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Dinner doggie-style

with 23 comments

Dog meat butcher I’m a vegetarian. I don’t eat meat. And though I don’t like the smell of raw meat at butcher shops, it usually doesn’t bother me very much.

But when I looked around an open-air market in Hanoi today, I did get slightly nauseous in one corner of the market. I came across something that I hadn’t anticipated: dog butchers.

Nothing for the faint-hearted

There were about three or four stalls selling dog meat. All of the animals had been skinned and grilled. Some were lighter in colour, others reddish brown and crispy looking.chopping up dog meat

As I walked by, a Vietnamese woman was buying some dog meat. I guess she didn’t want the whole animal, because all of a sudden, the butcher swung her big knife and hacked the dog that lay in front of her in two. WHACK!

And CHOP, WHACK, CHOP, the butcher continued her mad frenzy. In the end, she had chopped the grilled animal to pieces the size of goulash.

The butcher put everything in a bag, the Vietnamese housewife took it and walked away happily.

Dining with the dogs

I knew that there are dog restaurants in a northern suburb of Hanoi. But I hadn’t expected to stumble upon grilled dogs at the market stalls just outside my hotel. After all, it’s an upmarket hotel in downtown Hanoi.

But I suppose not many of the hotel’s international guests venture into this Vietnamese market – even though it’s just a few steps from the hotel.

It must be an acquired taste

The smell at the dog meat market stalls was strange. Hard to describe. Was it the smell, the sight or the idea of the dead dogs that made me feel sick?

The Vietnamese clearly aren’t as sensitive. For them, dog is just as common a dish as pork, beef or chicken.

A tourist from New Zealand, whom I talked to a few days ago, said he had tried dog meat at one of the city’s dog meat restaurants. He said he liked the taste.

dog meat butcher

I don’t think I could have eaten dog meat. Even if I wasn’t a vegetarian, dog is where I’d draw the line. Seeing and smelling those grilled dogs at the market made that very clear to me.

In Vietnam, it’s mostly men who will eat dog. Women don’t seem to enjoy it as much. Eating dog is associated with aggressiveness.

But even the Vietnamese men will not eat dog meat at the beginning of the lunar month. That’s considered bad luck.

So At the beginning of every lunar month, Hanoi’s dog meat restaurants stay closed.

And the ladies selling grilled dog at the street market have a few days off. To walk the dog?

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Written by Thorsten

June 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm

23 Responses

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  1. Goodness, I know people in China eat dog meat boiled in soup, not sure if they sell it like that. Didn’t know Vietnamese eat dog meat as well! I had been to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and visited the wet markets, but have never seen stalls selling dog meat! I don’t take red meat, so I guess the thought of it is a bit gross.

    Tisu Girl

    June 2, 2008 at 1:19 pm

  2. That’s a very strange sight, indeed. Eating dog is a ancient tradition in Mexico where they raised hairless dogs called Xoloitzcuitle., or Mexican Hairless. The dogs (usually puppies) were fattened on corn and sacrificed and eaten. They were also revered as guides in the afterlife…. The modern Chinese Crested dog is probably a decendent of the Xolo. The Chinese apparently used them for their heat, to treat arthritis.

    Angela

    June 2, 2008 at 5:36 pm

  3. […] dog meat touches a sensitive spot in Westerners. I remember that coming across a dog meat butcher in Vietnam definitely came as a mild shock to me when I was there a few weeks […]

  4. Hi
    and a non veg
    but do not prefer sme thing like this
    with non veg im also an animal lover
    looking at some thing
    that shows that the faith full freind of human is being killed just to fullfill the stomach of human only
    there are many thing that you can think of having
    but not a dog
    i have four dogs in my home
    as i told that im a non veg that means that i am a meat eater
    i do give meat to eat my dog also cause they are also non veg
    now if a situations comes that there is no meat
    and the options are dog meat
    i would rather like to become a vegitarian than a non veg
    after all it matters
    shoud i start eating my best freinds freind.
    hey for those who eat dog meat keep a puppy in your home
    raise him
    kick him in his stamach
    see that he will get back to you once again
    cause he still belives in best freindship
    do it with your own son
    when he is grown
    he will kick you back or he will not return
    it may that he will return but you would see the attitude in his eyes
    do the same with your dog
    the dog will come back to you
    and you would see the same love for you in his eyes
    ==so love dog
    ==keep one
    ==then you would see
    ==if not then you are the most unfaithfull freind in the world

    xavier deka

    December 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm

  5. Hey they are even eat rat, pig, frog, and of course dog

    Ali

    March 25, 2010 at 2:13 pm

  6. People eating dog meat are sick in their heads

    Mimi

    July 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm

  7. These women are sadists…

    Mimi

    July 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

  8. Hi i’m Luz, for all of you dumb people that eat dogs or puppies I think you guys are crazy.Dogs have feelings to,its like someone eating a family member of yours.I never ate dog meat before.If you eat dog meat you guys are the meanest people I ever met.So if you eat dog meat or puppy meat,eat one of your family members first,see how you feel,see how others feel.Thats how dogs feel when you eat one of them.Remeber dogs have feelings too.Also remember eat one of your family members first,see how you feel,most important see how others feel!Dogs are man’s best friends,they alert you if theres someone that wants to harm you,they also detect cancer.Don’t eat dog meat anymore youdumb dog-eating monsters!

    luz elena torres

    November 3, 2010 at 8:27 am

  9. I hate all of dog-eating monsters.You guys are dumb old people that lost your mind.I’m warrning you eat one of YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS FIRST! I HATE ALL OF YOU PEOPLE THAT EAT DOG MEAT!

