.. right im craving for the Calderata hehehe!!!!..

    • says

      Haha, thanks Glen! I wasn’t able to try calderta in the Philippines, but I’ll definitely try to find it if I’m ever back in the Philippines. Is it popular in Manila, or in the countryside?

  8. says

    You found cat teeth in it? I think I would have gagged. But I’m definitely not as adventurous of an eater as you and can’t get past the psychological part of eating dog or cat meat!

    • says

      Yup, there were some really weird things in that giant cat meat hot pot including teeth, I think I found the roof of the mouth, and some really weird bones. That’s totally alright if you can’t get past the psychological part!

  9. Jack says

    In some places in Africa people eat humans, so what’s next…Lets eat humans as well now….or in China baby fetus is a delicacy ..so lets go for it as well…or dolphins….or shark fin soup or Rhino horns or elephant meat ?

    Where will it all stop guys…I know due to poverty and lack of food resources we eat fish & meats and its taste as well plus we do discriminate among meats…but if we are allowed to do as we please, it won’t be too long when many Animals become extinct…

    I’m no PETA supporter or vegan or anything, I eat chicken & fish but somewhere down my heart, i do regret it and my whole aim is to reduce it when i can and not go over drive to eat everything that i see ..

    However, That being said…I completely understand what Mark has said and I respect it and am’i a big big fan of Migrationology…..Nothing personal…Its just my opinion…and my way of looking at dog meat..

    Also, I’m not protesting or saying people should not eat dog meat or whatever..Its everyone choice…I don’t believe in laws or banning it etc..its a decision everyone has to make personally..

    Thanks.

    • says

      Jack, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Yes, some things in this world that are being eaten for pleasure have been taken too far. Like others on this article have mentioned, it’s interesting how we’ve classified some animals as edible and others we’ve shunned from eating. Definitely any animal that’s on its way to extinction or that has to suffer as a result of becoming a meal (ex. slicing off only a shark fin) is not something I’d agree with, but as long as the animal is properly butchered and there’s a large amount, it’s up to the individual if they want to eat it or not. Thank you so much for sharing your opinion about this and thanks for reading my thoughts!

      • john zolis says

        you say properly butchered ?? what about the process of torturing the animal for increased flavor then ? as in the Asian cultures you are a hypocrite. Unless you believe that to be properly butchered?

        • John Bait says

          John, leave your soft heart out of this discussion. Killing an animal without pain or not doesn’t really matter to the animal being butchered – in the end, the poor animal is still dead. Personally, I think it is more respectful to the animal to use all of its parts, to sort of make up for the sacrifice it did.

          To be honest, I don’t think I will ever have the courage to try dog or cat meat. This is not a question of philosophy but more of familiarity.

          Mark, I’ve recently been to Bangkok and your blog has helped make the experience memorable for me and my wife!

      • john zolis says

        Why did you not comment on the cannibalism aspect? So if you were offered that in Africa would you ???

      • Cate says

        What is not acceptable is the manner in which these animals are raised (captured and sometimes stolen); nor the methods in which they are killed. The fact remains that while some would argue it’s a tradition (eating dogs/cats) there is also the fact that foot binding was also a “tradition” therefore that case that one must hold to tradition no longer holds water as a valid reason for this practice to continue. If a person feels he or she simply must eat a dog then raise it and humanely kill it (a 22 to the head should do the trick)….however by eating at any establishment that serves dog or cat meat one is economically, socially and ethically placing their support behind a vile, cruel and sickening industry that should be abolished.

      • Yong says

        I think the slicing of shark fins from a live shark is staged, would any normal IQ person do this without the thought of being bitten by a live shark? Once out of the water, the shark will be suffocated in minutes. Would you believe that the chicken serve in Kentucky are from factory where they are dressed alive ?

      • Calvin says

        Did you know that the white race are most responsible for causing many animals to be extinct due to their limitations of which animal is allowed to be eaten? Chinese eat everything.. if you seriously read dig chinese culture, dogs and cats aren’t the only food eaten in asian culture that westerners are not accustom to… how about frogs, turtle, snakes, lizards.. I love frog legs..
        In my grandparents time, cockroaches were eaten (I’m afraid to eat insects), while in Indonesia, fried locust are sold commonly to be eaten..
        Asian people eat everything under the sun that is edible, as they are not restricted by a bible, but that also results in have zero (I think) extinctions..

  10. says

    Wow I like your honest about eating dog and cat meat – I couldn’t bring myself to eat either and the most adventurous thing I’ve eaten is chicken feet! I’m glad you can’t see the dog or cat bones in this post!

    • says

      Thanks for reading Natasha! I was just thinking that I’ve read a few other blogs about eating dog and most have mentioned that it wasn’t their favorite and they probably wouldn’t ever eat it again, so I thought I’d just share my honest opinion about it. Did you enjoy chicken feet?

  11. says

    I’ve had dog meat here in Korea. It was roasted or something, with a nice dipping sauce. And, like you said, it’s really flavorful. It was tender and fatty as well. I liked it!

