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Do we eat Dogs in Vietnam?

I was at a New Year’s Day party yesterday and mentioned I’ll be traveling to Vietnam soon. Once again, I was asked if Vietnamese folks ate dogs and cats. So I will attempt to answer this question from my family’s perspective. Our opinion may be different from other Vietnamese families’ perspective. Also things may have changed in Vietnam since 1981.

Yes, it does happen. However, it is not mainstream. If I were to compare it to something similar in America, it’s comparable to eating possums. It’s an underground and ‘eeky’ thing. Growing up, we had a puppy once. The puppy died after 3 or 4 days after he came to live with us. He was sick or something and we tried our best to nurse him back to life. We left him on the dining table in a blanket before going to bed. The next morning he fell off the table and died. It was horrifying. I still don’t know if he died because of his illness or because he fell off the table. I was 4 or 5 years old when this happened and I’m still traumatized.

I’ve never eaten dog, but I’ve heard whispers and stories of men who get together with their drinking buddies to eat dog stew late at night in alley ways and off-the-beaten path restaurants. I’ve heard of neighbors who’s dogs would mysteriously disappear. We all assumed they were captured and eaten. For those of us who choose not to eat dogs, we actually think it’s pretty disgusting because they are cute pets and we love them. To sum it up, some Vietnamese folks do eat dogs and cats (a new thing) but it’s not mainstream and it’s definitely frowned upon for proper young ladies.

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