Pork, Chicken, Fish or Dog Meat?

‘’I just murdered five people with my bare hands. In a hasty attempt to diffuse the situation I buried their bodies in my mother’s garden but instantaneously I realised my mistake; this wasn’t the best hiding place, so me being the mastermind I am, I grabbed my pink rubber gloves from the kitchen, squatted very low and dug the bodies up from the ground. With my recently sharpened machete I diced the bodies into small tangible pieces and placed the body parts in derelict areas around the city!’’

I swear this is what Koreans hear when I tell them ‘I don’t eat meat.’ The words echo like a horror tale. . .

‘’You mean to tell me you don’t eat porkkkk? You don’t eat ham? No hamburgers? But you eat beef right?

진짜?Really?

Well, I kind of sort of eat meat. I follow a Flexitarian diet. What’s that I hear you ask? Well I mostly eat fish and nibble on chicken when I’m feeling weak. But that’s another story. But for Koreans, there is, for the most part, only one story to tell. Meat is the quintessential heart of Korean life and culture. When going out for meals; whether a work dinner, birthday, lunch or anniversary, you can count on seeing meat hanging on the end of someone’s chopsticks accompanied with buoyant and loud cheerful chews. (No one loves meat more than Koreans as far as I’m concerned)

In one of our usual office conversations I asked my colleagues their feelings towards meat. I went in with the kill for the first question, I asked Iris if she wants to take part in my challenge, of giving up meat, for thirty days, for 10,000,00 million won, roughly £7,000 – don’t ask where I’m getting the money from. Anyway, Iris was so confident with her answer and assertively enunciated ‘Yes, I will have a salad for breakfast’. Rest assure Iris’ boldness was so apparent in the office that the music teacher popped her head over the computer to look up at us, sorry, smirk at us. Then, a dramatic wave hit the room as it dawned on Iris what she just uttered. (Pregnant pause)

‘But chicken salad is good, Rachel. No, this is impossible. I can’t do it. Meat is good for stamina.’

I skipped my planned questions and asked her thoughts on Vegans. Now if this was being recorded, my camera guy would zoom directly into Iris’ face, panning slowly over her eyes, melancholy background music coming to a sudden halt when Iris murmurs ‘I feel sorry for them, but they are animal protectors’.

 Teacher Park proudly boasted that her mother declared she should ‘’marry a fisherman’’. ‘Fish is everything to me; the thought of giving up meat makes me angry and very sad. Why would I do that?’ No further questions!

‘’Dog meat is delicious. (진짜?). Dog soup taste great. (진짜?). Many years ago it was very cheap and poor people ate it. Now it’s a little expensive. Dog meat is great for my energy and overall stamina. I need it’. Case closed – I mean come on, if anyone needs protein filled vigour it’s our P.E teacher, Sihyung.

Suwnoo, a close Korean friend of mine, who strongly believes ‘dog meat is more delicious than chicken’, said he will join my no meat challenge, I was thrilled. However, Sunwoo sucked all the energy from me when he barked ‘I will give up meat for 10 minutes, maybe 20 minutes’’. – Anyone got a spare chicken wing; I’m feeling weak. . .

What are your views on meat? Since watching What the Health have you added ‘Vegan’ in your IG bio? Are you a Flex-itarian, ‘Pescatarian, or simply a Meat-Lover-tarian? Whatever the case, it’s fair to say, that we all have our staples in our diet that offer us sources of energy. For the majority of Koreans it’s meat and rice, for some plant based eaters it’s fruit. What’s one food that gives you energy that you can’t live without?

 

COMPETITION TIME!!!

(Competition CLOSED – Congratulations to Tristan and Tonya)

Leave a comment with one of your favourite foods and a food or drink you feel your culture can’t live without for a chance to win TWELVE boxes of Peppero sticks, a favourite Korean snack, sent all the way from South Korea. Competition closes December 30th 2017.

Flavours: Almond, Cookie n Cream, Chocolate, Cheese, Coconut and Green Tea 

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41 Comments

  1. Iasha
    December 2, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    This had me rolling in the floor couldn’t stop reading great writing but also very informative I didn’t realise meat was so essential in their diet. I think Jamaicans can’t live without chicken!

