Mingdong Chen, 25, showed no remorse when he confessed to slaughtering the family that allowed him to live in their Brooklyn apartment and admitted that he committed the atrocity because he envied their way of life, a police source told The Post.
“The family had too much,” the source quoted Chen as saying.
“He meant that the family had better income and a better lifestyle than him . . . He was jealous and just killed them.”
Chen was charged Monday but did not enter a plea.
NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks III said Chen had cited his inability to make it in America as his motive for the slayings, which apparently took place while the victim’s husband Yi Lin Zhuo was at work.
“Everyone here is doing better than me,” Banks quoted the suspect as saying during a confession in Mandarin Chinese, the only language Chen speaks.
A family friend said slain mom Qiao Zhen Li had tried to boot Chen out of her family’s Sunset Park home.
“She told him, ‘You just leave my house,’ ” said Xiao Wei Yang, 31.
“She was never thinking he’d use the knife to cut and kill everyone . . . She was just helping him, and he just killed her whole family.”
Yang learned of the attempted eviction from a cousin of Li’s who had visited the apartment shortly before Chen’s alleged Saturday-night rampage.
“My friend went to visit her cousin a couple hours before it happened,” Yang said. “She left, so she just said thanks to God.”
About three minutes before cops and ambulances arrived, a neighbor, who asked not to be identified, heard a woman in the house screaming “Help! Help! Help! Help!’’ in the Chinese dialect of Fukinese.
Sources said Chen, who came here illegally from China and worked as a cook, used a butcher knife to slash and stab Li in the face — lopping off several of her fingers when she tried desperately to protect herself.
Cops found Li, 37, in the kitchen with her son Kevin Zhuo, 5. Both were alive but died a short time later at hospitals. The other children — William Zhuo, 1, Amy Zhuo, 7, and Linda Zhuo, 9 — were found slain in a rear bedroom.
Two of the kids, including the baby, had been decapitated, and there was a trail of blood throughout the house, sources said.
“It’s just a scene you’ll never forget, I’ll just leave it at that,” Banks said.
Li’s husband — who arrived home after his family was massacred — appeared dazed when he stepped out of the 66th Precinct station house to talk on his cellphone Sunday.
He walked slowly and ignored questions from reporters before cops escorted him back inside, then took him away out a rear entrance.
A man who accompanied him to the station house, Peolouen Chang, said the husband had emigrated from the coastal Fujian province in China before any of his children were born.
Banks said the nightmare scene was discovered by Zhuo’s sister and brother-in-law, who went to the 57th Street apartment after Li tried to call her husband to tell him Chen was “acting suspicious.”
When she couldn’t reach her husband, Li called her mother-in-law in China, who also couldn’t reach him and contacted Zhuo’s sister who lives nearby, Banks said.
The sister and her husband banged on the door until Chen finally opened it and they saw him “covered in blood.”
They then called 911, and two detectives who happened to be investigating a robbery pattern nearby raced to the scene.
The detectives, William Greer and Giovanni Talavera, nabbed Chen as he tried to escape out the front door at about 10:45 p.m., still carrying the bloody knife, a source said.
“If those detectives hadn’t been in the area, he could have gotten away with it,” the source said.
“It’s very hard to track a suspect with no criminal history. And this suspect was a drifter, a nomad. It would have been very hard.”
A neighbor Amy Chang, 15, said she ran outside when she heard sirens, and saw EMTs struggling in vain to save one of the children .
“He was wearing yellow pajamas,” she recalled. “He was bloody. They were trying to help him. But he wasn’t moving. He had bandages on his legs. “To kill a kid, it’s the worst.”
Chen also allegedly attacked two cops while he was being questioned in the 66th Precinct station house.
A source said that while one of his hands was cuffed to a table, Chen kicked the table into a sergeant serving as an interpreter, knocking him to the floor.
Chen then used his free hand to punch a detective, the source said.
He was charged with one count of first-degree murder, four counts of second-degree murder, two counts of second-degree assault, five counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.
Chen looked calm and said nothing as he was walked out of the station house Sunday evening.
A distraught cousin of the dead mom recalled having met Chen when he lived with the victims’ family in the past and said Chen had worked as a cook but couldn’t hold down a job.
“He’s lazy. He doesn’t work too hard,” Gao Yun, 29, said after stumbling upon the crime scene Sunday and breaking down in sobs when cops told her what had happened.
Yun said Chen most recently was working at a restaurant in another state but had been fired about two weeks ago.
“The guy is crazy,” Yun added, twirling her index finger next to her right temple.
Banks said Chen has been “bouncing around” since entering the United States in 2004, first living for a time in Chinatown in Manhattan before moving to Chicago.
At some point, he returned to New York and was living with Li’s family for eight to 10 days before the carnage, Banks said.
Chen has no known history of mental illness and no arrest record in New York City, Banks said, adding that cops were checking to see whether he has ever been busted elsewhere in the country.
Additional reporting by Kathryn Cusma, Adam Janos, Antonio Antenucci and Daniel Prendergast
Depressed Chinese bachelor cuts his penis off because it's surplus to requirements then CYCLES to hospital for treatment (but forgets to take severed organ with him)
- Single Yang Hu, 26, sliced off his manhood since he 'had no use for it'
- He cycled to hospital but was sent back to retrieve his severed penis
- After cycling back again in agony, doctors said they couldn't save it
- Friends said he was depressed after moving to Jiaxing, working long hours
A Chinese man frustrated at being single cut off his own penis then, in agony, decided to cycle to a hospital for treatment.
When he arrived doctors told him they couldn't help save his manhood and ordered him to cycle back home to get the penis before he could be treated.
When Yang Hu, 26, eventually arrived back at the hospital with the severed member, doctors told him that it had been without blood for too long, and it was impossible to reattach it.
Yang's friends said that he had been increasingly depressed about the fact that since moving to the city he could not find a girlfriend.
What was worse, they said, was that he was doing such long hours in a clothing factory in Jiaxing, in Zhejiang province in east China, that he doubted he would ever have a chance to meet a woman.
His depression grew so bad that after returning home after work at 9pm on October 27 to his rented room he had suddenly decided to cut off his member as there was no use for it anyway, and believing it would stop him thinking about getting a girlfriend.
Incredibly he managed to cycle to the hospital, then cycled home again to collect the severed member and then back to the hospital.
His friends criticised doctors saying that had they provided the man with an ambulance he might have managed to get home quicker and his private parts could have been saved.
Mao Sugiyama, 22, who is asexual, had voluntarily undergone surgery to have them removed.
But the illustrator took his frozen penis and scrotum home from hospital and organised a grim party.
They were garnished with mushrooms and parsley.
Before tucking into dinner, guests sat down to listen to a piano recital and take part in a panel discussion, CalorieLab.com reported.
Mao, who goes by the nickname HC, had initially considered eating his own penis – but decided to serve them up instead.
He cooked the genitalia himself as he was supervised by a chef.
In a Tweet, he offered to cook his penis for a guest for £800. However, he ultimately decided to split the ‘meal’ between six guests.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testes, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 yen (£800). I’m Japanese.
‘The organs were surgically removed at age 22. I was tested to be free of venereal diseases. The organs were of normal function. I was not receiving female hormone treatment.
‘First interested buyer will get them, or I will also consider selling to a group. Will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location. If you have questions, please contact me by DM or e-mail.’
In total around 70 people attended the event in the Suginami ward of Tokyo. While five people tucked into Mao Sugiyama’s genitalia, the rest of them ate beef or crocodile.
He Tweeted before the event: ‘It’s a once in a lifetime chance, so I decided on the spur of the moment to do it.’
He posted pictures of the event on his blog, but later removed them and said his decision to take them down was due to ‘privacy considerations’.
Sugiyama made guests sign a waiver so he was not responsible if they became ill after eating his genitalia. They were removed in early April shortly after his 22nd birthday.
The dinner party organiser joked before the event that he would be posting his recipe online.
Guests said that the genitalia were very rubbery and tasted of very little, CalorieLab.com reported.
Suginami Police were contacted but did not launch an investigation because they said nothing had been done which was against the law.
Sugiyama, who is an illustrator, has also had his nipples removed.
As an asexual, his genitalia will not be replaced with artificial female ones.
1. This Is Mao Sugiyama, Born A Man But A Self-Described “Asexual”
2. Sugiyama Underwent Voluntary Genital Removal, But Does Not Identify As Either A Male Or A Female
3. Being A Chef AND A Performance Artist, Sugiyama Decided It Would Be A Grand Idea To Throw A Party And Cook The Removed Genitals For The Highest Bidders
DOUBLE DOG WARNING! DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH!
NO, SERIOUSLY! DON’T GO ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE PHOTOS OF DETACHED JUNK!
OKAY, IT’S YOUR EYEBALLS! I’VE DONE MY PART AND YOU’VE BEEN DULY WARNED ABOUT SAC, SHAFT AND BALLS BEING PREPPED, COOKED AND EATEN!
7. Sugiyama Tweeted This Photos Of The Thawing Genitals Prior To The Ham Cybele
8. Nearly 70 People Showed Up On May 13th For The Genital Feast, Although Only Five Had Paid The $250 For The Privilege Of Eating Sugiyama’s Stuff (Everyone Else Was Served Similarly Prepared Beef Or Crocodile)
9. Sugiyama, In The Chef Hat, Prepared And Served
10. The Penis Gets Sliced By Its Former Owner
11. According To Those Who Attempted To Dine On The Genitals: The Penis Was Rubbery; The Scrotum Was Leathery; The Testicles Were Hard On The Outside And “Glutinous” In The Middle
12. If You’re Wondering Why This Was Allowed To Happen Without Intervention From Authorities, It Turns Out Japan Has No Laws Against Canibalism
Posted:Mon, 18 Aug 2008 12:06:00 +0000Men always want ladies to suck and lick their cock for pleasure....if your husband or boyfriend cheat behind your back...why not chop off their cock and cook for dinner.....yummy...
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
[I don't know who drew these brilliant cartoons or I'd have included a link to his site (it's almost 100% certain the artist is male). My darling daughter forwarded these to me many, many years ago. Guess I'm an archivist at heart!]