    I’ve always had dogs so it was a little weird for me. But I find it pretty easy to try anything by just thinking of it as food. I’m not sure if I want to eat it again, but I have no problem with people doing so.

    In Korea, there are pet dogs and there are livestock dogs. They’re not the same kind of dog. It’s all cultural, really. (Also, not many Koreans eat dog anymore).

    • says

      Thank you for sharing Rachel, glad to hear that you’ve tried dog as well and enjoyed it, even though you’ve had pets. I actually went hunting for some bosintang when I was in Seoul a few months ago, but couldn’t find it. I didn’t have a lot of time, but just tried at one restaurant that I had searched for and I guess they had been shut down. Eating dog is becoming less popular in Korea now? Do you think it’s largely the younger generation?

  12. says

    I’ve eaten dog meat and I enjoyed it as well. As for the moral issue, I don’t think there is one. If people want to eat dog meat they can–how would people in the west feel if Hindus started telling us we need to stop eating cows because they don’t feel it’s right. It wouldn’t go over too well and that’s exactly how other cultures feel when we go in telling them to change their diets.

    • says

      Well said Daniel. It’s totally alright if anyone decides not to participate in eating things they don’t want to eat, but not alright to look down on those that do.

  13. says

    I’ve eaten dog, stir fried, in China. It was delicous, and like you, I would go back for more.

    Never tried cat – that tooth sticking out is freakin’ gnarly dude.

    It’s making me hungry.

    Great article Mark!

    • says

      Awesome to hear you’ve eaten dog and thought it was tasty too Nate. Yah, there were a few things in that cat hot pot that I tried to avoid, I set the tooth aside!

  14. Melanie says

    The thing that puts me off dog and cat is the health aspect.. dogs being omnivores, cats being carnivores, the chance of picking up parasites and bugs from eating the meat is allegedly higher. This is the reason folks in the UK don’t run around eating foxes and badgers etc, anyway.

    Or maybe that’s just an excuse and it really is all about the psychological stuff? (I’ve eaten foal and it was the tastiest thing ever, so I guess I’m not too bad at overcoming that.. ;)

    • says

      Haha, thanks Melanie. Probably depending on how the restaurant got their cat or dog meat (where from), would play a role in the parasites, guess there’s always a little risk involved with eating just about everything. Yum, I’d love to taste some foal, how was it cooked!?

  15. says

    I am pretty sure I have eaten both in the Philippines, at least there is a strong likelihood of it although I never knew. I’m not going to judge people by North American standards just as I wouldn’t want someone in India to judge me for eating cow.

  16. says

    A recent investigation proved that many of the lamb kebabs here in Beijing are actually cat meat. No-one was scandalised that they’d been eating cat, just that they’d been paying for lamb.

    • says

      Wow, that’s interesting! I guess cat meat would be cheaper or there’s more of a supply of it in Beijing than lamb? Though cat meat is a little lighter in color, when ground and mixed with some seasoning I can definitely tell how it could pass as lamb.

  17. says

    Great article! Thanks for writing it despite how vulnerable this topic is for hate mail.

    I’m definitely on the you eat meat or you don’t category. Perhaps it’s because I have no qualms in going to eat fish right after I go to an aquarium, and guinea pig is high on my list of foods I’d like to try, even though as a child, the only pets I was allowed were guinea pigs. I’ve also heard that these animals are purpose-bred, which always makes me feel a little better about eating them. Do you know if that’s true?

    • says

      Thank you Erica! Definitely a touchy article, and it’s been really interesting to read the opinions and thoughts of others. Like you’ve said, it’s a matter of association and emotion. Someone with a pet fish may never want to eat fish, yet that same person may be inclined to eat dog, and vice versa. Cool to hear you want to eat guinea pig. Do they eat it in Japan? I had a “cuy” in Peru years ago and it was delicious. I guess it depends on where you go, but countries that eat a lot of guinea pigs, I’m sure they purposely raise them, not just strays.

  18. says

    Loving this post! It’s really just a case of what you’re used to isn’t it? Like how green ketchup never caught on because it just ‘seemed wrong’. I’d try dog if I had the opportunity, but I’d find it hard to stomach any dish where the teeth and entrails are included!

    • says

      I appreciate it Arianwen, and it really is about what you’re used to and what you grew up with. Being willing to try or experience things from another culture can sometimes take us out of our comfort zones, and that’s one of the joys of traveling. Glad to hear you’d try dog, you can definitely avoid the scary bits!

    • Calvin says

      One of the most popular chinese dish that most celebrate during Chinese New Year is Suckling Pig.. you can google it… hell, I love it.. In the dish, you can see the whole pig’s head still intact..and the head is not for eating, it’s for display..

  19. says

    I’m sort of impressed that you were actually able to get served! The entire time my Dad was in Korea he asked for dog meat, and no one would willingly serve a white, American man! I suppose it’s possible his friends weren’t accurately translating his wishes :)

    Also, I don’t think eating one sort of meat is in anyway morally superior or inferior to another. There certainly are arguments from abstaining from meat entirely for ethical and environmental issues when one has the choice, but not for one protein over another! Because I’m eating meat right now, I would definitely try either, and was kind of disappointed when I didn’t get the chance in Vietnam. Here’s hoping for China!

