Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dog day afternoon

Just before our trip to Asia this summer, I began reading up on blogs by folks, particularly Americans, who either travelled there or were ex-pats in the region. For the most part, the folks seem genuinely nice, easy going and open-minded about this 'exotic' culture that they were, for however short, steeped in. Yeah, there was an ass or three, but you find that anywhere.

One thing that I ran across in the blogs that bothered me was the whole 'I ate this thing, it was great, I hope it wasn't a dog' joke. It bothers me because it is silly, it is stupid and it should just stop. Do people in Vietnam eat dogs? Yes, it's a delicacy, probably like horse is a delicacy in France.

Americans really don't have culturally unique foods - chitlins (or chitterlings)? Pshaw! Internal pork products are tasty, especially when mashed up, seasoned and presented as Rapa Scrapple. Sweet bread - internal organs from bovines - are really an appropriation from the French. I guess the closest we come to something interesting would be Rocky Mountain oysters - which are bull testicles, usually fried.

However, no tourist to the States would claim, in mock concern, that their great Chicago dog, or Uno's pizza, or NY cheesecake, or SF cioppino, or whatever they just consumed and enjoyed, that, hopefully, there wasn't some Rocky Mountain oysters slipped in.

So all you bloggers out there, stop being silly. No one is gonna try and slip you dog meat. Pork, beef, chicken, seafood, virtually every other animal protein is cheaper. And stop, in your silliness, thumbing your nose at another culture. What's the distinction between a dog and a pig anyhow? If you're open to killing animals and eating them, does the species of the animal really matter? Haven't you read Charlotte's Web?

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