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Life in China
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Do Chinese People Eat Cats at Lunch in the Workplace?

Does Cat Eating Really Exist?

Yes, cat eating exists, in some parts of China, domestic cat meat can be wholesale consumption. Mostly eaten by senior citizens, cat meat is believed to keep your body warm during the colder winters. Despite popularity in the south, The south Chinese enthusiasm and inclination towards cat meat are a sharp contrast to its Northern Chinese counterparts; finding cat meat not only undesirable but unacceptable.

So, it’s a confusing question to answer; facing opposing coalitions. It’s easy to forget just how huge China is, basically only rivaled by the US in culture incongruity between locations. Cat eating does exist, but not as wide-spread as one may think. Studies suggest that around four million cats are eaten in China every year, and the trend is for a rise.

Is Cat Eating Reserved or Practiced Openly in Restaurants?

It all seems to boil once again down to, location, location, location! With disparity still shown along clear borders. Not only along borders but also, more prevalent alone outskirts of cities or rural areas. Despite this, it is, however; unlikely that a foreigner would be offered cat meat anywhere in China.

Which Cat Parts are Most Commonly Eaten?

Following tradition, the most favoured sections of the cat are mostly the organs and outer meat; as with many other Chinese dishes. The intestines are actually considered a delicacy with proper preparation.The other parts, including the head, are discarded and not eaten, barring those in extreme poverty.

How is it Cooked and Practically Used?

At restaurants, it is usually eaten in the form of meatballs served with hot soup and is called roof rabbit. The most famous recipe for cat meat is called “The Battle between the Tiger and the Dragon”. Coming from Southern China; this recipe cooks both cat and snake. Other than that, it is most commonly prepared on its own as a single dish or also as a flavour adding agent. Cat is not only used as food, however; still in use as Medicinal in treatment in many places with perhaps more set-in-stone beliefs.

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What Does Cat Taste Like?

Cat meat reportedly tastes similar to pork, with small bones; similar to fish but less sharp. With a tinge of a sour aftertaste, allegedly, it can be quite delicious.

What are Some Historical Reasons for Cat Meat Eating?

It’s easy to turn your nose up at Chinese cat consumption, but it’s important to remember recent history when discussing the topic. Plunged into poverty as a result of recent civil war; China is a recovering nation. Huge outbreaks of starvation make a natural catalyst for strange foods and when its death or the domesticated; cats suddenly look five-star.

Not only contributing to Feline foods, but the Chinese civil war also brought a whole slew of strange food concepts to the table. Many; if not most weird Chinese recipes like Lotus Root and jellyfish all link back to a core generation of hardship.

Unlike our luckier European or modern American lifestyles, People living inland were forced to eat birds, frogs, dogs, cats and whatever they could to survive. With the bedrock of Chinese ideals built on tradition, passed down from the elderly; it’s no surprise the survival of an outworn tradition like cat eating, continues well into the 21st century.

Only a few years ago, many Chinese lived in utter poverty. It’s easy to turn your nose up at cat consumption without knowing this. With Cat being an easy target; and with higher priority meats life beef or pork being nigh extortionate; the cat was an easy option.

The Facts

Despite common belief of Cat meat being just a myth; its consumption is rather regular. Despite this, it should not be looked down upon. It’s easy to judge eating something we consider pets at first, but thinking of similar situations within our own history it is easy to understand why.

As an economic powerhouse, most Chinese can afford to eat, yet the Chinese continue to eat Cat meat. It does seem to have efforts towards constraint, However, recently even animal activists have begun to speak out against the act. In 2010, the Chinese government responded by bringing in law giving police the ability even to arrest on consumption of cat and dog meat.

Seeping Westernization

With the increase in the number of domesticated in China, hostility towards cat eating has been on the rise. In 2006, a group of nearly 40 activists stormed a restaurant still with meow-menus; shutting it down. In recent years it has become more and more taboo for a restaurant to serve cat meat openly, and many being closed as a result. So while the Chinese do eat cat in many areas, it is rapidly becoming an antiquated practice.

What Organizations Support Ending Cat Eating?

The primary anti-cat eating organization is the Chinese Animal Protection Network; doing a fantastic job in organizing public activities and further education towards the cat industry. As there are still festivals in China, though, which celebrate the eating of cat and dog meat, there is still a long way to go. Before populace outlook can be changed it will be hard to change deeply ingrained beliefs; after all, Traditions die hard in a country like China.

If you liked this article, share it on social media so others can learn more about the intricacies of Chinese culture!

Do Chinese People Eat Cats at Lunch in the Workplace?
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