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lilly

will you try to eat dog if possible ?

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geraldc

It's not just sushi shops that serve horse. My brother found this in Tokyo

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Jive Turkey

Having a handsome tanggou, I could never bring myself to eat dog. I'm not an anti-dog meat crusader, but I'm quite suspicious of how dog meat makes it to the soup pot in China. Some mainlanders have told me that the dogs are actually raised for slaughter, while others have told me that they think most dog meat consumed on the mainland is at best from strays and quite often from dogs that were initially kept as pets. I've never actually seen a place where dogs were raised specifically for the purpose of slaughter and consumption.

Another reason why I couldn't eat dog is that almost all breeds and mixes of dogs have evolved to interact with humans. Dogs are scavengers in the wild, but most dogs have genetically evolved to scavenge off of humans rather than off of the carcasses of animals left by predators. I don't have a link, but dogs have been compared to wolves and hyenas, etc, in animal behaviour studies. In some of these studies, a human will give the animal a physical cue as to where or how food can be gotten. In nearly all cases, dogs are clearly better at interpreting human signals to find the food. Wolves and hyenas are almost completely dumb to human communication of any sort. In an article about this in the Economist a few months ago, they cited such a study in which stray and feral dogs from a few countries, including China, were included in the tests. There was no substantial difference in responsiveness by both stray and feral dogs from different countries. When a dog begs you for food, rubs up against you for company or licks you to show affection, it probably isn't learned behaviour that they picked up from just a few years of living with you. It is most likely in their genes to communicate in this way; such instincts to interact with humans have been selected after generations of scavenging off of us.

Though I haven't eaten and won't eat dog meat, I have eaten horse meat at a Xinjiang restaurant. It was quite good, and I'd be open to eating it again. It was probalby the leanest, richest tasting meat I've ever had.

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phbriggs
Some mainlanders have told me that the dogs are actually raised for slaughter, while others have told me that they think most dog meat consumed on the mainland is at best from strays and quite often from dogs that were initially kept as pets. I've never actually seen a place where dogs were raised specifically for the purpose of slaughter and consumption.

From my knowledge and observations, dogs are specifically raised for their meat. You will often see a number of dogs in a crate being delivered to restaurants.

Locals may eat pet dogs if they are deperate, but most pets I saw were small breed which would not have much meat.

Another reason why I couldn't eat dog is that almost all breeds and mixes of dogs have evolved to interact with humans. Dogs are scavengers in the wild, but most dogs have genetically evolved to scavenge off of humans rather than off of the carcasses of animals left by predators.

I disagree with this. Suggest that you visit rural areas of Australia and see how "domesticated" feral dogs pack and hunt together. Also there are a lot of records of lambs being slaughtered by packs of "domesticated dogs". I know when I worked in NZ which has not native preditory dogs, lambs being killed by stray dogs was an issue. Like any animal, they will take the easiest option, particularly if they are controlled and managed accordingly.

In relation to other issues you raised, I beleive that these are learned traits rather than something in the natural behaviour. Do all dogs beg and rollover when given food.....don't think so.

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johnmck

Back in England I had a friend of mine whose mother was not one to waste anything. He told me that one night he came home from school and it was not until he had finished his dinner that he noticed the pet rabbit cage was empty! His mother claimed the rabbit died of natural causes.

While the English do not eat horse meat it is popular in France. I like it, it is similar to beef (not quite as tasty though) but without the fat, very healthy if you have high cholesterol. The only problem with horse is it goes off quick so you need to eat it the same day as you buy it. Also because of this you get a big variety of quality and you need to find a good butcher.

Once, when I was in China I ate dog in a Korean restaurant, I didn't like it that much but it could have just been the way it was cooked.

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Jive Turkey
From my knowledge and observations, dogs are specifically raised for their meat. You will often see a number of dogs in a crate being delivered to restaurants.

