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Chinese Food Politics (Split from OT Thread)

Discussion in 'Medivh's Tower' started by Dr Super Good, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Dr Super Good

    Dr Super Good

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    Then you get traditional Chinese food which includes...
    Dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, crickets, pangolins, bats, rats, spiders, fetuses of various animals (rat and bird are common), sharks...

    Why am I even bothering with a list, they cook and eat just about everything living they can get their hands on. The "pressed dog" images which make rounds on the internet from time to time are disgusting not because of the dogs being pressed, but rather that they are only fussing about the dogs being pressed and not all the reptiles and mammals which suffer similar fates. Many such animals are butchered or processed while still alive, which likely causes them unimaginable pain in that short time before they are truly dead.
     
  2. apcrabnightlive

    apcrabnightlive

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    Racists dude, they generalized and judge people base on their races.
    Or should I say how other people label other races.


    They don't know the difference between ROC and PRC.
     
  3. Naze

    Naze

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    Come on you must know why we always have prejudices towards them. Through our regular media, all we get to know about them is shocking stuff meant to show us how "exotic" life is at distant places, sadly they do not inform us at all.

    Now please, I don't know anything that separates Chinese by TRC and PRC, I'll be glad if you explain :)

    By the way, the process of cooking animals while alive, making them suffer, is really shocking, and that is the kind of information we usually get about eastern Asia (but you guys are saying it is more of a Korean kind of thing? Interesting)
     
  4. apcrabnightlive

    apcrabnightlive

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    The Republic of China is also called Taiwan and People's Republic of China is mainland China.
    There are a rivalry between the nationalists and communists in China even before WWII. After the Sino-Japanese War the conflict between the two resumed eventually the communist party led by Mao Zedong proclaimed in 1949 the People's Republic of China. The nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan. And then there came the nation of Taiwan.
     
  5. Dr Super Good

    Dr Super Good

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    Yes however the topic clearly states "Chinese food", which due to the ambiguity means food from the Peoples Republic of China, the country people think of every time you mention the word "China". Just like when you say "American food" people assume food from the United States of America and not from Brazil, Mexico or Canada.

    If you are referring to food only from "The Republic of China" or Taiwan as it is more often called then you really need to say "Taiwanese food" and not "Chinese food".

    I highly doubt that such consumption practices only started with the introduction of Communism. I am fairly certain they have been performed for thousands of years, which long pre-dates the introduction of communism in the area. After all the Romans used to eat a lot of exotic animals as well so the practice is hardly rare.

    It is also a fact that many modern Chinese (Peoples Republic of China obviously) eating places do serve rare, endangered and certainly not sustainably obtained animals. This practice is not just reserved for China though since it also occurs in Vietnam and to some extent Japan (so one can guess Korea as well).

    That said, many modern Chinese restaurants for the poor do not actually serve any meat at all. As good as this may sound (for the animals) it is not actually a good thing as the substance they sell as "meat" rather belongs in laboratoriesthan in someone's bowl. Upon analysis of such "meat" it contained a combination of inert fillers and contaminants of toxic nature. An exposé was run on Al Jazeera showing this hidden food technology change in street vendors in China. Obviously this is unlikely to affect high end institutes, the sort that people which use this site would visit if ever touring China. If people want evidence then look up the Melamine in the Formulated Milk Powder incident which killed and permanently damaged a lot of people.

    China also has one river (or lake?) where they remove thousands of tons of sea (or water?) snakes every year for human consumption. Despite the extensive hunting of the sea snake at this area, the species was discovered to be more at risk from environmental change (pollution, habitat loss) than from actually being over hunted as no alterations in year on year population levels could be detected and records of hunting at the same scale run for multiple decades (apparently they reproduce very well in the area). The waters are an interesting ecological wonder due to the fact so many tons of snake can be removed in a way that all reach shows is sustainable.

    China is also one of the largest countries on earth with some of the most productive lands on earth. As such it is obvious that exact eating practices and history may vary greatly within the country from province to province. What is clear though is that what people in Europe and America think of as Chinese food is just a small, highly modified subset of all dining practices of Chinese people. Not all practices would do well outside of Asia due to large cultural difference and inability to source the required food products (even if you were to farm dogs in the UK for consumption, chances are they would close you down for some reason or another just because people think of dogs as pets and not food).

    There are obviously a lot of fish dishes, and also a lot of chicken and pork dishes. However there are a lot of dishes involving animals one will not be able to find on your local ASDA or Walmart butcher counter, or even possibly within the entire country you live in.
     