According to a well-known saying, “Chinese eat anything with four legs, except tables. And everything that flies, except airplanes,” and the food served at the Guolizhuang Restaurant, in Beijing is proof of that. This bizarre establishment opened its gates in 2006, offering all kinds of dishes with animal genitalia as the main ingredient. Many Chinese believe animal penises increase male potency and do wonders for women’s skin, so word about the culinary wonders served at the restaurant on Dongsishitiao Street spread quickly, and the owners were happy to expand their business. There are now several franchises throughout Beijing and one in Atlanta’s Chinatown.
By Andrew Harding
BBC News, Beijing
Many of the restaurant's guests are wealthy businessmen
"Russian dog," says my waitress Nancy.
"Big dog," I reply.
"Yes," she says. "Big dog's penis..."
We are in a cosy restaurant in a dark street in Beijing but my appetite seems to have gone for a stroll outside.
Nancy has brought out a whole selection of delicacies.
They are draped awkwardly across a huge platter, with a crocodile carved out of a carrot as the centrepiece.
Nestling beside the dog's penis are its clammy testicles, and beside that a giant salami-shaped object.
"Donkey," says Nancy. "Good for the skin..."
She guides me round the penis platter.
"Snake. Very potent. They have two penises each."
I did not know that.
"Sheep... horse... ox... seal - excellent for the circulation."
She points to three dark, shrivelled lumps which look like liquorice allsorts - a special treat apparently - reindeer, from Manchuria.
Government officials... two of them... they're having the penis hotpot
The atmosphere is more exotic spa than boozy night-out.
Nancy describes herself as a nutritionist.
"We don't call them waiters here. And we don't serve much alcohol," she says. "Only common people come here to get drunk and laugh."
But she does offer me a deer-blood and vodka cocktail, which I decide to skip.
The restaurant's gristly menu was dreamt up by a man called Mr Guo.
The Chinese believe that eating penis can enhance your virility
After fleeing China's civil war back in 1949, he moved to Taiwan, and then to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began to look deeper into traditional Chinese medicine, and experiment on the appendages of man's best friend.
Apparently, they are low in cholesterol and good, not just for boosting the male sex drive, but for treating all sorts of ailments.
Laughter trickles through the walls of our dining room.
"Government officials," says Nancy. "Two of them upstairs. They're having the penis hotpot."
Most of the restaurant's guests are either wealthy businessmen or government bureaucrats who, as Nancy puts it, have been brought here by people who want their help.
What better way to secure a contract than over a steaming penis fondue.
Discretion is assured as all the tables are in private rooms.
The glitziest one has gold dishes.
"Some like their food served raw," says Nancy, "like sushi. But we can cook it anyway you like."
"Not long ago, a particularly rich real estate mogul came in with four friends. All men. Women don't come here so often, and they shouldn't eat testicles," says Nancy solemnly.
The men spent $5,700 (£3,000) on a particularly rare dish, something that needed to be ordered months in advance.
"Tiger penis," says Nancy.
Bull's perineum is also a delicacy
Campaigners say the species is being driven towards extinction because of its popularity as a source of traditional medicine.
I mention this, delicately, to Nancy, but she insists that all her tiger supplies come from animals that have died of old age.
"Anyway, we only have one or two orders a year," she says.
"So what does it taste like?" I ask.
"Oh, the same as all the others," she says blithely.
And does it have any particular potency? "No. People just like to order tiger to show off how much money they have."
Welcome to the People's Republic of China - tigers beware.
Sliced and pickled
"Oh yes," she adds, "the same group also ate an aborted reindeer foetus.
"That is very good for your skin. And here it is..."
Another "nutritionist" walks in bearing something small and red wrapped in cling film.
My appetite is heading for the airport.
Still, I think, it would be rude not to try something.
I am normally OK about this sort of thing. I have had fried cockroaches and sheep's eyes, so...
There is a small bowl of sliced and pickled ox penis on the table.
I pick up a piece with my chopsticks and start to chew. It is cold and bland and rubbery.
Nancy gives me a matronly smile.
"This one," she says, "should be eaten every day."
A quick search yielded the somewhat opaque answer that the penis is primarily vascular tissue, composed of tubes with names like vas deferens. Knowing something about its anatomical breakdown brought me no closer, however, to imagining the taste. Flesh, fat, skin, tendon, and even cartilage are all parts to which meat eaters are exposed. An organ composed of vascular tissue, on the other hand, calls to mind spongy textures and very little flavor. Lucky for me, my favorite Korean market regularly carries packs of beef "pizzle," the typical euphemism for penis, so acquiring the organ was the least of my worries.
The first time I bring home an entirely new cut of offal, I start testing with a simple pan-fry in the trusty cast iron skillet. Doing so allows me to get a feel for the texture and flavor, a gauge for how I should proceed next. I cut a section of the pizzle into half-inch slices, salted and peppered, and tossed the pieces into the cast iron. The moment the pizzle hit the skillet, the slices of tissue, which were spongelike and soft when raw, seized up immediately, shrinking and curling into hard little sections resembling dried scallops. When I tried to eat the pan-fried pizzle, the texture was so tough as to be inedible; the more I chewed, the more the pizzle resisted my molars until finally, I gave up and spit it out. A long simmering, then, seemed the only option.
Stewing the pizzle was easier conceived than done. Having tossed the sections of penis into a beef oxtail soup, I found three hours into the cooking time that the meat was tender and cooked through, yet the pizzle seemed only slightly less tough than before. I retrieved the sections from the pot of soup and tossed them into a slower cooker before bedtime. The next morning, I awoke to find that the penis had been stewed into irreparable flaccidity: soft and sticky with a gummy texture, the chunks tasted curiously neutral—not even bland but simply lacking any flavor whatsoever.
Confounded, I emailed Fuchsia Dunlop, cookbook author and researcher extraordinare, to ask for her advice and possible recipe ideas. (In an interview years ago, Dunlop recalled having eaten beef penis in a Sichuan-style beef soup.) Dunlop kindly obliged and offered her instructions as to how to proceed, with the qualification that she herself found the part to be not particularly delicious. As Dunlop wrote:
I've found one recipe for Chonginq ox penis soup in a book: Chongqing is actually where I tasted it myself, and this soup is a local speciality. The recipe instructs you to peel off the outer skin, and then cut in half lengthwise along the urethra. Then clean and thoroughly soak in cold water for 30 minutes.I went back to the Korean market for an old hen and more pizzle. Then, proceeding as per Ms. Dunlop's instructions, I whiled away Superbowl Sunday stewing the penis, checking every so often on its progress. By the eighth hour, the sections of pizzle had softened considerably; the broth had turned a golden yellow hue. By the tenth hour, the pizzle seemed to have thoroughly softened. I retrieved the penis from the broth, thinly sliced the sections, and seasoned with more salt and lard.
Bring it to boil in a large potful of water, then skim and add ginger, Sichuan pepper, Shaoxing wine, an old hen, and then cook slowly over a gentle flame, turning from time to time so it does not stick to the pot. When it's just over half cooked, strain out the whole spices, then bring back to the boil and continue to simmer over a v gentle flame. When it's nearly cooked, remove the penis and cut into bite-sized strips, then return to the pot with some gouqi (goji berries, wolfberries), bring back to the boil, then simmer until very tender. The cooking takes a total of about ten hours, and the chicken should be set aside for other uses before serving (you don't serve it with the penis in the soup). Season to taste with salt before serving, and a little lard if desired.
The warm slices of pizzle were slimy and sticky, with the texture of a cooked gummy. I set them aside and waited an hour or so for the pizzle to cool down; then, dressing the slices in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, I tossed the whole mixture with finely chopped cilantro and tried eating again. Firmed up, the texture of the pizzle had improved considerably, bearing a close resemblance to beef tendon. The taste, however, was still bland. Even dressed in soy sauce, the pizzle had none of the beefiness of beef tendon.
The broth was heavily bodied, yet it was also strangely flavorless. The goji berries, one of my favorites additions to tea and hot pot, provided a pleasantly sweet flavor to the broth. The Sichuan peppercorns lent just a touch of their signature numbing sensation. Sipping it, I felt considerably warmer, though more no strengthened than usual.
Hours of stewing, three pounds of beef penis, and one Fuchia Dunlop–inspired recipe later, I'm no closer to determining once and for all if pizzle is tasty to eat. That said, if prepared in the special Chongqing style, beef pizzle is not an altogether bad dish, especially given its purported benefit. Still, it probably won't be what I'd serve on the special day. Happy Valentine's Day to those who have found their better halves and those who are still seeking that special someone with whom to share a pig's head.
- Part 1: Eat snake for healthier skin
- Part 2: Eat ants to keep that lustrous hair
- Part 3: Deer penis will keep you strong
- Part 4: How to eat fried worms (and why it’s so popular in China)
- Part 5: Why Chinese people eat sea horse
|Screwing the horns back in, at a neighborhood pharmacy.|
Only a few places in China can make Deer Antler Glue, and one of those is the ancient Beijing pharmacy, Tongrentang. The shop opened for Beijing business eight years after the start of the Qing Dynasty, in 1669, and has been operating at the same location since 1702.
Recipes and more, after the jump…
|北京 TCM Museum’s deer embryo|
The embryo is used as an ancient remedy for women having trouble getting pregnant. According to Chen Shiduo’s 1691 book “The New Materia Medica” (本草新编), eating a deer’s embryo will “invigorate the function of the spleen, reinforce kidney yang, tonify qi, and produce vital essence.”
It’s also extremely hard to find.
“All the embryos have already sold out this year,” Dr. Bai Xiaofeng told us. He’d spent months trying to find one for his daughter to eat. It took failed attempt after failed attempt, and the use of all his personal connections, to finally get his hands on one.
“I asked my daughter to eat three spoonfuls of the ground-up powder a day,” he offered up. “She didn’t like it—it smells so bad. But she was pregnant by the third week. I asked my wife to finish the rest. You see, deer embryo is expensive, and not a speck should be wasted.”
The owner of Zhaofeng Deer Farm didn’t want her name printed — she wouldn’t even tell it to us — but she enthusiastically agreed with Dr. Bai. “Deer embryo is especially good for women,” she said. “Men can take it as well, as a tonic.”
But the best tonic for men, she said, actually comes from a male deer. The, ahem, deer loin. Okay, I mean penis.
