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Dog “Meat” Consumption in China

A Survey of the Controversial Eating Habit in Two Cities

In: Society & Animals
Authors:
Peter J. Li East Asian Politics, University of Houston-Downtown

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Jiang Sun Animal Laws, Northwestern China University of Law and Politics

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Dezhi Yu Research Fellow Dalian China

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Abstract

The consumption of dog “meat” is dividing the Chinese society into two camps. Is dog eating part of the mainstream food culture or is it a declining practice? With the help of a survey of 1,265 respondents in Yanji and Dalian, the study confirms different rates of acceptance regarding dog eating among the respondents by age, ethnicity, education, rural-urban residence status, and profession. Contrary to the belief that urbanization weakens traditional behaviors, our study found that Yanji, with its high urbanization rate, considers dog “meat” consumption to be acceptable. The local subculture appeared to be a strong intervening factor. Unlike Korean vegetable side dishes, dog “meat” is not a mainstream food choice in Yanji. The eating habit may continue for a long time if it is not banned. However, the decline of the eating habit seems irreversible.

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