In 2007 China spent $757 million on pet food and pet care. In 2008, that number is expected to increase by 15 percent to $870 million. It’s still peanuts — or kibbles — compared to what Americans spend on their pets (over $43 billion projected this year). From Reuters via the IHT:
“We still eat dog, but not this kind of dog,” Liu Ming, a pet shop salesman said, pointing to a toffee-colored puppy with floppy ears on sale for about 500 yuan, or $70. “We eat much bigger dogs.”
In the days of Mao, pets were considered a bourgeois indulgence. Now the cute dogs sold in pet shops are spared, while homely mutts tend to be sold at live animal markets as the main ingredient in dog meat stew.