Penises are used a lot in Chinese med. The basic concept is that you can improve any part of your body by eating that same part from an animal. “You are what you eat,” or in Chinese, “eat something, nourish something.” (吃什么补什么。 Chi shenme, bu shenme.)
Today, deer willies are priced for the gentry (a 100g knob costs $60), and are recommended mostly for the older set. “Young men should leave it to their elders,” said Xie Chongyuan, a professor at Guangxi TCM University. “They should focus on a healthy lifestyle, not on drinking tonics.”
But if you do want to prepare this healthy tonic, cut the penis into thin slices, and soak them in a liter of strong alcohol (Chinese baijiu works well) for about two weeks. Twenty milliliters of the pecker-liquor a day should be enough to help the adrenals, boost testosterone, and improve… function.
In ancient times, this was a legendarily popular tonic for the emperors. But then again, they had so many wives, and all those concubines. Aish. They probably needed a helping hand.
Much of this blog post is directly lifted from an article I wrote a few months ago, with research by me and my friend Chloe Chen, and published in my magazine, “The World of Chinese.” You should buy the magazine–subscribe to it, in fact! It’s quite awesome.
WARNING: This post contains very graphic photos of stag penises being prepared as food.
I can’t say I had previously harbored any ambition to cook a penis. When I trained as a chef at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine, penises were not on the curriculum. And I’m not one of the many foreign adventurers who have made pilgrimages to Guolizhuang, the famous penis restaurant in Beijing, where you can grapple with a smorgasbord of cocks and balls, including those of oxen, dogs, yaks, and occasionally, it is rumored, tigers.
I did eat one once, inadvertently, in China. It was early in my explorations of Chinese cuisine, and I naively assumed that the “ox whip” listed on a Chongqing restaurant menu was an oxtail. I ate it, sliced into pieces, tasteless and flubbery in a clear chicken broth. Years later, I saw a group of men tucking into an “ox whip” hotpot at a restaurant table in northern Hunan. And I often pass by a couple of liquor stalls in the Sichuanese capital, Chengdu, that sell a special brew for the gentlemen of assorted animal members steeped in rice wine.
Of course I was aware that penises have magical properties in Chinese medicinal terms. According to the doctrine of like curing like, animal pizzles can zhuang yang, or strengthen the forceful, masculine yang energy of the body. Stag pizzles, fresh or dried, are a particularly prized tonic, extraordinarily expensive in China, which may be prescribed for impotence and infertility. If you needed to boost your virility in the days before Viagra, eating stag-pizzle soup was certainly easier than following the example of the priapic hero of Li Yu’s seventeenth-century erotic novel The Carnal Prayer Mat, who undergoes surgery to have a massive dog’s penis grafted onto his own.
Hi Fuchsia it’s Roxy. I am just about to collect yr stag penises. There are 2 of them. I’m going to try to get one smoked but really need to get them to you quickly as they are fresh.
I phoned Roxy and discovered she had taken enormous trouble on my behalf, spreading the word among the deer stalkers of Scotland that a friend of hers was longing to cook stag penises. “It’s become a point of interest with everyone I’ve spoken to,” she said. “Even a guy called Johnny Stalker. He’s a stalker and smoker, like his father and grandfather, and he was tickled pink at the idea of smoking stag pizzles. He said he’s smoked everything else, but not these, so he’s trying out various different recipes. Everyone is dying to know what you are going to do with them.”
Roxy’s friends had risen to the challenge, and by the time we spoke she’d rounded up eight pizzles, some of them with balls still attached, and Johnny was smoking half of them. What could I say? I told her I was delighted, and thanked her effusively for her efforts.
“Yes, but would you eat fanny?” he asked me.
I have to admit that his question threw me. I wanted to answer right back that I’d eat it immediately. After all, I pride myself on eating everything, and, in the course of my Chinese adventures, I’ve ingested the ovaries of crabs and frogs, and many other delicacies that most Westerners find repulsive. But fanny…? The thought of it made me cringe. Anyway, Chloe rummaged in her freezer and gave me an enormous package full of stiff, frozen things wrapped in plastic. I stuffed them into my freezer bag and made haste back to London.
The night before the cooking, I gingerly unwrapped the pizzles and cast my eyes on them for the first time. The raw, testicled penises, in particular, were a shocking sight. Because they were too big to fit in the fridge, and because I wanted to keep them out of the warmth of the kitchen, I laid them on trays in the living room to defrost. Their silent presence, huge, furry, and outrageous, cast a strange atmosphere over the apartment that night.
I called a couple of friends to ask their advice. The celebrated Chengdu chef Yu Bo told me that my first job would be to purify the pizzles, dispelling any gamey, feral stink by repeatedly blanching with ginger, spring onion, rice wine, tea leaves, and, if possible, fresh bamboo shoots. “Then simmer them with chicken and purifying seasonings. If you like, when they are cooked, you can give them a Sichuanese touch by cooking them like mapo tofu, with chili bean paste, minced meat, and a final scattering of roasted Sichuan pepper.”
Remembering that Hunanese ox-penis hotpot I’d seen years before, and knowing what masters the Hunanese are of smoked meats, I also called a Hunanese chef who has a restaurant nearby. He didn’t sound in the least surprised by my request. The following day I cycled down to his restaurant for a chat about pizzles over a cup of tea. When we’d finished, he said: “Most Westerners wouldn’t really eat this sort of thing, would they?”
The day of reckoning finally dawned. The slightly stiff, smoked pizzles, coiled like Polish sausages, were easy enough to handle. Following the instructions of my Hunanese friend, I rinsed them well and set them to simmer for half an hour in a pot of boiling water. Tackling the flaccid, unsmoked pizzles was something else. Trying not to breathe in their offensive vapors, I stripped off the fur and testicles, like an extreme bikini wax. Disentangled from these impediments and the pubic bone, the pizzles were shape-shifting things, squeezy and rubbery, and encased in slimy layers of membrane. Removing these skins was at times a two-man job, as the pizzles slithered and slipped out of my grasp.
There were three blanchings in all, each in fresh water, with Shaoxing wine, ginger, spring onions, and tea leaves. The feral aroma of the pizzles magicked away by this Chinese ingenuity, I rinsed them in cold water. I lopped off the tip of one and rested it on the chopping board, where it oozed garnet-red juices, jewel-like. Sliced open lengthwise, the pizzles revealed tissue as intricately patterned as a ripe fig, with featherlike wisps of white against a dark-pink background. I cut them into rubbery sections, and when I sliced these in half they suddenly coiled up like springs, irresistibly muscular. Truly, I thought, these were magnificent instruments.
I simmered the pizzles in a Chinese clay pot for five and a half hours, with a whole chicken, more wine, ginger, and spring onions, Sichuan peppercorns, and a bunch of Chinese tonic herbs: licorice, milk vetch root, dried yam, and Chinese sage. The smoked ones I stir-fried with sliced pork belly, and then stewed for several hours in a sauce of chili bean paste, with Shaoxing wine, cassia bark, and star anise to subdue their gaminess. As I set them to simmer, it occurred to me that the use of Shaoxing wine meant I could call the dish a Chinese cock au vin.
Anyway, after a long, hard day’s work, what did we end up with? Basically a good chicken soup filled with curious gelatinous twirls, and a spicy stew of springy, snail-like objects with the consistency of squash balls. But I’d invited a few friends for a tasting, and I couldn’t disappoint them. I finished the soup by straining it through muslin to remove the chicken and herbs, returning the penis twirls to the broth with a handful of scarlet wolfberries. The Hunanese smoked-pizzle hotpot was served as it was, with a garnish of stir-fried chilies and garlic.
The one person I had really hoped to impress was Zhang Xiaozhong, the head chef of Barshu. To my delight, he was thoroughly approving of my efforts. He lapped up the stag-penis soup, his first, and an extraordinary luxury in China: “Stag pizzle is such a fine thing, and you’ve cooked it well—you’ve completely removed the gaminess.” He did offer me one expert tip, however: “Fuxia, it will be even better if you cut the pieces into frilly flowers.” My heart sank slightly. I had tried to cut these pizzles into flowers, but had been defeated by their surprising slitheriness and their unforeseen impulse to spring inside-out at the touch of a knife. But now that I fully understand their strange mechanics, such dainty knifework is easily achievable. And so, although I really didn’t think I’d ever say this, I’m going to have to give it another go. I’ll be calling Roxy again sometime soon. — Fuchsia Dunlop
With thanks to Roxy, Chloe, Leonie, Johnny Stalker, Cui Quanjun, Ren Jianjun, Yu Bo, the staff at Barshu and my very game guinea-pigs, AH, JL, SH, SCD, SG and AL.
Stag Pizzle Soup
2 stag penises
5 spring onions, whites only
3 oz ginger
1 free-range -chicken (about 2–3 pounds)
1½ tablespoon green tea leaves
5 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
½ teaspoon hole Sichuan pepper
2 tablespoons Chinese wolfberries (also known as goji berries)
Optional Chinese tonic herbs:
1 slice dried Chinese yam (huai shan)
2 slices dried licorice root (gan cao)
1 slice dried milk vetch root (huang qi)
5-cm stick Chinese sage (dan shen)
Take your penises, and strip away any fur and testicles, along with the foreskin. Rinse, and then soak in cold water for half an hour.
Trim the spring onion whites and smack them gently with the flat of a cleaver blade to loosen their fibers. Smack the ginger, unpeeled, too. Reserve half the ginger, and divide the remaining half into 3 pieces.
Bring a potful of water to the boil. Add the chicken and blanch for a couple of minutes. Then remove, rinse, and set aside.
Add ½ tablespoon tea leaves to the boiling water, along with 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, one spring onion white, and one of the smaller pieces of ginger. Add the penises and blanch for a couple of minutes. Then discard the water and everything else except the penises, which should be rinsed throughly in cold water.
Repeat the blanching twice more, each time with fresh water, ½ tablespoon tea leaves, 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, 1 spring onion white, and a small piece of ginger. Rinse thoroughly after each blanching.
When the penises are cool enough to handle, slice off their tips, and cut them into 2-inch sections. Cut each section in half lengthwise, then half again—the pieces will spring into curls. Try to remove and discard the urethra (the tube running along one side).