I've often seen dogs in crates or cages myself, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have been raised from the beginning as livestock. I'm curious to know whether anyone has ever seen a "dog farm."

I disagree with this. Suggest that you visit rural areas of Australia and see how "domesticated" feral dogs pack and hunt together.

I don't see how that would make them any less able to interpret human signals, though. My dog packs up with other dogs in the neighborhood and goes on patrol. He prefers to hang out with strays and mixed breeds rather than pure-bred house dogs. The main reasons they don't actually hunt are that they don't need to and there probably isn't much to hunt.

Also there are a lot of records of lambs being slaughtered by packs of "domesticated dogs".

That's interesting, but it still doesn't mean that those dogs or others don't have genes that make them more likely to interact with humans than animals we generally consider "wild." Showing some wild instincts to kill prey or bury food doesn't mean that a dog can't have the genes and instincts to interact with humans. On the other hand, it is almost impossible for animals like wolves or hyenas to be trained to interact with humans. It seems that they just don't have the genetic building blocks that enable them to learn how to interact with us.

Like any animal, they will take the easiest option, particularly if they are controlled and managed accordingly.

But what other animals are actually able to take the easy option you speak of? Sure, raccoons, wolves and hyenas will likely take food if you leave it out for them, but can they actually learn which box of five has food in it solely from hand signals given by a human? Will they move into your house? Such animals are nearly impossible to domesticate to the level of almost all dogs and cats, no matter how well they're trained. They just don't have the genes for it.

In relation to other issues you raised, I beleive that these are learned traits rather than something in the natural behaviour. Do all dogs beg and rollover when given food.....

No, not all. Do any wolves, hyenas or raccoons do so? The key here is that most dogs have the ability to learn, and usually learn easily, to interact with humans. It seems that this evolutionary process has been in motion for so long that these genes have been spread back into most wild dog populations by stray/feral dogs to the point where there are very few populations of dogs that are absolutely undomesticateable. One such population that was a control group in the study cited in the Economist was on a remote island in Indonesia. There had been no known tradition of domesticating dogs on the island and no known introduction of domesticated dogs from elsewhere. Their response rate to human signals was about the same as wolves, which was nil or random. On the other hand, wild dogs tested in N America still had a response rate that was much closer to fully domesticated dogs than to that of wolves.

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liuzhou
I'm curious to know whether anyone has ever seen a "dog farm."

Yes. Several. There are a few around the outskirts of town.

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phbriggs
I'm curious to know whether anyone has ever seen a "dog farm."

Yes several.

I don't see how that would make them any less able to interpret human signals, though

I didn't say that they would not be able to intrepret human signals. Anyway, intrepreting human signals does not mean reliance on humans. Examples of this are dolphins which have got use to human feeding, circus animals, zoo animals etc. The association of humans with food is a learnt trait rather then something they are born with.

Using the feral dog example. Puppies from feral dogs will revert to hunting irrespective if they are pure breds or not. It is not unlike humans, that normalised traits are learnt from the parents. When we are born we don't know how to much other than rely on our parents for survival. The rest of the animal kingdom is very much the same.

That's interesting, but it still doesn't mean that those dogs or others don't have genes that make them more likely to interact with humans than animals we generally consider "wild."

Partially agree, but generally domesticated breeds which are used as pets are those which are less agressive to humans. Selective breeding for nature rather than dependence. From my knowledge, and past reading of animal behaviour, there is no genes which a dog has which triggers interaction with humans. This interation/relationship/dependence results after weaning and because the dog knows that food will be provided by the human (learnt trait).

But what other animals are actually able to take the easy option you speak of?

There are numerous examples from all species. Just look at a zoo for example. Another is a aquarium. Often in aquariums preditors are enslosed with prey, however if the preditors are fed (easy option for the preditor), the prey is left alone and not attacked.

Likewise with lions in Africa. Many lions now rely (learned behaviour) on humans for food. This reliance is to allow the tourist operators to show the animals to tourists when and at a location that suits them.

