While most people in the U.S. would shudder at the sight of even seeing an item with dog or cat in it, other parts of the world consume these animals on a regular basis.

Eating dog is legal in many countries (including most states here) but the idea of consuming man's best friend has animal rights activists up in arms. Americans may consider consumption of these animals taboo, but in India--despite their growing cattle export industry-- cows are considered sacred and rarely eaten by locals. In many Islamic countries, eating pigs is rare.

Animals can be friends and food. But if you don't fancy trying a meat that hits too close to home, then proceed with caution when exploring new dishes in the following countries.

1. China

Dog meat has long history in Chinese cuisine and the practice continues today in many regions throughout the country. While the country has tried to be sensitive with regards to international visitors (the government banned the sale of dog meat at local restaurants during the Beijing Olympics, according to CNN) the sale dog continues today in many meat markets.

2. Vietnam

Dog eating a common practice in many Vietnamese homes and restaurants. "Dog is the go-to dish in Vietnam for drinking parties, family reunions and special occasions," according to the Guardian. Unfortunately, demand for the meat has gotten so high that an underground smuggling operation out of Thailand has been snatching pets and street dogs to sell on the lucrative meat market.



3. South Korea

Dog meat was once a popular meat in South Korea, but has since fallen out of favor with younger generations who prefer to keep dogs as pets, reports CTV. The government has also been divided on the issue. While dog was classified as a repugnant food by the government in the mid 1980s, the practice continued as the law has been rigorously enforced.


(AP Photo)

4. Switzerland

While many people associated eating dogs with Asian cuisine, the practice is still common among farmers in Appenzell and St. Gallen areas of the country. The practice is legal as long as the animal is killed humanely and the meat is not sold for commercial purposes.

5. Indonesia

While dog is considered taboo to eat (along with pigs) in the majority-Muslim country, the meat is consumed at special occasions such as weddings or holidays. 

6. Nigeria

Dog meat is consumed by citizens in different regions across this Northern African nation. Some believe that eating dog actually helps build immunity to disease. And may also improve one's sex life. 

7. Arctic and Antarctic

While dogs are usually used for sledding through the icy tundras, in times of low meat supply, inhabitants of the Arctic, Greenland and other cold climate countries will turn to dog meat as a source of protein.

8. United States

While many Americans assuming eating a dog or cat is illegal, just over a handful of states actually ban the practice. Though its very rare to find dog meat on the menu of your typical American restaurant, in many states, like Pennsylvania for example, it's still legal to sell and eat dogs and cats.