  2. Tris
    December 3, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    Oxtail and food I think my culture can’t live with is chicken 🍗

  3. Carmella
    December 3, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Favourite food is Zizzi lasagne thanks to you 😗😁👌🏾
    Jamaican staple has to be curry goat or chicken, chicken is versatile so many ways to prepare and flavour it. Drink is probably white rum 😁

  4. Juliana
    December 4, 2017 / 12:07 am

    My favorite food is ddukboki(떡볶이), sushi and pizza.

  5. Kaily
    December 4, 2017 / 2:53 am

    My favorite Egyptian food that I miss the most is probably shwarema. I’d say Egypt is very similar with meat. I think people can’t fully comprehend the idea of not eating meat. haha Because of this, I think meat is definitely a staple of Egyptian food, although there are different options from the typical western meats like quail and camel.

  6. Ancel Simmons
    December 4, 2017 / 4:51 am

    Favorite food: Baked Macaroni and Cheese. I’m Afro-Cuban American, so I’m going to go with Ropa Vieja (Cuban style shredded beef) for a staple food, and Sangria for the drink.

  7. Mew Tipsy
    December 4, 2017 / 6:25 am

    I am northern Thai. Thus my preference is different from those thais who live in other parts of Thailand. For me, sticky rice is essential. I also fond of spicy things like spicy shrimp paste with chopped pork, spicy papaya salad and northern style pork and tomato paste. My mouth is watering now haha. I love eating dancing shrimps, too. The drink is Thai Singha beer.

  8. Kiera
    December 4, 2017 / 7:07 am

    I think 9 times out of 10 when i eat meat i dont even realise! Just shows what we take for granted! I dont think i could live without chocolate…perfect pick me up and great way to get a sugar fix too! Xx

  9. Mew Tipsy
    December 4, 2017 / 7:43 am

    Btw, thai elderly tend to eat more veggies and fruits just like my mom. She eats fresh coconuts for breakfast and lunch. Then she eats pomeloes for dinner.

  10. Stephen
    December 4, 2017 / 8:00 am

    A very informative blog which gave an insight into the views of different cultures towards their diets. I was particularly interested in the reactions of Koreans when they hear that people don’t eat meat. Jamacian culture cannot live without Chicken and Rice n peas. However my favourite food is a seafood platter!

  11. Nat
    December 4, 2017 / 8:49 am

    Funny
    My favourite is rice & peas & mutton can’t live without my mutton 🙈

  12. Jordan
    December 4, 2017 / 10:12 am

    Such a good article!! You are a very talented writer. I love this topic too. Diets around the world are incredibly interesting. My favorite food is ranch dressing lol. I have had 6 bottles sent to me from the States because I can’t live without it! When I go home for the holidays, I’ll certainly be stocking up for another year. I put it on everything so I can’t imagine not having it here with me in Korea!

  13. Tisha Rain
    December 4, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    I follow a pescatarian diet as I found out a few years back that I have an intolerance for meat. My favourite food is also my cultures nattional dish. I love me some ackee and saltfish, (which I hated as a child)dash in 2 fried dumplings and a side of plantain with a cold ginger beer to wash it down and watch the itus set in lol.

  14. Peter
    December 4, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Love this! I remember when my brother (a lifelong vegetarian) visited in Korea… mission impossible to find food he could eat that was more than just a bowl of white rice. A frequent question he got was on the condition of his mental health… I guess it is a thing in Korea to go vegetarian if you’re feeling a bit crazy? Huh.

    My favorite food, to this day, is pork mandu and lots and lots of kimchi! I have tried the veg mandu and it is good, but just not the same!