Another example are birds. Install a bird feeder and I am sure that after a few days the birds learn that there will be food in the tray. If the food is not there, the birds will still arrive expecting to find food (again...the easy option for them).

There had been no known tradition of domesticating dogs on the island and no known introduction of domesticated dogs from elsewhere. Their response rate to human signals was about the same as wolves, which was nil or random. On the other hand, wild dogs tested in N America still had a response rate that was much closer to fully domesticated dogs than to that of wolves.

I possibly suggest that this is due to the relationship between the animals and humans. The Indonesian dogs have never relied on humans (from what you have said), however, the N. American wild dogs have associated humans as a food source. I suggest that N. Americans would more likely have food scraps available for wild dogs (of offer to wild dogs) than that which would exist in Indonesia.

The same comparison could be made with elephants/birds etc.

Elephants in captivity associate humans with food as they have had human contact, those in the wild are likely still to have their cautious nature as they would consider humans as a threat.

Also birds...the budgie in Australia is both wild and domesticated. The wild ones scatter when approached by people. The domesticated ones will shower, eat and walk all over humans. There is no genetic difference between the birds, just adaptation in their behaviour.

There are also hundreds of other examples.

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MarkKang

I've had fresh dog meat soup at a friends house, and it tasted pretty good. My friend got the butchered dog from the local meat market.

It is a lean, dark meat with a somewhat oily taste. Similar to maybe racoon meat.

I don't think I could eat our own dog though, and our neighbor's dog wouldn't be worth eating, the worthless little white yapper. They should outlaw breeding such animals.

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Jive Turkey
I didn't say that they would not be able to intrepret human signals. Anyway, intrepreting human signals does not mean reliance on humans. Examples of this are dolphins which have got use to human feeding, circus animals, zoo animals etc.

Getting used to human feeding and actually relying on humans to live are two different things. Virtually no canis familiaris can survive without scavenging from humans. They do have some hunting instincts, but canis familiaris have lost some or all of the physical traits that allowed their ancestors to survive without scavenging from humans. Many domestics probably lost those traits because of selective breeding, but then passed those genes and the lack of traits that would be required for hunting onto originally non-domestic dogs. The result is that modern dogs, to varying degrees, are unable to support themselves solely through hunting. Feral dogs cannont live without scavenging from humans.

Dolphins seem to be social with humans and will do tricks for food. I seem to remember reading about cases of dolphins (and plenty of other animals) raised in capativity not being able to fend for themselves once returned to the wild. They were born with the traits that would allow them to learn from their parents how to feed themselves, but they never actually learned to do it. However, we haven't seen any wild born dolphins that have become so dependent on human feeding that they lost their ability to feed themselves in the wild. That ability has not been selected out of them. Canis familiaris is unlike dophins because it has lost its ability to live in the wild.

Using the feral dog example. Puppies from feral dogs will revert to hunting irrespective if they are pure breds or not.

My dog, lots of other fully domesticated dogs and feral dogs will try, with varying degrees of success, to hunt. However, feral dogs are not known to survive from hunting alone. They must scavenge from humans. Even with scavenging, feral dogs are thought to live much shorter lives than wolves, which usually live 3-5 years.

It is not unlike humans, that normalised traits are learnt from the parents.

You seem to be exaggerating the role of learned behaviour and trivializing the evolved genetic traits that make it possible or impossible for certain kinds of behaviour to be learned. Wolves are generally impossible to domesticate even if it is attempted from birth. Sure, they will fail to utilize traits that allow them to develop skills for living in the wild, but they don't learn to live safely with humans. They only learn to be dependent upon humans for food.

Partially agree, but generally domesticated breeds which are used as pets are those which are less agressive to humans. Selective breeding for nature rather than dependence.

