Cats

No, not the musical – the debate raging in Guangdong on whether or not to eat them. Photos and message board comments and lots of passion.

This is a hard one, Do we not eat animals that are adorable and/or smart? Because no animal (aside from man) is as smart as the pig, and some of them can be quite adorable. Being a cat lover, I could never eat one, but does that mean others shouldn’t be allowed to? My emotional impulse is to answer Yes, but I’m not sure that argument would sway the jury.

Update: Speaking of pets, please take a look at this heartbreaking post by a fellow China blogger whose dog may be dying due to Optima dog food made in the US but apparently contaminated in China:

Allegedly, the reason for the contamination is because during the Olympics the Chinese gov’t set tight restrictions on ports of entry for importing. All the dog food was therefore brought in through the hot and humid Guangzhou, where it sat in a non-temperature controlled warehouse long enough for the aflatoxin to develop in the food.

So sorry to read that post, and hope Addie pulls through. Ryan sounds uncharacteristically upset; I would be, too.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

Well… at least the do not give you cat telling that is is rabbit in Guandong’s restaurants.

“Serving cat as is were rabbit” Spanish proverb about cheating.
Sometimes happened in real life, specially in times of scarcity ;-)

December 25, 2008 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

Anything that’s unsanitary shouldn’t be eaten. Otherwise, who cares.

December 26, 2008 @ 5:05 am | Comment

Well, I suppose the thing being eaten might care.

December 26, 2008 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

Then you ask, “just how tasty is said thing”. If you can eat pigs even despite their intelligence, more or less anything but dolphins and great apes is fair game.

December 26, 2008 @ 2:53 pm | Comment

Just like in a lot of other matters, there is no universal rule on what you should or should not eat, except for ur own kind. Try to generalize such a rule will lead to judging one culture from another, which is not only silly and also dividing. Maybe Americans are pround of freedom of speech, while Chineses just are pround of freedom of choosing my food.

December 26, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Comment

I doubt that cats are raised for food. As most of those cats are probably caught as stray cats anyways. Too bad in China they don’t neuter or spay those cats to reduce the cat population and they have to resort to this.

December 26, 2008 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

If India ever becomes the dominant world power and they start banning hamburgers and steak worldwide, I’m going to be pissed.

December 27, 2008 @ 10:15 am | Comment

Hey Richard, thanks for the well wishes – she’s still holding in there, but there’s such a small window of hope for this type of thing.

Re: Cats – I’m sure they’d be a much more likely meal if they were easier to herd.

December 27, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Comment

Some people also raise pigs as pets. So if pigs can be eaten, why not cats.

December 28, 2008 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

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