Cooking With Canines or How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

Richard Flavin (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 17:24:04

Cooking With Canines or How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?
By R. D. Flavin

Saddened and somewhat disturbed after reading a recent NEW
YORK TIMES story which mentioned the lack of village cats or dogs
in North Korea, the issue of cultural cuisine and what constitutes
the difference between a pet and dinner, became of paramount
importance to me. After telephone calls to federal and state
agencies, an afternoon at the library, and a visit to an Asian
market/restaurant, I've satisfactorily demonstrated the
distinquishable trait of a pet seems a "name," while for dinner, a
bottle of ketchup or other condiment placed on the table seems a
clear indication of what's to come.
The domestication of wolves and jackals gave rise to the
myriad of dog breeds in existance today. Though this process could
be argued to date back to HOMO ERECTUS and an early competition for
food, it's only with the beginnings of permanent settlements c.
12,000 BP, we begin to encounter such characteristics as the
upturned tail and smaller teeth, which combined with the ability to
bark, describe the destinctions between early and modern canines.
While the dog was both annoying scavenger and assistant to the
hunt, there is ample evidence that dog-flesh was also consumed on a
fairly regular basis.
Today's concept of MARKET ECONOMY necessitates an appreciation
of poverty and such situations which would require (encourage?) a
break with societal, religious, kinship or other such calibers.
Poverty, real or imagined, ancient or modern, inspires some to
behave in ways most would deem improper--yet, honestly, HUNGER will
fly in the face of LEVITICUS 11:27, "And whosoever goeth upon his
paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are
unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcass shall be unclean
until the even." Many, such as those students trapped in the Andes
from an aircrash, who ate their FRIENDS to stay alive, would not
hesitate to eat MAN'S BEST FRIEND, ...if they were really HUNGRY.
We cross a line here--what is necessary and what is not.
During THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN IV in China last year,
the Roman Catholic Church took out full-page ads in major
newspapers to decry the abominable practice of some Chinese--the
cannabilistic consumption of human fetuses for magical enhancement.
Such a culture assuredly loves pets; I'm reminded of the man, who
when asked if he liked kids, replied: "Sure! With a wild-rice
stuffing and a side of baked beans, I love 'em!"
In the second volume of John Dominic Crossan's "Historical
Jesus Trilogy," JESUS: A REVOLUTIONARY BIOGRAPHY, this century's
leading investigator of Jesus remarks in the chapter "The Dogs
Beneath The Cross," that: "But what we often forget about
crucifixion is the carrion below and scavenger dog who respectively
croak above and growl below the dead or dying body." Prof. Crossan
can well imagine that the cynic philosopher's fate was an
inevitable consumption by the wild dogs of ancient Jerusalem. I
hesitatingly offer an addition--considering the metropolitan nature
of ancient Jerusalem and its many non-LEVITICUS followers, if such
a corpse was eaten by dogs, a fair proposal would be that the dogs
were, in turn, eaten by HUNGRY people. Maybe something of HIM does
survive, after all.
Federal, and, hence, most state laws allow for the approved
consumption of any flesh which is clean, healthy, and not on any
endangered species list. Lions, tigers, and bears are only the
easy vangard of exotic flesh. Lion ribs? Sure, for a price from a
market in Tinley Park, IL. And cats and dogs?
I've joked, when pestered by my cats, that I'd sell them to a
market for "seventeen cents a pound." Never again. Though I've
some fat cats, the amount I'd receive, wouldn't be worth the
trouble of travel. Some flesh really is that cheap. If not

The End.