My previous post, in which I stated that I would try a meal of seal, made me think of something I saw on TV the last time I was in Kentucky. (I only watch US television when I’m in Kentucky, it seems.) I was at AJ’s, and they had that show on where you trade wives. This vegetarian woman was sent to live with a rural(?) family, somewhere in the South where they have gators. The scene we were watching involved the vegetarian convincing herself to try eating gator.

She freaked out about it for awhile, but then actually tried it and enjoyed it. During dinner, though, she had an interesting conversation with the family.

She stated that she didn’t think it was right to eat any animal, but that if she had to eat a dog to survive, she would.

The son of the family was totally shocked by this. He said something to the effect of, “You can eat other animals because they’re made for eating. But a dog is your friend.”

There are places in the world, of course, where dog and cat and other animals that are domesticated (and treated like family) elsewhere are eaten without a second thought. And there are places in the world where animals we eat regularly here are quite safe from becoming stir fry. The deciding factor in determining which animals are okay to eat is obviously cultural.

It makes me wonder. I’ve eaten a lot of strange things, including raw horse (in Yatsushiro–worth experiencing, not worth trying again) and cooked alligator (in Savannah–it was kinda tough, but not bad). But are there things that even I wouldn’t try? I’m not sure, for example, that I could knowingly eat a dog or cat (although strangely I don’t have a problem with the idea of eating bunnies). And the idea of eating buloot seriously grosses me out. But if someone prepared dog or cat or buloot and gave it to me–if it was right there in front of me, waiting for me to try–could I pass it up?

I’d actually like to think the answer is no.