Chinese Like to Play With their Food

The Chinese have some bizarre attitudes towards their food. We all know that nothing is off the menu and that many foods are believed to have magical powers. In SuperSense, I talked about the essentialism of eating various animal penises and the claims of rejuvenating potions made from fetuses. Here I thought I would share some videos and images of other Chinese practices which upset many Westerners. Take for example, the fish dish which is only half deep-fried so that it is still alive when eaten.

Or consider these goldfish that magically swim in formation (orig. in Japanese).  I expect that they have been fed a large dose of iron fillings.

But the last example, is not entirely the fault of the Chinese but rather a Belgian tattoo artist who has been inking up porkers in Beijing.

inky & Porky


Filed under In the News, Weird Story of the Week

7 responses to “Chinese Like to Play With their Food

  1. Arno

    Whenever I see things like that, I get the very passionate feeling that the ancient art of skull-cup crafting might not be such a barbaric idea after all.

    Also, I would like to point out that the Belgian tattoo artist is in fact Wim Delvoye, the same man who made Cloaca (artificially created shit as an art form) and that the pigs in question were sedated, shaved and applied vaseline on before tattooing began: the process for the animal was pretty much stress free. And in addition it meant that the animal was suddenly a highly valuable work of art, which therefore wasn’t killed and eaten, as otherwise would have happened.

    But yes, Chinese have very different ideas about animal cruelty. It is possibly due to those ideas that they can get away with being such a large producer of Crush films, a rather sickening kind of pornography that focuses on the squashing of small animals (anything from insects up to kittens and puppies) under the heeled boots of young women. Usually, this stuff is well-hidden behind protected servers and whatnot, but occasionally some of this rubbish becomes available to the larger public, with attempts to hunt the producers down as a result (warning: link contains extremely disturbing material). In the defence of the Chinese though: they make this disgusting shit because there is a market for it, which is most likely mainly American and European.
    The irony btw, is that the people that buy this rubbish get turned on due to the fantasy that they are the animal getting squashed (think very extreme S&M). And I find this ironic, because I don’t think they should have to pay for such a fantasy: I am sure a sizeable number of people would happily squash the clients to death, in fact, and would therefore most benevolently give these people their ultimate pleasure.

  2. oh that first video is horrifying – so cruel

  3. Shameless, people amusing themselves poking at that fish. Disrespectful in the extreme.

    And what the hell is the point in tattooing a pig? Idiots!

  4. Arno

    Btw, speaking of playing with food. PZ Myers just posted a video on halal slaughter.
    Compared to that, western methods for killing animals are downright benign, though it still isn’t as disturbing as some of the Chinese videos. It comes very close though, as the animals aren’t fish but mammals which show clear signs of distress.
    But yes, it does make the whole “being a vegetarian” thing look awfully moral.

  5. Arno

    Oh, and don’t forget Koreans, who believe that their dog and cat meat is only proper when the animal has been tortured as much as possible. Bottom movie says it all, really.

    • brucehood

      That’s pretty disturbing.

      • Arno

        It is. There is a whole discussion about whether the habit is actually cultural (as some seem to claim is part of the national heritage), or whether it is just a local superstition that grew way out of hand. Though the eating of dogs has happened in various cultures (Aztec, various tribes of Native Americans, but also France and Germany, amongst others) and still is happening in others (Japan, China, Indonesia, Hawaii etc) , the supposed virtuous properties of torturing the animal beforehand is something rather new, and seems in fact to be an odd mix of supernatural beliefs and science.
        The whole idea that eating particular animals whose behaviour or appearance resembles either the malady or desired physiological state, is a simple case of the Law of Similarity and is founded on practices in Chinese medicine. In the Chinese case, dog meat was supposed to make people feel warmer during the winter, deduced from the observed property that dogs have a higher body temperature than humans. In the Korean case dogs, due to the number of litters they can produce, are considered to increase the male libido (just like tigers and rhinos).
        The idea of applying torture beforehand however, is partly scientific: stress hormones are released under torture. These hormones are then supposed to improve the quality and thus the effectiveness of the meat.
        That this somehow grew into a multi-million dollar business however, is deeply disturbing. Especially because originally a specific dog breed was eaten, but nowadays, due to the growing demand for the meat, any dog breed is used. That dogs are even stolen from dog owners for consumption, is the thing that strikes me as particularly disgusting.

        Anyway, it is an interesting case of supersense meeting pseudoscience, with the final results being animal cruelty and the rise of rabies (yep, eating rabies-infected dogs leads to rabies).

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