• this is india 125

This is India! 125

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • Getting my house renovations wrapped up. Yay! Will share next week the finished photos and do a little tour.
  • I recently read Fates and Furies while in Morocco. I loved it! The first half is a husband’s view on a lifelong marriage and the second is his wife’s point of view. I just finished reading Sarah’s Key, a chilling story about French Jewish children taken away from French police to be send to a camp in France for a couple weeks then eventually Auschwitz where the 4,000 kids were killed the minute they got off the train. It tells about how many people think the Nazi’s did it all while occupying countries like France, but that it was the countries’ own police. Very interesting and depressing book.

Now your story,

Today I’m going to talk about eating cats and dogs.

Yep! Totally gross and weird right? OR is it!?

It depends on who you ask.

My first encounter with this was seeing dog kebabs in Uganda.

I saw cats in cages in Malaysia and had my suspicions.

When I was in the tribal region of Ziro Valley I shared photos of all the cute doggies I saw. Every house had about 5 dogs! I remember being so impressed with their love of them. I thought they were eating only field mice and chicken. The neighboring villagers, Naga tribe, notoriously eat dogs. Later, I realized maybe that’s why the dogs were there.

ziro valley tribals

I not only follow Huffington Post India on Facebook, but I also write for them occasionally. I find that reading comments from Indians about current events in India helps me to understand how people think and feel. I get totally engrossed with it.

I came across this article a couple days ago:

For Biryani in Chennai, Cats Are Being Boiled Alive, Sold For 100 Rs. Per Kg

eating cats in india

So, the article goes on to say yes it’s happening and it’s not the fact they are eating and selling cat that is the issue, but they are boiling them alive and weren’t sure if people knew what they were buying and if they were mixing meat.

One guy walked up to ask the man chopping meat and he straight away said it’s cat and this is the price. “A man even ate a raw piece of meat and recommended that we try black cat’s blood.”

It wasn’t a “shocking” article that they are eating cat.

“While a complaint has been registered, the police admitted this was not an exceptional situation, as the community is traditionally known to have kept cats for consumption.” –Huff po

The article says that cat biryani is popular at weddings in Chennai and cat soup when a baby boy is married. The main reason is just that it is cheaper than chicken.

So since I thought it was fun to read the comments I thought you might want to see people’s thoughts as well.

eating cats in india

Cows are holy and respected here, and illegal to eat in many states. So, I’m not surprised some will think cat is better to eat than cow.

eating cats in india

As long as it’s done ethically, they say eat what you like. The other guy basically says why do you only not eat ones that you think are cute and convenient to love?

eating cats in india

If you can have a chicken biryani, then you should have cat too is what many said. But the business man is saying wait, let’s not kill them, lets export them.

Some say the dogs from Kerala were exported to China. When I was in Kerala during the mass culling of dogs, I could compare to two years prior and there were 90% less dogs in my opinion. So they were killing them or selling them, or both.

eating cats in india

Dr Monal gets right to the point I’m thinking- it’s dirty isn’t it!? But then the cow I eat here in Goa is most likely eating trash on the street for all I know.

So, who knows. When I get my food on the side of the road I couldn’t guess what meat I am having. I could guess that at some point I may have eaten cat and not known. I have a cat (KitKat) so it makes me really sad.

I just thought it might be interesting to share with you what some Indians are saying about eating cat because I can imagine the comments would be VERY different in the West.

This is India!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big purple box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on , ,  & bloglovin‘.


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. [email protected] November 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Thirty some years ago when we were in Indonesia we walked past the back side of a restaurant and the cook was stirring a concoction in a big pan and we pointed to it with a questioning look and he barked at us. We were somewhat shocked and made a mental note not to eat there. A couple of years ago we were in Panama and ate at a restaurant that had horse on the menu.

    • Rachel Jones November 6, 2016 at 5:49 pm - Reply

      I didn’t realize they ate horse in those areas. I had heard of that before though – to me, it’s very odd!

