I ate a dog in Vietnam
February 1, 2013 4:42 PM   Subscribe

Vice details dining on dog in Hanoi. (Trigger warning; pics of roast dog, graphic text). Dog eating is not limited to South East Asia, there's a historical precedent almost everywhere in the world, and is still eaten in parts of Europe.

The Germans continue the tradition of always having the best word for any given situation, where it's called "blockade mutton".

Oh, and the linked Vice article has perhaps the single greatest descriptor in the history of English food writing, describing a fermented shrimp paste "which tasted like a medieval prostitute’s gusset". Which is either a triumph for English, Frat Boy Division, or legitimately great.
posted by Keith Talent (101 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
They didn't eat dog... on acid??
posted by Dr. Send at 4:45 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


A friend of mine married a very nice Laotian lady, and she liked to use shrimp paste in her cooking. All she ever did was open the jar, take one spoon's worth out, and close it again, and that would be enough to clear the apartment, forcing all the guests to go out on the balcony for about ten minutes until the stench cleared. It was singularly awful stuff, and I can't imagine eating it voluntarily.

That said, I'm pretty uncomfortable with the tone of this article. Eating dog is one thing, but talking shit about the locals is not okay.
posted by Malor at 4:53 PM on February 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Damn. That story makes for some ruff reading.
posted by Skygazer at 4:55 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Obama also described the dog meat he ate as a child in Indonesia as "tough".
posted by 445supermag at 4:55 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm squicked out by the idea of eating dog, but I've had cuisine based on horse meat in Southern Europe without flinching. This persuades me that it's all to do with cultural conditioning, because I can't think of any rational, ethical or emotional reason to not eat dogs that I wouldn't apply to horses. Hell, I like horses better than dogs, really.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:02 PM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Shrimp paste is delicious.

This article made me really, really uncomfortable.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:03 PM on February 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


"which tasted like a medieval prostitute’s gusset".

That must have been some prostitute.
posted by scody at 5:05 PM on February 1, 2013


...actually I'm going to take that back. As far as I know the horses were not raised for food, and if they were I'd be as squicked out by it as I would be by dogs. So speaking only for myself, i think it's the raising and slaughtering dogs or horses for food that I (would) feel wrong about, not the eating of it per se.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:07 PM on February 1, 2013


Presumably the dog was free-range.
That picture was a bit much, though people who keep pigs for pets might feel as awful about the stereotypical roast suckling pig.
posted by bad grammar at 5:07 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I later discovered this is because there isn’t any preparation or oven basting – the dogs are just cooked whole with a blowtorch

This looks like a job for Dogwelder!

The meat looked good, like pork. I wonder if the meat would have tasted better if the reporters had got it at a better restaurant instead of trying to reinforce Western prejudice against eating some random mammal. People keep pigs and chickens as pets but there's no squeamishness about eating them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:08 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair, this isn't VICE's first foray into awkwardly orientalist writing.

Actually, while that was the article I was thinking off, I think the entire site search for "Southeast Asia" falls under that category.
posted by sawdustbear at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


This article made me really, really uncomfortable.

Probably because the author reveals himself to be fucked up on several levels in what's a pretty short article. Remove the references to dog and it basically reads like a couple of paragraphs from Apocalypse Now
posted by GuyZero at 5:13 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are there no depths Lena Dunham won't sink to?
posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Gah. You had to post that.

While on the Wikipedia link, I saw cat eating, and, me being me, had to look.

And I was sad. Despite the amount of teasing my friend and I do to my little buddy about his suitability for cooking, I am afraid I would starve to death if the alternative was eating him.
posted by Samizdata at 5:15 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


There are heaps of Vietnamese restaurants near me but due to squeamishness they don't sell dog. I kinda resent that, and would love to open a place called 'Babies Ate My Dingo'.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:19 PM on February 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


Absolutely, unequivocally, eternally fucking done.

ahh brought a chuckle it did. wonder if texture varies much by breed.
posted by Shit Parade at 5:20 PM on February 1, 2013


Dr. Send: "They didn't eat dog... on acid??"

Sacrilege! It's the only way to eat a dog!
posted by symbioid at 5:20 PM on February 1, 2013


Ah... the photos. I'm not particularly sentimental when it comes to animals (to each their own), but that was something else.

Anyway, I can never understand why contemporary folks write about "strange" practices in another country. We're living in a global age now. There is no normal/strange anymore.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:22 PM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Man, fuck Vice. That being said, I don't quite understand why eating dog is such a terrible taboo. Is it because dogs are mostly pets in people's mind? Or because it's associated with desperation, wartime food? (At least in Europe). Rabbit is the only animal I can think of where most Americans are comfortable with the pets vs. meat conflict. Horse meat is almost entirely taboo in the US now; too bad, it's delicious.
posted by Nelson at 5:22 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Vegetarian here. I don't understand why it's any worse to eat dog than rabbit or cow or chicken. I've had dogs and cats as pets, and raised ducks for a while. It seems crazy to me to eat any of it, so if you've already gotten crazy and are eating lamb, go ahead and chow down on Fluffy too.

