You may find eating cat and dog terrible and also many Vietnamese are against it, but it still happens. Especially in northern Vietnam this is still seen as a delicacy, but you don’t have to worry about seeing it everywhere on the street.
Is eating dog and cat meat legal?
Eating cats and dogs is not prohibited in Vietnam. However, more and more Vietnamese are against it and the government is also trying to limit it.
Does it happen much?
No, you don’t have to worry about seeing it everywhere. In fact, there is a good chance that you will not see anything of this in 4 week Vietnam trip than that you will see something. At least not consciously. You may have driven past a dog or cat restaurant, but that does not mean that they are turned on a skewer over a fire outside.
Many Vietnamese are against eating cat and dog meat. After all, it is normal in this country to keep them as pets, there is increasing protest against this. The younger generations are strongly influenced by the western media and there is no food scarcity like during the wars. In addition, the largest religion in Vietnam is Buddhism, where eating dogs is prohibited. So there is a large percentage that is against it.
The Vietnamese authorities also urge residents of the capital Hanoi to stop eating dog meat, trying to protect the image as a “civilized and modern capital” and stop the spread of diseases such as rabies.
Why do they eat it?
First, because they like it. There are stories that it started during the many wars that Vietnam has known. During wars, every kind of food is a luxury. In a time where people have to fight for food and their lives nothing is crazy. In addition, people believe that eating dogs keeps them healthy and because of superstition, many people believe that when something bad happens, eating dogs and cats can push away the bad luck.
Where do you find these restaurants?
You don’t find such restaurants much, but they can be found in every city, especially in northern Vietnam.
What to look out for
Cats and dog restaurants are almost always special restaurants. In a restaurant where they have noodles, spring rolls (spring rolls), Vietnamese pancakes (banh xeo) or other dishes on the menu, they do not sell dogs and cat meat.
Note these words:
- Thịt mèo – cat meat
- Thịt chó and Cầy tơ – dog meat