Looks like “Animal Rights” won.
BEIJING, China (AP) – Canine cuisine is being sent to the doghouse during next month’s Beijing Olympic Games.
Dog meat has been struck from the menus of officially designated Olympic restaurants, and Beijing tourism officials are telling other outlets to discourage consumers from ordering dishes made from dogs, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.
Waiters and waitresses should “patiently” suggest other options to diners who order dog, it said, quoting city tourism bureau Vice Director Xiong Yumei.
Dog, known in Chinese as “xiangrou,” or “fragrant meat,” is eaten by some Chinese for its purported health-giving qualities.
Beijing isn’t the first Olympic host to slap a ban on the dish.
South Korea banned dog meat during the 1988 Seoul Olympics by invoking a law prohibiting the sale of “foods deemed unsightly.” After the Olympics, the ban was not strictly enforced.
Dog meat is also eaten in some other Asian countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Laos.
It is somewhat of a moot point since Chinese don’t eat dog meat in the summer time. (It’s a winter time delicacy – the ‘warming of the body’ is probably one of the “health-giving qualities” referred to in the article.) Maybe that’s why there doesn’t seem to be much ‘push back’ on this from official Chinese channels.
It does seem like a shame though. A 5,000 year old culture is having a traditional dish taken off the menu because outsiders don’t ‘approve’. What’s so different about “xianrou” compared to any other kind of meat? Is ‘cruelty’ defined by how ‘cute’ the animal is?
Although I’m not a fan of dog meat (yes, I’ve tried it. woof!) I find myself bothered that this traditional piece of Chinese cultural cuisine is being taken away because ‘outsiders’ don’t approve.
Go get your own Olympics an serve nothing but tofu…
What do you guys think?