Then again, last year while on tour with a show, I told a guy who had ordered foie gras and some absurdly ducky entree at a restaurant that I used to raise ducks, at which point he waved every forkful of duck in front of my face before eating it, changed his iphone ring to "Duck" and shouted "DUCK SEASON! WABBIT SEASON!" at me on every possible occasion for two weeks following. So maybe my sensitivity has been turned way down.
posted by nevercalm at 5:22 PM on February 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also - speaking of "bizarre"/different culture foods...

Burger King admits to finding horsemeat in its patties (in the UK, at least)
posted by symbioid at 5:23 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the people who are upset by the 'Orientalist' writing actually got to the end of the first paragraph, where it hammers home the point that he's pushing an ignorant stereotype over the top and draws a direct correlation to what would be equivalent statements about the British.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:27 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Raw horsemeat (basashi) is pretty common in many rural parts of Japan. I've never eaten it (it stinks), and it seems to be one of those foods you would eat at the pub as a beer snack while out with the lads (whale is also consumed as a manly finger food in order to make a statement of one's parochialness).

I do know that in Korea, it's not uncommon for non-Koreans to set up web petitions etc to combat the "barbaric" practice of eating dogs there.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2013


Everything else aside, and I know that's a lot of everything, but I thought there was a reason we don't eat obligate carnivores who eat vertebrates? Or am I totally wrong?
posted by The Whelk at 5:29 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


( and I was steadfastly denied eating horse meat by the SO when abroad, he grew up around horses, and refuses to enter resteraunts that had it in the menu. )
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 PM on February 1, 2013


we don't eat obligate carnivores who eat vertebrates

We eat lots of types of fish that eat other fish, so I'm not sure your idea holds up.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:39 PM on February 1, 2013


Burger King admits to finding horsemeat in its patties (in the UK, at least)

We started selling it back home but I'm pretty sure the burger places there aren't using it to cut the beef yet. Mainly because it's so expensive.

Everything else aside, and I know that's a lot of everything, but I thought there was a reason we don't eat obligate carnivores who eat vertebrates? Or am I totally wrong?

Shark? Snake? Eel? Crocodile? But one would assume that obligate carnivores usually eat sick and wounded targets more than anything. They have much stronger immune systems than us. Usually the only carnivores we eat have the best immune systems found in nature. Shark and crocs are usually at the top of any list.
posted by Talez at 5:40 PM on February 1, 2013


Yep. It's only barbaric when the colored people do it.
posted by cazoo at 5:42 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suspect we're not in the habit of eating carnivores mainly because it's inefficient and troublesome to raise carnivores for food.

Which does raise the question of what in hell they're feeding those dogs.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:44 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yep. It's only barbaric when the colored people do it.

Or considered silly superstition when they don't.
posted by Talez at 5:44 PM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


talking shit about the locals is not okay

What if they are a bunch of assholes?
posted by Meatbomb at 5:44 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


What if they are a bunch of assholes?

America bashing may be fashionable but let's take the high road just to be sure.
posted by Talez at 5:46 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This threads goin' to the dogs in record time...
posted by Skygazer at 5:50 PM on February 1, 2013


draws a direct correlation to what would be equivalent statements about the British

It was kind of lost on me; I'm British (although 7 years ex-pat) and my first reaction was 'what the fuck is a Rustlers burger'?

The equivalent grotty-things-Brits-eat reference back in the day would be the Vesta Curry, I would think. Although that's outdated enough now that Wikipedia doesn't even know what it is.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:50 PM on February 1, 2013


I tried it once, a few years back, in Guilin, China. My buddy had been living there for a few years, and was getting married to a local, so his friends and family converged from three continents. One night after the wedding, he asked if anyone was interested in eating dog (he had other engagements, but thought this would be a cultural experience we might enjoy). I'm willing to try absolutely anything once; I'll eat anything with legs except the table. And my friends aren't nearly as picky as I am. So my buddy writes some Chinese on a piece of paper, basically "please being us ___ shìjīn (half-kilos) of dog."

We head over to the restaurant (from the main intersection with the big department store, head east on the main road to Seven Star Park; it's on your right shortly after you cross the Li River), which looks more like a pet store in front. Turtles, fish, chickens. No dogs that we could see.

And then we went in, and ordered dog, and it came, and we ate it. The plate arrived with the cooked tail sticking up out of the pile of meat, and every once in a while, someone would dig in and come up with a tell-tale piece; a jaw with canines, or a drumpaw. It wasn't very good, frankly. Not the worst thing I had that night (some sort of sweet bean, corn and ice cream dessert that just crossed too many categories for my palate). Sort of greasy, and stringy and tough. The skin, particularly. It had a strong flavour, as well; much gamier than pork, but that's probably the closest reference point.

