A reader writes:
I think you are missing a big problem with the large-scale eating of dogs in China. To imagine a world where you can both love your pet dog and love to eat dog in a restaurant isn’t too far-fetched. The problem is thieves. In China, if your dog goes missing, there is little doubt of its fate …
Dogs are commonly stolen if chained in public, or even a backyard (you will never see a dog leashed to a post, for instance). Even pet cats are stolen and sent to southern China, where cat meat is widely eaten. My current and former expat friends (of whom include M Scott Brauer, the photographer of this Nanking Yangshuo dog butcher at work) have heard many stories of people having their pets stolen. The photo here exemplifies the cruelty of the business – dogs crammed in a tiny cage being sprinkled with blood from the still-living dog hung from a hook just feet away. It’s all well and good to show a dog-meat hot pot, but it’s leaving out a lot.
With dog ownership on the rise in China, pet thievery is becoming less common and more vilified in the country, but still a horrifying thought, especially if you own dog(s). Ex-pat warnings on the topic are pretty easily googled if you want some horror stories.