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Dogs are Treated as Both Pets and Food in the Philippines

RT Cunningham | July 31, 2020 (UTC) | Food and Drink, Pets

dogsDog food is usually what you feed a dog, right? Well, in some places “dog food” means a dog is the food. In some places, people raise dogs as pets (and can become food) and in some places, they’re raised solely as food.

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

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 we think are stray are actually pets that aren’t being kept in their yards or leashed. Yes, there are leash laws in the Philippines as well.

Some 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 feel like feeding or caring for them.

Dogs as Food

At one time, people considered dog meat a delicacy in the Philippines. Large dogs like German Shepherds and Labradors, of course. Most small dogs were spared. That’s no longer the case. Most Filipinos would cringe at the thought of eating a dog. If I’m not mistaken, the Philippine government outlawed dog eating 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. I almost accidentally ate some at a beach party in 1986. Luckily, my wife stopped me before I started to dig in.

One thing I’ve learned is that certain local Negrito tribes have no misgivings about eating dog meat. When people don’t want their dogs anymore, some of them sell them to one tribe or another. They don’t care what the Negritos do with them.

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

Photo Attribution: Steve Bidmead from Pixabay
Edited and updated. Originally published at one of my other websites in September 2013.

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