Place the blanched chicken and the pieces of penis into a Chinese claypot or a large stainless steel saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to the boil, and skim if necessary. Add the remaining ginger, spring onions, and Shaoxing wine, along with the Sichuan peppercorn and the tonic herbs, if using. Then half cover the pot and simmer over a very low flame for five or six hours.
When the soup is nearly done, cover the Chinese wolfberries in hot water and leave them to swell.
Strain the soup through a sieve lined with clean muslin. Remove the penis pieces, rinse them, and reserve. Discard the ginger, spring onion, and herbs. Remove the chicken and keep to eat later, if you wish.
Cover the penis pieces with the strained soup. Season the penis soup with a little salt if desired. Add the soaked wolfberries and serve.
WEIRD FOODS IN CHINA
Duck blood Sparrows are a common street and snack food. They are skewered, roasted and fried and served on sticks. They are often eaten bones and all between sips of beer in streetside stalls. In Beijing, you can get silkworms, grasshoppers, seahorses, and scorpions—with their stingers intact. Other weird food favorites include snakehead soup, duck feet marinated in blood, solidified duck blood, pork lungs, peacock and pig face. The latter is made by pouring hot tar in a pig head to remove the hair put not the skin.
Banquet specialties include cow’s lung soaked in chili sauce, goose stomachs, fish lips with celery, goat’s feet tendons in wheat noodles, shark’s stomach soup, chicken-feet soup, monkey’s head, ox forehead, turtle casserole, pigeon brain, deer ligament and snake venom, lily bulbs and deer’s penis.
A typical menu offers things like “goat genitals soup,” “pig hoof gruel,” “old vinegar jelly fish,” “fried goose intestines,” “know taste pork meat pie,” “chicken without sexual life,” “pockmarked old-lady’s tofu.” “fish smell like pork.” “spicy ducks heads” and “lover’s lung.” Some restaurant serve donkey and the entree “Explodes the Stomach, Slides the Tendon and Fires the Sheep’s Internal Organs.”
Some people in China eat dirt as a "famine food." Analysis of samples of eating soil shows that it contains large amounts of iron, calcium, vanadium, magnesium, manganese and potassium—essential nutrients that are in short supply in times of famine.
Huangshan Stone Frog is a speciality of Anhui province. The black-skinned frogs found there are quite large and bear quite a bit of meat. The meat is said to have a light, sweet flavor. Frog fat is enjoyed as a desert. Eating frog is supposed to strengthen your bones and improve your eyesight.
drunken shrimp Weird fish and seafood dishes include fish lips and eyeballs and drunken shrimp, a delicacy in which live shrimp are dipped in alcohol, and their head is pinched off and eaten. Sweet-and-sour Yellow River fish is cooked while it is still alive and served while still breathing. Jellyfish is squeeze dried, processed with diluted acid and the dried in the sun. It can be kept for months without spoiling. Not all jellyfish can be eaten. Some lack the texture to be appetizing when dried.
Thousand-year-old eggs, a Guangdong delicacy, are made from duck eggs coated with lime, ashes and mud and soaked in horse urine for 100 days until the yolks turns green and the whites become gelatinous and dark brown. The eggs have a creamy, cheese-like flavor and a strong smell. Some are aged in black mud. These become partially hardened and are sold in markets as a seasoning for pork products. Thousand-year-old eggs are often served with rice congee or cut in chunks and eaten with slices of pickled ginger to soften the taste. Chinese also eat duck eggs that are packed in a pot and buried in the ground.
The Chinese considered many foods eaten by non-Chinese to be strange. They consider eating a plain cooked steak as primitive and unappetizing. Many regard eating cheese or butter as disgusting and find the French custom of eating snails to be strange.
Good Websites and Sources: Weird Meat weirdmeat.com ; Weird Food.com weird-food.com ; Unusual Food photos travel-images.com Food in China: Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Eating China Blog eatingchina.com/blog ; Chinese Government site china.org.cn; China Tour.com chinatour.com ; Open Directory List dmoz.org ; Nice Chinese Food Blog nicechinesefood.com ;Wikipedia article on History of Chinese Food Wikipedia ; Chopstix chopstix.com ; Asia Recipe asiarecipe.com ; Chinese Food Recipes chinesefood-recipes.com
Links in this Website: FOOD IN CHINA Factsanddetails.com/China ; MEAT, VEGETABLES, SWEETS AND FRUIT Factsanddetails.com/China ; RICE, TOFU, DUMPLINGS AND NOODLES Factsanddetails.com/China ; REGIONAL CHINESE FOOD Factsanddetails.com/China ; RESTAURANTS AND FAST FOOD Factsanddetails.com/China ; WEIRD FOODS IN CHINA NO. 1 Factsanddetails.com/China ; WEIRD FOODS IN CHINA NO. 2 Factsanddetails.com/China ; FOOD SAFETY IN CHINA Factsanddetails.com/China ; EATING AND DRINKING CUSTOMS IN CHINA Factsanddetails.com/China
Eating Rooster Blood at a Country Restaurant
scorpions David Sedaris wrote in The Guardian, “By the time we headed back down the mountain, it was almost three. Most restaurants had quit serving lunch, so we stopped at what's called a Farming Family Happiness. This is a farmhouse where, if they're in the mood, the people who live there will cook and serve you a meal.” [Source: David Sedaris, The Guardian July 15, 2011]
As far as I know there wasn't a menu. Rather, the family worked at their convenience, with whatever was handy or in season. There was a rooster parading around the backyard and then there just wasn't. After the cook had slit its throat, he used it as the base for five separate dishes, one of which was a dreary soup with two feet, like inverted salad tongs, sticking out of it. Nothing else was nearly as recognisable.
I'm used to standard butchering: here's the leg, the breast, etc. At the Farming Family Happiness, rather than being carved, the rooster was senselessly hacked, as if by a blind person, a really angry one with a thing against birds. Portions were reduced to shards, mostly bone, with maybe a scrap of meat attached. These were then combined with cabbage and some kind of hot sauce.
Another dish was made entirely of organs, which again had been hacked beyond recognition. The heart was there, the lungs, probably the comb and intestines as well. I don't know why this so disgusted me. If I was a vegetarian, OK, but if you're a meat eater, why draw these arbitrary lines? "I'll eat the thing that filters out toxins but not the thing that sits on top of the head, doing nothing?" And why agree to eat this animal and not that one?
The dishes we had at the Farming Family Happiness were meant to be shared, and as the pretty woman with the broad face brought them to the table, the man across from me beamed and reached for his chopsticks. "You know," he said, "this country might have its ups and downs but it is virtually impossible to get a bad meal here." I didn't say anything. Another of the dishes that day consisted of rooster blood. I'd thought it would be liquid, like V8 juice, but when cooked it coagulated into little pads that had the consistency of tofu. "Not bad," said the girl seated beside me, and I watched as she slid one into her mouth.
Eating Duck Tongues and Sea Horses
David Sedaris wrote in The Guardian, On our first night in Chengdu, we joined a group of four for dinner—one Chinese woman and three westerners. The restaurant was not fancy, but it was obviously popular. Built into our table was a simmering cauldron of broth, into which we were to add side dishes and cook them until they were done. "I've taken the liberty of ordering us some tofu, some mushrooms and some duck tongues," said the western woman sitting across from me. "Do you trust me to keep ordering, or is there anything in particular you might like?" ...I figured the duck tongues were a sort of test, so I made it a point to look unfazed. Excited even. [Source: David Sedaris, The Guardian July 15, 2011]
When I was eventually forced to eat one, I found that it actually wasn't so bad. The only disconcerting part was the shape, particularly the base, from which dangled tentacle-like roots. This reminded one that the tongues had not been cut off but, rather, yanked out, possibly with pliers. Of course the duck was probably dead by then, wasn't it? It's not as if they'd jerk out the tongue and then let it go, traumatised and quackless but otherwise whole.
“Hugh was right there with me, and though he ate the same thing I did, he practically wept when someone in China mentioned eating sea horses. "Oh, those poor things," he said. "How could you?" I went, "Huh?" It's like eating poultry but taking a moral stand against those chocolate chicks they sell at Easter. "A sea horse is not related to an actual horse," I said. "They're fish, and you eat fish all the time. Are you objecting to this one because of its shape?" He said he couldn't eat sea horses because they were friendly and never did anyone any harm, this as opposed to those devious, bloodthirsty lambs whose legs we so regularly roast with rosemary and new potatoes.
Regional Weird Foods in ChinaHunan dishes include spicy frogs' legs, tripe and sea cucumbers. People from Sichuan eat duck intestines, pig brains, frog's thighs, green bean seeds and rabbit ears. In Qinghai you can find sheep vein, yak vein, caterpillar fungus, a seaweed-like black moss known as "hair grass," and stir-fried camel's foot.
Among the dishes one can find in Harbin are "yellow flower" (chopped lily stalks), grilled bear paw, stewed moose nose with mushrooms, white fungus soup, and monkey-leg mushrooms. In Manchuria, frog oil taken from frog ovaries is often added to soups and stews served at expensive restaurants.
bugs and maggots from Yunnan Yunnan favorites include live goat fetus, caterpillar fungus, pseudo-ginseng or gastrodia, three-year cured ham, fried goat cheese, and deep fried bee larvae. Delicacies from Hubei Province include snake meat, venison from spotted deer, soft-shell turtle and crocodile claw. Cobra-bile wine is consumed in Canton. People in Beijing like ant soup.
Dogs as Food in ChinaDog, known as "fragrant meat," has long been a popular food in northeast and southern China and in recent years has become popular in other places. It is regarded as both a wintertime food and a health food although some Chinese say eating dog meat causes nose bleeds. One dog farmer told AFP, "Dogs have nutritional value, and their meat is tender and has a beneficial effect on kidney and spleen disease," The breed of dog is not that important in terms of the taste of the meat. It is said that all species taste pretty much the same.
Dog has been consumed in China for at least 2000 years. Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han dynasty, among others, had a taste for dog meat. The custom almost died out in the Cultural Revolution when Red Guards killed dogs all over the country because of their perceived association with the bourgeois. Dog is also eaten in Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries.