Horsemeat isn't so bad in comparison. I first had that by accident; I picked up a thing of jerky in Switzerland that looked like beef jerky, then I was laughing about how they had an outline of a horse on their package, that'll give people the wrong impression. About two days later, I had a sudden realization, and looked up pferde in my handy German-English dictionary. I got to share this knowledge later on the trip, when a fellow tourist from Canada was showing off the prime Alberta steak he was about to cook in our hostel kitchen. I broke the news to him beforehand, but he sadly wasn't too grossed out about it to abandon it.

And that's why I always specify I'm allergic to the dander of horses and dogs, when the doctor asks.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:53 PM on February 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


That's My Vice! cue laugh track, credit sequence

It's a joke about how Vice's schtic is so tired that it comes off like a vintage sitcom, if I was not clear at getting the tone across in words.
posted by mediocre at 5:59 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think we avoid primates for reasons of disease, well that and primates.
posted by Shit Parade at 6:02 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


bad grammar "Presumably the dog was free-range"

Very unlikely. Dogs are farmed on the outskirts of the city (I've been a Hanoi resident for some years now).

Once you get past the objections based on cultural assumptions of dogs as man's best friend etc, one of the main objections to dog meat by non-Vietnamese I've met here is that they are not treated well at all. The most commonly quoted evidence for this is that they are beaten to death to make them taste better. I coudn't say whether this is true or just one of those rumours that fly around, though it is repeated often enough to make me wonder.

I've never tried it, and probably won't. I don't have strong moral feelings about the eating of dogs, it just doesn't appeal. The writer's description of tough, chewy meat would equally apply to some traditional ways of cooking ither animals here too - sometimes you wonder what the point it.

The cat meat tradition in North Eastern Vietnam freaks me out a bit though, for reasons that are not entirely rational.
posted by loominpapa at 6:06 PM on February 1, 2013


My brother and I ate some dog while we were at the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea in 1991. We thought they were saying "Duck, duck" but they were saying "Dog, dog." Wasn't bad. Stringy. I'd eat it again.

Of course, I'm from Louisiana. Not much I won't eat.
posted by ColdChef at 6:07 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


over the top

At best, that means he is admitting to be sufficiently lacking in writing talent and basic intelligence to get a point across without resorting to sarcasm.. The lowest form of wit.

I blame Lena Dunham, for no readily apparent reason other than it is natural for me to react to not being a fan of something slash someone who is fawned over to the point where non fans are accused of unrelated things like woman hating.. by wildly overhating them to balance the scales. Not sarcasm, Lena Dunham is somehow responsible for most all evils in the world this week in my head.
posted by mediocre at 6:10 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I wonder if the people who are upset by the 'Orientalist' writing actually got to the end of the first paragraph, where it hammers home the point that he's pushing an ignorant stereotype over the top and draws a direct correlation to what would be equivalent statements about the British."

I read the entire article.
posted by sawdustbear at 6:13 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not certain there's such a thing as a "roast dog" trigger.
posted by duffell at 6:15 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


'Babies Ate My Dingo'

Well done sir, well done.

(no pun intended of course)
posted by photoslob at 6:19 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder why everyone is always in such a hurry to make "jokes" about how HEEEELARIOUS it is to eat dog and cat meat. Haw! Haw! Funny foreigners and tasty, tasty murder always make for a laff riot, amirite? *double high five, bro*
posted by doreur at 6:24 PM on February 1, 2013


I wonder why everyone is always in such a hurry to make "jokes" about how HEEEELARIOUS it is to eat dog and cat meat. Haw! Haw! Funny foreigners and tasty, tasty murder always make for a laff riot, amirite? *double high five, bro*

Because its either laugh about the fact that a bullshit cultural custom prevents me from enjoying the full range of the world's meat or cry about it. I'm not a hypocrite: it you eat ANY meat you should be prepared to eat ALL meat (assuming its prepared well, isn't dangerous, and wasn't somebody you knew)z
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:27 PM on February 1, 2013


Nelson: I don't quite understand why eating dog is such a terrible taboo. Is it because dogs are mostly pets in people's mind?

An awful lot of Americans share their homes with dogs; younger couples in particular can really bond over their animals. For those who have, the thought of eating dog would probably register a lot like eating a human child would. Not as strong, of course, but it would trigger the same basic sense of nausea and horror.

In white America, at least, dogs are often family. I've gathered from various sources that this tends not to be as true in the African-American community, and I don't know the American Latino culture(s) about dogs at all, but white America often seems to regard their dogs as slightly brain-damaged kids.
posted by Malor at 6:27 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I ate dog in South Korea. It was a bit gamey, but decent.