    • says

      Thanks for sharing Susan. Hmm, that’s strange your Dad wasn’t served, seems like the restaurant would be happy to make a sale? Didn’t have any problems at all ordering dog or cat in China. A few of the times I was with local Chinese who ordered, but for the cat, I ordered. The restaurant owners, if anything were happy to serve it to me. If you go to China, I’m sure you’ll be able to get some. I agree fully with your meat eating philosophy!

  20. says

    Interesting article. I knew these animals were eaten in China but had no idea of how they were prepared. I think this article offers great insight into some Chinese provinces eating habits (even though it is a sensible topic on other places). I have heard so many stories of people eating different types of meat in Latin America. By the way, my uncle went to medical school in the Dominican Republic and he had to keep his cat inside at all times. I guess you know why.

    • says

      Hey Ruth, thanks for sharing. Yes, the norms of what’s typical to eat and what’s not is greatly varied from culture to culture, country to country. Hope you uncle was able to hold on to his cat!

  21. says

    When I lived in Vietnam there was a dog/cat restaurant nearby, I never went there though after hearing numerous reports of pets going missing from the large compound where all the rich expats lived!

    I personally don’t have a problem with it, I eat beef, pork, lamb and chicken so what is the difference really? In Sweden where I live now they regularly eat moose and reindeer. It’s also not uncommon to find horse meat. It’s just a case of what you’re used to I expect.

    Thanks for this post, I can see it might make some readers upset but I say kudos to you for keeping an open mind to new things. I just hope it wasn’t somebody’s pet….!

    • says

      You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed this post! When I was in China, there were plenty of people with pet dogs, I think I may have even seen someone eating dog with their pet dog sitting by their side. Pets disappearing is a little suspicious and we can hope they just ran away! Thanks for sharing about Sweden, I would love to sample some horse meat!

  22. says

    I have eaten dog in Sakhon Nakon Thailand, mainly Vietnamese in this part of Essan, then in the Philippines and finally in Vietnam. In Thailand it was one that we hunted and killed, it was a native wild dog very similar in looks to an Australian Dingo, then we brought it home and prepared it for BBQing. We also made a spicy soup out of the intestines which was absolutely delicious. The meat was very tough and very chewy but considering we had only shot it that morning no wonder. All meats need to by hung for a period to tenderise. In Cebu it was slow cooked in a clay pot and melted in the mouth. In Hanoi I ate two styles, BBQ and roast. BBQ was tough but roast was delicious, crisp on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. While I am on the subject Rodent is another meat you need to try. Click on link to view video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6yUG39xSVs Hope to catch up in BKK in a couple of weeks.

    • says

      Awesome Pierre, thanks for sharing your food adventures. I’ll definitely be willing to eat dog on another occasion and in another country to see how it tastes and how it’s prepared. The Filipino version especially sounds good, cooked in a clay pot so it’s nice and tender. Thank for sharing the video, I’ve never had rat, so if I come across it someday, will have to sample!

  23. says

    Good post. I never heard about eating cat meat. I was traveling in the south of China for 3 months and didn’t see it–but that doesn’t mean I didn’t eat it or they didn’t have it!

    The only time I had dog was cooked by a Korean family in Uzbekistan. And yes…it was tasty.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing Stephen. I guess it really depends on which province in China you’re in. I’ve heard that it’s very common in Guangdong Province, and where I ate cat in Guangxi, it wasn’t all that common, but I just saw it at a few places (and in the market) and took the chance when I saw it. Glad to hear you also thought dog was tasty!

  24. Zara @ Backpack ME says

    When you talk about eating dog meat is it any specific breed of dog or does anything go? ‘Cause one would guess the meats can taste different according to the type of dog… Big vs small, etc?! 
    It’s funny how the psychological side of things really counts when putting something in your mouth.. I read “There must have been a half a cat in this dish!” and felt “YUCK” when I have ordered things like “half grilled chicken” hundreds of times! I hear the argument of “you can’t compare dogs/cats to chicken when it comes to eating them because chickens are stupid but dogs are smart… And cute” but the truth is that a lot of other “cute” animals are eaten and no one gives a damn… Rabbits, sheep, etc.. I understand all of this from a rational point of view, still, I don’t think I could get myself around to try dog or cat.. Same as I couldn’t try the famous roasted guinea pig when we were in Ecuador..
    Interesting read though, thanks Mark! :)

    • says

      Cool sharing your thoughts Zara. I didn’t even think about the comparison about ordering 1/2 a chicken, yah, that’s such a common way to eat / order chicken, and no one thinks anything of it, yet ordering 1/2 a cat would be pretty unheard of! Really is how we grew up, what we’re accustomed to, and what previous emotions we are attached to. That’s totally acceptable to not be be able to push yourself to eat dog or cat… but guinea pig is pretty tasty too!!

