So, on this date in 1904 in Missouri history, the World’s Fair contact man reportedly asked the master of the St. Louis dog pound to supply the Igorot people with a steady supply of dogs – to eat!

According to St. Louis artist Janna Langholz, and her work with the Philippine Village Historical Site, the Igorot people were made to eat dog meat daily in a sensationalist attempt to draw crowds. Once common, the practice of eating dogs and cats has become much less so in Asia, as pet ownership rises and younger generations hold far different attitudes about eating domestic animals.

In 2017, Taiwan passed its Animal Protection Act, imposing a huge fine on anyone found guilty of selling, eating or buying dogs and cats for consumption, and also potentially handing down a two-year prison sentence.

The act was strongly backed by President Tsai Ing-wen, who adopted three retired guide dogs and also owned two cats, named Cookie and A-Tsai.

Taiwan was the first Asian country to crack down on the practice and tackle ages-old cultural beliefs – for example, the belief that eating black dogs in winter will help you stay warm.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Image courtesy of the Saint Louis Zoo