“Live-Boiled Cat”

At China Dialogue, Zhou Yiyan reports the release of a documentary on China’s cat meat trade:

The core demand is in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in south-east China. The cats conveyed into the city are turned into delicacies such as soy-stewed cat, dragon-fighting-tiger (a dish combining cat and snake meat) and live-boiled cat. “Cat meat is a common dish in Guangzhou, I saw it at the Song Restaurant and Jiahua Seafood,” says Guo Ke.

According to local paper Yangcheng Evening News, the people of Guangdong eat 10,000 cats a day in the winter, a large number of which are bought or stolen in other provinces. In May, Guo Ke visited Guangzhou and used a hidden camera to film scenes of cats being slaughtered.

At Fa’s Cat Restaurant in Guangzhou’s Kaiping district, he captured boiled cat being prepared. The cook throws cats – too exhausted to struggle – into an iron bucket and beats them with a wooden stick. Five minutes later, the already-stiffening cats are tipped out of the bucket into a cylindrical fur-removing machine. The machine screeches into action and shortly the bloodied corpses are removed and taken to the kitchen for boiling.

The cook explains: “The worse you treat them the better they taste. It makes sure the blood gets into the meat and it tastes delicious.”

chinaSMACK translates a similar account here, accompanied by extremely graphic photographs. Their recipe is slightly different:

Cook: “[The cat] cannot be completely beaten to death, [because] it also needs to be boiled a little, this is what ‘live cooked cat’ is.”

This is accompanied by translated comments from Tiexue, expressing a range of perspectives:


Hey, it looks like it could be pretty fragrant/delicious…


Know why Western countries look down upon us Chinese people now?

Why European and American countries are hollering for Chinese people to get [out of their countries]?

Since we are working hard to join the world, why not reject some ugly eating habits??


Why can’t cat meat be eaten??? Who can give me a reason??? Cow, sheep, pig can all be eaten, why can’t cat and dogs be eaten???

I think aside from human meat, anything can be eaten!!!


It is okay to eat [cat], but one must eat with dignity!

Aren’t pigs, cows, and sheep all stunned before slaughtering these days?

Be a little more humane, as this [way of slaughtering] is indeed cruel!

[Those who] eat live monkey brain and stuff like that, are even more deserving of being struck down by heaven!


Several years ago, there were reports saying something about people eating baby soup. Later, it was proven to be fake, a rumor created by an anti-China person. How authentic is this post?

A further question is just how exceptional this level of cruelty is in the context of modern industrial fishing and (from Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals) farming:

Step your mind into a crowded elevator, an elevator so crowded you cannot turn around without bumping into (and aggravating) your neighbor. The elevator is so crowded you are often held aloft.

This is a kind of blessing, as the slanted floor is made of wire, which cuts into your feet.

After some time, those in the elevator will lose their ability to work in the interest of the group. Some will become violent; others will go mad. A few, deprived of food and hope, will become cannibalistic.

There is no respite, no relief. No elevator repairman is coming. The doors will open once, at the end of your life, for your journey to the only place worse ( see: processing ).

See also: Animals Asia on the progress of animal welfare legislation in China.

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