Dog stew is said to be a common dish during winter in the Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Above is a picture of the dish at the Yulin No.1 Crispy Dog Meat Restaurant in Yulin, Guangxi, which has an annual dog meat festival
Keith Guo, an animal lover working for PETA Asia and a native of Guangdong, said dog stew is common in Guangdong as well as the neighbouring Guangxi Province.
Mr Guo, 27, who has a passion for food sociology, explained that meat from dogs smells and tastes gamier compared to other types of meat, so chefs usually use spices such as chilli peppers and ginger to cover the odor.
As a result, dog stew is heavy and could warm up the diners’ body quickly.
‘For traditional Chinese medicine, any food that could warm up the body is considered beneficial,’ he said. ‘That’s also why dog meat is thought to be especially nutritious to the human body.’
Mr Guo added that the weather could get humid in southern China during winter, and according to traditional Chinese medicine, humidity could weaken one’s health. That’s why locals like eating warm dog stew to boost their immune system.
Mr Guo said he lost five pet dogs to dog thieves when he was growing up in Guangdong.
He condemned the thieves’ behaviour.
‘For the dog owners, the stolen dogs are their friends and family, and they shouldn’t be the food in someone else’s mouth.’