But to me, it doesn't really matter if dogs have been bred for nature or dependence. The end result has been dependence. It probably started like this: thousands of years ago, the ancestor to todays gray wolf and canis familiaris was wild, but just like the odd gray wolf today, a brave and perhaps lazy group of these dogs started hanging out at a village trash dump rather than getting off their asses and hunting. Perhaps it started out as just a way for them to supplement their diet in lean times. This happens now with some gray wolves. For these ancestors, it probably started as a night time visit to the village. After a while, they started spending more time there, and the villagers noticed that these ancient wolves would howl and bark if strangers came around. The villagers may have decided that these wolves were handy to have around for security, so they started to put leftovers out for them.

Up to this point, the ancient wolf's behaviour change was learned. He figured that he could get by just fine without hunting, but if the humans packed up and moved on, he could go back to chasing hares. However, some of the bitches scavenging around more permanent villages would no doubt have had pups. These pups would obviously have been born with the traits for becoming good hunters, but mom found it easier to teach them how to sort through the trash dump rather than bother teaching them how to hunt. These pups would have been similar to today's wild animal growing up in captivity. He's got the genes to live in the wild, but his learned behaviour mainly enables him to scavenge. Eventually, genes that made for good hunters weren't necessary for these ancient wolves living near humans. More importantly, genes that would have made these wolves poor hunters and destined to early death (and thus no chance of reproducing) would have been of less consequence since they were able to scavenge. They'd have grown up on leftovers and had the chance to reproduce and pass those intitially inferior genes down. Eventually, humans started controlling the breeding. They may have kept pups with good behaviour and chased away or eaten the ones that were aggressive. Even if modern dogs have no genes that actually make them better at interacting with humans than wolves, they have lost the genes that enabled their ancestors to hunt. The result is that they need to live near humans.

Keep in mind that there have been domesticated dogs for no less than 14,000 years and perhaps as long as 135,000 years. That's plenty of time to get used to depending on humans, but not enough time for them to completely lose the hunting instincts that are still strong in many dogs today. Archaeological evidence tells us pretty clearly that dogs have lived with humans longer than any other animal-longer than cows, goats or horses. If you consider that domesticated dogs live much longer than ferals or wild canids, it should be clear that domestics have more chances to reproduce and pass down their genes.

From my knowledge, and past reading of animal behaviour, there is no genes which a dog has which triggers interaction with humans.

Of course you haven't read about that because the canis familiaris genome hasn't been fully mapped.

This interation/relationship/dependence results after weaning and because the dog knows that food will be provided by the human (learnt trait).

Then why is it that hardly any gray wolves, who's rtDNA sequence differs from canis familiaris by only 0.2% (making the canis familiaris its closest relative in the canine family; the next closest it the coyote, who's rtDNA sequence differs from the gray wolf by 4%), can be domesticated? By domesticated, I mean not just being used to taking food from humans but actually living safely with humans.

There are numerous examples from all species. Just look at a zoo for example. Another is a aquarium. Often in aquariums preditors are enslosed with prey, however if the preditors are fed (easy option for the preditor), the prey is left alone and not attacked.

Sure, if they are fed. Take away the feed and that predator will most likely hunt again if it had ever had the chance to build its hunting skills to begin with. Its offspring, if returned to the wild at birth, would no doubt be able to kill its own food as well. The same cannot be said of cannis familiaris. They still have to scavenge off of humans to live.

Likewise with lions in Africa. Many lions now rely (learned behaviour) on humans for food... Another example are birds...

Same as the fish. If those animals had ever had the chance to develop hunting skills and to utilize their genetic traits, they would no doubt be able to survive if the humans stopped providing food and there were enough critters about for them to hunt. I don't think I've disputed the idea that wild animals can learn behaviour that allows them to survive out of the wild. However, if generation after generation of such animals were kept out of the wild, then their offspring would soon begin to lose the traits that allowed their ancestors to live independently of humans. They would probably also develop physical and behaviouristic traits that would allow them to live off of humans more and more effectively.