Dogs are sometimes kept in cages outside restaurants to show the meat is fresh. Many have lowered heads, sad eyes and flattened ears and look as if they now their fate. After they are slaughtered their meat is soaked in cold water for about an hour before cooking. Some restaurants slaughter 30 to 40 dogs a day.
Dog stew served at restaurants in Peixian, a town in Jiangsu province famous for dog, is made in big galvanized caldrons. Heads, paws, tails and other parts are all thrown in and seasoned with a mixture of spices that is a family secret. Intestines are stuffed into the stomach and stewed into something that resembles balls of smoked mozzarella. Sometimes other animals, such as turtles, are thrown in for flavoring. [Source: Craig S. Smith, New York Times, July 7, 2001]
Peixian is located in the heart of the dog-eating region of China. People there regularly eat dog soup, pulled dog meat sandwiches and dog stew and are particularly fond of starting their day with a breakfast of hot soy milk and a pieces of oily, red dog wrapped in a pita-like flat bread. About 300,000 dogs are raised for food. About half are for local consumption. The other are exported to other parts of China and to Korea. Turtle-flavored, hand-pulled dog meat is a local specialty. It can be purchased in boxes or vacuum-sealed plastic bags in gift shops and at the airport in nearby Xuzhou. Portraits of collies, spaniels and beagles are found throughout the town.
Dog meat was banned in Beijing during the duration of the Olympics in 2008. Officially-designated Olympics restaurants were required to take it off the menus and waiters were told to politely suggest alternatives to customers that insisted on having it.
Dog Farms in ChinaDog meat is one of the most expensive meats in China, selling for around $2 a kilogram. Raising dogs is generally about twice as profitable as raising pigs. Many farmers switched from pigs to dogs when the price of pork declined.
A typical dog farm houses about 1,000 dogs, mostly crossbreeds, locked in small cages under poor hygienic conditions. The dogs are generally slaughtered when they reach the age of six months. A dog that weighs a five pounds at this age is sold for around $10, about half of that profit. Dog hides are sold to factories that make them into dog-fur hats, fur-lined pants and and blanket used by peasants.
Animal rights activists complain about the way the dogs are killed. Many dogs are dispatched by bleeding them to death after cutting a hole in their paw. A dog farmer told AFP, "It's true, and it take them about 10 minutes to die, but this way the meat tastes better."
St. Bernards as Food in China
dog meat in Shanghai In some parts of China it is becoming increasingly popular to use St. Bernard in the dogs-for-food industry. The dogs are not raised to be eaten but rather as breeding stock for dogs that grow large quickly and can be slaughtered for food. Many are crossbred with Mongolian dogs, which are prized for the leanness of their meat.
One dog farmer told AFP, "This kind of dog grows really fast, even though it eats less than two yuan (24 cents) worth of food every day, and even less if it is crossbred. And the female can give birth to 10 or 12 puppies every year." When the dogs are slaughtered at six months they weigh 100 pounds. Dog farmers are also experimenting with Newfoundlands, Great Dames and even Dalmatians.
It is not known exactly how the Chinese obtain the St. Bernards, which cost up to $1,200 a piece. Many believe they are originate in Switzerland and are purchased through Russian middlemen. Some dog farms import the frozen sperm of St. Bernards.
SOS St. Bernards International is a Geneva-based organization committed to rescuing St. Bernards in dog farms by pressuring the Chinese government. The Swiss government has expressed sympathy for their causes but has resisted taking any action on the grounds that the custom of dog-eating is a cultural matter.
Dog Meat Festival in China CancelledThe Jinhua Hutou Dog Meat Festival— an event based a 600-year-old local custom in which thousands of dogs are slaughtered and eaten—was abruptly canceled shortly before it was scheduled to be held in eastern China in October 2011 after local officials were shamed by an online campaign begun by animal rights advocates. Gruesome photographs taken at past festivals that show canine carcasses, some bloody and others cooked, circulated on Chinese microblogs, creating popular pressure against the festival. [Source: Edward Wong, September 29, 2011]
cicadas Edward Wong wrote in the New York Times, “Pet ownership has grown rapidly among the Chinese, as has a greater consciousness of animal rights. In the Mao era, the Communist Party condemned pets as a byproduct of bourgeois decadence. But these days, dogs and cats (and all manner of creatures, including rabbits and birds) have become accouterments of Chinese middle-class living. What was once slated for the pantry is now housed in a playpen.
“I once had a pet dog, and I’m not a huge fan of dog meat,” said a 36-year-old man in Guangdong Province who is credited by a Chinese journalist with helping start the campaign against the festival on Sina Weibo, a popular microblog platform. The blogger declined to give his name and agreed to chat only over the Internet. “The reason why I posted that message online is very simple — that is, I don’t want to see dog lovers’ feelings get hurt,” he said.
The dog meat festival, held in the Wucheng district of Jinhua in Zhejiang Province, is part of an annual three-day temple fair. The dog market has been part of the fair for centuries, according to the district government’s Web site. Local folklore says the tradition of feasting on dogs originated when Hu Dahai, a rebel battling Yuan Dynasty rulers in the 14th century, ordered all the dogs in Jinhua to be slaughtered because their barking had warned rebels in the city of his army’s approach. His soldiers were treated to dog meat, the story goes, and eating dog has been a custom at local temple fairs ever since.
> The Zhejiang Jinhua Daily said in an article on Sept. 20 that the market at the annual temple fair was renamed as a “dog meat festival” about a decade ago to increase business. Traditionally, local people brought cooked dog meat to sell, but that changed in recent years because of talk that some of the sellers had poisoned the dogs. Merchants started trucking in live dogs and killing, flaying and cooking them on the spot to prove that the meat was fresh. A local journalist said at least 5,000 dogs are killed.
Microblog posts criticizing this year’s Jinhua festival first appeared about a month before the festival was scheduled to begin. The blogger from Guangdong wrote on Sept. 6: “There are thousands of dog eaters gathering there. People slaughter dogs mercilessly, the blood of the dead dogs flows like a river, the horrible screams of dogs pierce the sky.” The outcry quickly gathered momentum. By mid September, a few Chinese newspapers wrote editorials. The campaign caught on with celebrities who have millions of microblog followers. The Wucheng district authorities said on Weibo on Sept. 19 that they were canceling the fair. The next morning, they explained the decision was “in full respect of the public’s opinion.”
Some food lovers are disappointed. One blogger, Gong Wangping, wrote: “I personally think dog meat is like alcohol. They are both components of our ancient Chinese culture.”
520 Dogs Bound for Cooking Pots Saved by Animal Rights Activists
In April 2011, a man spotted a truck on a Beijing highway that was packed with more than 500 dogs being shipped to slaughterhouses that supply restaurants in northern China. The man put out a call on the Internet to stop the vehicle, and soon it was blocked by more than 200 people; the crowd rescued the dogs after paying $17,000.
William Wan wrote in the Washington Post, “The mutts were destined for the dinner table — all 520 of them crammed onto a truck hurtling down a Beijing highway toward awaiting restaurants in northeastern China. Then, fate intervened in the form of a passing driver, an animal lover who spotted the truck and angrily forced it off the road. [Source: William Wan, Washington Post, May 28 2011]
“From there, things began spiraling out of control. News of the confrontation hit the Chinese blogosphere, sending more than 200 animal activists flocking immediately to the highway. Traffic on the road slowed to a standstill. Dozens of police officers were called in. Animal activists, however, kept arriving with reinforcements, carrying water, dog food, even trained veterinarians for a siege that lasted 15 hours” until the $17,000 deal was worked out.
Fallout of the Truck with 520 Dogs Incident
Chinglish William Wan wrote in the Washington Post, “The victory by the animal lovers was quickly eclipsed when they soon realized they had no idea where to house the hundreds of loud, wild and decidedly not housebroken canines. Even after combining forces, the handful of animal rights groups in the region had trouble handling the overflow from the truck. Most of the dogs they unloaded were strays, and many were dehydrated, malnourished or suffering from deadly viruses. Several have died since the rescue. Dozens this week remained under treatment at animal hospitals around Beijing.” [Source: William Wan, Washington Post, May 28 2011]
“We are a small organization. We haven’t even tried to pay the animal hospital bills yet,” Wang Qi, 32, who works at the China Small Animal Protection Association, told the Washington Post . “There was so much enthusiasm when the dogs were first rescued, but our worry is, what happens now?”
The trucker, Hao Xiaomao, told the Washington Post he has not fared any better in the aftermath. Reached by phone in his home province of Henan, Hao said he lost a small fortune, more than $3,000, after being forced into the deal. Worst of all, because he failed to deliver, no one has been willing to hire him since. “I still don’t understand what was immoral about my shipment. People also eat cow and sheep. What’s the difference?” he asked. Of the activists, he said, “They were just a group of rich bullies who own pets and have nothing better to do.”
Impact of the Truck with 520 Dogs Incident
Chinglish The standoff of over the truck with 520 dogs incident has sparked the widest-ranging discussions to date in China over animal rights. Pictures and videos from the incident have spawned endless arguments on e-mail groups and blogs, Web polls and news stories delving into each side’s points.
William Wan wrote in the Washington Post, several others beside the truck owner “have raised the specter of class warfare — a common meme in modern China amid the widening gap between rich and poor. In online debates, many have noted the symbolic nature of the confrontation: a working trucker forced off the road by a black Mercedes-Benz whose driver was on his way to a resort hotel with his girlfriend. [Source: William Wan, Washington Post, May 28 2011]
The issue comes with historical baggage as well, notes Jiang Jinsong, a philosophy professor at Tsinghua University. “During the Cultural Revolution, having a pet was seen as a capitalist activity. Only the rich and arrogant had dogs and allowed them to bite poor people,” he said. “So there’s this implication that if you treated pets well, you will treat those who are weaker badly.”
At least one netizen has taken this argument to the extreme. Enraged by activists fighting for animals while ignoring the plight of so many rural, impoverished Chinese, a man in Guangzhou posted threats online to kill a dog a day until animal activists donate the money they raised to peasants living in poverty instead of to dogs. “I felt I had to do something to represent the grass-roots people,” said Zhu Guangbing, 35, who recently plastered his threat on Twitterlike microblogs in China. “I grew up in a poor village. We raised one dog to watch the door and one to be killed in the Lunar New Year because we were too poor to buy pork. I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.”