    • says

      Pomai, this is so cool, thank you so much for not only reading and leaving a comment but actually writing an entire post about your thoughts on the subject. I really appreciate it!

  25. says

    I am glad that you did a post about this.. I admit. I personally have never eaten a dog or a cat… and I’m from Korea! People have this misconception of dog meat. A lot of people tend to think that all Koreans eat their puppies! It’s so silly. I wish people were as open minded as you are. How come you can eat certain things here in America (that Koreans will never eat) but when they hear about dogs being eaten, it’s like a crime. Anyway… I don’t eat dog because I think it smells bad. Something about it kind of turned me off. But your photos on this post look amazing. It makes me want to try it… :) I never learned how Chinese people eat dogs and cats so this is definitely fascinating.

  26. says

    My god, this is really amazing. This is something that I have not tried and will find it really really hard to eat. I am sure the Chinese will eat anything that moves but I will have this give dog meat a huge miss.

  27. says

    I’ve seen dog on the menu in China, but couldn’t bring myself to eat it. I imagine if I was welcomed into someone’s home and they served it to me, I’d be able to do it. I always joke that it depends on the breed. If it was a poodle, I could do it. If a labrador, wouldn’t be possible (even though I imagine most dog meat in Asia is mutts).

    It is interesting what culture finds certain meats acceptable. It’s always interesting traveling in India where 99% of people couldn’t conceive of eating beef, but I look at every cow with a grudge because I can’t eat it!

    • says

      Hey Alex, haha, thanks for sharing your insights about the subject. Haha, looking at the cows, I understand. It’s a matter of perspective and what you’ve been brought up with.

  28. john zolis says

    To those that promote this barbaric cultural behaviour you disgust me as being part of the same species.

    • says

      There comes a point, where it does begin to feel just that way, Barbaric… no holds barred, everything goes… there should always be a LIMIT… ALWAYS.

  29. says

    Okay, all of the above is fine and dandy. To each his own. My problem is that I’m an American living in the UK. I simply LOVE most all Asian cuisine. It was part of my weekly diet in the US – we ordered from a well and trusted restaurant.

    Also, considering how much Pork and Beef I’ve cooked thru out my life. I know it when I see it. Chicken as well – dark and white meat.

    Now, living in the UK, hubby, I, family – ordered a very BIG Chinese dinner from a restaurant our kids just loved ordering from. We gave them a go. I’m a Pork rib eater… love it love it. Also, Beef dishes.

    Now here is the problem. When our food arrived, it looked wonderful, it smelled wonderful, it TASTED wonderful… but I was disturbed by something. The pork RIB BONES didn’t match my memory bank. The consistency of the meat on it, did not match what was in my memory bank. The beef strips of meat, was the WRONG texture. I kept fighting against how nice the food tasted against this meat that just didn’t MEET with what I knew about my favorite meats.

    I looked up into my son-in-laws face, and down at his plate, he was picking at it, moving it around. I said… “You don’t like it?”

    He said, “Something is not right about this meat.”

    And then I knew… I wasn’t the only one…I put down the TOO SMALL ribs I’d been eating, and felt ILL. We did a long and thorough search on the internet and found the MATCH for our meat. There was no doubt, it was DOG. This happened over 2 years ago, maybe 3 now. We, hubby and I haven’t eaten Chinese since.

    This happened in the UK… England, Central…

    Now, we’re jonsing for some Chinese. And we’ve decided to go strictly with Prawn dishes, can’t slip anything in as that! I went thru an ANGRY year following that event. As I am an African-American woman, and my husband is WHITE English… I am not a racist, BUT I was pissed off at this cultures thinking that it was okay to pass this meat off and those ordering would never know.

    GIVE ME… the choice! DON’T slip it in on me. Just because it may taste good, does not mean I WANT to eat it. Yes, it may be all in the head… but we found as well when searching out what some cultures feel that it is okay to eat – is aborted human embryos. Sorry… there is a REASON our minds are set up with BOUNDARIES. I respect my boundaries, it helps me to maintain a certain degree of humanity and I do stress a degree.

    • says

      I made a mistake with my above comment – I said aborted human embryos, that was wrong… I meant. Fetuses, fully FORMED babies that is easy to see to the naked eye that these are human-beings.

      Boundaries, limitations, “Conscience” exist for a reason. Once they are GONE – so are the things we might do to one another.

      • Yong says

        MKeys, I am a Chinese and I don’t eat dog because used to have a dog as pet, for the same reason, I don’t eat rabbit too. One thing I can assure you that it will be very difficult or near impossible to find dog meat or cat meat in London or any English city. In business of supply and demand, dog or cat meats will be very expensive compare to pork or beef, so would you honestly think this Chinese restaurant would be stupid enough to substitute the cheaper pork by the expensive dog meat ? It might be more believable if it is horse meat , remember the horse meats scandals happen all over Europe recently !

