Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Man Bites Delicious Dog!

Dog's dinners prove popular in Nigeria
BBC - "Welcome to animal kingdom where man pikin dey show dog pepper," says Chibuzo Eze in Pidgin English, meaning: Welcome to place where the son of man is giving dogs a hard time. Mr Eze then hungrily gets back to tugging his chunk of dog meat.

'Improves your sex life'

Mr Eze says he eats dog meat because "e dey protect person from all those nyama-nyama disease them" - it gives you immunity from different diseases. A few yards away Bassey Umoh, South Africa's owner and chief chef, pokes at larger chunks of sizzling meat barbecuing on wire gauze over an open fire.

"Eating dog meat gives you a special protection against the most potent juju (charm)," he claims, reeling off the benefits of dog meat.

"Dog meat also improves your sex life. And if you eat dog meat, you cannot be poisoned."

Another dog-meat eater, Beke Nnkwo says he was introduced to the cuisine as a cure for malaria. "People who eat dog meat have no business with malaria," Mr Nnkwo says. "So, I was introduced to the meat as a cure for malaria and I can testify that it works."

Medical opinion, however, seems to differ.

"Dog meat, to the best of my knowledge, is not any different from any other meat. The claim that it cures malaria is definitely not true," says Dr Yakubu Nyandaiti a consultant at Nigeria's University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

For Mr Nnkwo, however, an Igbo from south-eastern Nigeria, eating dog meat is a question of culture.

"I hear they eat frogs in certain parts of the world. But I tell you, no matter how you cook or dress a frog, I can never eat it.

Dog Meat Terminology

  • 404: A dog is also called 404 after the French-built Peugeot pick-up van, a tribute to a dog's ability to run fast
  • Headlights: A dish with the eyes of a dog as the most prominent component
  • Gear Box: Dog's liver, heart and kidneys (usually more expensive than ordinary meat)
  • Tyre: A dog's legs. Mr Umoh claims that eating a 'tyre' makes you a fast runner
  • Sentencing: The act of clubbing a dog to death rather than slaughtering it

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