Within days, Zhu found his name, cellphone number, office number, and even his parents’ number posted online. “My parents got calls condemning them for raising a son like me,” he said, having logged more than 200 threats so far. “One elementary school teacher even called me and had her students insult me over the phone one by one.”
English article for more But dog activists have defended their fervor as a necessity. China does not have any laws against cruelty to animals, and by some estimates, as many as 10 million dogs — some vagrant, others stolen pets — are sold for consumption each year and are often kept under horrible conditions. “People are saying it’s a silly thing protecting animals,” said Wang, the activist. “But it is a question of civilization. “By teaching people in this country to love little animals, maybe we can help them to love their fellow human beings better.”
But Zhu scoffed at that notion. Last week, he was forced to quit his job after his company began receiving threatening phone calls as well. “I didn’t even intend to kill dogs. I was just making a point,” he said. “The animal activists claim to have the moral high ground, but look at what they did to me. Can they really say they have love at the front of their heart?”
Cats as Food in China
eating live animals Cats are only eaten in Guangdong but not elsewhere in China. They are considered a delicacy in southern China and are sold live in markets and slaughtered fresh for customers. In Guangzhou markets you can find them in stacked metal cages alongside cages with rabbits ducks and quails and buckets with live turtles and scorpions. One cat seller told the Los Angeles Times, “You just to have to boil the cat a long time. It has a very nice, fresh taste.” [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times , October 2009]
Cat meat is said to give one a lively spirit, ward off rheumatism and be good for a man's health and libido. It is also regarded as a food that will keep you warm in winter. When asked why she eats cat meat one woman told the Los Angeles Times, “Winter is coming I need to eat something furry.”
A local government office worker told the Los Angeles Times, “Cat meat is good for women. You can eat it in the summer or winter. It is very light. Men usually prefer dog. It is like yin and yang. Cat is yin and dog is yang.” One Guangdong resident recommended the dish “Dragon Fighting Tiger,” made with snake and cat.
Most of the cats eaten in Guangdong are shipped in from the north. So many have been caught it is now rare to see strays wandering the street anywhere in China. One single group of catchers is said to be responsible for capturing 10,000 cats a day, The cat snatchers are typically former unemployed men who use large fishing nets and earn $1.50 per cat. Not surprisingly cat owners in places where the catchers are active don’t want to let their pets outside the house.
Cats are sold to restaurants for about $7.31 a piece or around $2.80 a kilogram. The age and sex of the cats doesn’t seem to matter that much. What is most important in determining price is the weight.
Wires wrapped around the cats to keep them from running away leave behind ugly red scars. Sometimes the cages are so crammed the cats have difficulty breathing. In the restaurant the those selected for meals are clubed into semi-consciousness and thrown alive into a pot of boiling water.
David Sedaris wrote in The Guardian, “I remember reading a few years ago about a restaurant in the Guangdong province that was picketed and shut down because it served cat. The place was called The Fangji Cat Meatball Restaurant, which isn't exactly hiding anything. Go to Fangji and you pretty much know what you're getting.” [Source: David Sedaris, The Guardian July 15, 2011]
Cats and Animal Activists
cat and do market in China Many Chinese outside Guangdong find eating cat to be going too far even by Chinese standards. Cat lovers have staged protests at the Guangzhou train station, holding banners that read “Cats are your friends, not food,’ and stood outside the Guangdong government offices in Beijing with signs that read “Shame on Guangdong.”
After an article about cat snatching was run in the Southern Metropolis Daily the Internet light up with outrage. One person quoted by the Los Angeles Times wrote: “Guangdong people are the most unprincipled of the human species. They would eat their mothers-in-law of they was no law.”
In July 2007, word got out over the Internet among cat lovers that a truck with about 800 live cats was about to make a delivery in Shanghai. The cat lovers surrounded the truck in a parking lot while enough money was raised to purchase the cats. A home for many of the cats was found by posting their pictures and profiles online.
in August 2009, animal activists confronted the driver of a Guangzhou-bound truck carrying about 1,900 cats while the driver stopped at a rest area. The stand-off lasted more than a day and ended when activists opened the back of the truck, allowing 1,600 cats to escape while the driver and police were arguing with other activists. Almost 300 dead cats were found in the truck.
In another incident, animal activists that saved 300 cats in 22 bamboo cages told AFP, “The cats are abused. They threw the cages on to a truck instead of loading them properly. Some of the cats were dead or had broken legs. “The cats that survived ended up in soups in in Guangdong restaurants.
A side effect of the fondness for cat is an overpopulation of mice.
Insects as Food in China
Bee larvae Some restaurants serve tiger, dragon and phoenix soup with cat for tiger, snake for dragon and chicken for phoenix. The mix is said to have more health benefits than the benefits associated with each individual animal. Chinese also eat horse sausages and kittens.
In some places Chinese still eat cicadas, crickets, giant water beetles, stinkbugs, silk worms, cockroaches and fly maggots. People that eat these things tend to be poor and have no other sources of protein.
In some places Chinese eat live scorpions doused in baijiu,a potent Chinese liquor. Giant water bugs are boiled and soaked in vinegar. Their shells are cracked open like the shells of crabs and the flesh inside is eaten.
The scorpions sold on the streets in Beijing are grabbed live by the sales people, dipped in boiling oil for second and skewered on a stick.
Grasshoppers are widely eaten in China and other places around the world. Insects are rich in protein and are a far greener way to get protein than eating chicken, cows and pigs, which produce greenhouse gases and consume much of the world’s grain.
Rats as Food in ChinaPeople in some parts of China are fond of eating rats. This custom has been around a long time. Chinese in the Zhou dynasty who ate rats, calling them "household deer." The rats that Chinese eat are not regarded as dirty animals. They don’t come from the cities but come from the countryside and are said to consume all natural foods such as fruit, grass and leaves.
Rat meat cost more than four times more than chicken or pork and twice that of beef. Eating rat is said to prevent baldness. The owners of a rat restaurant told Peter Hessler of the New Yorker, "If you have white hair and eat rat regularly, it will turn black. And if you're going bald and you eat it everyday your hair will stop falling out. A lot of the parents around here feed rat to a small child who doesn't have much hair, and the hair grows better."
Rats are regarded as a winter dish. One waitress at a restaurant in Guangzhou told the New York Times, that they “carry too many diseases in the summer.” Live rat embryos from Guizhou province are nicknamed the "three squeals" because they squeal when they are picked up (1), dipped in soy sauce (2), and popped into the mouth (3).
Most of the rats served are trapped by farmers in the nearby countryside. Many of the farmers grew crops but switched to rat catching because there was much more money in it. The rats are brought in sacks. The wriggle around and squeak as they are placed on scales to determine how much the farmers are paid.
Rat Restaurants in China
rats restaurant Highest Ranking Wild Flavor Restaurant in Guangdong offers simmered mountain rat, mountain rat curry, spicy and salty mountain rat, simmered mountain rat with black beans, steamed mountain rat, rat soup. During an outing there Hessler was asked. "'Do you want a big rat or a small rat?” What's the difference? "The big rat eats grass stems, and the small one eat fruit.” Which tastes better? “'Both of them taste good." [Source: Peter Hessler, New Yorker, July 24, 2000]
Customers often examine the caged rats and pick the ones they want. Describing how they were killed Hessler wrote, "Suddenly, the worker flipped his wrist, swung the rat into the air by the tail, and let go. The rat made a neat arc. There was a soft thud when is head struck the cement floor. There wasn't much blood."
Hessler order a small mountain rat with black beans, which was served in a clay pot. "I ate the beans first," he wrote. "I poked at the meat. It was clearly well done, and it was attractively garnished with onions, leeks, and ginger. Nestled in a light sauce were skinny rat thighs, short strips of rat flank, and delicate toylike rat thighs. I put a chunk of it into my mouth, and reached for a glass of beer. The beer helped...It wasn't bad. The meat was lean and white, without a hint of gaminess. Gradually, my squeamishness faded, and I tried to decide what the flavor of rat remind me of. But nothing came to mind. It simply tasted like rat."
Competition is keen in the rat restaurant business. Hessler said the Highest Ranking Wild Flavor Restaurant cost $24,000 to build. Soon after it opened another rat restaurant, the New Eight Sceneries of Wild Flavor Food Restaurant, which cost $50,000, opened and third massive three-story air-conditioned rat restaurant was under construction. But that doesn't mean they don’t make money. Each of them serve 3,000 rat dishes a day on the weekends and attract customers from all over China.
Turtles as Food in ChinaTurtles have long been associated with longevity and health. Widely consumed in soups and stews, the Chinese believe they provide lots of nutrition and replenish energy.
The Chinese fondness for turtle soup and turtle stew has caused turtle population across Asia to decline. In recent years the Chinese have begun importing hundreds of thousands of turtles—mostly softshells and snappers—from the southern United States and now there are worried the large number of wild turtles captured could have disastrous impact on turtle populations there.
Soft shell turtle dishes are generally soups made with turtles braised in a brown sauce. There are lots of bones. The jelly-like flesh on the edge or the hard top shell is said to be tasty. The turtle soften come from Lake Hingfu in Hubei Province. The dish became famous when it was revealed that the coach Ma Junren served it to his world-record breaking female runners.
Snakes as Food in ChinaSnake eating is especially popular in Shanghai and Guangdong Province. According to one survey over 6,000 specialized restaurants in Shanghai serve snake dishes made with pit vipers, cobras, freshwater snakes and sea snakes. These restaurants serve up to 4,000 tons of snake a year. One Shanghai supplier, who provides two tons of snakes daily to restaurants, sells cobras for $14 a kilogram and pit vipers for $42 a kilogram.
Snake meat is often referred to as dragon meat on the menu. Many of the snakes served at Chinese restaurants come from the Snake Repository in Wuzhou, Guangxi Province, where more than one million snakes are raised each year. The repository is favorite tourist attraction for Chinese tour groups from Taiwan and Hong Kong who sometimes have special snake versus cat fights staged for them.
Snake eating is nothing new. Describing the practice in Canton in the 1320s, the Friar Oderic wrote: "There be monstrous great serpents likewise which are taken by the inhabitants and eaten. A solemn feast among them with serpents is thought nothing of."