      • travelmace says

        What you most likely ate was a young pig. I recently had a (delicious) suckling pig at a Spanish restaurant, and I was shocked by how different the bones looked from what I was expecting. From their appearance, I would have guessed it was rabbit or a hedgehog. It was definitely pig, because we saw the whole animal, but if someone had shown me the bones and said “This was a cat.”, I would have found that believable, because the size was about right.

        I hope you can find some peace in realizing that it doesn’t make any sense that they would have served you cat. I think Yong’s point is worth remembering. Think about it this way: Wholesale prices for meats are much, much cheaper than paying someone to catch, skin, clean and butcher a cat. Why on Earth would the restaurant owner want to lose money by doing that?

  30. Diana says

    Thanks for writing about this. I appreciate your honesty. When I was younger, I used to go to “cheap” Chinese restaurants in Toronto and we laugh now and then about the possibility of having eaten cat or dog. I don’t know if I have ever eaten it, but thanks to you, I won’t be rushing out to try it. (Since you told me what it tastes like, I’ll let my imagination do the rest.)

  31. lai says

    I’d like to think I’m open-minded enough to try it. If someone took me out to eat knowing I would be okay with eating dog, I’d eat it. But I don’t think I’m psychologically there yet to be able to ordering it myself. Weird tricks that our minds play on us.

  32. yozora says

    Bravo for tolerance. We need more tolerancy like the ones you showed.

    People in my country are very sensitive to this issue because the majority of us love and care for cats, even stray ones. So when cat-eating illegal immigrants came and cats start going missing, you can guess how angry people are. It’s their right to eat cats in their own countries, but in our land, killing cats is a taboo. Except out of pity, like euthanasia, of course.

    Yes, like other people said, it’s likely people are gonna go as far as eating human corpses in the future, but who are we to degrade them? Should note that I oppose torturing living beings though (since some people tend to think eat=torture).

    And because I love cats more than humans, I’m really glad that you didn’t find cat meat tasty. ;)

  33. Nancy says

    Mark it’s funny how you reply to all those in favour of cat and dog but not to those against it. Cows and pigs chickens sheep and goats are not sentient beings.. Ie not understanding and have that higher level of consciousness as dogs cats and dolphins do. Recently dolphins were re classified as sentient. By your standards Mark, and all the other greedy loonies that agree with you it should be okay to eat aborted babies, human foetus and humans dead or alive. As you say – all animals are intelligent and that includes humans so can you please comment on the eating of human? After all there’s A surplus of stock. Why not eat our dead relatives? Saves funeral costs isn’t it? Sicko.

    • says

      Nancy, I also think it’s funny that I mentioned in a big bold statement at the top of this article that it is NOT about anything other than what dog and cat tastes like, and people still leave unnecessary comments. I also don’t consider humans to be animals!

    • says

      I sense a troll. Since cats are known to be one of the dumbest animals amongst us. Unlike dogs, they can not even understand cause and effect. In addition, pigs have higher cognitive capacities over dogs and cows over cats. The idea that they are not sentient is as unscientific as it is unscientific to say as water bears passing the mirror test.

    • john says

      I think he is wise not to respond. The naysayers are about as rational as rabid dogs, why engage them?

      Having owned cattle, hogs and sheep myself, I can say that they are wonderful animals who don’t deserve to be discriminated against. If they are food, so are other animals.

      I say it is the people whining that are sick. You go watch a cow be born, and raise it, and tell me how it is a lesser animal than a dog or a cat.

      Most of the haters on this page are a bunch of whiny, misinformed, uneducated hippies.

      Having lived on, participated in, and run farming operations, I can say without a doubt all life is sacred. Our ancestors understood it, the native americans understood it, but all you a*$%holes whining seem to think if your food comes out in a McDonalds wrapper you get a free pass. Somehow the cow who died to fill that styrofoam box is less important?

      They are all living, breathing, conscious beings; you should show some respect for your food.

      Take a little time to thank God that he made them all taste so good.

      And by the way, stop telling other people how to live their lives and go out an live your own. pathetic.

  34. ricky kim says

    actually i ma an korean. the bad thing is korean eats dog meat too. chinese and both koreans eat dog meat. i never ate one and i am ashamed of it

  35. EJlives says

    I had often wondered about whether or not I had unknowingly eaten dog meat before when ordering from a few different Chinese restaurants, but thanks to your article, I’m fairly sure I haven’t. I had always been curious about people who did eat dog meat after my 2nd grade teacher mentioned she had tried it on a flight to China back in the late 80’s.

    I would agree with one of the above posters in the fact that omnivores, and carnivores, accumulate more toxins and parasites in their systems than herbivores. I think I remember reading somewhere that was partly one of the bases for the Jewish food laws being the way they were. That is anthropologically (historically), and not necessarily because of religious beliefs.

    As to people talking about eating meat being wrong… Almost all known forms of life subsist on currently or formerly living organic materials. Even plants are “living beings”.

    • says

      Hey, thanks a lot for leaving a comment. Wow, served dog on a flight to China, that’s a great experience! Yes, health-wise it probably is best to at least reduce the amount of red meat you eat!

