Wednesday 5 March 2008

Cat Meat Name Shame

It's cat meat name and shame time. I have made a couple of other posts about cat meat. The sound of the phrase makes me cringe. Why? We eat pigs, chicken etc. Yes, but the killing and eating of farm animals in the West is controlled despite the fact that sometimes breaches of the rules go unenforced. 

At least there is control and necessity in the consumption of farm animals for food, which cannot be said about the cruel slaughter (or a better description, the partial killing to preserve freshness) of domestic cats. Is the killing of our companion animals (actually we are animals too) endorsed by some governments through their acquiescence in the practice? Yes, in China President Xi Jinping endorses cat and dog meat as it is a tradition.

UPDATE: It is worse than I thought. There are 10 countries where cat meat is eaten. Click this to find out the full damning list.

FURTHER UPDATE: China starts to accept Western values in domestic cat ownership.

I believe that the majority of people feel that it is wrong to eat cat meat and this feeling is not misguided, I believe. This feeling is supported by the philosophy of one of the great men of the 21st century, Mahatma Gandhi, who I have quoted before and why not. His wisdom and humanity is exactly what the world continues to need. He was assassinated on 30th January 1948.

He said this about animals:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

Mahatma Gandhi was not a saint. He was wise but he was a human being with the usual weaknesses. I quote him because I feel the quote is appropriate and wise}
Greatness and moral progress are the measures. When we consider how brutally some people in some countries treat cats (and for the time being I will confine myself to cats for obvious reasons), I can only conclude that these countries are not yet great.

A note: Sarah Hartwell (website, Messybeast) disagrees with the criticism of the Chinese and Eastern countries by the West on the treatment of cats for human food. She says Hindus are appalled at how we treat cattcat meat preparationle. A point yes. But a bad one. Hindus think the cow is sacred because it is or was useful. It is a fallacy to think the cow sacred. In any event cows are now ill treated in India, left to wander the roads unsupervised causing accidents.

Listed below are the countries who prepare cat meat and eat it as far as I am aware. I am not saying all the peoples of these counties are morally inadequate, far from it. In fact I will disagree to an extent with Gandhi by saying that the eating of cat meat originates in a lack of education or knowledge. That said education brings wisdom and this brings a higher state of morality, I think it fair to say.

What I am saying is that a culture subsists in these countries indicating a lower level of knowledge by some (perhaps a minority) of the need to respect our fellow creatures, particularly those we keep or kept as companions. Important: this is not a racist attack but a reasoned argument devoid of racial implications:-

China - As I understand it some Chinese people (and I am not talking of all Chinese) think of animals as "moving things" and as similar to a vegetable. They have market(s) where cats are part killed (by hitting on the head for example) to preserve freshness. I don't think that that can ever be supported. Apparently in winter in Guangzhou, 10,000 cats are eaten daily. This seems a lot to me.
Guangzhou side street
Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong Province in the south of People's Republic of China. The picture opposite is a side street in this city>>>>>

A restaurant owner there defended his practice of serving cat meat balls by saying it was a tradition. He killed the cats in the street. It was a tradition in the middle ages in England to burn witches but we don't still do it. The point that I am making is that to support what I and many others (including I am sure many Chinese people) consider cruelty to animals cannot be justified on the basis that it is a tradition.

I would like the Chinese government to introduce some laws/regulations to protect animals in China. China wants to be accepted it seems to me (look at the fantastic Olympic Games that they hosted). Please, China, enact some laws protecting your animals and animals in neighboring countries (i.e the Bengal tiger, parts of which are found in Chinese medicine).

Update: Cat meat freshly killed by partially killing then boiling sells for about $1.32 per pound or about $9 for a medium /small cat. They have to ship cats in from the north (Bejing) as they have run out of feral cats in Guangzhou. There was a fairly recent report about protestors stopping of one of the trucks bringing caged cats in (many had died in transit). Some cats were released. There appears to be a gradual movement within China away from this totally uncivilized behavior. Domestic cats are companion animals - come on China get your act together! Cat and animal welfare needs a prosperous democracy.

Some Chinese are beginning to find the gross habit of others of eating cat meat as unnacceptable. I and many other people are very pleased about that but there is a long way to go and China really must start enacting Cat and Animal Welfare Laws. I am pleased to say that cat rescue is China is happening.

Korea - cats are eaten in rural areas. Cat meat named and shamed I am afraid.

Vietnam - although apparently illegal it is still widespread it seems. Thai Binh area. Considered good luck (a superstition that kills cats).

Madagasgar - probably some other medicinal purpose or something odd and unscientific such as good for sexual potency.

India (Southern Tamil Nadu) - considered medicinal (an unscientific superstition reminiscent of the middle ages). Click here for more detail.

Peru - according to the Wikipedia author cat meat is a regular menu item in restaurants, used in stews etc.

Switzerland - we know that Switzerland is a European hub for cat fur so I guess it is no surprise that in some rural areas they eat cat meat. Switzerland - Cat Meat Name Shame (src: Wikipedia®)

There are others I am sure. Update: Kuwaiti restaurant sells cooked cat meat allegedly, passing it off as something else.