  15. Winston Harris
    December 4, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    This is brilliant Rach! 😁 i was cracking up, and my cheeks are still hurting! Well, i’d say my culture knows all about Guiness Punch/Sexy Juice (take your pick) as a much acquired taste, but also very popular…? And i CANNOT go without a steak or lamb chops for too long! I think I’d end up on a farm otherwise… so yeah, it’s either of those meats for me. I’m just gonna go with steak haha

  16. Dave Williamson
    December 4, 2017 / 9:51 pm

    Ackee and saltffish 😂

  17. De
    December 4, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Love Ackee and salt with rice

  18. DomDom
    December 5, 2017 / 1:12 am

    My fave all time is ackee & saltfish… but couldnt live without chicken 🤷🏾‍♀️ Loved ya blog rach … ❤️

  19. Marques
    December 5, 2017 / 7:23 am

    Chicken is definitely bae 🙂

  20. @International_Ben
    December 5, 2017 / 11:30 am

    Very well written and engaging. I enjoyed this blog entry alot. As far as myself I’m not a huge foodie and I’m actually in the process of cutting out pork and chicken, Soo there isn’t a food I can’t live without lol. I think black American culture loves chicken, although I know some people that don’t touch it lol. Great question.

  21. Aaron
    December 5, 2017 / 1:37 pm

    That post was funny. Jerk chicken and rice is probably my favourite and I would in Jamaican culture, chicken is a must have.

  22. Minnie
    December 6, 2017 / 4:25 am

    Wow! Rachel, you are a great writer. Diet is most interesting topic around the world. I guess everybody wants slim and healthy body but it is difficult to achieve. My fav. food is steamed pork..with Kimchi~ I already look forward your next post!!

  23. Benjamin J. Hamula
    December 6, 2017 / 6:37 am

    This is hilarious 😂. This is not easy because Arabs we love to eat meat, the idea of meatless diet will have our grandmothers ans aunties close to a heart attack because they think we are starving lol. I’d say ‘Dolma’ & ‘kuba’ are two thing my culture could not live without where I’m from, their traditional dishes.
    Personally I don’t think I could have a meatless diet full stop lol, one thing I love in particular and would be hard for me to eliminate is fish (seafood across the board, I love)

  24. Tisha
    December 6, 2017 / 8:01 am

    Great read rach !!!
    Well I just love meat. Every year I say I’m going to give up meat and just eat fish but i don’t think my body can cope without meat beacauaw a fish diet always leaves me hungry!
    I am a big fan of rice n peas n chicken and I love lamb chops!

  25. December 6, 2017 / 8:59 am

    Rice and chicken as a Nigerian is just a must in the household. I couldn’t imagine going home and not seeing chicken stew! Things are about to go left! 😁

  26. Action Thompson
    December 6, 2017 / 10:25 am

    SEASON BUMBACLART ALL

  27. Jennifer Bell
    December 6, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    Hi my Neice Ah you dat.. I enjoyed your comments and the insight into Korean food culture ,Has for me I do enjoy Oxtail and butter beans with plain white rice, Cowfoot is a treat when I feel for it. Keep up the positive blogging

  28. Shaz
    December 6, 2017 / 9:22 pm

    Ackee & Saltfish, roast bread fruit, bammie, advocado 🍐 snd a glass of sorrel 👋😍

  29. Negus
    December 7, 2017 / 12:16 am

    I’ve recently stop eating meat, I actually enjoy the fact I don’t eat it any more. You’ll be surprise of the amount of meals you can make not containing any meat. My new favourite me has to be spinach lasagne with roasted/grilled veg absolutely amazing full of flavour, I actually prefer it over the mince lasagne the original making of it. #healthiswealth

  30. Ternisha
    December 7, 2017 / 7:48 am

    This was a hilarious read! And reminded me of my Jamaican dads response when i became pescatarian a couple of years ago, he said and I quote… “but you can still eat chicken though” it was a cross between a question and a statement haha even though his partner of many years was a former vegetarian he couldn’t understand why or how I could just chose to give up meat!
    I do think jamaicans have a deep connection with chicken like that relationship there is serious!