  36. says

    When I spotted this article I knew right away that the comments would be interesting. I couldn’t eat dog unless I really had to, I thought I might be able to try cat, but after seeing your picture of the cat tooth and description of the taste and bones I’m not so certain.

  37. Jacqueline says

    Just to add my two cents into the conversation: Not everybody in China enjoys the idea of eating dog and cat meat. There are Chinese citizens who do protest against this. I do understand that there are pet dogs and cats vs. livestock dogs and cats. And I’m okay with that even though I’ve raised both as pets.

    But I have read Chinese news reports which pet animals were stolen and hauled off onto a truck to be sold on the market as “meat”. The protesters actually had to raise funds to buy these animals off on-the-spot.

  38. Dan says

    I’m a meat lover myself and I would dare eat almost any meat as long as I can watch that animal in the eyes before I’m going to eat him. I’d never dare to do this with a dog or a monkey. I think people should have some limits, specially those who don’t suffer of hunger!

  39. Andy K says

    Thanks for your article – appreciate your frankness and thought provoking slant. Many years ago, I read in a cookbook that dog meat is white meat and has the lowest cholesterol (for white meat). The article also added that there is a superstitious belief that if anyone ate dog meat, they will be ‘protected’ from black magic charms.

    The first time I tried dog meat was in October 2011 in North Korea where I was served spicy dog soup. I was a big hesitant to try it initially but ended up giving it the thumbs up as it was well cooked and delicious. The meat looked like beef, while the texture is softer and nicer than chicken.

    I also tried dog meat when I was in Bali, Indonesia in May 2013. There were farms around where it is served as a delicacy. Those farms hung out a sign with the words, “RW”; there is no meaning to the abbreviation other than to say that dog meat is served. I tried fried dog, dog soup, and dog satay but none of the dishes taste nice as there were plenty of bones and the meat was rubbery. Later on, I found out that the farm sourced its meat from homeless mountain dogs.

    Haven’t eaten a cat as yet but then I am heading to China in a few days …

    • says

      Hey Andy, awesome to hear your thoughts and experiences about eating dog. I think it really does depend upon how the dog is cooked, because I did have another friend that had a dog soup in Vietnam and he said it was alright, but not amazing. Also might have to do with what part of the dog we ate?

      Hope you can try some cat when you’re in China!

  40. Harris says

    I would say ur article and others’ comments gave me the courage to try out dog and cats. I tried turtles, reptiles etc. And it’s about time to sample those delicacies soon.

  41. sylvia says

    Here is my problem with your post. Your attitude towards eating dog meat is not as simple as that. The issue is not so much about eating dog, it is the way they are tortured and killed. These animals Are PURPOSELY tortured a slow and agonizing death in order to pump as much adrenaline into their muscles as possible so that you can have the most tasty meat. Eating dog meat contributes to this animal cruelty and your post totally missed that point. You may point out North american practices as being inhumane and cruel. I can assure you that we do not make every effort to torture our animals before they are killed. EVERY SINGLE DOG IS SLOWLY TORTURED before it landed on your plated. Do you now understand the difference and why those with any compassion or humanity ban dog meat? It is the cruelty aspect not the actual eating aspect that is offensive.

    • Helen Dezso says

      Thank you Sylvia……..And there we have the crux of the problem. Any reasonable, half-decent human being of average ethical standards and compassionate sensibilities who gives the matter just a little thought will have “psychological” problems eating meat that has been torture-slaughtered in such an unnecessary and grossly sadistic fashion,maybe to the point of being physically affected …….Yes, the writer of this article specifies that the review of his culinary experiences is not about any “moral” aspects,but “all about the taste”……….the flavour of really Bad Karma, perhaps?

    • Gee says

      Really? EVERY SINGLE DOG? Are all black people in the USA criminals? I beg to differ. I have eaten dog in the villages of China, where the dog was given a quick death. I been down to the meat markets at 6 in the morning and watched the butchers prepare their shops. I did not see any torturing that everyone seems to talk about. Many Americans are pretty ignorant and I can see why.

  42. silverwind says

    I agree with some of the posters here, why is it ok to eat pig and cow and chicken but not dog and cat? yes I love my cats and I would not eat them, and if i have dog for pet i wouldnt eat it either, but I have had dog meat before and it was delicious.

    for those who argue its because cats and dogs are smart therefore should not be food, they should quit eating pigs then, because pigs are highly intelligent and can make great pets. I think its hypocrisy to decry eating one domestic animal but be ok with eating others.

    Frankly i think for us human to live is to be a death sentence to the animals. because we exist we disrupt natural environment and now where will these animals be if they are not raised to amuse us or be our food? they will be killed and demolished like other natural species, as we take up land that they need to survive so we can farm food for our growing population and pollute environment.

    so, instead of condemning other cultures for being ok to eat dogs and cats, why dont you all just dedicate yourself to conserving environment, limit your own offspring to as few as possible, and advocate others to not waste food and resources, so there is better future for human and animals.

    ps. mark i hope you tried donkey meat while u were in china! those were great too, though I had it so long ago i might not remember it properly.

