Dog Meat - Thit chó: eating a (hot) dog
All those photos are Copyright © by Tristan Savatier - All Rights Reserved.
No commercial use without written permission.
WARNING! This set contains 89 photos. Most of them are very GRAPHIC, not suitable for kids and people with a weak stomach!
Western culture considers that eating a dog is cruel, barbaric and disgusting (not illegal, though), but we have no problem eating all other sorts of animals, as long as they are not called pets.
But for the vast majority of people on earth, cultural values are very different. Dog meat is considered a delicacy in some asian cultures (including China, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Mayanmar), and indeed cooked dog meat is very tasty and protein rich. Maybe you should try it some day (if you are not vegetarian).
By the way, I think if westerners had to slaughter the animal themself each time they want to eat meat, there would be a lot more vegetarians! Most people would not even want to kill a chicken!
In Vietnamese, "Thịt chó" means dog meat (Thịt = meat, chó = dog), and you see this sign on countless restaurants and shops around the country. In many regions, it is much more common to find dog meat than beef on the market.
"Food dogs", i.e. dogs raised for meat, are not pets and they have no names. They are bred in farms, just like pigs, beefs, lambs, chicken and other farm animals. They are probably bred in cages, which may be cruel but is common for most farmed animals anywhere in the world. They are put down "humanely" just like any other animal used for food, usually by slitting the throat and beeding the animal until it passes out.
This series of photos shows the process involved in preparing a dog for dinner, from slautering to cutting-up, eviscerating, be-boning, sausage-making, cooking and of course eating!
I do not personally condone cruelty to animal (any animal), and these photos are not for promoting the asian tradition of eating dog. But do you really think that eating a dog is worse than eating a cow, a pig, a lamb or a chichen?
Yes, In the U.S., people get prison terms for what Asians do to dogs and for what europeans do to horses. But in India, people also get jailed for what Westerners do to cows.
Since the majority of people looking at these photos are Americans, I was wondering if it is actually illegal to eat dog meat in the US (or for restaurants, to serve dog meat to a customer who orders some ?).
Here is the information I got from Steve Wertz: There is no federal law against eating/serving dog meat. In Hawaii, for example, it's perfectly legal as long as the dog is not a stray or has been killed inhumanely. Other states laws vary. The majority of states have laws against commercial uses of dog meat, but not necessarily personal consumption in the home.
In California, since there are many Chinese Americans, they had to make it illegal to eat dog meat or any "animal traditionally or commonly kept as a pet or companion ".(California PENAL CODE Section 598b).
but wait... "animal traditionally or commonly kept as a pet or companion "... "traditionally or commonly" ? what does that mean, precisely? I suppose they want it to mean "cats and dogs", but a lawyer could certainely argue that this law is much too vague to be enforceable. For exemple, does this cover fish pets (kept in fishbowls)? hmmm...
Interestingly enough, California has a much stronger protection to prevent horses from being slaughtered for the purpose of eating them as meat (California PENAL CODE Section 598c)
I've heard that the US exports a lot of horse meat to europe (where is it commonly eaten, just like cows and pigs), but they have to slaughter the horses in other states.
I like this un-attributed quote:
"If one condemns eating of the meat of one particular animal, one must condemn the eating of the meats of ALL animals. Those who do not are just a pot calling a kettle black."
These photos were taken one evening of November 2005. The first series (up to the dinner) was taken in Bac Ha, a small town in the Northern part of Vietnam, not far from the Chinese border. The following photos showing dog meat shops on markets were taken on various markets of the region, including Bac Ha, Cao Bằng and Lang Sơn.
In case you are wondering, I did not order the dog for dinner, I just stumbled on the scene in the street and documented it, since I had my camera.
Some of these photos have been published in the 25 Jan 06 issue of Bild-Zeitung, Germany's
largest mass circulation newspaper. See also this post in the BildBlog.
NEW DEVELOPMENT: Some of the photos of this series have been published on March 7, 2009 by a major Thai newspaper called manager.co.th, without my permission. This is a typical case of copyright infringement. See the article and readers comments (in Thai).
NEW DEVELOPMENT: After I published this set, I got BANNED from the Dogs! Dogs! Dogs! group - even though i did not post any of these photos in their pool (i just provided the link for anyone interested). Censoring / banning me for this shows how most westerners are inceadibly shocked by these images, to the point of considering censorship to prevent other from seeing them. Punish a photo-journalist for his good work? Amazing...
NEW DEVELOPMENT: Those photos have been illegally used to make a slideshow video entitled "dogs market in hanoi" promoting racism and hate speech against asian people. This video was published on Youtube. It has been removed after I filed a copyright enfringement claim. If you see other copies of this video, please notify me immediately.
NEW DEVELOPMENT: Yahoo/Flickr required that most of the photos in this set be marked 'restricted', i.e. CENSORED from non-members. Flicker members must set their SafeSearch Filter to OFF in their Flickr account's Privacy and Permissions tab, or watch them on www.dog-meat.com .
PREVIOUS DEVELOPMENT: Most of the 89 photos in this set have now been CENSORED by Flickr (they say those are "inappropriate / contentious images", not allowed to be public according to the Flickr Community Guidelines). You can read the discussion regarding Flickr Censorship in this forum.
Some interesting and related sites:
- Wok the Dog
What's wrong with eating man's best friend? - By William Saletan
- everything2.com - Dog, the other white meat
- Authentic Vietnamese Cooking : Food from a Family Table (Hardcover)
- The French consumption of dog meat
- Dog Meat: Cultural Bias & Food Choices
- Eating dogs: animal abuse or cultural gap?
- Wok the Dog
- Taiwan Bans The Selling Of Dog Meat
- ASIAN ANIMAL PROTECTION NETWORK: Food Dogs
- Korea Animal Protection Society
- Dog Stew - By Jon Dunkerley
- Where else dogs and cats are eaten
- Horse Meat
- CATS - FRIEND OR FOOD? - by Sarah Hartwell
This series is part of my Vietnam photo album.
You can also check these smaller selections of photos on selected subjects:
- Tribe people of Vietnam: A selection of my best photos of Tribe people from Northern Vietnam.
- Markets of Vietnam.
- Tiết canh (raw blood soup).
- Road construction in Vietnam.
- Spaying a piglet.
Don't hesitate to leave a comment.