January 25, 2012
Panda As Pet..?
They only look like baby pandas.
These little bundles of joy are actually chow chow dogs that have been dyed black-and-white to look like pandas.
Dyeing pets has been a trend in pet pampering for quite some time. At last summer's Pets Show Taipei, there was a fierce dog-dyeing competition. Check out photos.
But dyeing your pets to look like other wild animals is a more recent development.
The trend demonstrates how quickly and dramatically attitudes toward pets — particularly dogs — have changed in many parts of Asia.
In Taiwan, for example, just 10 years ago, dogs were still eaten in public restaurants and raised on farms for that purpose. Traditional Chinese medicine held that so-called "fragrant meat" from dogs could fortify one's health. Now, eating dog is viewed by many as an embarrassing reminder of a poorer time.
Elsewhere, in mainland China, dog meat is still very much on the menu. In fact, it's more expensive than pork or beef.
So, while more people may be eating dog as the country gets richer, newly wealthy Chinese have embraced dog-owning culture with a vengeance.
Dogs are brought into restaurants, fussed over in public, dressed up in ridiculous outfits and dyed to look like ferocious tigers.