  43. says

    Even though your post is merely an observation and description of your experience, too many people feel compelled to moralize the practise of dog-eating. But if they must, they should read this post from the ‘Ask a Korean’ blog, which explains the practise (in South Korea anyway) and the ethical debate in detail: http://askakorean.blogspot.ca/2009/08/dog-its-whats-for-dinner.html. He’s pretty clear about where he stands on the issue and I agree with him 100%. I don’t think I could bring myself to try it myself (I’ve had dogs as pets before)… but dictating the types of meat people from other cultures should eat, or judging them for it, is just plain morally indefensible.

  44. Razzly Faerie says

    I have heard a lot of people refer to dog as being tough and stringy. I knew a couple of people who ate cat meat, and they both said it was tender, a bit like chicken. Maybe it depends on how it’s cooked. I know it sounds awful, even though i don’t think it’s more wrong to eat cats and dogs over other animals, i think i’d find it a bit harder to eat a dog than a cat, even though i have both as pets. I always thought that dogs benefited the most from human companionship.

    • says

      Hey, thanks for sharing Razzly. Yes, I think it really does depend on cooking preparations. I had a friend who had a dog soup in Vietnam and he said it wasn’t so tasty, but more grizzly, unlike the tender one I had.

  45. says

    I just bought sweet n sour ribs at a Chinese restaurant in Portland, Oregon. ( I won’t tell you which one because I love ‘em) They were a little too small in diameter to be pork or beef, so I looked up dog meat and watched food documentaries involving Asian cuisine, and I am positive I bought dog ribs. They are delicious! Don’t let morals affect your taste. If you had a pet cow you would probably cry while eating a ribeye from its sweet, tender back. NO! you love it. Animal meat is animal meat, I just hope nobody has to eat their pet.

    • Yong says

      Shane, dog meat is very hard to come by in your town, so it will be much more expensive if you can find it. So you are very lucky to get such an expensive meat for the little money you pay for the pork.

    • Zhu says

      I find these stories about dog meat in Chinese restaurants quite odd. Are you sure it isn’t because you aren’t used to Chinese flavors? Why would they risk losing their business and jail time over this? It could be a suckling pig, or a baby piglet. It does not have to be a full grown pig, the shape of bones vary in size.

  46. rina says

    now i feel like crying. i can t believe there are so many cruel people. We re just like we were 1000 years ago, or even worse.

    • Yong says

      Dear Rina, please save most of your tears as I am sure you need to cry buckets for those poor cute baby seals that are clubbed to to agonizing death every year ! Or you may want to save another bucket of tear to witness those lovely dolphins who are speared bloodily by the thousands in Europe , may I further. beg for a few more drops of your tears for those poor suffering bulls in Spain ,being speared repeatedly until they bleed to death,the killing are just for the fun of it. Kindly be informed Rina, these were not happened 1000 years ago, they are happening every days from those barbaric men !

  47. Budiman says

    Hi Mark,

    Just for your information, it is also pretty common in Indonesia to eat dog meat. Although it is a majority Muslim Country which considers dog as haram but in christian predominant provinces like North Sumatra and Northern Sulawesi it is quite common for the locals to consume dog. So this article does not offend me at all and in fact you should also write an article about dog cuisine in Indonesia if you ever travel to Indonesia in the future.

  48. says

    “ONE HUMANS FOOD IS ANOTHER HUMANS POISON” , is very true as far as the cuisine of different country’s and cultures are compared and debated. Dogs and cats are house-hold pets and hence consumption of their meat is sacrilegious among most cultures, especially in the Western World. Don’t some people keep pigs , chickens, goats , cows, buffaloes and bulls as pets and yet most of humanity consumes them as “Non-Vegetarian food”!The pig is considered the most intelligent animal and yet bacon and pork products are consumed world-wide.Ultimately its eating habits that govern the “Non-Vegetarian” habits of any individual and at times tourists love tasting dishes that are taboo in their Country, religion or Culture.

  49. says

    I have eaten dog and cat meat all my life I enjoy both …
    alot of people here in Ghana will prefer the cat meat but dog meat is something not common to the eyes but only lovers of it.. I breed dogs but I dont eat them I buy from people and cook it and share it my dogs…

  50. Chris says

    Hi Mark,

    This is an interesting post indeed! I have never eaten dog or cat meat, but my parents did during World War II. Cat meat, they told me, is very similar to rabbit meat which we used to eat very often (yummy yummy).

    But I have eaten some unusual animal meat in the Philippines once: monkey meat…and I can tell you that is was the most delicious meat that I have ever eaten!

    • says

      Hey Chris, great to hear from you and thanks for sharing. I also had monkey meat a few times in DR Congo, and I remember it being quite delicious!

  51. Anthony says

    Controversial topic but a good read. Maybe some foods are bad for our bodies and this maybe why a lot of religions mandate selected animals for humans to consume but then in certain cultures whether it is due to necessity or not; people eat what I consider weird foods that can be tasty. I trust we can’t go wrong with fish LOL.

