Inside Asia’s Vile Meat Market
Posted On April 15, 2020
This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Eastern Culture Proves it is Much Different Than Ours
Recently, many theories have circulated that bats spread COVID-19. Whether that is true or not, Asia’s meat market is indeed disgusting. When was the last time you ever heard, “I like the cut of meat on that bat?” Indeed, it is a polarizing world in the East. A strange world that believes rats are no different than pork.
Domestically, it is polarizing to some to feed on cows, chickens, horses, and the like. Although few in the world have a chicken watching television on their lap like a dog. In Canada, we have eaten some weird stuff too. Historically, beaver, bear, and moose we’ve consumed as “canucks”. I understand the society is different, I realize the culture clash. What we consider condemnable to eat is not their issue. Let’s examine all these rare Eastern delicacies.
Cats (No, Not the Movie)
In Guangdong and Guangxi, in south-eastern China, some consider cat flesh a good warming food. In Guangdong, cat meat serves as the primary ingredient in dragon, tiger, phoenix. Moreover, they claim the dish fortifies the body. Additionally, a group known as cat-collectors, supply the southern restaurants with these kitties. Coincidentally, my mind makes me think of an Asian version of the child catcher from Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang.
In Korea, cat meat historically is brewed in a tonic. The folk remedy allegedly cures arthritis. Indeed, there are some weird ritualistic healing methods in the east. However, it does not take away from the sheer depravity of the situation. Naturally, it is sickening to other cultures.
Bats and Rats
As I mentioned previously, it is a wide-spread claim that a bat caused COVID-19. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) indeed blames the eastern delicacy for the outbreak. Although many in the east are souring on the consumption of cats, bats remain consumed daily, not only in China. It is also present in Guam, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia.
They use bats to make soups, stews, curries, and stir-fries, particularly Fruit bats. In addition, Hot Pot is made with whole bats and served in restaurants in southern China. Fruit bats being the primary ingredient in Palauan soup, which calls for mixing it with coconut milk, spices, and ginger. You would hope they gut them first.
I have a question for you. Have you ever seen a rat run through your backyard and think how delicious it would look on a plate? Commonly, in Yangshuo, Guangxi, China, rats are consumed regularly. It is a food seen as taboo to some, yet a dietary staple to others. Rat meat is not just prevalent in China. Likewise, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand also consider rat meat a delicacy. Funny enough, many claim rat legs mirror the taste and look of chicken legs. Does this mean we can have scrambled rat eggs with a side of bat bacon?
Back to Dogs
Coming in at 19 grams of protein per serving, and 44.4 milligrams of cholesterol, is dog meat: it’s what’s for dinner. China, Vietnam, and South Korea have traditionally been the primary consumers of dog meat. However, in the interest of fairness, Asian countries are not the only ones. Nigeria, and surprisingly Switzerland have historically consumed their fair share of dog.
Canines often used for consumption include(d) the Nureongi, the Polynesian Dog, Kuris, and Tahitian Dogs. All but the Nureongi breeds are historically used, and are now extinct, perhaps, because they ate them. Although, these dogs in Asian culture seem bred to feed to humans. Perhaps more sickening, Labrador retrievers and cocker spaniels also get slaughtered.
Compare all of this to the cast of Homeward Bound served on a buffet. In 2014, an estimated 25 to 30 million dogs had been consumed worldwide by humans. Thankfully, this number is not substantial. In fact, this figure remains relatively low, thus a bright side in all of this.
Thankfully, China is Finally Listening
The good news here is a lot of the east, China, mainly, is listening. Mass protests, particularly surrounding cats and dogs, have swept their nation. This is due in part to cats becoming more common as house pets. Moreover, Shenzhen, China, became the first Chinese city to ban eating cats and dogs.
More good news, China has also recently reclassified dogs as pets. Dogs are no longer considered livestock. Undoubtedly, this can be attributed to post-corona virus legislation. One could never convince me to eat a dog or a cat. One could never convince me to eat a rat or a bat. In time, the culture will hopefully change. When it does, more dogs and cats worldwide will live to bark and meow another day. Shalom, my friends.
Brendon Stitt is a writer for NRN. He has a master's degree in business and a vast knowledge of economics. Stitt's a neighbor to the north from Canada, though follows US politics religiously. Stitt covers a variety of topics from sports, to business and the markets, pop culture, and so much more.