Snake and Crocodile Restaurants in China
Skinning a snake Tourists who order snake in southern China often are treated to watching the poor reptile killed, skinned and drained of blood right before their eyes. Snake dishes offered at the Snake Restaurant in Canton include fricasseed snake with cat meat, snake breast meat stuffed with shelled shrimp, stir-fried colorful shredded snakes and braised snake slices with chicken liver. The bill for four people is often less than $30. [Source: Lonely Planet]
The Flying Dragon Snake Farm in Panyu (near Shenzen) serves snake skin with peppers, snake semen liqueur ("good for a person with a weak body"), baked cobra and five-step snake ("take five steps and die"). The farm also features a snake stage show, sells snake-based traditional medicines, and has a cobra petting zoo, a bath with hundreds of snakes and a snakatorium that offers "extended snake-diet therapy.”
The owner of the immensely popular snake farm is Chin Lung Fei, the self-proclaimed "King of Snakes. He told National Geographic that his motto is "treat snakes as friends." A Hainan Island food stall vendor who specialized in snake delicacies should have followed this advise. He was killed by poisonous bites to his hands from the heads of two snakes that he had just been beheaded. The bites were inflicted when the vendor tried to pick up the heads.
Crocodile is believed to cure coughs and prevent cancer. It is available steamed, braised or stewed at the Yuim seafood restaurant in Guangzhou, were crocodiles with their jaws taped shut roam the restaurant’s floors. A manager at the restaurant told National Geographic, “People don’t care about the cost. They just care about health.”
China’s No. 1 Snake-Producing Village<Royston Chan and Aly Song of Reuters: “This sleepy village nestled in the heart of vast farmland in China's eastern Zhejiang province hides a deadly secret. A step into the homes of any of the farming families here brings visitors eye-to-eye with thousands of some of the world's most feared creatures — snakes, many of them poisonous. [Source: Reuters, Royston Chan and Aly Song, June 20, 2011]
Cobras, vipers and pythons are everywhere in Zisiqiao, aptly known as the snake village, where the reptiles are deliberately raised for use as food and in traditional medicine, bringing in millions of dollars to a village that otherwise would rely solely on farming. "As the number one snake village in China, it's impossible for us to raise only one kind of snake," said Yang Hongchang, the 60-year-old farmer who introduced snake breeding to the village decades ago. [Ibid] "We are researching many kinds of snakes and the methods of breeding them."
In 1985, Yang started selling snakes he caught around the area to animal vendors. He soon began to worry that the wild snakes would run out and thus began researching on how to breed snakes at home. Within three years, he had made a fortune -- and many other villagers decided to emulate his success. Today, more than three million snakes are bred in the village every year by the 160 farming families. [Ibid]
Yang has now started his own company to make his business more formal and build a brand, and also to conduct research and development for his products, which range from dried snake to snake wine and snake powder. "Our original breeding method has been approved and recognised by the province and the county. They see us as the corporation working with the farming families," Yang said. "So the company researches on the snakes and they hand them over to the farms for breeding. They said this model was working very well."
The original breeding method was simply putting males and females together, but now meticulous research is done on how the snakes breed, how to select good females, investigation into their diet, and how to incubate eggs so survival rates rise. [Ibid]
Snake Business in ChinaRoyston Chan and Aly Song of Reuters: “Snakes are renowned for their medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine and are commonly drunk as soup or wine to boost the person's immunity. With rising demand for snake products from restaurants and medicine halls due both to rising wealth and a government push for breeding the animals to be used in traditional medicine, Zisiqiao villagers are now boasting a annual income of hundreds of thousands of yuan per year. [Source: Reuters, Royston Chan and Aly Song, June 20, 2011]
Yang Xiubang, 46, has been raising snakes in his home for more than twenty years and said his annual income has been steadily rising. "The demand for traditional Chinese medicine is quite high in China," he said. "After we finish producing the dried snake, most of them are sent to medicine factories. This also includes snake livers and snake gallbladders." Yang added snake products from the village are currently being exported globally to countries such as the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea. [Ibid]
Closer to home, snake products from the village are sold in the bustling Zhejiang city of Hangzhou, where the Hangzhou Woai Company offers a plethora of goods including snake powders. "Each part of the snake is treasured," said store manager Gao Chenchang. "China has a strong snake culture, there are a lot of people -- like in Guangzhou -- who like to eat snakes." With such a special product, Zisiqiao's million dollar business is the envy of other rural communities. But Yang Hongchang said competition is stiff from other breeders who are rearing snakes on a larger scale than his village. [Ibid]
In addition, rearing the snakes comes with obvious risks. The snake farmers said they had been bitten, some by deadly snakes, and were saved only by injection of anti-venom medicine. Yang Wenfu, 55, gave up rearing species of venomous vipers after being bitten by one of them earlier in his career. "After that, I no longer dared to raise vipers. I am still scared today," he said, adding that his arm grew hugely swollen after the bite. "Life is valuable and making money is secondary."
Image Sources: Weird Meat blog except skinning the snake, Perrechon, Wiki Commons and rat restaurant Asia Obscura http://asiaobscura.com/ ; YouTube
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.
A California woman who sliced off her husband's penis and threw it into a garbage disposal has been sentenced to life in prison.
Catherine Kieu had pleaded not guilty to torture and aggravated mayhem, but was convicted in April, the Associated Press reported.
According to the ruling on Friday, the 50-year-old can seek parole in seven years.
Kieu, who was held on $1million bail, was accused of drugging her 60-year-old husband's tofu with sleeping pills and tying him to a bed before the attack in the summer of 2011.
As the trial opened, Kieu's estranged husband told the court: "She murdered me that night. I will never have sex again."
The LA Times reports emergency surgery to reattach the "mutilated" organ was unsuccessful.
It adds Kieu told officers at the scene her husband "deserved it".
NBC Los Angeles says the couple had been married for 18 months at the time of the attack and that the unnamed husband had filed for divorce two months earlier, but the pair were continuing to live together in Garden Grove.
SEE ALSO:During a court hearing in 2011, Dr Joel Gelman, who heads UC Irvine's Center for Reconstructive Urology, didn't comment on the victim specifically but said a severed penis is "a terrible loss and it's the hardest thing, in our specialty, to deal with surgically."
According to CBS News, deputy public defender Frank Bittar said Kieu's severely traumatic childhood in war-torn Vietnam, including episodes of rape by her older brother, caused mental illness that barred her from a mayhem or torture conviction. He also told jurors Kieu's husband had subjected her to sexual and verbal abuse.
In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband's penis in Virginia and threw it out of her car window into a field on the side of the road. She claimed years of sexual abuse drove her to the attack, and she was acquitted by reason of insanity.
The penis was later reattached and her husband John Wayne Bobbitt went on to forge a short-lived career as a porn star.
And one word of advice for anyone considering removing their own or anyone else’s penis: Don’t.
“Angry Thai Women Lead the World in Penis Slashings” reads the headline of one internet report of a phenomenon known colloquially as “feeding the ducks”. A more sedate source, Australia’s ABC Radio, explained the situation as follows: “Thai men and women are increasingly at odds over an ages old custom of Thai men keeping a second wife … Twenty years ago, the crime of penicide came to public attention in Thailand with the report of an angry wife cutting off the penis of her philandering husband and feeding it to her ducks. It’s an act that has now become widespread among Thai women seeking revenge against their unfaithful partners.” They interviewed 42-year-old policeman Songphong Nammwan, whose wife had cut off his penis and thrown it into a sewer. Feeding the ducks is popular because it removes the possibility of reattachment.
On 19 February 2005, 35-year-old Kim Tran, of Anchorage, Alaska, cut off the penis of her 44-year-old boyfriend, who was married to her aunt. They had argued over his refusal to leave her aunt, then engaged in sexual relations, during which she tied his hands to a window handle above their bed and severed his penis with a knife, then flushed it down the toilet, where it stuck. She drove him to the hospital, then returned home to clean up. Police attended and, learning of the flushing, called water utility workers, who retrieved the penis. It was rushed to the hospital and successfully reattached. She was charged with assault and tampering with evidence. I could not find any news about her trial or sentence.
In early 2005, a 44-year-old Chinese man suffered a “penile defect as a result of an unfortunate traumatic accident”. He was left with a stump one centimeter long and could not urinate in a standing position or have intercourse. “His quality of life was affected severely.” On 20 September 2005 a team of doctors at Guangzhou General Hospital, led by Dr Weilie Hu, successfully transplanted a penis “donated” by the parents of a brain-dead 22-year-old man. After 10 days he was able to urinate smoothly in a standing position, but his capability for sexual intercourse was never tested, because four days later, “because of a severe psychological problem of the recipient and his wife, the transplanted penis was cut off”.
In October 2004, Nelu Radonescu underwent routine surgery for a testicular malformation in Bucharest, Romania. In the middle of the operation, Dr Naum Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, lost his temper after he accidentally cut the man’s urinary channel. He “overreacted”, sliced off the patient’s penis, placed it on the operating table, chopped it into small pieces and stormed out of the operating theatre. During his trial for grievous bodily harm he told the court that it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems. He was found guilty, given a one-year jail sentence (suspended on certain conditions), suspended from practicing medicine for three years and ordered to pay EUR125,000 in damages. The patient’s penis was reconstructed (presumably by another surgeon) using tissue from his arm.
On 9 March 2001, Armin Meiwes severed the penis of Bernd Brandes in Rotenburg, Germany, then killed him. The two met through a website called The Cannibal Cafe after Meiwes advertised for “a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed”. Brandes went to Meiwes’ home, where he encouraged Meiwes to bite his (Brandes’s) penis off. Meiwes was unable to, so used a knife to remove it. Brandes tried to eat some of his own penis raw, but could not because it was too “chewy”. Meiwes sautéed the penis but burned it. He chopped it up into chunks and fed it to his dog. Meiwes then read a Star Trek book for three hours while Brandes was bleeding to death in the bath. Meiwes gave him alcohol, pain killers and sleeping pills. Finally, he kissed him once and killed him by stabbing him in the throat.
