This picture will not appeal to dog lovers amongst TE members, but it is a typical ‘daily life’ shot from a Laotian market. This woman is selling a small dog cut up into pieces in a Vang Vieng market. She is waving a plastic bag tied to a stick over the body parts to keep the flies away.
I didn’t actually realise it was a dog that she was selling as I was wandering around the market taking pictures of the vendors. It was only when I scanned this photograph and blew it up on my computer that I noticed the dog’s head and legs in the foreground, and then realised that the rest of what she had laid out on the newspaper were the rest of its body parts.
I sort of felt sorry for the woman, wondering whether she was so poor that all she had left to sell was her dog. And this was the way in which she could maximise her financial return. Or maybe it was a stray she caught on the streets. As in parts of China and Korea, dog is considered a delicacy in Laos, so for the locals this sight is nothing unusual. I felt sorry for the dog too, wondering what she would do with it if she couldn’t sell the meat.
I don’t have exposure details for this as it was shot on film in 2002. The DOF is fairly shallow, and having focused on the woman, the dog is a little out of focus – but maybe that’s just as well ;)
Critiques | Translate
mariposa (836) 2005-09-05 12:58
very good shot of daily life! nice colors and the motion is also visible:))
kensimage (8565) 2005-09-05 21:30
Eeeeww, gross! But it is daily life, so it's good to have it seen here on TE. My guess is the dog was a stray, because in Laos a desperately poor person would likely be thinner.
I find it hard to imagine wanting to eat an animal so capable of attaching itself to people and communicating with us by body language. Cattle and pigs are somehow more distant. Anyway, good shot, regards, Ken.
capthaddock (28790) 2005-09-05 23:38
Fascinating and disgusting, I suppose some cultures are disgusted when we eat beef, but...the way I was brought up I find this disheartening, still an interesting insight into a different culture. (well I would not find a cow's head covered with flies appetizing either)
Lithium (596) 2005-09-06 18:01
Ohhhh my GOD!!! That's quite a striking and even disgusting photo for me(hard to believe what I'm seeing - a dog's head, a tail...? eeeeww!), yet I still have to thank you for this photo - it's interesting to see captures like this one from different cultures. Thanks for sharing!
rabani (9645) 2005-09-08 1:35
Don't know what to say. How do you eat something that was wagging its tail as it came at you friendly yesterday, believing you were his best friend? I guessed, another man's best friend is another man's food.
PJE (20758) 2005-10-09 0:17
David I have a gorgous Black Lab cross Golden retriever who is by far teh best dog I ever owned. Such loveing loyalty makes life down right good. Now i can understand the need to eat to survive, but is there such a shortage of meat in this area? Thanks for posting. I'll keep eating chicken and beef and keep petting my dog though. Thanks.
oochappan (16173) 2005-10-19 20:41
Indeed David, how terrible, I wouldn't dare to think if my dog would be eaten .... an excellent daily life shot though, the fat lady is already good publicity for her sails ware... :)), a well composed tight frame.
SophieL (6038) 2005-10-23 6:24
I had noticed this picture earlier while browsing through the theme. I think it's a very interesting picture (and note), and a fine portrait besides.
I don't know much about the relation between people and dogs in this part of the world, but I was surprised by a sentence in your note : "wondering whether she was so poor that all she had left to sell was her dog." From other things I read here, I was under the impression that dogs were sold for meat just as we do in Europe with cattles or pigs, and that selling dog is not something she would do out of despair, but just as part of a normal trading activity. Maybe I'm wrong.
Anyhow, I like this picture because it doesn't focus mainly on the dog's fate, but on the woman, so even if you express your feelings in your note, the picture is not here to judge. You show us what you saw, without intruding, and you leave us free to think what we want. It's not an easy subject and I think you approached it with care and respect for the woman.
aarteaga (0) 2011-11-02 17:25
Jai adoré cette image. Je voudrais lavoir sur mon fond décran.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2002-00-00
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon F70
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Dog Meat — yes or no?, men & meat /1/ [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-09-05 12:51