  6. apcrabnightlive

    apcrabnightlive

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    PRC's and Taiwan's people are both Chinese and call themselves Chinese.
    Chinese food doesn't just came from PRC, but not anyone knows about it. It's just a misconception.

    How did you know about these consumption practices when you don't even live in China? Obviously the food that their talking here is about legitimate traditional Chinese food.
     
  7. Dr Super Good

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    I used to watch something called "television". On it there were many documentaries about China, and seeing how 1/7 of humans live in China that should hardly be a surprise. Sure over the last decade life has changed a lot for the common person in China, many of the subsistence people shown in the documentaries now live in towns, and many of the ways of life are no longer possible due to habitat destruction, however it did show some of what I described.

    The rest come from a person who travels and deals regularly with China. When he first went there he did have to stay quite rough and that is when he saw a lot of what I describe. Business has changed since then and he has frequented some quite exclusive institutes, which is where he has seen, and unfortunately taken part in, dishes like Pangolin and Shark-fin Soup.

    How do you know it is truly traditional? How do you know the other stuff is not? It may be traditional to one area, but all of China? I highly suspect a lot of what people think of as Chinese food is purely an altered subset which is socially acceptable in the west. Even if you travel to China as a tourist, unless you purposely go off the beaten path you might still just find what is deemed internationally socially acceptable being shown as they do not want to chase or discourage people from coming. However if you go to some left-alone village in the middle of nowhere I am pretty sure what they eat might shock you.

    One of my ancestors used to work at the docks in South Africa. One day a cargo ship (not a container ship, a ship where people had to manually load and unload creates of cargo) came in from China. The first thing the crew did when disembarked was to start scavenging through all the standing packing crates for food. They were not interested in the contents of the creates, but rather what lived in them. Being South Africa the creates were filled with huge roaches (1 to 2 inches long at least) since they get practically everywhere and eat practically everything. The crew then lit a small fire and began to fry the roaches in oil, apparently looking quite pleased and amazed at the roaches. This used to happen with every ship from China that came into port. Apparently South Africa had quite a reputation with Chinese shipping crew due to the size of the native roaches (and possibly other life, just the roaches were the story worthy one) so any sailor who made their way to one of the ports wasted no time seeing it and trying it for himself. Since South Africa was heavily European at the time, one can imagine the local dock workers staring in amazement at it the first time they saw it.

    Now I do understand that the story was after the formation of the People's Republic of China (what people think of as China today) but still it was over 50 years ago.
     
  8. Radicool

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    Animal cruelty is a matter of cultural customs. For example we think its wrong to eat or even hurt dogs because they are our pets. In China, they may be pets, but are also a source of food. Our two cultural differences clash and we have debates trying to convince each other to adopt one anther's customs.

    What I find interesting is how we think its wrong to kill a dog, but it's ok to kill a chicken, or a cow, or a pig. Again, its just our cultural customs. We were taught as children to eat certain animals and love others. I think it would be a good idea to think critically not just about Asian customs, but your own. What makes your dog different to the pig you ate for breakfast?
     
  9. Dr Super Good

    Dr Super Good

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    This topic was created by an "administrator" from posts of mine and other users. It has nothing to do with the original context the posts were made, which was "Chinese food". The post was intended to raise public awareness that a lot of what we consider as "Chinese food" is only a small subset of the food Chinese people eat.

    Well ultimately it comes down to "farming". In theory the same morality that applies to chickens justifying their consumption can be used for any other animal. If you farm dogs for food is it any different than farming alligators or crocodiles for food? It is not like it endangers the species involved as their populations are highly controlled. Additionally the animals are not exposed to any pretense of freedom during their life, like is the case for poached wild animals.

    The fact that people and laws make a distinction is the problem. It is alright to shoot an alligator, you can even have your dog kill small ones as chew toys and that is alright in the eyes of the law. But suddenly if you were to hunt wild dogs to feed your alligators I am pretty sure you would be in big trouble, either legally or even private people threatening you. Both can be, but are not always, dangerous to humans and do cause human fatalities every year. To be honest, if I was stuck in a corridor with an Alligator on one end and a Pit-Bull (illegal dog breed created to attack humans) on the other and both of them looked like they wanted my blood I would probably choose to exit via the Alligator rather than the dog.
     
  10. BlargHonk

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  11. apcrabnightlive

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  12. BlargHonk

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    You mean a large majority for multiple years. Which directly contradicts your statement. And even going back 20 years more identified as Taiwanese only over Chinese only.
     
  13. apcrabnightlive

    apcrabnightlive

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    Thanks for clearing it up.
     
  14. Even the Philippines and other countries eats Dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, crickets, pangolins, bats, rats, spiders, fetuses of various animals (rat and bird are common) & sharks...
     
