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There's a popular humor e-mail that floats around the net periodically that contains a picture of a Chinese restaurant meal which has obviously been finished. Someone has just opened a fortune cookie which reads: "That wasn't chicken."

You can view the picture here: http://acc.glowport.com/crt011.html

Like many long-running stereotypes, the myth about cat/dog/other domesticated animals being turned into Chinese food has its basis in reality. A few years back I lived in a small town, and one day the front page of the newspaper had a story about how a Chinese restaurant in town had been fined by the board of health for improper storage of live animals.

The story went on to say that the violation was storing live cats in the food preparation area, which is against regulations, although according to the article it was perfectly legal to serve cat. The infraction wasn't enough to shut the restaurant down, so they had been fined and made to correct the problem. Shortly thereafter the restaurant closed down on its own accord. Apparently the newspaper headlines had been enough to kill the business.

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