Dogs in China: More on Leashes, Less on the Menu


pup and boys in tub china.jpg
(Two boys and a pup in a tub being pulled to safey in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, China; photo credit: Li Jinxiong, China Daily)
The real story behind the picture above is that there have been devastating floods in several of China’s provinces — including Zhejiang Province and Henan Province.
An aside though to this more troubling story of environmental pressures in China is the growing prevalence of dogs as pets — as opposed to dogs for food.
Unlike the Bugs Bunny commercials in which the rabbit often ended up in tubs to be cooked, these boys and their little dog are safe. During other trips to Beijing years ago, I had difficulty finding restaurants that didn’t serve dog on the menu. Perhaps I was just in the wrong part of town or didn’t know the city well — but dog meat was widespread as far as I was concerned.
But on this trip, I have seen more dogs as pets than I have ever seen before. Citizens in the district where I am staying are also petitioning the government to allow larger dogs as house pets.
And pleasantly, despite eating out at all sorts of places around Beijing these last couple of weeks, I haven’t seen dog on the menu once — neither in English nor in Chinese characters.
Just saying. . . Now if you are into bullfrog, snake, pig cheeks, pigeon, and boar — you’ll have an awesome meal throughout the city.
— Steve Clemons


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