by Francesca Zapataria
It was only after the November 2004 gou-rou.com article "Dog meat in certain Asian cuisines - why puppies are evil" that this most delicate of issues came to the forefront of life here in Beijing. Having been contacted by all parties concerned independently, and about a variety of issues, the gou-rou.com team finally agreed to play host to a debate on the use of dog meat in Chinese and Korean cuisine. Here is some of what resulted that night. We are unable to show pictures of those involved because our camera was on playback mode instead of being correctly set to "photograph".
Chair: Well, thank you for all coming, we never expected such a large turnout, and apologies to those of you listening on the loudspeakers out in the snow. I hope you can hear okay! Hahahaha! First speaker is Mrs Evans (American Expat).
Mrs Evans: Yes thank you. I just think it's wrong to eat dogs. Dogs are wonderfully intelligent creatures with their own personalities. Mine even has a name. I just think it is horrid, farming them like that.
Mr Furroughs (suddenly): Listen! Boo-hoo about dogs, they do that with pigs. I don't hear you whining about pigs.
Mrs Evans (indignantly): Well, as a rich foreigner living in China, I think that my liberal wishy-washy political views should be imposed on everyone here. So what if a few people go hungry in order to protect those fluffy bundles of love?
Dr Benedict (unexpectedly): I don't understand what all the fuss is about! We have been eating all sorts of pets for thousands of years. Gerbils, parrots, dogs, cats, dolphins, rabbits...
Chair (pensively): ...erm, I'm sorry to cut you off there, Mr Benedict, but we have just been informed that you are barred from the Dong Fang Guang Chang for mistreating the Robotic Dogs on display in Sony World there.
Dr Benedict (systematically): That's simply absurd. I have never even owned a soldering iron!
Crowd in snow (feeling involved): Gasp!
Chair (conversantly): Well, that's it. Let's leave that one for later consideration. Now, with increasing evidence that dogs are no smarter than chicken eggs, do you think it is time for an all out ban?
Mrs Evans: I have to say it is high time that an all out ban was imposed across the board.
Mr Furroughs: I can't believe we are thinking about voluntarily decreasing our food supplies whilst millions of...
Confused young woman: Urm, sorry. I, er, thought we were talking about animal...
Chair: This is exactly why we decided to stop audience participation. Completely unprepared, probably illiterate, and certainly of no further use here tonight. Closing comments, Mr Furroughs?
Mr Furroughs: Well, I would like...