Wednesday 7 March 2007

It's a barking barbecue

Hello Doggie

I probably read this twice, the first time, it looked quite humourous but by the second read, I almost despaired at the light-hearted way a serious issue had been depicted.

The writer obvious has a good feel for Nigerian parlance, the Pidgin English, the jargon and the sayings which convey truth like no other expression can.

Yes, dog meat is a delicacy that has made it from what we in Western Nigeria considered an Eastern aberration to the Federal Capital - Abuja, where the chef de cuisine adds international flavour as a South African who 32 years ago began a 2-year apprenticeship for what has become a livelihood.

Mercifully, it would appear the dog meat is barbecued rather than put into some soup or stew where every meal that contains meat would become suspect.

Claims that sell

One can expect where certain foods make many cringe, extra-ordinary claims would be made to justify and entice others into the act of eating the pet. What better lure can there be for a virile black man than to say that dog meat is an aphrodisiac?

The image of being able to hump like a crazed rabbit even in the absence of a mate with whom to express and dramatize ones prowess would not take away from the hopes of the possibilities.

As if that is not enough, others claim that dog meat has medicinal qualities.

Now, anyone reading this might think there are dog farms where the dogs are reared as free range, corn fed dogs allowing for the Sunday dinner of mouthwatering Pedigree - full of hormones and other beneficial healthy food products rather than some rabid lame stray that dared to bark and could not run off when the dog-napper walked by.

Cow saved by dog

Even more seriously, the advent of the dog on the flesh menu only indicates that the more common livestock which requires more attention as a financial venture and food supply is scarce or priced out of reach of the common man.

My Western sensibilities leave me a bit biased and prejudiced against this development, I once had a dog called Scot named after the dog in the Janet and John children's books and much later in life, we took care of a dog called Winnie, once I took her for a walk and the many who saw her said nice dog licking their lips, she was never let out of the compound after that.

But like the lady at the African Shop at Amsterdam Central Station said when I told her of this situation, "In the West, the dog eats with his master and in Africa the dog is eaten by his master." Even I cannot add much more to that or the story that appears on the BBC.

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