    My fave food is ackee and saltfish with plantain but I also love prawns 😍

  31. Liz
    December 8, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾
    Rice and oxtail stew, avocados, jollof rice, sweet potato anything, prawns and cheese. The last one I really shouldn’t eat but I just love cheese. Noticed I just listed ingredients mostly but 🤷🏾‍♀️

  32. Ashok
    December 10, 2017 / 9:04 am

    The comments were something like this:

    Hey Rachel, to turn vegetarian or a vegan after so many years takes some doing and has to be admired. In your case you grew up being a non veg person therefore, it must have been or is extremely difficult and you probably feel hungry after a feast. Just imagine how we cope. I have been a veggie since birth. As for the compatriots or for your hosts it must be incredibly difficult as I read that meat is their staple diet and to resist would be a wrench. Since I don’t believe in killing life for my food I am also proud of those who turn veggies.

    Your blog was of an unusual topic and was fascinated to read how Dog meat is a speciality for your hosts and how well you have adjusted to their culture, and that is also got to be admired and this must make your parents feel really proud. I am sure your are held in high esteem / regard by your friends and loved ones. I am certain your hosts are equally proud of you as well. It amaze me to read the price of a Dog Sou or Meat, but then it is the culture and one must respect that.

    As I have said previously you are one hell of a courageous girl to venture in that part of the word and settle as if you were one of the native. That takes some doing and hats off to you.

    My very best wishes are with you and hope you reach the pinnacle of your dream.

    Regards

  33. December 12, 2017 / 7:27 am

    I’m a vegan, so all about that jerk tofu, but I absolutely cannot live without tofu stir fry, with lots of Chinese veggies and heaps of rice!!

    Life without meat will not make you weak, I promise loool

  34. Vanessa
    December 12, 2017 / 10:27 am

    Wicked article! Really enjoyed reading this, and I didn’t realise dog meat was so openly indulged… hmmm…
    Coming from a Jamaican and Seychellois background meat and fish are massive favourites! Love love love grilled fish and ackee & saltfish, washed down with a freshly squeezed juice or punch!

  35. Tanya
    December 12, 2017 / 10:28 am

    I love steak haha and food I think my culture can’t live without is deffo rice 😂

  36. December 13, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    lmao….this was too funny. the “i feel sorry for them” really hit home cause i cant lie, i do feel the same when i meet anyone whos says they dont eat meat.but at least u are a flexitarian.lol.well my fav food would be pounded yam and egusi soup.”if you dont know, get to know”.But nigerians could not survive without rice.Jollof rice, fried rice,rice and stew. the combinations are endless.

  37. The best man alive J
    December 16, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    She’s does it again was hoping there was more tbf.😩 Another dope Read Dora, funny cos I’m one of the new age wannabe vegans who last a day lol, But I’ve cut out a lot of meat more on fish these days. Keep up the writing tho propa interesting.

  38. Dannica White
    December 17, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Love this sis, love you. It seems I’m a flexitarian too. I only eat fish and chicken every now and then. My favourite food I could not live without has got to be salmon. A statement dish for my culture I’d say is soup (chicken soup, pea soup, every damn soup).

  39. December 18, 2017 / 9:57 am

    LOOL! This had me cracking up this morning! Koreans love their meat in everythiiiiing (unless you’re in Busan, then its fish lol).
    For Nigerians, I’d say rice is our staple (more specifically, J-rice) but you could heap it on a plate and it’d still look ’empty’ without a cheeky drumstick on the side 😉
    Love your writing Rach, keep it up x

  40. December 21, 2017 / 5:39 am

    I love your blog! I can definitely relate. When I tell some people I’m vegan they act like they feel sorry for me but I have enjoyed my journey so far and I don’t miss meat at all. Maybe the Koreans will come round to the idea at some point lol x

  41. Phaidreams
    February 13, 2018 / 1:33 am

    Haha this takes me back to my time in Korea, can’t remember a company meal without meat. I like the term and idea behind flexitarian, never heard it before but it does make sense to me and I might actually be one. Although I have been eating vegn for the last month, I wouldn’t necessarily identify as one. I don’t like strict, concrete and completely restrictive lifestyles. I eat to heal…so if my body can go without meat, I won’t consume it as it wouldn’t be necessary but if my health suffered in any way as a direct result of that or of other causes, I may re-introduce it to bring me back into a balanced state. Optimal health is always the end goal for me. Good read!

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