**WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS**
The Guangxi region of China is well known for eating dogs and we witnessed the before and after in a meat market in Yangshuo.
The first room had colourful fruit and vegetables and a nice aroma to the air. The next room was big, filled with filthy tables covered in all variety of meats with blood and slop dripping off the edges. There were lots of chickens and ducks with their heads hung off the edge of the table and feet erect in the air. The pig trotters looked absolutely revolting with their folded leathery skin. Other interesting items for sale were cow faces, intestines, blood, every organ imaginable and even testicles, yum.
The normal meat market took a turn when we saw cages with gorgeous fluffy white rabbits, and in the back room they were being boiled and skinned. The next stall had a flat cage filled with cats, by flat I mean they couldn’t stand up and by filled I mean they couldn’t move. Their sad little eyes just looked up at us.
On a hook above them were two dead dogs and a cat. It didn’t look like them though, their skin was browned as if it had been roasted yet they were raw inside and cut open with all their organs removed. The dogs mouths were open revealing the look of an evil animal ready to attack with sharp white teeth on show. But then we saw cages with live dogs; they were cramped into the cages but we could see a couple of them looking around or resting their heads on one another. They were gorgeous and had such emotional little faces. It was horrible to see them there, we just wanted to buy them all and send them home. The weird thing was the place was silent, except for locals bartering over the meat the dogs weren’t barking nor the cats meowing. Like they’d all given up caring.
I don’t know if the dogs are farmed, or stray, if their stray it sounds awful but at least they’re being used for food unlike western countries killing them just because they haven’t been re-homed in time. Even still it wasn’t a pleasant place.
As we walked between hoofs and genitals we saw a freshly killed dog, we think it had just been boiled as it was now fur-less and plonked onto a grill like a limp body saved from drowning. Then the butcher got out a blow torch and moved the flame across the body. Maybe they continue to do that and that’s why they shrink up and looked roasted on the outside, but that was quite enough for us and we headed out for some fresh air.
Not a pleasant experience but it’s normal life in China. We went back to our hostel and had a nice long play with the adorable hostel pet; a puppy named Jin-Ju.