It bothers me immensely when people complain about eating dogs but eat other animals such as pigs and cows. To me, that's like murdering people on Monday and telling Tuesday murderers that they are immoral. Silly and culturally arrogant.
posted by Knigel at 6:31 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


People keep pigs and chickens as pets but there's no squeamishness about eating them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:08 PM on February 1 [1 favorite +] [!]


Yeah pretty much. Goats are my favourite animal, the goofy SOBs. They also taste delicious. Ducks are my second favourite animal, also for their goofiness. Too rich and gamy for my tastes though.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:33 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


This reminds me of one sermon at the Southern Baptist church my mother dragged me to as a kid. Somehow, I don't know how, the sermon touched on eating dogs. Now, being one of the few people of Asian descent in my small town in the southwestern US, I began to feel a tad uneasy. And then suddenly the pastor boomed out, "[Mother's name], you've eaten dog before haven't you?" Everyone in the pews in front of us turned around with knowing grins on their face. My mother, obviously embarassed, shook her head. She really hadn't. It's not something commonly eaten where my parents are from. "Come on, I know you have, don't you all eat them over there?" To this day I don't know why she kept going to that church.

I did eat dog, later on, in a North Korean-run restaurant in a town in northeastern China on the North Korean border, but I specifically requested it. I remember it tasting something like lamb. Which is another cute animal I'd feel bad about eating if I thought about it, but eat anyway.

It does bother me when the Western media focuses on the "bizarre" or "weird" things that are eaten in some parts of Asia so I'm glad the OP mentions that dog is eaten in Europe too. And there are definitely some European foods that are more of an acquired taste, or stinky, or both - the time I opened a packet of Limburger cheese is probably the only time I've literally gagged from the scent of something I was about to put in my mouth, and I've eaten a lot of things. And Limburger's pretty tame compared to something like surstromming, or casu marzu.
posted by pravit at 6:37 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, this is too much and over the top for me and I didn't even click on it. Consider me a past reader.
posted by michellenoel at 6:43 PM on February 1, 2013


At the bottom of the page, there is a link to an older Vice article titled "We Ate Rat Salad". As shocking as the picture of the roast dog is, the pictures in the rat salad article are way more grotesque.
posted by painquale at 6:48 PM on February 1, 2013


I'm not a hypocrite: it you eat ANY meat you should be prepared to eat ALL meat (assuming its prepared well, isn't dangerous, and wasn't somebody you knew)z
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants 19 minutes ago [+]


Dolphins, killer whales, bald eagles, pandas, gorillas, chimpanzees, human fetuses, our parents?
posted by Shit Parade at 6:49 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd draw the line at human fetuses. My dad is a restauranter and loves food, so shared ritual cannibalism after he died (like Meat Loaf's death in Rocky Horror) would be symbolically appropriate. The rest I actively want to try, especially whale.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:53 PM on February 1, 2013


Wow, so even if the animal is nearly extinct that wouldn't really make you pause?
posted by Shit Parade at 6:57 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


A great book that explores the inconsistencies of our attitudes and behavior to animals is Hal Herzog's Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.

I think I read it shortly after the Michael Vick dog-fighting scandal and while I'm still too much of a squeamish picky eater to be excited for dog stew (to be eaten during the dog days of summer in Seoul), I did decide that as long as I eat factory-farmed chicken, I should support the legalization of cock fighting.
posted by spamandkimchi at 6:58 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow, I think I could only get through a few sentences of that article and it was unbearable. No thanks.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:01 PM on February 1, 2013


There's at least a couple of reasons not to eat whales: 1) with the "artisaal fishery", dolphins are incredibly high in heavy metals 2) with industrialized whaling, while "sustainable" species are typically hunted, there aren't enough on the planet for every person to partake.

Come to think of it, there are some great practical reasons not to eat beef - eutrophication, use of grains and other foodstocks for animal feed, sewage and waste, petroleum consumption...
posted by KokuRyu at 7:04 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eating dog squicks me out, because I know what MY dog eats. Not to mention most dogs are mostly muscle, which doesn't appeal.

As far as horsemeat goes, given that most US horses are wormed and given various chemicals--bute etc, I'm not real keen on eating that eather.

I'm not a hypocrite: it you eat ANY meat you should be prepared to eat ALL meat...

Unh, no. Duck and goose are greasy and too much dark meat. Bear's disgusting. Rat? Ugh! Snake--meh. Most of the meat I woud eschew is because it's not to my taste. That said, I have eaten and enjoyed to various degrees: Rocky Mtn oysters, liver, menudo, kidneys, pickled pigs feet, chitlins, goat, lamb balls, and lamb intestine stuffed with rice.