I possibly suggest that this is due to the relationship between the animals and humans. The Indonesian dogs have never relied on humans (from what you have said), however, the N. American wild dogs have associated humans as a food source. I suggest that N. Americans would more likely have food scraps available for wild dogs (of offer to wild dogs) than that which would exist in Indonesia.

That's a possibility, but just as likely is that those islanders never had a need to have dogs around. Maybe they considered them a nuisance and just ran them off rather than trying to domesticate them.

Elephants in captivity associate humans with food as they have had human contact, those in the wild are likely still to have their cautious nature as they would consider humans as a threat.

First, I'm not sure elephants are such a good example for your argument since many places have a long tradition of domesticating elephants. I know jack squat about elephants. However, a dog (or elephant) having genetic traits that allow it to get on better with humans than most other animals do doesn't actually mean that he will be open to humans if he hasn't grown up with them. On the other hand I imagine that even the wildest of elephants are still willing to eat food left by humans.

There are also hundreds of other examples.

But I don't think you've cited anything that can compare to canis familiaris-that is, animals that not only depend on humans for food and lack some or all of the learned skills needed for them to live in the wild, but through evolution have actually lost the genetic traits that would have allowed them to learn those skills.

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phbriggs

Jive, I must disagree. I suggest that you so some research on how easily domesticated animals can "go wild". If you search you will find that pigs, rabbits, birds, cats, ferrets, mice, rats etc will "go wild" if dumped and become feral. If you google you will heaps of examples of domestic animals which have gone wild/feral and are causing problems in rural/uninhabitated areas where there is no dependence on humans, and these animals are still able to survive with no problems.

In respect the the age of pet dogs and feral dogs, suggest that it is the husbandary provided by humans to the dogs rather than because the dogs no longer have their "genetic dependence". The same can be said for other domesticated animals such as cattle. Those without husbandary will not live as long as those with husbandary. Likewise the same applies to humans - poor nutrition and no medical support means a reduce life span.

Dependence is not genetic but a learnt trait. Passive nature, intelligence, colouring, size, shape, bone structure, congenital deformities, eye colour etc are genetic, whilst behaviour such as dependence is learnt.

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Jive Turkey
I suggest that you so some research on how easily domesticated animals can "go wild".

Ahem. I have.

If you search you will find that pigs, rabbits, birds, cats, ferrets, mice, rats etc will "go wild" if dumped and become feral. If you google you will heaps of examples of domestic animals which have gone wild/feral and are causing problems in rural/uninhabitated areas where there is no dependence on humans, and these animals are still able to survive with no problems.

First, I've made no argument about whether or not the animals you've cited above can "go wild" or not. All of the animals you cite above have relatively short histories of domestication, anyway.

Regarding canis familiaris, they are not known to survive in the wild. "Feral" is not a very precise word. It can mean that an animal has only partially returned to its natural state of being or that it has gone completely wild. The problem with your arugments about feral canis familiaris going wild is that it is impossible for them to do so. There is virtually no such thing as a completely natural state of being in which canis familiaris live completely independently of civilization and humans. There was actually debate about whether or not the Indonesian dogs I talked about above were even canis familiaris. If you are confident that there are documented cases of numbers of packs of canis familiaris truly living in the wild in places all over the world where they must hunt to live and depend on no food from civilization, then please show me the evidence.

When I say living in the wild here, I mean dogs that not only lack access to human handouts and refuse, but also have no access to easy kills like livestock. I imagine the only thing you'd find even close to that is the dingo/canis familiaris mixes that pack up and often remain in the wild in Australia. Of course as you probably know, such mixes are just as likely to utilize the dog side of themselves and scavenge off of humans.

Now to make my arugment falsifiable, I will concede that there are no doubt some canis familiaris that may manage to go completely wild on their own. However, they are not in great enough numbers to create a self-sustaining population. If they were, then we'd be able to find packs of fully wild canis familiaris living completely independently of humans. Such packs should be present on most if not all continents.

