0218 Dogs Are Not for Dinner

Jul 10, 2012, 02:24 PM, Dongcheng, Beijing, China

Dogs. They’re not just for dinner anymore. Over the years, many a Chinese diner has cooked and served dog and there’s a story about an emperor from ancient times whose favorite meat was dog meat. And while dog is still occasionally found on the menu, it’s not that common anymore. As China’s economy has evolved, so has the status of dog from meal to bourgeois luxury to beloved, pampered pet. Here in Beijing there are 900,000 registered dogs. And east of the city, there is a dog spa with a dog-and-owner restaurant a show ring, an agility course, a doggy burial ground and chapel, a dog-and-owner motel and two swimming pools shaped like bones. There is even legislation in the works to repeal the 14 inches or under restriction on dog size in the city and to prohibit entirely dining on dog. It’s beginning to sound a lot like...well, Japan.