Sunday, July 20, 2008
Moo Goo Gai Pup? Not at the Olympics!
Since the Chinese government will only allow Olympic guests and athletes to eat in certain specified restaurants, officially designated Olympic hotels and restaurants in Beijing have been asked to remove dog meat from their menus during August and September when the Olympics and Paralympics are being held. Beijing tourism officials like city tourism bureau Vice Director Xiong Yumei are telling other outlets to discourage consumers from ordering dishes made from dogs. Waiters and waitresses should ‘patiently’ suggest other options to diners who order dog, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Might I suggest the roast rack of snake, sir? Perhaps the stewed monkey brains?
A directive from the Beijing Food Safety Office was issued after concern that canine dishes might offend animal rights groups and Western visitors. Gee, ya’ think? I notice they ain’t mentioning cat, another supposed delicacy that makes us round-eyes cringe and cry in the corner.
Officials said restaurants which are expected to be popular among foreign visitors during the Games must stop serving dog meat 'to respect the dining customs of different countries'. Dog is eaten by the large Korean community in China's capital and is also popular in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. Dog, known in Chinese as "xiangrou," or "fragrant meat," is eaten by some Chinese for its purported health-giving qualities.
In addition, any canine material used in traditional medicated diets must be clearly labelled. However, it’ll still be okay to use ground up tiger penis and rhino horn to increase your virility. Dogs aren’t endangered; just cute. If a rhino made a cute housepet, we’d bitch about eating them.
The directive, however, made no mention of the many establishments where donkey meat is a popular dish on the menu.
During the 1988 Seoul Games, South Korea also temporarily banned dog meat after criticism from Westerners. And as soon as the Olympics were over, it went right back on the plate with a steamed ball of rice, the same as it will in China by November.