Hanoi should learn from Hoi An and refuse dog, cat meat

By Anh Pham   March 19, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
Hanoi should learn from Hoi An and refuse dog, cat meat
Captured dogs wait to be killed for their meat in Hanoi, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Not long ago, our friend group in Hanoi gathered to welcome a member that had just returned home from Hoi An, a town in central Vietnam.

We had a meal at one of the most famous dog meat restaurants in Hanoi.

That friend, whom we all know as a dog/cat meat lover, surprised us all by refusing to touch any dishes on the table.

He then explained to us that he had changed his attitude toward dog and cat meat since he started working in the tourism industry in Hoi An.

"Working in the tourism field, I usually meet foreigners. They come from different places around the world and the more I get to know them, the more I can see how much they love animals, especially cats and dogs."

"In most cases, when foreign customers learn that I eat dog and cat meat, I can see that they would change the way they look at me. Some even canceled all services that involve me," he said.

A few months ago, when Hoi An became the first locality in Vietnam to phase out dog and cat meat, my friend, like many other Vietnamese, completely supports the move.

I wonder if Hanoi, which was granted the "City for Peace" title by UNESCO in 1999, should learn from Hoi An.

Would Hanoi still be a city for peace when its streets are highlighted with stalls selling raw dog and cat meat, or even whole roast dogs with their teeth catching people's eyes from afar.

As for a spiritual tourist attraction, Huong (Perfume) Pagoda in Hanoi should not be a place where pilgrims and tourists come to see stalls selling dog and cat meat like during the Lunar New Year holiday earlier this year.

I really wish Hanoi could soon put an end to the consumption of cat and dog meat so it could stay true to its titles as capital and tourist attraction.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's biggest urban center, and Da Lat, one of the top tourist attractions dubbed Little Paris, should also follow in the steps of Hoi An.

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