I prefer not to eat hog lips, anus, and skin made into hot dogs, chicken nuggets, meat paste, transglutaminase "meat glue" and McDonalds anything.

ruff reading?
Babies ate my dingo?
goin' to the dogs


Come for the post, heel sit stay for the puns.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:09 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Relevent...
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:17 PM on February 1, 2013


Next Month: Vice Dines with NYPD on Human Flesh
posted by humanfont at 7:25 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are heaps of Vietnamese restaurants near me but due to squeamishness they don't sell dog

Actually, I think you'll find it's because it's illegal, rather than any squeamishness, per se (there are rumours you can get it out at cabra/canley under the table. Never seen any proof though).

I think we avoid primates for reasons of disease, well that and primates.

Bush meat would suggest not - though you are right in that HIV, for example, was thought to have come from eating monkeys with it.

Wow, so even if the animal is nearly extinct that wouldn't really make you pause?

Oh, you are really asking the wrong guy there. Seriously, dude, don't even touch that one with him; we'll be here all night and it won't be pretty.
posted by smoke at 7:26 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


During the year I lived in China, many of the restaurants I frequented for lunch and dinner had dog (gou-rou?) on the menu, but I always passed. Finally, with just a couple weeks before our year was up, another teacher and I went up to one of the Chinese English teachers (a great, warm, funny guy who was studying for the GRE and a possible Fullbright scholarship; he took great pleasure in asking us insanely difficult English grammar questions, always ecstatic when he managed to stump us) and we asked him to take us to a restaurant to get some dog. It'd been staring us in the face so long, and we'd eaten so many other things, we figured why not?

He listened to us, and then shook his head. "No, you can't eat dog now. It's out of season," he said. According to him, one of the founding elements of traditional Chinese medicine was that 'cold' food shouldn't be eaten in winter, and 'hot' food shouldn't be eaten in the summer. Otherwise, the body's balance will become upset, and sickness will follow. Dog, he said, was a 'hot' food, and shouldn't be eaten in the summer. He also said that watermelon, because it grows in full, direct sunlight, was considered a hot food, and should only be eaten in winter. He said all of this, on a 95 degree day, high humidity, drinking out of a jar filled with tea leaves and scalding hot water.

I miss that guy. Never did get around to dog. Horse (delicious, especially raw), donkey (non-stop ass jokes, tasted like corned beef), and all sorts of other things, but not dog.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:34 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, and, on lack of preview, yes, whale. I was taken out for dinner by some business-English students at the end of our term. It used to be pretty common, and it usually was paid for by the company, so the business guys were always pretty excited to be drinking on someone else's dime, and ordered stuff they might otherwise not splash out for. One time, it was whale. They were really excited about it, and they were pretty wonderful guys, and it just wasn't the time or the place to go off on 'why we shouldn't eat whale,' so I just made my peace with it and took a bit.

It was fucking awful. All the glorious mouthfeel of overdone liver, and a taste like, well, rubber. Guh. Raw horse liver was much more interesting.

As for the 'eat one kind, you should eat them all' I disagree with that on the grounds that endangered animals should be off the list. No, you shouldn't eat whale, simply because we've already killed far too many of them, and making them into a food source would pretty much be the end of them.

Also, thumbs. Opposable thumbs removes you from the dinner category. (personal feeling)
posted by Ghidorah at 7:42 PM on February 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


I have also eaten dog, and it was also in Guilin (where it is apparently a delicacy). It looked very similar to the picture in the article, and tasted somewhat like a cross between pork and venison.

I also think dogs make very good pets, and enjoy their company.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:47 PM on February 1, 2013


Horse is better than dog, particularly horse tartare.

Chinese snake wine is fucking terrible.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:49 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


That said, I have eaten and enjoyed to various degrees: Rocky Mtn oysters, liver, menudo

Always wondered why the members kept changing every few years; I never did buy that 'oh, they were getting too old' explanation.

Also, I'd also like to add that Groundhog tastes like an old rubber tire.
posted by chambers at 7:57 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I would never eat dog. Not because I look at my dog and am filled with love for the species. Rather, I look at my dog and remember some of the things he has eaten then barfed up on my floor then eaten again.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:01 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would never eat dog. Not because I look at my dog and am filled with love for the species. Rather, I look at my dog and remember some of the things he has eaten then barfed up on my floor then eaten again.


If you eat pork or goat, you should stop right now.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:14 PM on February 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


As a non-dog owner, I gather from Dog Shaming that dogs eat a lot of cat poop. Grass-fed beef, poop-fed dog?

I looked up what the internet had to say about the common diet of goats, I'm still cool with eating goat cheese.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:18 PM on February 1, 2013


I doubt I have ever eaten a pig that ate a marmot that was dead for three months. Not that a pig wouldn't but pretty much all pork we eat is from hogs raised in confinement. Also, bacon. It just nullifies all arguments against it. I doubt there is any equivalent dogbacon.
posted by Foam Pants at 8:29 PM on February 1, 2013


I would never eat dog. Not because I look at my dog and am filled with love for the species. Rather, I look at my dog and remember some of the things he has eaten then barfed up on my floor then eaten again.

