London, May 13 (ANI): The first Chinese man to orbit around the earth has said that astronauts eat dog meat to in order to provide them nutrition and keep them fully fit.
The 44-year-old military pilot, Yang Liwei, who commanded the Shenzhou Five mission in 2003, revealed the menu on board Chinese spacecraft in his autobiography, The Nine Levels between Heaven and Earth.
"Many of my friends are curious about what we eat (in space) and think that the astronauts must have some expensive delicacies, like shark's fin or abalone. Actually we ate quite normal food, there is no need to keep it a secret," The Telegraph quoted Yang, as writing in his book. he menu given by Yang (44) included braised chicken, steamed fish and dog meat from Huajiang County in Guangdong, which is famed for its nutritional benefits in China.
A local proverb in the south of China is that "Huajiang dog is better for you than ginseng", referring to the medicinal root that plays a vital role in traditional Chinese medicine, the paper quoted excerpts from the book, as stating.
To help battle the winter cold, dog is widely eaten in northern China and the menu was still in use last year, when Chinese astronauts conducted their first ever spacewalk, the paper said.
China has plans to land a man on the moon by 2020.
The revelation angered animal rights campaigners, who said Yang was setting a bad example for millions of his fans.
"Yang Liwei is a role model for so many young people and he is one of China's greatest heroes.
"We hope that he might recognise dogs as the heroes they are too: they found survivors after the Sichuan earthquake and protected people from potential terrorists during the Olympic games. Surely they deserve more," said Jill Robinson, the founder of Animals Asia. (ANI)