But it’s not like, “Wanna join us for dog-burgers?” More like, in a wide-eyed, hushed-tone, “Did you know we eat dogs here?!” I was siting on the couches at work, chatting with two VNese interns. To get some sense of scope, I asked, “Do you two eat dogs?” They were emphatic, “No way!” I asked, “If we asked everyone in this office if they’ve eaten dog, how many would say yes?” They thought a moment, “Out of girls, none. Out of guys…like 90%.” The other one chimed in, “Guys eat anything.”
When I went to Vung Tao with the Indonesians, our cab was driving through a pretty rural area (assuming you don’t consider all of Vung Tao to be rural.) At one point, Anzela gasped from the back seat and looked rather shocked. “I just saw a dog roasting! It was definitely a dog…” Julie looked over and asked me, “Did you know they eat dogs in east Indonesia?” The way she said it, I imagined “east Indonesia” to be a kind of boondocks, not unlike the remote Georgia wilderness in Deliverance.
Son Pham, my new buddy at work, was telling me that there aren’t any stray dogs in Saigon because they all get grabbed and eaten. Then, as a hilarious joke he emailed me some link on dog meat processing. Son Pham talks about the dogmeat eaters as a kind of “others”. Like people in the US who eat Rocky Mountain Oysters, Frito Pie or alligators. Of course, nobody’s best friend is an alligator…
So why are pigs ok, but not dogs? Pigs are smarter, genetically closer to humans, and just a pet-able as dogs, so why do people not hesitate to throw some bacon on? (And by “people”, I guess I just mean myself.) Seems pigs would be just as emotionally appalling to eat as dogs. But this is just a logic argument. I don’t ever want to see a canine friend on a plate!
(As for cats, I haven’t heard anything yet.)
On a lighter note, here’s a dog site I can’t get enough of: Dog Shaming.
And speaking of food, here’s what I’ve been having for breakfast every morning because it’s cheap, easy and lasts me till lunch: 75¢ Vietnamese iced coffee and 50¢ fruity-tofu thing that tastes like yogurt. I pick both of ’em up right outside my building.