Two of my most vivid memories of childhood are a) watching a particularly stupid laptop eat dried dung and b) going to awesome cub scout camp in the winter and watching a dog barf up sausages and then eat them all over again.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:40 PM on February 1, 2013


In white America, at least, dogs are often family. I've gathered from various sources that this tends not to be as true in the African-American community, and I don't know the American Latino culture(s) about dogs at all, but white America often seems to regard their dogs as slightly brain-damaged kids.

This is sort of a weird pack of generalizations. Anyway, you skipped me but I'm Asian American and my childhood dog was a family member, too.
posted by sweetkid at 8:46 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I ate a few dogs in my day - then I curbed the drinkin'
posted by porn in the woods at 8:54 PM on February 1, 2013


If you eat pork or goat, you should stop right now.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:14 PM on February 1 [+] [!]


NEVER!
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 8:57 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Had dog in Seoul. Tasted like gamy beef, and it's actually rather expensive since a lot of younger Koreans won't touch the stuff for various reasons (animal cruelty, and making them look "backwards" to Western eyes).

That said, as long as us Mefi ex-pats are complaining, I can't stand the Western stereotype of the "sneaky Asian" who will slip dog into your dinner when you aren't looking.

In Korea, you could never eat dog by accident. You will go to a specialized dog restaurant (in fact, all Korean restaurants specialize). You will know exactly what you're ordering. Out will come a big pot with slices of dog meat next to the rib cage of said animal, cooking away.

I remember watching some awful Gordon Ramsay show where he had on a pretty young thing who had modeled in Seoul, and he asked her if she'd eaten dog. She said something to the effect of "Well, at a party they gave me something that I think was dog."

Bullshit. It doesn't work that way. There's plenty to be said about the treatment of animals in general, and in fact the life of a "shit dog" here (there's a specific breed raised for its meat) is terrible, probably about the same as one of the millions of chickens or pigs or cows raised on a US mega-farm. But when Koreans do eat dog meat it's a very deliberate thing, not an accident.

It's a summer food anyhow.
posted by bardic at 9:08 PM on February 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Summer food in Korea? That's pretty interesting, as in China we were told it was winter food. Sure cultures are different, but it's fun to see some of the more extreme differences in the smallest of details.

And you're dead right about the stereotype. The menu on the wall at one of our standard places had most beef dishes at four yuan (50 cents or so at the time), and dog was the next most expensive thing at ten times the price.

The thing that boggles my mind about things like the horse meat in ground beef in Ireland recently is that, at least in Japan, horse meat is painfully expensive. A half pound block of frozen horse meat for sashimi costs (from a butcher shop) maybe $15. Go to an izakaya, and you'll get eight slices for the equivalent of seven or eight bucks. No one would 'slip' horse into your food in Japan, it's just too damn expensive.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:33 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was just in Hanoi last December, I was offered dog but did not eat any and bardic is correct you can not eat dog by accident you have to go to the dog restaurant. plus dog in Vietnam is Winter food .


In white America, at least, dogs are often family. I've gathered from various sources that this tends not to be as true in the African-American community, and I don't know the American Latino culture(s) about dogs at all, but white America often seems to regard their dogs as slightly brain-damaged kids.


What a silly and inaccurate thing to say. people either like dogs or they don't
posted by kanemano at 9:55 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was specifically steered away from eating dog meat by my mother. She stated it was inappropriate food for a woman since it was considered for men to "make them strong". She also found the method of preparation cruel, the beating the dog to death to make it tender. This was a woman who slaughtered her own meat by hand when I was growing up.
posted by jadepearl at 10:06 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was a vegetarian for 18 years, and 6 or so years ago started eating meat again. As a vegetarian, I held the view that all meat is meat, and if you eat cow then dog or cat should be on they menu too.

Now, as a meat eater, I'd never eat cat or dog because they're pets. I fully realize the hypocrasy and yet accept that it is what it is. I also really like pigs, and always make sure to give them scritches at the state fair yet still eat pig. Maybe its because I have never really made a personal bond with one. On the other hand, I keep and breed fish, and get very attached to them yet I love eating fish. It is just so yum.

