I read a recent article by the Los Angeles Times with much amusement. It is about Beijing’s protest against their Cantonese counterparts’ appetite for feline meat and we’re not just talking about wild cats like tigers, which are controversially poached for their perceived medicinal properties. We’re talking about the small, cute, cuddly and domesticated house cat.
There is a well-known saying about the Chinese’s gastronomic culture. The Chinese will eat anything that walks, crawls, hops or flies. Ironically enough, due to the increasing number of Westernized middle class people, many Chinese are beginning to draw the line between eating Odie and Garfield. So, it is OK to eat a dog but not a cat? Doh!
Apparently, dogs are still being eaten in many parts of China but only in Guangdong, do people eat cats. The following are purportedly the competing arguments:
- Cat lovers and… well those who are not that crazy over Garfield dim sum:
“Cats are to be cuddled, not eaten!”
“Guangdong people are the most unprincipled of the human species! They would eat their mothers-in-law if there was no law.” (This is new! I’ll remember to quote this the next time I write another piece about mother-in-law.)
“Oh, we really need a cat here. There are mice in the empty lot.” (I really like the practicality of the Chinese people.)
- People of Guangdong:
“Cat meat is good for women. You can eat it in the summer or winter. It is very light. Men usually prefer dog. It is like yin and yang.” (I have no idea how did the Chinese know so much about the nutritional value of food. It seems like everything is good for you!)
“I recommend Guangdong’s most famous recipe, "dragon fighting tiger”. A dish made with both snake and cat. The distinctiveness comes from the competing power of the ingredients. Delicious!” (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is so last season)
“You just have to boil the cat for a long time. It has a very nice fresh taste.” (You don’t mean chicken??!!)
- Animal rights activist:
“You can judge how advanced a civilization is by the way it treats its animals.” (Aaahhh…the Chinese won’t be the only culprit. Remind me again. How do they make foie gras in France?)
“These cats are badly mistreated in their final moments, crammed as tightly as tomatoes into crates so they can’t breathe, and clubbed into semi-consciousness before being thrown alive into boiling water.” (Fuck these bastards who are doing this!)
“This is a crime that humiliates all Chinese people.” (Yes, they don’t like losing face.)
In Guangdong, it doesn’t matter whether a cat is a tom or tabby, young or old. All it matters is its weight.
Selling at USD2.64 per kg, Garfield will be a purr-fect catch.
How can anyone eat this? This is Obama, our psychotic kitten doing an impersonation of “Puss in Boots” in Shrek.