Pets Or Meat

Having just got back from Iceland, where they eat foal, I’ve been thinking about the phenomenon of eating meat from animals one might, alternatively, keep as companions/workers. Examples:

- Peruvians and Ecuadorians eat guinea pigs, which they also keep as pets. Not very different from Americans or Brits eating rabbits, which they might also keep as pets, though less-frequently than the Andeans do guinea pigs.

- South Koreas eat dogs, which they also keep as pets. Not so different from folks who keep pigs as pets, but I don’t think that’s quite as common.

I’m sure there are other examples. This is a question for John Schwenkler more than anybody, but what do people think about this phenomenon. Creepy? Normal? Actually healthier than not? I’m thinking specifically about eating creatures that might very well be raised for purposes other than food in that same culture, purposes that would imply an emotional relationship with the animal – such as would form with a horse used for riding, a dog used for hunting, a rabbit kept as a child’s companion and plaything. How do the folks who are very much in favor of “knowing where your meat comes from” and that sort of thing feel about the pet/food phenomenon?