I often ponder these things; including how quickly the turn around from meat is evil to Ron Swanson levels of "must have ALL the meat." Most of the beliefs I held as a vegetarian persist, but I can only attribute epic levels of cognative dissidence is allow me to enjoy my steak.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:25 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh. Dog meat is definitely a summer food "for strength" against the heat in South Korea:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_meat_consumption_in_South_Korea

Interesting that it's winter food in other parts of Asia.
posted by bardic at 12:31 AM on February 2, 2013


Back in the early 70's I was walking along the banks of the Han River in Seoul with a friend. We were out wandering with our cameras. The river was low, there was a substantial expanse of dry ground below the banks. Up ahead we saw a family- mom, dad, 6 year old kid and their dog, playing beside the river. Nearby was a 8 ft high open storm drain pipe, easily accessible. We continued on down the river bank for a couple of hours and then walked back. As we approached the spot where we had seen the family, we noticed that there was smoke coming out of the storm drain pipe, and the smell of something roasting. We could see dad tending to something over a wood fire 10 or 15 feet into the drain... Mom and kid were still sitting next to the river. Dog was nowhere to be seen.
posted by HuronBob at 4:01 AM on February 2, 2013


Man let's just fuck and eat and murder everything until our balls are empty and our bellies full. Fuck a volcano and eat a baby's face and then fire a rocket full of shit and iPods at the moon. Take a blue whale and stuff it with every other animal on earth, largest to smallest like a big Matryoshka doll and wrap it in bacon and just roast it over a burning slick of oil and we all just eat our way to the middle of it and there's a man and a woman in there fucking and eating one another and then we all vomit at once and just drown, jesus christ.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 4:54 AM on February 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


What about monkeys?
posted by nathancaswell at 5:27 AM on February 2, 2013


That reminds me, dahlia, I have been meaning to watch The Holy Mountain again.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:31 AM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


It does bother me when the Western media focuses on the "bizarre" or "weird" things that are eaten in some parts of Asia so I'm glad the OP mentions that dog is eaten in Europe too.

According to a Native American anthropological professor from whom I took a class -- Jim Miller -- dog is consumed by his associates in Wisconsin as part of a tradition which is observed every three or four years. My memory fails me as to specific details, outside of the note that labs and larger dogs are preferred.

When I have opportunity to relate this I'm concerned that people will assume I'm trying to denigrate the Anishinaabe or something; this is not the case. I find it instructive that, essentially, all kinds of things are transpiring all kinds of places. As it were.
posted by mr. digits at 8:31 AM on February 2, 2013


I wonder if this Vice article is related to this article about meat eating in Vietnam which has been criticized for basically being, well, racist.
posted by GuyZero at 9:30 AM on February 2, 2013


Anyone who eats pork, beef or chicken has absolutely no business getting sniffy about eating dog, cat or any other animal. If you deem it morally justifiable to kill animals for food it makes little sense making spurious distinctions between them.

I'm a happy meat-eater, and I'd try dog, cat or meerkat if someone persuaded me it was tasty. Not my own cat, though. She's too cute to butcher. "Too Cute to Butcher" is the name of my new death metal album, by the way. Unavailable on Mefi Music soon.
posted by Decani at 9:52 AM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wonder if this Vice article is related to this article about meat eating in Vietnam which has been criticized for basically being, well, racist.


Blech, and in the second link you posted Brinkley doesn't do a very good job of acquitting himself:

On the issue of meat and aggressiveness, perhaps that was not as well phrased as it should have been," he wrote. "But eating a diet rich in protein will make you more robust than others, in Laos, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian states who eat rice and very little else. After all, half of Laotian children grow up stunted, even today. In Cambodia the rate is 40 percent. That means they grow up short and not so smart. Would it also follow that they would be less aggressive than Vietnamese? I think so."
posted by sweetkid at 9:59 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Distinguishing between foods:

[Horse is good, I'm told that mule is better. Never ate a dog, but I would. Dont like mutton, mostly. I've eaten many types of mammals--when my brother and I went out to hunt meat, nothing was off-limits. Badgers and racoons are not so good. Possums are best if captured and fed lettuce for a few days. Squirrells are good for stew. Bear is good if made into chile, venison is meh, but elk is tasty. Snake is greasy but tastey. Frogs legs....mmmm, good, but pig is hands down, far and away the best. You get the idea.]...just saying.

I don't like broccoli, but I deny that loving fresh strawberrys makes me a hypocritical vegetableist.

Vice writer: lively prose, but unfocused. He should try the nouc mam.
posted by mule98J at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Anyone who eats pork, beef or chicken has absolutely no business getting sniffy about eating dog, cat or any other animal. If you deem it morally justifiable to kill animals for food it makes little sense making spurious distinctions between them.

Well, for one thing, it's about ten times more inefficient to eat carnivores rather than herbivores. Also, dogs have been mankind's companion for a long, long time, and all the breeds of dog out there exist because humans sought to breed them for a specific purpose. Indeed, if it weren't for humans, dogs wouldn't exist at all. There would just be wolves and foxes. So I think you can make the case that eating man's best friend is immoral.
posted by bookman117 at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


You think angus cattle would exist at all if it wasn't for humans?
posted by nathancaswell at 10:39 AM on February 2, 2013


I think I need to bow (wow) out of this thread. I do believe, I am slightly scarred by the photos in this story, I'm afraid.

