By Maneka Gandhi
When Indian elephants meet African elephants, they recognise that they are both elephants. So do Indian tigers meeting Siberian ones. But I have great difficulty recognising that I am of the same species as a person who attends a Wildfoods festival in New Zealand to drink shots of bull and horse semen taken fresh from animals that have had humans masturbate these animals.
I suppose that if you eat meat it makes very little difference whether you eat the head, the shoulders or the anus. But there seems something so savagely primitive and ugly about people celebrating at testicle “festivals” held across America in which the testicles of turkeys, pigs, bulls and lambs are fried and served. In the Middle East, grilled testicles are served to honoured guests (along with eyes). In New Zealand, they go one better: the young lambs on a farm are routinely castrated to make them fatter and their testicles are cooked and eaten for lunch at the farm in front of the animals. Rocky Mountain oysters or prairie oysters are the name for the Canadian/ American delicacy made from bulls’ testicles. They are known as huevos de toro (bulls’ eggs) in Latin America and Spain, “ox treasures” in China, and in Greece you call them “unmentionables”. In Scotland, they eat the testicles of deer. In Syria, baidghanam or sheep testicles are grilled in lemon juice and garnished in parsley. Bull fries are floured and breaded testicles prepared from the animals killed during bullfighting. Spaniards consider that eating the testicles of prized bulls is a great way to show their bravery and masculinity. Bulls’ testicles, pink with red veins running through them, called “Ngầupín” in Vietnamese (which means electric battery) are common in supermarkets all over the world. Most of these testicles are from young animals whose private parts are simply sliced off without anesthesia while they live in pain for another few months/years till they are killed.
Another great favourite is penises. Bull penis cooked with bananas is a traditional dish in Jamaica and is considered an aphrodisiac. China and Korea eat them, too, to increase their own manliness. Chinese at the 2008 Summer Olympics munched on deer penises all the time. It reminds me of certain tribes in Africa who several hundred years ago used to eat parts of Christian missionaries in order to imbibe their “goodness”.
There is no medical evidence that eating penises has any health benefit but they are frozen, dried and sold as Pizzles in the United States and eaten in diets that promote low cholesterol and high protein, minerals and hormones.
In China the country that gave the world the Corona virus because of its filthy eating habits, there are restaurants that specialise in animal penises and testicles. A restaurant called Guolizzhuang, started in 1956, states that eating the penis from the head goat of a Mongolian herd will make women more beautiful and men more vigorous. It advertises the genitals of “horses, oxen, chicken, donkeys, dogs, deer, goats, sheep, and snakes.” The dishes are given poetic names such as “The Essence of the Golden Buddha”, “Phoenix Rising”, “Jasmine Flowers with 1,000 Layers”, “Look for the Treasure in the Desert Sand”, “Head crowned with a Jade Bracelet”, and “Dragon in the Flame of Desire”. The restaurant also sells stewed deer faeces, sheep foetus and peacock claws. They sell a hotpot of all these different male genitalia in one dish in order to boost the human libido. After all, what could be more energising for a small thin Asian “man” than to eat the penises of every other animal? If you need to celebrate your great manhood, you can eat tiger penises soaked in water with herbs. It is officially banned in China along with Rhino horns but served openly.
Seal penises are eaten in Canada and the Fur Institute of Canada in 2015 announced they were going to kill 1,40,000 grey seals to boost the seal penis market. These penises are also dried and sold as sexual enhancement products. They sell a beverage called Dalishen Oral Liquid to Asians, made from seal penis and testicles.
Cow and pig uteruses are grilled and eaten in Vietnam by pregnant women and by everyone else in Japan. The Pig Uterus Dish is called Ringeru. In Taiwan, pregnant women eat deer penises which are kept and fermented in large jars. Chicken ovaries are yellow and full of veins and make excellent chewsticks for snacking on in front of the TV.
If you can eat the private parts of animals, you can drink them as well. In Iceland, they sell a beer called Hvalur made from smoking whale testicles with sheep dung. Fin whales are an endangered species and it is illegal to kill them. But testicle dungbeer is evidently more essential to the wellbeing of these humans. A beer is made from bull testicles in the US as well. Sex Organ soup is popular in Hong Kong made from testicles, scrotum, penis and labia. Dick Soups (bull penises) are common in Malaysia.
What a horrible species we are. Even researching and writing this piece has made me feel sick and disheartened about the future of our planet. But for a meat eater it is not such a difficult thing to imagine. After all, if you eat the other parts of a slaughtered animal, its genitalia are no big deal. And from animals, the next step would be humans. On the Net, there is someone who has eaten human testicles. This what he says about the taste, “The testicles were hard on the outside and soft and glutinous in the middle, with a fishy or gamey taste.”
(To join the animal welfare movement contact email@example.com, www.peopleforanimalsindia.org)