  2. Sarah Bence November 4, 2016 at 11:28 pm - Reply

    Ah this is super interesting looking at it from the other point of view! My initial reaction was sadness and to shudder at the thought of eating cats or dogs…but if they hold cows to be holy it makes sense they’d have their reaction! Really interesting. Also because I have a friend from Chennai who is getting married in a couple years…wondering if I will have to be a vegetarian at her wedding!

    • Rachel Jones November 6, 2016 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      Ha, good point you might want to ask lol! But it seems like it’s at the weddings of people who can’t afford chicken so probably more lower class families.

  3. Enes November 5, 2016 at 1:20 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel
    My girlfriend and i will go to india next week, for 1 week. and my gilrfriend is a bit worry about the country. is it quite safe for couples ? we heard too many things but we have no idea, about worst places.
    Thanks Enes & Agata

    • Rachel Jones November 6, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      hello, yes in my experience it is. I have a lot of safety tips on the blog though just look through my India section

  4. Betsy November 5, 2016 at 2:46 am - Reply


    You should see my face. It is not good. So sad. I totally understand where you are coming from about reading responses by people from other cultural backgrounds to get their view. I think that is great! But I can’t handle this boiling the cat alive thing. I do not want any animal to be boiled alive. I do still eat meat but I think eventual I might stop. However, after living in India for 6 months I don’t kill spiders or bugs anymore, I take them outside. I used to be totally scared of spiders. So it makes me sad that Indians are boiling cats alive.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel Jones November 6, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Yeah it’s really horrible and the article didn’t say why they would boil them alive. I lot meat so the thought of being a veggie is difficult BUT I love animals so it’s something I have considered.

  5. stephanie November 6, 2016 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    Fates and Furies sounds like a interesting book! Ive written it down, if i come in a bookstore, iwill check it out.

    • Rachel Jones November 7, 2016 at 5:26 pm - Reply

      Yeah it was really cool to see how differently she saw everything. Highly recommend!

  6. venus john November 6, 2016 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    thanks for letting us know about the book..Sarah’s key..shows all human beings are capable of extreme cruelty,not necessarily one person or one race…

    their comments about eating cats seems logical enough,however,they should be slaughtered humanely after stunning them and only in slaughter rhouses,and rules should be framed about which animals are healthy to eat and which are not etc..

    • Rachel Jones November 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      Yeah Sarah’s key was surprising to me, I learned quite a lot.

      I totally agree if they are going to be eaten it should have same regulations as farm animals

  7. Sailaja November 16, 2016 at 12:24 am - Reply

    I love your book suggestions. I read The art of tidying up and cleaned my home in India , when i visited this Oct. There were so many expired medicines and things we haven’t remembered. It would be great if you could have a post where in you keep adding the books you read, so it will be handy to look through and pick one. Thanks :)

    • Rachel Jones November 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Sailaja, you’re right I should do a post with all of them! I try to mention in my “this is india” posts what i’ve read lately. i’m glad the art of tidying inspired you to clean :) It really is an interesting book! Makes me want to shop less too.

  8. Tim UrbanDuniya November 19, 2016 at 2:53 am - Reply

    Hmmmm I don’t know about this – I tend to agree with a lot of what people have to say. I would never eat cat, for three reasons – 1. my faith, 2. to me they are “domestic” animals for pets, not eating and 3. I just never have, and don’t really want to!

    That said, however, I totally understand the point of view that if you can eat a cow, lamb or chicken, then why not a cat? Lambs can be very cute too, but we’re just used to eating them in many countries – so it’s a matter of social conditioning.

    One thing that stands out is the fact that they are apparently boiled alive – that, in particular, seems unnecessarily cruel :'(

    • Rachel Jones November 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Yeah the boiled alive bit is what really gets to me too! It’s really sad :( Not sure why they do it.

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