    Luz Elena Torres

    November 3, 2010 at 8:35 am

  10. I can’t think of a better use for the fat, lazy, useless, viscious, poorly controlled mutts in Brooklyn whose only contributions to the world are: their unprovoked attacks on people, their waste of food that people need, their shit and piss all over the sidewalk( their lousy owners are too lazy to clean it up; or at least, have their lousy shithounds go in the gutter). Maybe some of the sons of bitches and bitches in our dog pounds could be exported to countries that enjoy them. If there is a Depression, millions of Americans might have to give dog meat a try.They are like India’s sacred cows: an unutilized food source and a waste of resources.

    James

    April 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm

  11. illiterate sick fools! They absolutely disgust me!

    Anonymous

    July 13, 2011 at 2:00 am

    • you’re stupid

      Anonymous

      August 21, 2011 at 3:57 am

  12. mannn..i just ate a sandwich and im watching this shit.. arrrr i wanna throw up! nasty pieces of shit!

    Lyana

    September 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  13. For many decades people in this region of the planet have had to eat whatever they found moving, in order to survive. Perhaps they don’t need to eat dog today, but perhaps they do. I remember eating bull frog legs growing up in Oklahoma. Tastes like chicken.
    So while we’re ordering at McDonald’s, just keep in mind that deep in the areas of places most of us would never travel… people will eat anything to live.

    Paul Baker

    November 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    • You’ve got a point. And we should remember that our sensibilities for what we consider good food or plain inedible are largely dependent on our cultural background and upbringing. Dog is a taboo in our society – but so is pork in some others…

      Thorsten

      November 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

  14. who cares, if you like dog meat enjoy. not my thing but i dont see how eating a dog is any worse than having that turkey on the table for thanks giving or the ham on christmas of the tons of cow flesh eaten from McDonnalds drive throughs every day.
    meat is meat.
    wether it go moo or woof, cluck or meow.

    Guk

    November 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    • would you eat human meat too? in case you didnt know, we also have “red” skeletal meat. perhaps you would be better at home in barbaric africa, where mentality such as yours is not only accepted, but promoted.

      hira

      August 29, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  15. these people are savages

    horrible people are among us

    September 11, 2012 at 7:11 am

  16. Why you people are saying these type of foolishness.
    If you can eat chicken,beef and pigs, then they can eat dogs.

    Abhi

    September 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    • you are everything that is unfortunate about the world we live in. i hope you grow a conscience in this lifetime.

      hira

      August 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

  17. as a besotted dog owner for many decades, ive raised more than 20 dogs. there is a reason why dogs are called “man’s best friend.” their loyalty, love and concern for their human counterparts is inexplicable and overwhelming. and all i can say is- dogs are very much a part of my family and im sure the vast majority of the educated, liberal-minded and progressive population of the western world would agree with me. (keep in mind, im not even referring to animal-rights activists.) this article made me throw up. how much lower can the human race sink? lets please stop eating potential family members (cats as well as dogs) and just stick to the abundance of birds, goats, cattle, and sea food that is much more fit (and healthier by comparison) for human consumption.

    hira

    August 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm

  18. Oh shoot – I were already having a hard time avoiding/boycotting all things Chinese due to their disgusting practice of skinning dogs while still alive,and now I’ll have to skip on all things Thai as well. Although there’s not much I’ve been able to find of reliable information as to how these poor dogs and puppies were raised and treated while alive,I’m fairly certain these slaughtered dogs don’t have much of a quality of life when bred,raised,transported and (yuck..) slaughtered for their meat.
    Just disgusting. Cruel. Inhumane.
    A measure to Thai’s limited intelligence,but maybe this would increase if they quit eating what’s supposed to be “Man’s Best Friend”?
    For me it has to be a total boycott of everything Thai,and I’d sure wish there were more people that would put some effort into same.
    Why not support Made in America instead of these less developed countries’ economy and barbaric habits?

    Bo

    September 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    • Dear Bo, I understand that you’re upset and you raise some valid concerns. However I’d like to clarify that the article isn’t about Thai people but about Vietnam. And even if we might be appalled at some Asian people eating dog meat, I don’t think this is an indicator of anybody’s ‘limited intelligence’ as you suggest. It all depends on your cultural background. Eating dog is a taboo in our society – but so is pork in other cultures… Thank you.

      Thorsten

      September 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm


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