Don’t Tell PETA

When I came to China I made a pledge to myself that I would be open to new ideas and new experiences. Last night I had a new experience. As I look back at most of my experiences here in China I’ve realized that most of my stories take place at Wu Gong’s restaurant, this one is no different.

Chinese people will eat almost anything, whether it be donkey, dog, snake, monkey, etc. You name it, they eat it here. So when I see a cage full of live pigeons outside of Wu Gong’s restaurant I don’t find it out of the ordinary that they eat pigeons too.

The other teachers and I were eating our dinner when we saw Wu Gong come in with a pair of live pigeons in his hands. Apparently another table had ordered two pigeons. We knew that he was going to kill the pigeons so we asked if we could watch. I know that sounds a little sadistic but we were intrigued to see how he’d kill them.

We went into the back of his restaurant and crowded around Wu Gong. Wu Gong took the first pigeon with one hand and held its wings back. With his the other hand he used his pointer and middle fingers and placed them around the head of the pigeon. He said that the best way to kill a pigeon and cause the least amount of pain is to pull its head off. So with one quick pull, pop, the head came off the pigeon. After he took the pigeon’s head off he threw the pigeon into the bucket to bleed.

Wanting to try new things, I asked Wu Gong if I could try with the second pigeon. Wu Gong, being the nice guy that he is, agreed. So with one hand I grabbed the wings and held them back so they wouldn’t flutter and with my other hand, just as Wu Gong had done, I placed my pointer and middle fingers around the pigeons head.

I bent over the bucket and turned my head to the side (I didn’t want any of the pigeon juices squirting into my eyes). I wasn’t sure how hard to pull; I wanted to do it quickly, as to cause the least amount of pain. So I decided to just pull as hard as I could. As I began to pull hard the head came right off. I was really surprised at how easily it came off.

Pulling the head off

Once the head came off a warm liquid spurted out of the pigeon, all over my hand. I looked down expecting to see blood, but it was clear. I wasn’t sure what it was so I asked Wu Gong, he told me that it was the pigeon’s stomach contents. I rushed to the bathroom to wash it off. I must have washed my hands 3 or 4 times to make sure they were clean.

I didn’t stick around for the defeathering; it seemed that it would be too much work and too messy. Please don’t take this story as the early signs of some crazed psychopath who kills animals for fun, although I have always had this desire to kill an animal. This was the first animal that I have ever killed, excluding bugs, and to tell you the truth it wasn’t all that great, but it was a new experience.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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