My Pakistani colleague and I were talking about weird foods that people eat because our Filipina office girl mentioned that she likes to eat dogs. Errr…yeah. Dogs. Cooked, of course. 😉 It made my Pakistani friend shudder.
In the Philippines, it is against the law to eat dogs. But there is a certain tribe that is allowed to eat dogs because it’s part of their culture. – Asocena: History of Dog Meat-Eating in the Philippines
I clearly remember as a kid, when our neighbor, with their alcoholic father, will start making pulutan before having their drinking session. I saw a dog tied in a tree, barking, more like crying, and then our dogs and all the other dogs from our neighborhood will start barking/howling altogether, like something was about to happen. Then I saw it coming. The alcoholic father was holding a piece of wood and the dog was barking at him, aggressively hostile and terrified. Suddenly, he lifted the piece of wood and forcefully aimed for the dog’s head like a madman, over and over until the dog stopped crying…the next thing you hear is the of howling neighborhood dogs that sounded like grieving for the loss of one of their own.
I stood there paralyzed.
I could not really tolerate any form of maltreatment and abuse to any living creature. But I can’t do anything to stop it either . But then for that little girl whom I used to be, no matter how shocked I was for witnessing that event, and the people around me just treated it as a normal occurrence, I got used to the idea that eating dog meat for pulutan is a part of our culture. But it doesn’t mean that all Filipinos eat dog meat.
There was this Fiesta, when I was small girl, that our family attended, and my older cousin told me to try this one dish that stood out from the rest. He said there’s only a few left so I might as well get my share before it ran out. It looks delicious so I took some and started eating. It does taste good. Then my cousin suddenly laughed so hard and I was wondering why. That was when he told me that I just had my taste of dog meat. I threw up.
So I have tasted dog meat.
That was the first and last time I ever tasted one. From then on, I’m careful to ask what the mystery meat is before eating a certain dish, especially in the provinces.
“Is it true that Filipinos eat dogs?” asked my Pakistani colleague. And I jokingly said, “yes, that and some other weird foods they call exotic.” And I started listing down the exotic foods that I can think of just to see how he’d react.
My Pakistani colleague’s face twisted and said, “I don’t like Filipinas anymore…”
I love dogs and I respect culture and tradition. But I hate cruelty.
So I strongly support these organizations:
I hope you do, too. 😉