I think that we all know that it is wrong. Lets not qualify it and rationalize it. It is in my view barbaric behavior that needs to be rejected with principle and passion. {note: I realise some will disagree and if so please leave a comment - thanks}

Cat Meat Name Shame - Photos:
  • top - from website - permission not granted - please contact me.
  • middle - Vietnam - cats being prepared for cooking in a restaurant on the street - courtesy VietnamNet Bridge. This has been reproduced here without permission. When it comes to animal cruelty you nave to do what you can to make the point.
  • 2nd from bottom - Guangzhou side street - photo by ariwriter published under a creative commons license, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
  • bottom - cat in a Vietnamese shop - dangerous life - photo
    by en voyage published under a creative commons license, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
From Cat Meat Name Shame to Home Page


  1. "Hindus are appalled at how we treat cattle. A point yes. But a bad one. Hindus think the cow is sacred because it is or was useful. "

    It's a good point, not a bad one. The West's attachment to cats is partly on the basis of vermin control and partly because they view them as child-substitutes. You deliberately ignore the West's huge contribution to animal cruelty in animal baiting and animal fighting. You are biased and closed minded.

    The issue of cat and dog meat is not whether it is intrinsically wrong, but whether it is humane. The way the West treats cattle is despicable (try reading Fast Food nation and get wise to what really goes on). Try putting your own house in order before saying it's okay for you to criticise others, but wrong for others to criticise your ways.

  2. Hi, thanks for the comment. I also criticize some English factory farming. I am against all animal abuse. I have worked in the fast food industry and am wise about it. Please don't assume that I am not wise about something just because I don't mention it. I particularly abhor the mistreatment of cats.

    I disagree. The Chinese treatment of cats is both wrong and inhumane. It is plainly diabolical and cannot ever be defended. I will speak up about it at every opportunity for as long as I can.

    You are free to criticize our ways - I even welcome it. In China people are not free to criticize the government. They get imprisoned it they do.

    If you are Chinese you are on very shaky ground indeed. There are no animal rights laws in China whatsoever. At least in the UK we have laws protecting animals.

  3. You are pointing out to two tribes in one state of Tamil Nadu and saying that "Indians in cat meat". Wow nice logic to classify 1 billion people.
    No mention of 44+ Indians being vegeterian !

    By your logic - since the Austrian dad (I forgot his name) kept his daughter in the basement and raped here - MOST AUSTRIAN dads practice INCEST I would say.

    Trust me (the ratio when you compare 1 person to Austria's popoulation and the when you compare two tribes would not be that different - or 10,000 cats to China's population as for that matter - would not be that radically different!)

  4. Hi, thanks for the comment. However you are incorrect. I say "Some Indians eat cat meat".

    And I say "India (Southern Tamil Nadu) - considered medicinal".

    I do not and never will generalize. If I have somewhere, I am wrong. Please tell me where I have generalized. I don't believe that I have. I am very particular about this.

    It is you who has misrepresented the situation it seems to me.

  5. I am a cat lover and do feral TNR work and want to protect cats from such threats globally. However, I do question the distinction we make in the West between "companion" animals and "domestic" animals and "wild" animals. I have become so appalled at how human beings, across cultures, treat animals that I made the decision some time ago to abstain from eating meat at all. We all have to come to our own conclusions regarding these matters, and I don't condemn the practice of eating meat, or even discuss it with other people. It's a purely personal decision on my part. That said, I do think that we all tend to not acknowledge our cultural biases in these matters. What is accepted practice in one country in terms of what we eat or don't eat, is repellent in another, not just in terms of what animals we eat, but even what parts of animals we eat.

  6. I agree is it a cultural thing but the concept of the domestic cat as a companion animal cuts across all countries and all cultures. We have cultures but the cat is simply the companion cat. That is why it is wrong in an absolute sense to eat a cat companion and brutally kill the cat beforehand.

    No amount of weasel words and justification can erase that basic fact.

  7. Personally I don't have any more of a problem with people eating cats and dogs than I have with them eating any other animal.

    You're a speciest.

    You say eating meat (farm animals) is necessary.

    Not true and you're either ignorant of the facts or just close-minded.

    Watch this movie....

    and this one..

    People who claim to be animal lovers because they like dogs and cats but continue to eat other animals, who deserve to live just as much as any dog or cat,... are hypocrites of the worst kind.

    1. You conveniently ignore the brutal treatment of these cats before and during being killed (acute animal abuse and a rank crime) and the fact that cats are companion animals. You are wrong. Simple as that.

  8. Despite your bias, it is actually better environmentally to eat smaller animals than larger ones. Dogs, cats, rats, etc grow quickly and consume less resources doing so than cows or even pork.

    Its very common in smaller, less industrialized regions, especially where farm land is at a premium, and protein sources are scarce, to use smaller animals. Heck, they even eat squirrel in the US in some areas.

