Every summer in the Guangxi city of Yulin there is a dog meat and lychee festival. This year’s festival starts on June 21. During the festival, which lasts for 10 days, people eat dog meat and lychees. Chinese medicine doctors say eating dog meat can cool the body during the hot summer months. Dog meat is not my cup of tea. Even thinking about eating dog meat makes my stomach churn. But to each his own. The expression “not my cup of tea” is not actually about tea. If something is not your cup of tea, it means you don’t like it. If something is your cup of tea, it means you like it. If something makes your stomach churn, it means it makes you feel sick.
The expression “to each his own” means everyone has a right to make choices. I think it is disgusting to eat dog meat but Guangxi people have a right to make their own choices. It is, of course, illegal to eat dog meat in Hong Kong. In fact, the government has proposed new laws that will increase penalties for people who mistreat animals. A public consultation is now underway to increase the jail term for cruelty to animals to 10 years and the fine to $2 million. The expression “public consultation” means asking the public for views on proposed government policies such as new laws or harbor reclamation.
I agree with making the penalties for cruelty to animals much tougher even though I don’t like having pets such as dogs or cats. Many Hong Kong pet owners don’t know how to treat their dogs properly. I have a neighbor whose dog is always barking. Last week, the dog owner locked the dog in the apartment while the family went out in the evening. The dog kept on barking. I told the building management but there was nothing they could do because no one was at home. I think this is cruelty to animals. Many Hong Kong dog owners also put their dogs in baby carriages. This is also cruelty because the dogs are not getting enough exercise.
廣西玉林市每年夏季都有荔枝狗肉節，今年的節期就在六月二十一日開始，節期長十天，其間人們會吃狗肉和荔枝。中醫說，吃狗肉可以在炎熱的夏天幫助身體消暑。狗肉不是我杯茶（not my cup of tea），光是想到吃狗肉，已令我反胃（stomach churn）。然而亦各有所好（to each his own）吧。習語not my cup of tea不是真的關於茶。若某事is not your cup of tea，即是指你並不喜歡它；若某事is your cup of tea，即是說你喜歡它。若某事令你stomach churn，即是說它令你反胃、惡心。
習語to each his own是指人人都有權利去選擇自己想要的。我認為吃狗肉是惡心的，但廣西人有權利做他們自己的選擇。當然，在香港，吃狗肉是犯法的。事實上，政府正草擬新的法例，提高虐畜者的罰則。就着虐畜的監禁年期增至最高十年及罰款二百萬元的建議，現正進行public consultation。習語public consultation 即是就政府草擬的政策，例如新法例又或填海方案，諮詢公眾。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