Dependence is not genetic but a learnt trait.

IMO, to prove that, one of the things you'll have to do is show evidence of packs of canis familiaris living completely independently of civilization. As I've tried to describe in previous posts, I see no reason why today's canis familiaris would to varying degrees have lost its ability to live indepently of civilization after thousands of years of domestication. This process would have been influenced by a few things. Humans would have selected relatively agreeable dogs for keeping and breeding. At the same time, though, domesticated dogs would eventually have lost their effectiveness at hunting to varying degrees. Initially, they would have had brothers in the wild who still had all the genetic traits and learned skills they needed to live wild. However, since domesticated dogs lived longer and probably had more chances to shag both domestic dogs and their wild borthers and sisters, they could have slowly spread those domesticated genes to the wild ones until the closest thing to canis familiaris was the wolf, an animal that only reluctantly gets it on with canis familiaris.

There is already some evidence that plenty of unintended traits can crop up even when tameness is the only trait selected when adopting and breeding initially wild canids. You might enjoy this article about a 40 year long fox domestication project in Siberia. In that program, tameness was the only trait selected, but physical traits not found in wild or farmed-for-fur wolves started to appear, too. I know it is a stretch, but I'd bet money that if that project continued, those domesticated foxes and their offspring would eventually lose the traits that allow them to learn to hunt well.

Passive nature, intelligence, colouring, size, shape, bone structure, congenital deformities, eye colour etc are genetic, whilst behaviour such as dependence is learnt.

I would certainly agree that degrees of dependence are learned. However, I think you go to far by claiming that dependence is only learned. Evolved physical traits that make it impossible for a species to survive without depending on civilization would limit an animal's options to mainly learning behaviour that enhanced its ability to live off of humans. The only other option is a short life in which the opportunity to reproduce is severely limited. That seems to be the case with canis familiaris.

I'm going out of town in a couple of days and probably won't be able to post on this for a week or so, but I'll look forward to reading your reply when I get back. I find this to be an interesting discussion.

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phbriggs

Jive,

I think it is easier to say that we agree to disagree.

Hope you have a great break.

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Lu

I still want to try dog meat some day, haven't had the chance so far. I'll try just about anything, except turtle, because my brother loves them.

Tried frog once, it tasted not bad, much like chicken. But it was weird to be gnawing on a little leg with the toes still on it, I don't think I'll eat it again (unless maybe to show off how lihai I am, white girl eats frog, must be a rare sight :-) ).

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tongyang

:nono

could you guys just forgive lovely dogs , and stop rolling this topic?

please do me favor will you?

stop rolling it , so boring. :nono

:help:help

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devi9

I actually am enjoying this topic a great deal. When I was in China a bunch of Americans I knew absolutely refused to eat dog, so it's interesting to see how many people would be willing/ have tried it.

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bhchao
Tried frog once, it tasted not bad, much like chicken.

This reminds me of a joke my sister played on me at a restaurant. The dish in front of me looked like chicken when it was actually frog legs. She said "Why don't you try it? This is good chicken". I tried it and it actually was pretty good.

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Ian_Lee

Actually pigeon is much more tasty than either frog or chicken. And somehow pigeon, which looks more like duckling after cooked, is more acceptable than the awful looking frog.

Roasted pigeon is my favorite.

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skylee

IIRC, pigeon is red meat.

Have you guys heard about the story of a couple being sterilised as a result of eating pigeons? The story is like this. A Chinese couple studying in England (or some other western country) are so poor that they don't have much money to buy food. But hey there are a lot of pigeons in the park. They catch them and eat them. And then they want to have a baby (how can poor students support a baby? doesn't make sense here) and fail. It turns out that the pigeons have been injected/fed with contraceptive drugs. Well this is all I can remember.

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Lu

Sounds like an urban legend to me.

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