The Los Angeles Times article last December got many of us riled up about the merits and cultural relativity of eating dog in Asia. There were heated comments about U.S. Marine Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lucius and his efforts to curb the consumption and mistreatment of dogs in Vietnam.
I've been asked if I know of Vietnamese people in America eating dog and my answer is, "No." I've never personally seen it or heard of it going on.
Yesterday, the Associated Press published a story on archeological evidence pointing to dogs as being an ancient friend, protector and source of food to humans in the Americas. University of Maine graduate student Samuel Belknap III found a fragment of a dog bone in human excrement that dates back 9,400 years.
The fact that the bone had passed through someone's digestive tract is evidence of dog meat having been consumed a long time ago. There have been archeological digs that date domesticated dogs in the U.S. to about 8,000 years ago. This new finding gives canines an even longer, and expanded place in the history of the Americas.
It's a real American man bites dog story! Read it here:
"Old Dog, New Tricks: Study IDs 9,400-old Mutt" by Clarke Canfield, 01/19/11
I imagine that this anthropological finding will either help people feel vindicated or slightly more at ease with the issue of dog as food. In any event, it's not just an Asian thing.