  15. The_Silent

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    How exactly is any of those animals "worse" to eat than cattle, pigs, chicken, ect.? One could argue that those animals at least has a lower level of consciousness compared to especially pig and cattle, which is quite intelligent animals (Compared to pets, ect).
     
  16. apcrabnightlive

    apcrabnightlive

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    I can't argue with that Asocena.
     
  17. Naze

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    Yeah for me it is quite clear that the current concept of feeling sorry for other creatures is highly related to emotional bonds to them, since people (ocidental people, at least) feel emotive towards mistreating dogs but don't really care about news about intensive chicken farming conditions.

    I find it interesting though that the same people tend to get shocked and emotive towards eating "exotic" animals like the phillipine diet of lizards , snakes and so on.
     
  18. Dr Super Good

    Dr Super Good

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    The problem is the very opposite. Most people will be shocked at people eating cats and dogs to the point they might get emotive and even try to stop it, yet not care the slightest if they see lizards and snakes of similar or larger size being eaten and some will even purposely go out their way to try it. It is like most people think reptiles are some kind of monsters which deserves to die.

    Whether or not the life is intelligent really should have nothing to do with it. One might think dogs are smarter than some lizards and thus deserve to live more but you will be surprised. Some larger monitor lizards can be house trained, identify the difference between individual humans and learn daily routines which are all stuff that people often have problems training dogs to do. Are they more or less intelligent than a dog? Hard to say, however since some dogs are smarter than others I would at least put them near the middle. Of course a tiny little gecko or snake is not that smart, but considering how some insects may be larger than it there really should be no surprise.

    There is also a big problem of poaching, hunting and habitat destruction removing wild populations of such animals. Sure they have hunted them for thousands of years much like people in the UK hunted birds for thousands of years, however populations were nowhere near what they are currently and neither were humans anywhere near as destructive. It is one thing living in the area eating wildlife in a way that has to be sustainable (or you starve), dying young due to illnesses and respecting what grows. It is another thing to burn down half the forests for cash crops, completely deplete the others of any reptiles for food and skins and live considerably longer thanks to modern medication so there are more of you doing this. If they farmed the animals few people would care, but reality is that nature is apparently so bountiful there they feel they can destroy it all without a care.

    Here in the UK there is not an abundance of life. Sure people call it full of life and there is some biodiversity, but compared with some areas in the world it is insignificant. If people went at the rates of habitat destruction in countries like Brazil or Indonesia then there would be practically no wild life left in under a year.
     
  19. Naze

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    Hmmm yes, you convinced me. It seems people do some spontaneous "intelligence evaluation" on the animal in question before the brain decides to get horrified by the act of eating it. Too bad people tend to evaluate IQ rather than the EQ (emotional intelligence quotient), which seems, at least for me, to be more appropriate for the matter. Because, like you said, people may go "oh how are you eating a poor dog, such a smart being", when a regular cow may actually get worst results in IQ tests but can still feel fear when entering a slaughterhouse or frustation when being raised confined, etc.

    However there is a controversy about the ability to feel emotions in other organisms and justifying their use for human consumption, because the animal's EQ is not well mapped, but in general we tend to think mammals are much more able to feel a diversity of emotions than birds and reptiles, for example. Which, in their turn, have them more developed than fish. But most of these are just common sense assumptions, nothing really reliable.

    Now about the habitat destruction you mentioned. I live in Brazil, where it is indeed at a very fast rate. I'm not commenting the large scale commercialization of wood and wildlife from the Amazon forest, among other problems, and focusing more on people hunting native species for their own eating (not for selling). Through Brazil there are a lot of places where the population is underdeveloped, very far from urban areas, and people don't get primarily educated what makes concepts like wildlife preservation be never shown to then. In these areas people mostly plant what they eat, raise their own animals, and eventually hunt. Some species get endangered and they keep hunting them, while the absent government doesnt show up to make people aware of it and do some protective policy. Some times we don't even get to know that the species is endangered.

    This happens in South America and might also happen in Asia, Africa and Central America. I think this is a kind of problem we're very far from solving because even in places where people are decently educated and there are wildlife profection policies, like Europe, some parts of Asia and even some parts of Brazil, we can still get the predatory hunting and habitat destruction problem. Kind of a sad thing to think about.
     
  20. Dr Super Good

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    One could argue though that if the animal is farmed then it ultimately should be able to accept its fate. It is not like its species will die out due to its death, in fact the opposite because humans will assure the survival of the species as long as it is farmed. For the individuals death might still be a sad process, but on the other side their life might have been longer and happier than if they were wild (many young get eaten, die due to illness, stave etc which are all causes of death humans try to lower in farmed animals). It becomes a tricky moral dilemma, however personally I think it is more justifiable than hunting stuff from the wild.

