Dog as a source of food is not totally unheard of. While it may be banned in several countries across the world, there are several others which consider dog meat to be a readily available source of protein for consumption. In fact, several communities across the world also consider that dog meat helps in building stamina, and often, sexual prowess.
In Indonesia's North Sulawesi, which is known for consuming dog meat as well as keeping pet pooches, Frank Delano Manus runs a sanctuary for dogs and cats that were originally meant for the dinner plate, reported Vice.
It is a tough position for Manus to be in, considering the fact that the Minahasa heartlands consider dog meat to be an important part of their culinary culture, with him eearning a few threats over it as well.
But Manus refuses to back down.
Speaking to Vice, Manus explained that during the early days of his animal rights activism, one of their programmes was to educate people and while campaigning on the streets. They had to spend two years of the campaign seeing people shout and curse at them even throw rocks at them for what they were promoting.
However, he added that a lot of people eventually came around and started to sympathise with them as well. He added that some even joined their movement and in the end they gained a lot of "respect and tolerance", said the report.
However, according to the Vice report, confrontations are totally not unheard of in the Minhasa province.
Frank recalled that one of the largest confrontations they had to face was when they were visited by overseas NGOS. Frank helped them rescue animals from the Tomohon market and people responded by writing that foreigners were trying to destroy their culture, in local media.
While dog meat is not common in Indonesia, there are regions in Minhasa, where it is a well-known local ingredient. The local government has on its part, tried and failed to ban the eating on their part, which is considered to be an integral aspect of the Minhasa culture.
Speaking to Vice, Manus added that he grew up with conflict about the culture of consuming dog meat. Subsequently, he added, that in 2013, he did some research and met with historians from the Sam Ratulangi University and Manado Universitry and came to the conclusion that dog meat consumption cannot be called an integral part of their culture, since the practice dates back to the 1930s only.
He then decided to join the nonprofit animal shelter Animal Friends Manado Indonesia (AFMI), started by local activist Anne Parengkuan that saves dogs and other animals from local markets.
The shelter houses a diverse pack of animals in a non-descriptive building purposely, which Manus says is for safety reasons for the dogs since North Sulawesi is one place where most common crimes happen on domestic animals. Manus revealed that ninety percent of homes with pets in Minahasa must have experience their cats or dogs as being stolen at least once in their lives.