2008 Beijing Olympic Games

Dog meat ban for Olympics

Delicious, but not for Olympians

A Chinese blogger called Han Yue has posted a notice that purports to be from the Beijing City Government Food Safety Office (北京市政府食品安全办公室) regarding restrictions on restaurants and on the transportation and sale of meat during the Olympic period.

The main thrust of the notice is that all meat transported into Beijing during the Olympics will be thoroughly checked, and that the 112 official Olympic restaurants will not be allowed to serve dog meat, whilst other restaurants in the capital (especially those which serve Korean, Yunnan and Guizhou cuisines) are strongly encouraged not to serve dog meat during the Games.

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There are currently 21 Comments for Dog meat ban for Olympics.

Comments on Dog meat ban for Olympics

South Korea's government did the exact same thing during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul; actually taking it a step further by banning dog meat from all Seoul restaurants.
However when South Korea shared the World Cup with Japan in 2002 the South Korean government then changed their position and rebuffed pressure from foreign critics including FIFA's president Sepp Blatter.
Japanese media praised South Korea's bold decision to resist Western criticism. One Tokyo newspaper even used China as an example of dog meat being a legitimate part of traditional East Asian culinary culture.

I imagine somewhere in Beijing there is an ordinary young woman from Liaoning province who will be very upset about the Olympics disrupting her canine consumption. I hope she expresses her frustration in an Internet bar with web cam... "我呢是一个来自辽宁的一个普通的小女孩儿吧,现在跟你们这一个个的北京市政府呀北京奥组委呀重新开始说一边儿呢昂。。。这个狗肉菜品的事儿呢昂。。。

Anyway, the governmetn learned to do something to avoid unnecessary unpeaseant experience for foreigners. So-called culture things, personally I don't eat dog, as I like dog, but I won't defend it as a cultural thing, also banning dog meat in the restaurant is enough, otherwise, the government have to ban chicken feet, interal organs and other food that foreigners regarded as unpleansant cuisine.

Google is your friend -- I am quite amazed how much their translation has improved recently. At least the "dog meat" thing is clear:

Article in English

I am confused. Are you saying that people in Asia eat dog meat on purpose? I thought the whole reason for the ban is because it is not clearly stated on the menu that you are ordering dog meat. As long as the restaurants disclose that it's dog meat then there should be no problem. But if they are in fact trying to pass it off as cow meat, then that is a problem.

The Americans at the green zone of Iraq had no problem serving Pork. Not like they care about the sensitivity of the local culture.

So does China have to do this?

Dear KJ:
Perhaps you are referring to a popular old Chinese idiom: 挂羊头卖狗肉 (Hang a sheep's head and sell dog meat) but I can confirm that restaurants in China actually advertise dog meat and have the word "dog" on the menu.
(In Taiwan they sometimes use the word "fragrant meat" (香肉) as a fancy alternative name.) Some restaurants in China even have animated pictures of dogs painted on their signs so that somebody who can't read Chinese characters would have an obvious clue of what meat is being served inside.
Dog meat is indeed part of the culinary culture of Korea, China, and even the Philippines. The dogs used by these establishments are bred specifically for restaurants and are not household pets.
Best regards,


I agree with you. The Western's dog meat taboo is ok, but pushing this towards Asian is indeed cultural chauvinism.

I don't get it. If you want dog meat, you order it. The chances of being served dog meat when you ordered beef are slim to none. A stupid restriction that gives the wrong impression that all bejingers are routinely chowing (geddit?) on dog meat.

and anyway, there are far worse culinary risks in beijing's restaurants than eating a bit of the dog.

Me likes Puppy Chow

Thinking that restaurants will serve dog meat if you order beef is ridiculous! Dog meat is far more expensive than beef!!!

This is such a bullshit non-issue. If you WERE to eat a canine in a Beijing eatery you would, by God, know it 'cause you would pay 2 -5 times what you would pay for beef, pork or mutton.

Do the Americans in the green zone open restaurants where they offer to serve locals? Or do they keep it behind closed doors?

During Atlanta Olympics, they had restaurants open where they served Cow to the public.

That was very offensive to the Hindu vistors.

I think cannibalism should be culturally acceptable as well.

@Ryan : only if you are a cannibal.

This is so stupid, maybe they should ban all porks because of those Muslim athletes? And banning dog meat but not pork or beef can be seen quite offensive to Korean athletes. Either you ban all those "cultural culinaries", or you shouldn't ban any of them.

And yes those Asians eat dog meat on purpose, because it's fragrant and taste good. I don't understand why some people are so sensitive about dog meat. It's not like people ban pork because there are pet pigs, or ban fish meat because there are pet fish.

As someone with experience in both the metaphorical selling of dog meat (following of course, the hanging of a sheep's head) and actually eating dog meat in China, I certainly agree with the poster who called the accidental eating of dog meat a non-issue because of the price: as far as cost goes, dog definitely isn't going to be served to someone unsuspectingly, unless its as a gag. What Spelunker says is true in that Taiwanese might refer to dog meat as "fragrant meat", but that being said, I've never seen dog on any menus in Taiwan, and I lived there for much of the nineties and a few years of this decade.

I've heard that Hakkas used to eat it, and that certain aboriginal tribes probably still do at home; But you aren't ever going to see 香肉 on any menu in Taiwan. I've jokingly asked for it a couple of times in Korean restaurants (very trendy nowadays in Taipei,) only to be told that dog wasn't allowed to be served in Taiwan.

There are, however, at least two restaurants in Taipei I know of that serve dogs, as in, you can bring your dog to the table and take your meals together. A strange concept indeed, but if it floats your pet-loving boat, why not?

They announced this in March:

My hometown Quanzhou is in Fujian Province, I remember that we had the tradition to eat dog meat on DongZhi(Winter solstice), because the dog meat make you strong and resistant to the cold. As I know, people have a dog in those days either for security reason or for Winter Solstice. Once I had dog meat accidentally when I was very little, I was very sad afterwards, because they told me that was the dog I always played with. I didn't know that was dog meat when they offered it, it tasted ok.

I didn't do careful researc on this tradition, it is just my personal experience. My understanding is those people who ate their dogs after one year, well, they don't really treat the dog as pet, those dogs have duties like looking out the house and unfortunately served for the Winter solstice. I hope this experience won't bring bad name to my hometown :(

My 2 cent.

I really do not think that they should take off dog from the menu just for Americans. Mind you I would never be able to eat dog, I had difficulty eating any animal an ended up giving it up. Anyways if people want to eat dogs how is that different from eating cows? Because YOU don't have a cow as a pet? Well anyways if you are worried about finding good food check this out http://www.petergreenberg.com/2008/06/27/an-olympic-guide-to-food-in-beijing/

One thing that everyone seems to be missing is the horrific things these poor dogs go thru. These people have no regard for animal life or pain and suffering. They eat anything that moves and they kill it as inhumanely as possible. I wish nothing but ill will on the whole lot.They are ignorant, cruel and evil people

I personally don't eat dog meat because I'm a pet lover. BUT, I don't oppose the Idea of eating dog meat either, It's an eastern culinary tradition. Last weekend, I was eating with my cousins, they served dog meat, I am not offended because they ate it and also they're not offended because I didn't take a bite. We just respected each others beliefs.

But what I don't like though, is the way the some dogs are killed. In my place, I've witnessed quite a brutal scene. The dog was put in a sack and then paddled to death.

In a cow's slaughterhouse, the cows are being
shot or shocked with high voltage on the head.. both processes kill the beast fast and painless. But for the dog, a slow and painful death.

I accept the idea of eating dog meat. What i find offensive is the brutal way of killing them.

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