    There is also a problem with how to deal with really stupid animals. For example I had issues with mice in my garage (badly built home so they could get under the door) so I deployed a trap to catch them. One was caught by its tail and still alive so feeling sorry for it (I did not really want to kill them, just evict them from inside) I put it outside in the garden where it could do whatever it likes for the rest of its life. Replacing the trap in the exact same spot with the exact same bait incase there were any more the room was left alone for several days. I come back to find the trap having caught and killed a mouse this time (think it got its head unfortunately), which happened to be the exact same mouse that the exact same trap caught in the exact same position last time and that I evicted. This is not a mice only case either as a small bird did something equally as stupid when it decided to short-cut through my cat infested home, not once but twice and both times it got trapped inside with about 3 rather fierce house cats chasing it and both times I had to manually free it. A mouse did something equally as stupid by climbing into an open window during the night but unfortunately by the time I realised what was happening there were some rather pleased cats. Ultimately I do not think such animals have much self-awareness and I am pretty sure practically every predator in the food chain has little effort killing them.

    It mostly comes down to social stigma and humanities own stupidity.

    It is much more easy to relate to an animal like a dog or cat because much of their behaviour can be reflected on our own. For example if a cat or dog is angry it pulls a face and makes a noise, similar to what a human does. A lizard or snake however might just make a noise, or do some odd movement, or even possibly move away or attack which is not so easily seen or understood by the average person since humans do not act that way. One probably has to imagine that they are also very confused with how we act, so where as a dog or cat might pick up that their owner is angry, a Lizard or Snake might not.

    There is also a lot of social stigma associated with certain animals. When shown a picture of a lion in the UK people will probably respond too positively towards it as they are used to them being shown in a positive light by animal documentaries and might expect them to be just big cats (which they are to some extent, which is why they are all the more dangerous since I get scratches and cuts on me from house cats all the time and most are were not even made intentionally). On the other hand you show them a picture of a smallish, non-venomous snake species and I am pretty sure most people will respond unfairly negatively towards it, since they think it is some sort of life threatening dinosaur from all the movies and books they have seen and "snake bite" stories they hear on TV. The same applies to lizards and crocodiles. Ironically there probably is only 1 species of Lizard (not snake or crocodilian) that is truly dangerous to humans and that is the Komodo Dragon which is already an endangered species and is only so dangerous due to a combination of size and toxic bite.

    This is why programs like "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" love using reptiles as props during their challenges. They pose very little physical risk to the contestants but due to the general negative mentality towards reptiles it makes the show look more "dangerous", causes some of the contestants to psychologically flip and overall produce higher ratings than if they used cats and dogs as props. Do be aware that the program production itself does not really disrespect the reptiles used since they have a legal duty of care for them, they are used often and also they need to make sure they are cared for well so as to pose little risk to the contestants.

    There is a difference between subsistence hunting, and poaching.

    There are tribes in the Amazon rainforest which lived there for thousands of years and developed sustainable cultures so they could keep living there. They hunted animals with primitive means and many of them died doing so. Their populations were constant and their prey sort of adapted to their predation. This applies to many cultures and peoples throughout the world. Being an African tribe's man and killing a Lion was a big thing, many people you know might have been killed by one and there was a decent chance you could even die.

    However humans being humans they developed revolutions in killing living things. With a gun you can kill any large land animal you want with no risk to yourself. Worse is the animal you kill literally has a "WTF" moment between being hit by the bullet and its death because they have no clue what on earth just happened to them. The animal may even be aware of the hunter and even the gun but a gun is such an abstract weapon it is impossible for them to comprehend without experience, and they are almost always dead after getting that experience. This does not just apply to animals, the people in South America experienced a similar problem when Spanish Conquistadors arrived and started "shooting fire" at them. The only reason people like you and I know about guns is through sharing of knowledge, something animals are unfortunate enough not to have, especially if they are on the receiving end of the bullet. An example of this would be alligators in America which are far too often on the receiving end of a bullet despite having clear eye sight and that bullets cannot shoot through water well all because they have absolutely no idea what is going to happen to them.

    So now you can kill hundreds of animals with no risk and have access to medication prolonging your life. This means that you can hunt beyond the carrying capacity of the land. Worse still is you might just want to become a poacher and hunt thousands of animals just for money. You might even just say screw nature and concrete it over or grow an unsustainable mono-culture in the area instead. Wildlife does not stand a chance!