The Tomohon Market in North Sulawesi, Indonesia is a traditional market known for selling entirely different types of meat than what we are used to. Some find it disturbing, some find it sickening, and some will happily try it.
The market is full of death smell and blood. Monkeys, rats, pigs, dogs, pythons, birds,cats are butchered
and meat sold in public. One can see live dogs awaiting their fate near butchered dogs. Certainly, this is the world’s most gruesome food market, where every day hundreds of animals die in this traditional market in North Sulawesi.
Dogs are flamed-roasted in whole and kept on the tables. Some are put straight to the boiling oil in large vessels. Live dogs are kept in tiny cages and are allowed to watch other dogs being killed, butchered and roasted. Before dogs are killed some of them are hanged from a tree. Monkeys are roasted as it is and kept on the tables. Rats, cats and bats are also available as raw meat and roasted. The dead animal’s faces are a pained expression which is difficult to look.
Large pythons and snakes are available to buy and their butchered meat is sold for as low as US$1.50 per Kg. You can find cruelty to animals everywhere and beyond limit. Even medium sized alligators are sold after fully fried. Indonesians come freely with family to buy this meat and are happy when they return with their loved delicacy.
For an outsider or one who do not expect to see these extreme markets, it is a place where dogs, cats, rats, pigs and bats are killed, torched to burn off the fur, chopped and sold to customers. It is extremely uncomfortable to see some of these animals whom we regard as pets back home, here as a food source.
Something or other it is an unacceptable taste and an extreme cruelty to animals.
The market was previously listed on TripAdvisor as a top attraction until animal welfare groups complained. Local tour operators and officials continue to promote the markets as destinations. The treatment of animals at Tomohon and another market in North Sulawesi province that sells dog meat is “brutally cruel” and like “walking through hell.
Dog meat is eaten by only a small percentage of Indonesians but in a country of more than 250 million people it still represents a significant trade.
North Sulawesi’s animal markets slaughter thousands of dogs weekly, most of which are imported from other provinces in Indonesia, according to the anti-dog meat groups.