For a few years in the 1930s and then for another fifty-five years since 1963, greyhound racing was one of the attractions that helped boost Macau's repertoire as the Monte Carlo of the East. Adopting the Marxist framework of commodification of non-human animals, this study explores the shaping of human-animal interaction in the context of a gambling city. I argue that the cultural assigning of greyhound puppies to the purpose of dog racing not only resulted in the construction of a general understanding of greyhounds as objects that could only belong to a canidrome, but also tied their lives to the fluctuating dynamics of the city's gambling sector. Ultimately, this study calls for a reappraisal of the ways we have tied non-humans with labels such as ‘racers’ or ‘rescues’ and the place of non-human animals in the city beyond the framework of capitalism.
Bibliographical noteThe author would like to thank Lai Mok Ka-lin for generously sharing her insights and José Luís de Sales Marques for kindly helping me calculate the figures in this article.
- dog racing
- gambling city
- animal welfare