Also, I just had a horrid realization that Peanuts was probably a way waayy different comic strip in Vietnam...
posted by Skygazer at 12:23 PM on February 2, 2013


And Charlie err..Brown, meant a whole different thing.

It's true, I agree....I need to stop going on the internet when I'm on acid...

DEE DEE MOW!! DEE DEE MOW!!!

One shot...

Good grief, WTF, Metafilter!!

posted by Skygazer at 12:36 PM on February 2, 2013


Anyone who eats pork, beef or chicken has absolutely no business getting sniffy about eating dog, cat or any other animal. If you deem it morally justifiable to kill animals for food it makes little sense making spurious distinctions between them.

I'm not a hypocrite: it you eat ANY meat you should be prepared to eat ALL meat

I tend to make my own decisions and rules, not follow some sort of grade school black and white morality from the internet. Subtlety and thoughtfulness are not weaknesses.
posted by bongo_x at 1:18 PM on February 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


People keep pigs and chickens as pets but there's no squeamishness about eating them.

Close contact with chickens has made me feel happier about eating them. Living with a dog for more than a decade has had the opposite effect.
posted by purpleclover at 7:12 PM on February 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


go ahead and chow down on Fluffy too.
Funny use of the phrase. Chow Chow "The black tongued Chow Chow was also bred for human consumption." [etymology], or was that a purposeful use?
posted by unliteral at 2:50 AM on February 3, 2013


Kokuryu: Anyway, I can never understand why contemporary folks write about "strange" practices in another country. We're living in a global age now. There is no normal/strange anymore.

Really?

You can't understand how people might classify things that are different from what they've been brought up with as strange? That they might think of things that are out of the ordinary for them, sometimes by orders of magnitude (in this case eating creatures typically kept for work or companionship), as strange? That is pretty much what "strange" means.

And you further can't understand why people would write about these different and unfamiliar practices for an audience of like-minded people who would find them equally different and unfamiliar (in this case an American magazine for an American audience where eating dogs is seen as taboo)? Are you similarly flummoxed by the purpose of many documentaries on other cultures/practices/beliefs?

I mean I get that this is the Age of the Internet and all, and it's not that I don't agree with the intent of what you said, but it's like you're citing cultural relativism in an effort to say there is no cultural relativism. Assuming everyone is as connected, aware, informed, and instantly accepting of all beliefs and practices everywhere, and even going so far as to put forth the notion that "there is no normal/strange anymore" strikes me as a little naive.

"You keep a collection of mostly flightless birds and eat their ova? That is very different and unfamiliar to my life experience."
"What? No it isn't, it's the 21st century, there's no such thing as normal or strange."

/beanplate
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:18 AM on February 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Decani: "Anyone who eats pork, beef or chicken has absolutely no business getting sniffy about eating dog, cat or any other animal. If you deem it morally justifiable to kill animals for food it makes little sense making spurious distinctions between them.

I'm a happy meat-eater, and I'd try dog, cat or meerkat if someone persuaded me it was tasty. Not my own cat, though. She's too cute to butcher. "Too Cute to Butcher" is the name of my new death metal album, by the way. Unavailable on Mefi Music soon.
"

Well, as I said earlier, I could not eat my cat. Because he is too much of a basically harmless, hopelessly cheerful little bundle of love.

(Plus, I suspect once you get past all that fur, there isn't that much cat there.)

But the love thing. Seriously.
posted by Samizdata at 3:34 PM on February 26, 2013


Well, as I said earlier, I could not eat my cat. Because he is too much of a basically harmless, hopelessly cheerful little bundle of love.

Harmless, except when it's claws bite into your skin and you remember that it's evolutionarily related to big cats that could eat you without a thought.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:47 PM on February 26, 2013


"Christmas would not be Christmas without a roast cat, according to a Sardinian peasant woman as reported to Elizabeth David" and repeated by Mary Beard, generating a public service message from languagehat.
posted by unliteral at 7:02 PM on February 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh kittens, in our hours of ease
Uncertain toys and full of fleas,
When pain and anguish hang o’er men,
We turn you into sausage then.

An interesting article on eating cats.
It states, "In one region of Europe, the traditional Christmas meal is not a turkey or a beef joint, but a cat specially fattened for the occasion." Hmm… I wonder what the source was for that?
It also has this very questionable statement, "In Australia, where the feral cats have become a severe problem, Aboriginal tribes now hunt and eat the feral cats. They may have little choice because the cats have nearly wiped out their normal prey." Maybe they are basing it on this probably, one-off story about Kaye Kessing cooking a cat stew for a cooking competition in Alice Springs.
posted by unliteral at 7:32 PM on February 26, 2013


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