This poor dog probably either ended up at a dog meat (thịt chó) restaurant or was resold. Purebred dogs fetch a higher price. Other dogs invariably end up at the former. I’ve driven by many of these restaurants men chowing down on dog meat and consuming large quantities of alcohol in what one website described as a male bonding exercise.
An estimated five million dogs are killed every year in Viet Nam, making it the second largest consumer of dog meat after China. It’s said that the meat is tastier if the dog is killed in a brutal fashion.
Viet Nam has reached a stage of economic development at which dogs are both beloved pets and another item on the menu. In the past, their use was mostly for utilitarian purposes. The issue of whether the consumption of dog meat should banned is a perennial media issue.
One reason is that it’s considered to be bad for Viet Nam’s global image. Another is the source of these dogs that are captured using stun guns, crammed into cages on motorbikes, and transported to their final demise. Most are rounded up in the countryside and cities by dog thieves, one of the lower life forms in Viet Nam.
I’ve seen reports of locals who manage to apprehend dog thieves, use their own stun guns on them, burn their motorbikes, put them in their own cages, assault and, in some cases, kill them. They don’t wait for the police to arrive. People’s justice is delivered swiftly to these criminals. Here’s a dog thief who was beaten to death in September 2016. This 2017 article includes a video that is not for the faint of heart. Dog theft is not treated as a criminal offense unless the stolen dog is valued at more than VND2 million, currently $88. The penalty for a first time offense is probation.
Read about a couple that used cyanide to poison dogs and cats with cyanide so that they could be butchered for meat and think about the “food chain” implications of those horrendous acts.
As someone who is not yet a vegetarian but who is slowly but surely weaning himself from the meat at every meal habit, it’s a vile practice that should be outlawed. For those who indulge, there are plenty of other types of meat available.
Moral of the story: If you own a dog and/or cat in Viet Nam, don’t let it roam free. Depending upon where you live, there’s a very good chance it will disappear with no hope of recovery. (Yes, there are also restaurants that feature tiểu hổ (little tiger, i.e., cat meat) on the menu.
If you want to learn and see more, just enter “dog thieves vietnam” in your favorite search engine. Warning: Be prepared to see stomach-turning photos and read heart-wrenching stories.
Shalom (שלום), MAA