Dogs as both Pets and Food in the Philippines

dogs Dog food is usually what you feed a dog, right? Well, in some places “dog food” means a dog is the food.

Now, before you start getting all squeamish on me, you have to understand one thing: Just because eating it is repulsive to most Americans doesn’t mean it’s repulsive to others.

In some places, dogs are raised as pets (and can become food) and in some places, they’re raised solely as food.

Dogs as Pets

Despite what you may hear or read, a lot of dogs are kept as pets in the Philippines. They’re sold in pet stores just like in other places. Even some dogs that seem to be stray are actually pets that aren’t being kept in their yards or leashed. Yes, there are leash laws in the Philippines too. Some of the strays are actually the offspring of pets – offspring the owners don’t want to keep or properly get rid of (by giving away, selling, whatever).

Sometimes dogs wear out their welcome, or so it seems. They’re considered cute when they’re puppies and that cuteness wears off when they reach adulthood. I’ve seen them “disappear” when the owners no longer felt like feeding or caring for them.

Dogs as Food

At one time, a dog was considered a delicacy in the Philippines. That’s no longer the case. Most Filipinos would cringe at the thought of eating a dog. If I’m not mistaken, dog eating was outlawed in the Philippines in 1998. There’s still an “underground” market for dog meat, but it’s slowly shrinking. None of my relatives will eat it even though they did so as recently as the 1980s.

One thing I’ve learned is that the local Negritos have no misgivings about eating dog meat. When people don’t want their dogs anymore, some of the dogs are sold to Negritos. They don’t care what the Negritos do with them.

As repulsive as it may be, it doesn’t seem as repulsive as the eating of dog meat in China. If you use the image search functions of any of the popular search engines, most of the pictures you’ll find of dogs being cleaned and butchered are taken in China.

September 1, 2013


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