What food does Madison WI best represent

Some like (eat) dogs, others don't

Getting down to the dog pp 63-79 | Cite as

Cynophagia versus food taboo
  • Britta Ramminger
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Part of the Erlebniswelten book series (ERLEB)


The importance of dogs in the food industry is a topic that is rarely mentioned in discussions on human-dog relationships. In contrast to the meat consumption of so-called farm animals, the consumption of dog meat is generally considered to be almost impossible even by outspoken sausage and steak lovers in this country. However, ethnographic and archaeozoological studies, as well as articles in current media, show that eating dogs is by no means as absurd as it appears at first glance. Written records for the consumption of dog meat in Europe are documented as early as ancient times, but especially from the Middle Ages and for modern times, which are not limited to proven extreme times of need. In some cultures, dog meat is still considered a delicacy, in others it was consumed for medicinal purposes or on certain festive occasions. From an archaeological perspective, this article shows examples from different epochs of human history for the consumption of dog meat and discusses possible explanations for corresponding food taboos.


Consumption of dog meat food taboo archeozoology ethnography prehistory and early history ancient modern times
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