Dining on exotic animals : animal cruelty or just a traditions?
The existence of Tomohon Market must be familiar to all of us even all foreigner know it. When we hear the name of Tomohon Market, what comes to our mind are dogs, cats, bats, snakes, rats, and other animals that we don’t usually encounter in normal markets in general. The official name of the market is Beriman Kota Tomohon Market, maybe to our ears, the market is terrible. But, for the people of Manado, the market contains “food” that they are used to eating even the recipes have become a hereditary heritage in their society. If we visit the area there, it is very common if we are served with foods that can blow your minds, such as bats paniki, python soup, lizard satay, fried dog, fried cat, and many more. This tradition has been around for a long time, and the animals have become the food of the Minahasa people, even before Christianity and Islam entered North Sulawesi and in the end, some Christians who do not forbid this food then continue the traditions
Of course, this tradition reaps many pros and cons in society, even some organizations have intervened to try to erase the existence of this market. International animal activists and groups have condemned the act of animal trafficking at the Tomohon Market and they asked the Indonesian government to end the trade which they considered sadistic. Of course, the government cannot do much about anything because in fact the Tomohon market is legally present and even the Tomohon market has become the largest income center for the Manado area and has even become a means of tourism in the city of Manado. The local people believe that extreme meat has become a tradition from decades ago for their people so that they cannot just erase the tradition that has been taught long ago, and a number of restaurants and traders rely on extreme meat as their sale so that with the prohibition, then it can affect sales in Tomohon Market
With the current coronavirus pandemic of course the existence of the Tomohon Market has been affected, this is due to its similarity to the Huanan Seafood Market located in Wuhan, China. However, the pandemic did not really affect the number of activities taking place in the Tomohon Market. some people may be afraid to consume extreme meat, but many people also feel ordinary. This phenomenon shows that people from Minahasa cannot be separated from the tradition of consuming extreme meat for a long ago.
By: Jonathan Louis