In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Do Asians eat cats?”. We will also talk about which countries still allow the selling and consumption of cats.
Do Asians eat cats?
Yes, people of Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia eat cats as a source of meat in their food culture, and is said to be a delicacy.
It is not just the Asians that are eating cats, it is quite a popular meat source in Africa too. People eat cat meat due to scarcity of food, part of the cuisine, part of the ethnic culture, superstitions about health benefits and simply to taste the meat.
Cats have been eaten as food for thousands of years all over the globe, not until recently that they have grown to be pets and the concerns about eating pets have restricted and banned killing and eating cats in many countries.
A few countries such as Japan, Taiwan, America, Australia, and a few regions of China have started the ban on butchering, selling, and consuming cats, and a hefty fine has been placed if found not obeying the new rules.
Cats are also eaten for their health benefits. People believe that eating cat meat can heal a number of ailments and also keep the body warm during winter.
Cat meat is known as Little Tiger meat in Vietnam and Cambodia and is flaunted on the menu of restaurants served as sausages for breakfast or stir fry with a bed of rice for lunch and a hearty stew for dinner.
The Guangdong and Guangxi provinces of China are more cat meat-loving areas of China as the people there consume more cat meat. There are cat farms where they farm the felines for consumption.
In South Korea, cat meat was used to make soups and tonics to heal ailments as it was believed that the tonic made from cats would heal neuralgia and arthritis.
China is the major country that consumes the most cat meat with whooping 4 million cats slaughtered for meat in 2021. Even though the government has tried to pass legislation banning the farming and selling and consumption of cats, it is still very much available in the market and people are still eating the cats.
In the countries where the consumption of cats is normal and legal, finding a stray cat is next to impossible as people would catch and kill any stray for their meal.
Who else eats cats?
Consumption of cats is not just limited to Asian countries. People from across the globe consume or have consumed cats in the past as a meal or a health tonic.
The indigenous Australians are known to eat fire-roasted feral cats and also eat as a cat stew. The indigenous Australians especially those living in and around Alice Springs are into eating cats.
People living in the southern town of Chincha Alta and the north-central Andean town of Huari in Peru are known to consume cats as part of their meals as they believe that cat meat is rich and flavoursome compared to rabbits and ducks.
The law in Belgium does not state that one cannot eat cat meat but only states that you cannot kill a cat walking in the park or on the road. You can eat cat meat in Belgium but need to kill them in an animal-friendly way.
People of the Northeastern state of Nagaland and some tribes in Chennai such as Narikuravar are known to eat cat meat as an alternative to chicken or pork.
Why should you not eat cats?
Cats are primary hosts to a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, a fatal disease to immunosuppressed HIV-infetcted patients, and can cause serious deformities to children.
Eating cat meat can cause serious health hazards as they are a perfect host for diseases like Lyme disease or relapsing fever which is hazardous to the health of pregnant women and infants.
A bacterial infection known as Clostridium botulinum is also transmitted by eating cat meat.
In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Do Asians eat cats?”. We also talked about which countries still allow the selling and consumption of cats.
I hope you find this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.