  52. Yang Gui Zi says

    Wish I had seen this blog earlier. Anyway, I’m an American expat that has lived in China for 20 years and eaten dog several different ways. However, my favorite was eating it in hot pot especially the way they prepare it in the Northeast part of China. As a matter of fact, Yanji in Jilin province has a street where every restaurant in a several block stretch served dog meat. It just seems to have a richer flavor and of course is much more tender when served stewed in a hot pot rather than stir-fried.

    Cat is a different story. I’ve had it offered to me but well after I saw how it was prepared: like we cook lobsters in the U.S. Even though I pretty much eaten everything else, cat and water cockroaches are off my list of things to try.

    One of the things I’ve been telling my friends lately is that two problems could be solved if we Americans would just get past some of the P.C.-ness of things. Detroit sure has a problem with stray dogs that could be shipped to China rather than euthanized and disposed of. Just try to find someone in the U.S. that has eaten pigeon (which is delicious roasted) and you’ll find most with an aversion to the thought. However, watch old movies or TV and they talk of eating stewed pigeon (an old episode of Dennis the Menace is one that comes to mind.)

    • says

      Hey Yang, thank you so much for sharing! Yah, cat I don’t think I would be too excited to try again, but dog on the other hand can be so good!

  53. I.Palantine says

    I’ve traveled a fair amount and lived in Asia, so i’ve had the opportunity to eat some interesting dishes. Dog is great, like the author said it’s fragrant. Marmot is tasty but really greasy. Crocodile is like a fishy, gristly chicken. Bat is really good, maybe fragrant too. Rat is not much greasy meat. Balut is the single most disgusting food to me, a weird cross between the taste and smell of chicken and eggs (obviously), and not visually pleasant -to me anyway.
    On a trip to Lake Hovsgal in Mongolia, i caught a big beautiful salmon like fish. Our Mongolian hosts were appalled at the mere thought of eating this creature. It’s not an “auspicious animal” and they were disgusted by the smell of it. I think they threw out the pan we used to cook it. Think that your guests caught a skunk and decided to cook it up in your kitchen….
    As an anecdote, I’ve read that during WW2, cats were passed off as rabbit (cut off the head, feet and tail) they were called roof rabbits.
    The only thing i’ll pass on trying is endangered species and primates.

  54. says

    From a gastronomic perspective for people that do make their stomachs graveyards for animals, it must be an interesting article. As to why anyone would think there is a difference between eating any animal or a companion animal. , it seems people that have companion animals such and cats , dogs and bunnies , would of course be more sensitive ,Emotions are involved, a sense of family is involved and a reaction is quite normal. Since Humans and animals are sentient beings, ( pigs have development of 3 year old human) since we all have feelings and know pain , know love ( yes this includes bulls and baby seals or any other animal) why cause ten suffering for a humans taste palatte> that s rather dismal , narcissistic , involved , unempathetic and well,, kind of a cross species cannabalism. where it is possible t o have the educated choice not to have to eat the flesh of another sentient being i think one should think about the blessing of having the possibility to choose. not to take a life . there are people that live in areas where there is no other choice. To sum up everyone hs the right to choose for themselves whether or not to have a meal of slaughtered life on their plate. I choose not to, and no, i don’t think cats or dogs, or horses, or cows or pigs or lambs or bulls or bison or chickens or turkeys or bunnies should be eaten . nor should ducks have pipes shoved down their throat for pate. cruelty in the end is an endless well of sorrow karmically, Too bad many people don’t want to get it

  55. Barbara says

    I feel that dogs are our greatest friends. It’s not necessary to eat them. It repulses me. I beieve that if China needs to eat dog meat, they can kill them humanely. Let’s not encourage this practice because people are cruel enough to dogs and cats.

  56. Ann says

    What an interesting read, but I still think it’s disgusting. I think it’s wrong to eat a dog because there’s absolutely no need for it. For one, it’s ridiculous to compare a dog to a cow or pig. Look at the size of a cow compared to a dog. Has a cow or pig been known to save a drowning child? Or has a chicken saved a family from a break in? Dogs have! They are amazing creatures meant to be loved. Dogs are not meant to be food no matter how you justify it. It’s been scientifically proven that dogs are very similar to humans. My dogs are more intelligent than a lot of adult humans I know. I think people who support eating dogs are no different than those who would eat a human. I hope those who eat dogs die of rabies. That’s when people pull their head out and stop promoting such disgusting behavior. I will never buy anything made in China again until the Chinese government bans the consumption of dogs and cats. I’m even more disgusted that any American would support eating a dog.

  57. says

    As a huge animal lover (but non-vegetarian) I would never kill a dog or cat for food as long as I´m not in the process of starving, but if it was served to me, or if it was on the menu, I would certainly like to try it, like you did. And I feel the same about human flesh!

    But dog certainly sounds much more tasty than cat, according to your article.

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