“It’s Too Hot for Dog on the Menu”

Fuchsia Dunlop’s op-ed piece in the New York Times gently pokes at a few tender issues that are front and center during the massive coverage of all things Chinese leading up to and into the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Having spent a year as a foreign student in Taiwan and noticing in the winter the disappearance of all the strays who populated my daily treks to and from class, I won’t be posting any recipes for dog meat here. (Although I have a great cookbook in Chinese that gives pointers on how to buy fresh dog meat and pictures a very lovable retriever next to a recipe….) But I do try to remember”[t]hat eating dog is seen as an issue says more about Western preoccupations than Chinese habits.”

No matter where you fall on the question of “to eat or not to eat” dog meat, freedom for Tibet, freedom of the press, product safety, and a host of other issues, I think this astute observation should remind us all that it takes all kinds to make a world:

“The irony is that many of the things the Chinese increasingly see as ‘backward’ are those most attractive to foreigners: street traders, wet markets selling fresh produce, narrow hutong alleyways and higgledy-piggledly houses. Why go to Beijing if all you see is skyscrapers and Starbucks?”

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