Meiwes then stored body parts in his freezer and ate up to 20 kg of Brandes’ flesh over the next 10 months. He was arrested in December 2002, after a tip-off by a college student who had seen new advertisements for victims and details of the killing on the Internet. Investigators searched Meiwes’ home and found the body parts and a videotape of the proceedings. (The tape has has been viewed by journalists but never made public.) Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. Prosecutors appealed, and he was retried, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. While in prison, he has become a vegetarian.
In 1994, the Chinese newspaper Guangxi Daily reported that a man from Henan province was fined 3,000 yuan after his wife gave birth to her third child (a son, after two daughters), in violation of China’s “one child” laws. The father supposedly made a joke about the high cost of finally having a male heir, saying: “A 3,000 yuan fine just for this little penis! We should just cut it off.” This prompted the two daughters to cut off the infant boy’s penis with a paring knife and leave him to bleed to death while their father was away tending the fields. Upon his return, the father flew into a rage and clubbed the two girls to death with a shovel, then committed suicide by drinking insecticide. His wife “went into hysterics upon seeing the calamity, running naked through the streets screaming the names of her dead husband and children”.
On 23 June 1993, Lorena Bobbitt cut off the penis of her husband, John, in their apartment in Manassas, Virginia. They had had a volatile relationship, and Lorena testified that John sexually, physically and emotionally abused her. On the night in question, he arrived home highly intoxicated and (according to her testimony) raped her. Afterwards, she went to the kitchen, where she saw a carving knife, and “memories of past domestic abuses raced through her head”. Grabbing the knife, she entered the bedroom and cut off more than half of John’s penis. She left the apartment with the penis, drove a short distance and threw it into a field. Realizing the severity of the incident, she stopped and called 911. The penis was located, packed in ice and brought to the hospital where John was being treated. It was successfully reattached.
Lorena was found not guilty due to insanity causing an irresistible impulse to sexually wound her husband. As a result, she could not be held liable for her actions. Under state law, she underwent a 45-day evaluation period at a mental hospital, after which she was released. She founded Lorena’s Red Wagon, which helps to prevent domestic violence through family-oriented activities. John’s subsequent activities included pornographic films and a time as a minister of a Universal Life Church in Las Vegas. He was arrested seven times for offenses ranging from assault to grand larceny. The Bobbitts divorced in 1995 and met for the first time since on a TV program in May 2009. On the show, John apologized to Lorena for the way he treated her during their marriage, and Lorena claimed that John still loved her because he has continued to send her Valentine’s Day cards and flowers.
At some time before February 1977, a mentally-disturbed 21-year-old American man who was obsessed with guilt feelings about his sexual desires amputated his penis with a straight razor. He walked to his local hospital with the severed part. The bleeding was controlled and the penis was placed on ice, and he was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital. After psychiatric consultation, he was operated on by a combined plastic surgery and urology team led by Drs Hugh Young II, John Daly, Benjamin Cohen and James May, resulting in the first documented case of a completely successful penis replantation, restoring full function.
Bruce Reimer was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1965. At the age of 6 months, he was diagnosed with phimosis (an unretractable foreskin), and referred for a circumcision. On 27 April 1966, an inexperienced doctor performed the operation using the unconventional method of electro-cauterization. The procedure went drastically wrong, and Bruce’s penis was burned beyond surgical repair. Dr John Money, a psychologist at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Medical Center, believed that Bruce would be more likely to achieve successful, functional sexual maturation as a girl than as a boy and recommended a sex reassignment. At the age of 22 months, Bruce’s testes were surgically removed. He was renamed Brenda, and afterwards raised as a girl. Money continued treatment and assessment, and for several years reported on the case, describing apparently successful female gender development, and using this case to support his theories of gender identity and reassignment.
Contrary to Money’s positive reports, Reimer never identified as female. He was ostracized and bullied, and in his mid-teens became suicidally depressed. In 1980, his parents told him the truth, and he decided to identify as male, calling himself David. He underwent surgical re-reassignment, and later married a woman and became stepfather to her children. His case came to international attention in 1997 through the efforts of academic sexologist Milton Diamond and author John Colapinto, who wrote a book As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. Revenues from the book gave David financial security but his problems continued. As well as his difficult relationship with his parents, he had to deal with the death of his brother, unemployment and separation from his wife. On 5 May 2004 he committed suicide by gunshot. Money died in 2006.
On 18 May 1936, Kichizo Ishida was erotically asphyxiated by his girlfriend Sada Abe in a teahouse in Ogu, Japan. She then severed his penis and testicles. Abe had been a prostitute for most of her adult life. One of her clients suggested that she could become financially independent by opening a small restaurant and recommended that she start as an apprentice in such a business. On 1 February 1936 she began to work at a restaurant owned by Ishida, a married man and a known womanizer. Ishida soon began making advances towards Abe and by mid-April they were lovers. They had several marathon love-making sessions in teahouses (the contemporary equivalent of a love hotel). When Ishida returned to his wife, Abe became agitated and began drinking excessively.
They met again and during their love-making discovered that strangling each other during orgasm increased their pleasure. Early one morning, as Ishida was asleep, Abe wrapped her obi sash around his neck and strangled him to death. After lying with his body for a few hours, she severed his genitalia with a kitchen knife, wrapped them in a magazine cover and kept them until being arrested three days later. She was tried and convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to six years in prison. Ishida’s penis and testicles were moved to Tokyo University Medical School’s pathology museum. They were put on public display not long after the end of World War II but have since disappeared. After her release from prison Abe alternately courted and shunned publicity before disappearing from public view in 1970 and presumably dying at some time after that.
In 1930-1 Einar Mogens Wegener, a successful artist, became the first identified recipient of male to female sex reassignment surgery. Probably intersexual, he identified as male for most of his life, but had a feminine body and facial features, and when in public as a man was often taken for a young woman in trousers masquerading as a man. He married a fellow painter, Gerda Gottlieb. Posing as a (female) model for Gerda, he discovered a propensity towards female dress, and Gerda’s paintings of him (as a woman) gained some acclaim. He began to identify as female and present publicly as a woman, renaming himself “Lili Elbe”.
In 1930 she went to Germany for surgery, which was only in an experimental state at the time. Five operations were carried out over two years. The first surgery, removal of the testicles, was made under the supervision of sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin. The rest were carried out by Dr Warnekros at the Dresden Municipal Women’s Clinic. The second operation was to remove the penis, and to transplant ovaries, which were taken from a 26-year-old woman. These were soon removed in the third and fourth operations, due to rejection and other serious complications. The fifth operation was to transplant a uterus and was intended to allow Elbe, then nearing the age of 50, to become a mother, but complications set in and she died three months later.
On 16 December 1916 OS (29 December NS) Grigori Rasputin was killed by a group of noblemen who feared his influence over Tsarina Alexandra. Details of the killing are confused and still subject to debate, but a generally accepted version is that the conspirators lured Rasputin to the house of one of them, where they poisoned him, shot him, beat him, cut off his penis, tied him up and threw him into an icy river. The official cause of death was drowning. According to some accounts, the penis has since been in the keeping of a maid who discovered it at the murder site, a group of female Russian expatriates living in Paris, Rasputin’s daughter Marie, an antiques dealer and an auction house, who ascertained that it was, in fact, a sea cucumber. According to another account, it has recently been acquired by a museum of erotica in St Petersburg.
In 1902, William Chester Minor, an American surgeon and amateur lexicographer, cut off his penis (which he regarded as the cause of his impure thoughts) in his cell in the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Berkshire, England. He had been born into a strict missionary family in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and trained as a surgeon at Yale. He served as a doctor in the Union Army during the American Civil War, where his experiences (which included branding deserters) exacerbated his already fragile state of mind. He developed a condition which was later diagnosed as schizophrenia. He was allowed to resign from the army and moved to London, where, in a state of paranoid delusion, shot and killed an innocent man who just happened to be walking behind him.
He was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity and confined in Broadmoor. As a gentleman with a private income, he was allowed special privileges, and built up an extensive personal library. He learned of the project to publish the Oxford English Dictionary, and turned his mind to find and cite illustrative quotations for rare words. He become a major contributor to the project and developed a friendship with Dr James Murray, the editor of the dictionary. Minor’s and Murray’s lives, the dictionary project and the self-severing are reported in an excellent and meticulously researched book, The Surgeon of Crowthorne (UK) / The Professor and the Madman (USA) by Simon Winchester.
Fact 1: On 5 May 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte died on St Helena. Fact 2: Since 1916, something claimed to be his penis has been bought and sold by collectors. It was last reliably known to be in the possession of an American urologist in 1987. The day after Napoleon’s death, his doctor performed an autopsy, witnessed by 17 people, including seven English doctors, a priest and Napoleon’s manservant. Various body parts were removed. Napoleon’s penis was described as “small”, but no eyewitness mentioned that it was removed. In 1852, the manservant claimed that he and the priest removed parts of Napoleon’s body during the autopsy, but didn’t specify which. (But surely a priest and a manservant removing body parts during an autopsy would have been noticed!) The priest, who administered the last rites and conducted the funeral, was given (or otherwise came into possession of) various “personal effects”. How “personal”?
The priest’s collection of Napoleonic effects remained in his family until 1916, when it was sold to an English bookselling firm. In 1924, they sold it to a collector from Philadelphia. In 1927 it was displayed at the Museum of French Art in New York. It was described officially as a “mummified tendon” and unofficially as “one inch long and resembling a grape”. The collection was bought and sold several more times before the whatever was purchased by Dr John Lattimer, professor of urology at Columbia University and an impeccably credentialled and experienced medical man who must be presumed to be able to recognize a penis when he saw one. He acknowledged having it in 1987. He died in 2007 and apparently his family still has it.
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the afterlife and the underworld. Isis was his sister/wife, and goddess of motherhood and magic. Their brother Set, god of chaos, was jealous of him, and plotted to kill him. One form of the myth tells that Set trapped Osiris in a wooden sarcophagus and threw it into the Nile. It floated down the Nile to the coast of Byblos (modern-day Lebanon), where Isis found it. She brought the body back to Egypt and buried it. Set found the body, cut it into fourteen parts and scattered them across Egypt. Isis found and put together thirteen parts, but was unable to find the penis, which had been eaten by a fish. Instead, she fashioned a phallus out of gold and sang a song around Osiris until he came back to life. They conceived Horus, the god of the sky and vengeance.