Tag Archive: China


In October 2016 I wrote my first article in a series of breed histories for the leading US publication, The Canine Chronicle. The first of these is about the history of the Chow Chow. See it here at http://caninechronicle.com/uncategorized/the-fascinating-edible-dog/

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From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (23rd September 2015).

In between my chores on the smallholding in the morning and my other work I like to find half an hour to grab a coffee and watch the excellent Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC2. I’m a big fan of Ms Derbyshire’s tenacious, no-nonsense interviewing style and the show’s hard hitting debates.

On September 15 the show brought us an exclusive and very rare insight into the dog meat industry in South Korea. Victoria sat on her sofa and gave the obligatory warning that what we were about to see was pretty bleak and that some might find it barbaric, “but to some Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese it’s a tradition going back a thousand years.” Continue reading

It is strange how the smallest of incidents can set one off down a path in life never previously considered. One such incident happened to me back in 2003.

In the pursuit of finding somewhere dry to while away a particularly wet lunchtime hour, I happened into a charity bookshop. Something caught my eye and, whilst pulling it off the shelf, a second book fell out and clattered to the floor. I stooped to pick it up and glanced at the cover; “A Guide to Whales and Dolphins of the World”.

I casually flicked through the pages and spotted a little box halfway down the page devoted to the Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin. The picture inside the little box showed two bubblegum-pink dolphins breaking through the dark blue waters with a headline proclaiming “Hong Kong’s Pink Dolphins”.

I was intrigued; I’d never heard about dolphins in Hong Kong’s waters and was fascinated to read that the pink colouration did not come from its diet (like the flamingo) but from its over-developed blood vessels that blush through its pale, white skin. At birth, the babies are black, then slowly change to grey and from grey they begin to pinken. All in all, a quite remarkable animal and one I vowed to one day see.

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