    Hate to say it, but this this is pure opinion and bias, with a marked level of lacking cultural awareness.

  9. I'm going to have to agree with the other posters that it is hypocritical to place the value of one type of animals' life above others.

    'At least there is control and necessity in the consumption of farm animals for food'

    This is true, but in poorer countries where there are few farm animals or the meat is expensive then smaller and plentiful domestic animals start becoming a viable alternative to this. I agree that the treatment of cats for consumption in China is appalling. There is absolutely no reason for the outdated and inhumane methods of slaughter that the chinese use. It seems to me though that you are arguing that cats are
    'higher' than other animals, especially farm animals.

    'Hindus think the cow is sacred because it is or was useful.'

    Westerners think the cat is 'useful' for the companionship it provides. We 'revere' it because we enjoy its company and its characteristics. We spend billions on cat care products, vet bills, rare breeds and cat shows, among other things. Replace 'useful' with 'sacred' and you essentially have the same thing.

    In south america they raise guinea pigs for food. Now I own guinea pigs and I absolutely adore them and their companionship. They are incredibly sweet and loving and it is a shame this is not known more by the general public. In fact, you could say I appreciate them more than cats or dogs. However it would be hypocritical of me to claim that what the south americans are doing is wrong. As far as I am aware the guinea pigs are not killed in a barbaric way, and as such it is entirely within their right to raise these animals for food. There are also people who keep pigs as pets, and pigs have been demonstrated to have a very high intelligence, above that of most dog breeds incidentally. Are you arguing that a pigs life is worth less than a cats, even though they are both kept for companionship at times?

  10. EldubbYou cat lovers just so predictable about the same argument over and over about the cat. I would respect you more if you just swore off meat all together. Go to youtube and see animals are slaughtered in the West, are you ignorant or just plain stupid. You want all people to feel the way you do about cats. Most people have'nt eaten cats throughout their ancestory, some has. Somewhere on this earth someone has the same passion for chickens as yours for cats. How do reason with that person by saying one animal is worth petitioning for another is'nt. It just shows you're bias for felines. I'm worried about the economy like most Americans, but your agenda is the brutality towards cats in other countries. Focus your energy on something you may have a chance of changing. These people are'nt telling us what to eat for dinner and neither should you. Just worry about your animals!

  11. To the people who say "kill the animal in a humane way!" I'm not sure if the animal really cares how it's killed, it's main concern is living! Once it's in the pot, I don't think it matters how it got there, at that point, the animal damn sure don't care! So it's like, if you're going to eat them, talk nice to them first, give 'em a nice massage, and just when they're totally off gaurd, jerk their neck (and hope that they die) to dispatch them! Then feel free to eat them knowing that they experienced less suffering. I myself would rather you take me out, then treating me humanely and then killing me. In Africa they sacrifice animals during rituals before the tribe sits down to eat. Should they stop also?

  12. I cringe every time anything about people in Asia eating cats comes up. Mainly because I am a cat lover and I've been raised in a culture (America) which considers eating cats or dogs to be disgusting and unacceptable. I'm aware of the cultural issues involved, and I agree with previous posters that we could very well be viewed as inhumane from another cultural perspective. That's very important to remember. Another reason that I absolutely cringe whenever anything about the Asian consumption of cats comes up is because I am an Asian American. Unfortunately, the stereotype that ALL Asians eat cats and/or dogs is still rather prevalent in America. Something that should be limited to an issue related to cultural perspective and perception and humane treatment of animals around the world sometimes crosses a line into the ugly world of racial stereotyping and hatred based on news of other countries.

    I appreciate the fact that you included reminders that not ALL Chinese or ALL Koreans or ALL Swiss, etc, eat cats. I can't count the number of times I've been ridiculed with jokes about eating cats. It carries an extra amount of weight with Asian Americans.

  13. I do not agree, why?

    Go Google PETA or Ingrid Newkirk.
    I'l bet you find plenty of nasties there.
    PETA has killed thousands of pets, while throwing them away.
    At least the chinese people actually used them somehow, nevermind HOW.

    And seriously? WHat if that cat is not a friend?

    Cat lovers shud stick 2gether. And stop ranting.
    Its not such a big thing after all. If you american, think about cows. And chickens. They are fed waste scraps, the eggs taste terrible. The cow releases methane, and we got hundreds thousands maybe in america.

    And more.
    Anthing else to say ?

    1. Sorry but you are wrong. Cats are meant to be domesticated and companions to people not eaten by people and brutally killed. What about the brutal way they are treated before being killed? Don't you understand that is wrong? People like you make me mad. You are too narrow minded and not enlightened enough for me.

  14. Why you feel shame and wrong when someone eat a cat. If you can eat a dog and you want to eat a cat there is nothing wrong to a cat. If you want you can eat a cat confidently and openly. There is nothing wrong to eat cat meat.

    1. Humans are not meant to eat their pet cats! That's not the deal we have with the domestic cat and kill them brutally and eat them is shameful. Simple. You don't understand it because you are insensitive to animal sentience and welfare. You need educating.


Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts