This Bok-Nal, Korean Dog-Meat Industry Comes Under Fire

Note: Bok-nal is the Korean term for the hottest day of summer according to the lunar calendar. In Korea, people fight fire with fire by eating hot soups on this day. The two traditional soups are Boshintang, which is made using dog meat, and Samgyetang, which uses chicken.

Article from Herald: [July 13, 2015]

On Bok-nal, Dog Meat Over Chicken

Ms. Seo (Age 28), who loves puppies to death, hates bok-nal [the hottest day of the summer according to the lunar calendar when dog meat soup is traditionally consumed]. Seo, who works in the Mok-dong neighborhood of Seoul, remembers clearly last year’s bok-nal when she was invited out to eat dog meat by her deputy department leader. Ms. Seo struggled to conceal her discomfort while making up an excuse about her health and skipped lunch. “It’s not that I don’t understand why people eat dog, I just thought it was an old custom that had slowly faded away.” Seo’s heart aches when she thinks of the dogs sacrificed each bok-nal.

The controversy surrounding boshintang [dog meat soup] is an age-old subject in Korean society. First of all, dog meat holds an ambiguous legal standing. It has been banned all together in anticipation of backlash before major international events like the 1988 Olympics, and since then has gone back and forth between being treated as livestock and being monitored under the Sanitary Processing of Livestock Products Act.

Since dog meat isn’t classified as livestock according to the Sanitary Processing of Livestock Products Act, it is exempt from government regulation of its distribution and packaging.

Concerns that dog meat is slaughtered in an unsanitary environment have been brought up because of the regulation blind spot it falls in. In response, those who support continued consumption are advocating for inclusion of dog meat in livestock regulation litigation.

According to the National Association of Dog Butchers, large numbers of people are still eating dog meat today, with approximately 5 million animals bred and 2 million eaten every year.

However, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety still assert that, “Considering the gravity of an official decision on the consumption of dog meat, there is a need for more long-term studies.”

In a phone call with our own reporters, a representative from a related government office avoided the issue, saying, “I must be careful about what I say. This is not an issue to be decided at our level.”

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs has consulted with the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Environment multiple times since 2003 under the supervision of the Prime Minister about the problem of regulating dog breeding and butchery under the Sanitary Processing of Livestock Products Act, but to no avail.

Those opposed to dog meat consumption take issue with the unethical distribution process.

Many animal protection organizations have drafted animal protection laws to ban the custom all together.

In anticipation of this year’s bok-nal, campaigns opposing dog meat sprung up around the city. The Anti-Dogmeat Friends held an ‘anti bok-nal animal slaughter’ rally in North Insa-dong Square, located in the Jongno District of Seoul, where they emphasized that, “we must abolish the practice of killing vast numbers of animals for bok-nal.” ADF Chairman Yoon Keu-reen cautioned that, “2 million dogs are killed each year for consumption, and 80% of those are slaughtered during the hottest period of the summer. We must end the practice of eating bosintang on bok-nal for the sake of our development as a society, if nothing else.” ADF members also collected signatures supporting a bill that would ban the consumption of animals classified as pets and the celebration of bok-nal. They plan to send the bill to the National Legislature’s next meeting on animal welfare for consideration after collecting more signatures.

Professionals believe the dog meat controversy won’t see a resolution in the near future.

Lee Taek-gwang, culture critic and professor of British and American culture at Kyung Hee University, predicted that, “Given the government’s habit of following international standards, it is subjugated by the opinion of the international community.” He added that classifying dogs as livestock in the Sanitary Processing of Livestock Products Act will be difficult.

Professor Lee also commented that, “in the case of China, the government received a lot of flak from the international community over its dog meat festival. This makes the complete legalization of dog butchery a big risk, but announcing a ban on consumption also appears infeasible.”

Comments from Naver:

hks6****

I don’t understand people who raise a dog and therefore need to stop other people from eating dog meat. You guys wouldn’t stop eating chicken or pork if someone confronted you because of their pet chicken or pig.

ror7****

Quit making a big deal of it! If you’re so picky just live off vegetables. What’s up with this self-centered thinking where we can eat everything except the animals you personally like?

lkja****

So dogs are cute but baby chicks aren’t? I’ve seen chicks cuter than any dog. I’ve raised three chicks and not a single dog! Although they all died…

bbin****

Let me sort this whole mess out. It doesn’t matter as long as we don’t slaughter your own pet. All we have to do is not eat the dog wagging it’s tail in front of you… Mind your own business.

blue****

When I was young, I had a cat who was always by my side and I loved him. I also don’t eat dog meat, but let’s not refer to an undeniable culinary tradition as barbaric or hateful. Once when I was working on a ranch I raised cattle and deer, and you have no idea how bright and innocent their eyes looked and how well they got along with humans. Let’s cut this nonsense about dog meat being unacceptable while pork, beef, and venison are still consumed. These foreign bastards who sprinkle chocolate on ants and eat the heads of monkeys shouldn’t be running their mouths. We need to respect food culture and redirect our attention to the cruelty and sanitation of the slaughter process.

suhy****

I have a pet lettuce. Don’t eat lettuce you barbarians.

jeee****

I’m not here to criticize what anyone eats, but let’s at least show a little respect for animals when we slaughter them instead of beating them to death with a club like savages.

kt20****

Pet dogs? If you love it while it’s cute but throw it away as soon as it gets hurt or grows old, is that a pet? Do you know how pitiful the state of abandoned dogs is in this country? Most end up euthanized.

wjdd****

You can eat whatever you want, but the problem is determining whether the dog was raised in a safe and sanitary environment. It’s a bad idea to eat meat when you don’t know where it came from.

fdsa****

I don’t care what you eat, you guys who abandon your pet dogs when they age or get sick are even worse.

egrc****

Have you never watched a cow cry as it’s brought to the slaughterhouse? You guys who go crazy for a marbled steak must get really worked up over dog meat. If you think the dog meat distribution process is unsanitary then you should fix it, not force everyone to stop eating it. That just shows a lack of common sense.

kami****

The people who hate eating dog meat so much better at least also abstain from pork as well. A pig is as much of a pet as a dog, there are even specific breeds that are meant to be raised as pets. Stop eating pork, pigs are just as much of a friend to humans as dogs.

chin****

I bet the people who are up in arms over dog meat are about to stuff themselves with chicken. Since a chicken’s life isn’t really a life. Only dogs are important.

dlwl****

I don’t really find dog meat to taste very good but what’s up with these morons who feel the need to tell other people what they should eat? Do these idiots not eat pork, beef, or chicken themselves? You shouldn’t eat dog but any other animal’s life is worthless? You’re a vegetarian? My little pet rice plant cries every time I eat rice LOL anyways in conclusion, just because you don’t eat something don’t be nosy and tell other people what to do.

kunh****

I raise a pet pig. He’s a member of our family. Stop the consumption of pig meat. How can you eat my companion? You savages.

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  • HaydenG

    South Korea needs to put a stop to its ridiculous superstitions that make it the laughingstock of the world. Especially ones that involve animal abuse.

    being afraid of fans or thinking putting wet newspaper on your window will protect it from typhoons is harmless and at the most makes the rest of the world laugh at Korean people.

    But thinking that eating dog has magical health benefits is not harmless. It needs to stop.

    • lazyxoxo

      1. The idea of fan death exists through out Asia. Not only Korea.

      2. I think the idea of putting wet newspaper on your window to protect it from typhoons isn’t a superstition, but an act of precaution, in case the window shatters, so the glass won’t scatter as much if it breaks.

      3. The idea of dogs having magical health benefits is ridiculous… the term magical is as ridiculous as the idea that God exists, or that even God even cares about people. The possibility that it might health benefits during these hot days on the other hand does not sound as ridiculous.

      The idea of eating dog meat on these “bok” days which are considered to be the days in which the temperature are the highest is that dog meat along with ginseng chicken soup and a few other food are considered food that will lower your inner body temperature.

      In Chinese medicine, when you are yeet hey (translated into “Hot air”; usually caused by the type of food you eat; ie. fried food) which means your inner body temperature is too high, you will have frequent nose bleeds, and other health problems. By eating things that are Lurng (cool), you lower your inner body temperature relieving these possible problems from happening.

      • chucky3176
        • lazyxoxo

          Im not saying the claim is true, but rather am pointing out that this belief exists throughout Asia.
          My Chinese grandfather and Japanese mother use to warn me about having the fan on stationary mode towards my head while I sleep; telling me that I would die.

        • bumfromkorea

          http://www.epa.gov/hiri/about/pdf/EHEguide_final.pdf

          Appendix B and C

          Besides, fan death is just people taking unnecessary precautions. It’s like the “a glass of red wine a day” bullshit – except in that case, the unnecessary precaution can lead to alcoholism.

      • 2cc4

        All antiquated myths. The newspaper will not protect from either typhoons or glass slivers. And eating dogs or anything else (except perhaps crushed ice, and only momentarily) does not cool one internally. It certainly doesn’t justify mercilessly torturing dogs, many former pets, for such primitive notions.

    • bumfromkorea

      Somehow, you don’t hear bitching about the Koreans’ “ridiculous superstitions” regarding eating chicken, ducks, mung beans, garlic, seaweed, pig liver, anchovies, persimmons, mulberry, snails, mushrooms of all kinds, snakes, pine nuts, grapes, gingko nuts, eels, carps, leeks, green tea, ginseng, onions, goats, etc. for health benefits.

      But eating dogs? Oh hells no. Gotta stomp that shit out because… well, I actually haven’t heard an argument that doesn’t boil down to “but… but… they’re our FRIENDS! T_T”.

      • 2cc4

        Torturing any animal before eating, with an intent for pain and suffering, particularly towards higher animals which were former pets, now ruthlessly betrayed, will draw “bitching” from anyone with an ounce of sentience within them.

        • bumfromkorea

          Where to start with this one? Correct the error on equating eating dog meat = torturing dogs before eating? The error on claiming that dogs being eaten are former pets? The hilarious hypocrisy of the concept of dogs as “higher animals”, especially from someone who obviously advocate them as pets?

          Well, maybe later when I have some more free time and I’m incredibly bored.

          • 2cc4

            You may start anywhere you’d like. The ending remains the same. Indeed, antiquated myths are propelling tortuous treatment before death. If you’re daring to challenge me, then come right out and say it so I can promptly expose your overflowing ignorance.

            Indeed, many of these animals are domesticated, former pets. Not all are farmed. Many are stolen pets live exported from other countries and worse, many are owner surrendered pets handed over to this brutal affair. S. Koreans actually do that. Go ahead…challenge me on that. Please.

            Finally, indeed, dogs are higher animals. Ask any worthy zoologist. Dogs were specially created by humans for direct interaction, bonding with humans. Dogs, unlike everything else being slaughtered, were not naturally-occurring. They exist only from selective breeding (from the wolf) and are unique, companion animals because of that.

            Truth is, you’re unqualified for this discussion at this level. Free time and bored? Please. That would describe the predominance of your existence here.

          • Adrian Shiva

            It’s one thing to disagree; it’s another to be so monstrously dismissive of HyadenG’s and 2cc4’s points, especially as they are pretty much on every count.

            In South Korea, China and many of their neighbouring countries which see a lot of dog/cat meat consumption, these animals are deliberately tortured. *Deliberately*. They are deliberately skinned alive, roasted alive and boiled alive. That’s the part most people don’t know about. They think the dogs and cats are just “killed”. The very idea is to cause as much suffering as possible because of the belief that the excruciating pain translates into various superstitious blessings, including “the greater their suffering, the tastier the meat” and the idea that it is supposed to cool the eater’s body. Most notably in South Korea is the superstitious notion that eating tortured dog meat enhances the male eater’s virility. And we’re not against anyone having their beliefs, except when they’re causing very serious harm to innocents. Again we’re not even talking about killing, we’re not even talking about suffering as an accidental by-product of, say, factory farming (efficiency) for instance. We are talking about the deliberate mission to torture dogs (and cats) as greatly as possible because the old beliefs demand it. Beliefs which have no actual science to back them up, and even if they did, could never justify such a living Hell upon animals.

            The reason the dog meat torture trade draws so much criticism is because it is a very compounded cruelty issue. The torture is one reason, the fact that many are stolen pets (or sold into the meat trade by former owners) is another reason, and — yes, you may be tired of hearing it — “they’re our friends” (I will elaborate on that soon) is another reason, but NOT the *only* reason.

            I’ll first say that I’m a compassionate vegan — and even that should not matter here, because any argument like “well why don’t you stop eating cattle or chickens first” has no relevance to the topic of the dog meat torture trade. Anyone, vegan or otherwise, can recognize animal cruelty and speak against it. A convicted murderer could not only try to convince other people not to harm anyone, but would actually be admired for that. Anyway, I’m vegan and I love all animals. That being said, dogs are in fact “higher animals” as you put it. Not many people like to hear it, most certainly not other vegans, but there it is. Does this mean I think it’s okay for other animals to suffer/die? No, it doesn’t — but dogs are in fact “higher animals”. Dogs would not exist at all if it were not for human intervention. In fact, domesticated dogs as a whole subspecies would never have existed at all of it weren’t for human intervention many, many generations ago, when we created the first dog from the wolf. Over the generations we continued to selectively breed them to suit our whims alone throughout history. Dogs evolved alongside us — quite literally alongside us. They were first used to aid in hunting, and then also in herding, but over time we selectively bred them into being more suitable companions. Dogs were not merely influential in our progress as human civilization — they were absolutely pivotal in it.

            Today, not only do we consider them to be just friends but family also; but more importantly, we have put them in a position where *they* consider *us* to be family. We have bred them to the point where they strongly bond with us and even depend on us.

    • Dark Night

      Actually putting wet newspaper on the window is not too protect it from typhoons but to minimize glass fragments from flying if the glass breaks. Get your information right first. Also Koreans don’t think that dog has magical health benefits. In comparison to pork and beef, its high in protein and low in fat. It used to be cheaper than pork & beef (of course that not the case now) and was affordable.

      • 2cc4

        You don’t know what you’re saying. Indeed Koreans, much of Asia, subscribes to the myth of tortured animals transferring (via pain endorphins) properties of what one eats. In the case of dogs, for medicinal and aphrodisiacal myths. Also they think it cools them in the summer. All antiquated notions which these dogs, many domesticated former pets, are suffering for.

        You get your facts straight.

    • 2cc4

      You’re correct in your statements.

  • MeiDaxia

    I’ve had Boshintang several times, and I have been to Moran Market where they sell dogs for the soup as well. The dogs being sold as “livestock” are treated as such, in that they are in large pens, and they react in much the same way livestock reacts. They weren’t barking and playing, like you might expect. They were rather lackadaisical and subdued.They rose when someone got close to the pen, in much the same way cows will follow the farmer because he brings the food, for example. The only issue I had with the market was on one alley they had the “food” dogs on the right, and some stands selling puppies as pets on the left. That gave me an uneasy feeling. On the whole though, I’m not against the selling/consumption of dog meat, when raised as I saw those at Moran Market.

    Raising a pet dog then eating it, though, would be ridiculous.

    • 2cc4

      Many of these dogs are not farmed. They’re stolen pets, sometimes still bearing collars, smuggled from other countries and live exported to S. Korea. Also, many are owner surrendered from S. Korean citizens that turn their loyal pets over to the brutality of dog butchers.

      Contrary to what this industry claims, not all animals are lawfully humanely electrocuted to death. Many of these dogs (and cats) are often (in violation of law) beaten to death, boiled alive, blowtorched alive and hung to death (beaten while dying) to increase pain and suffering (endorphins) to placate antiquated medicinal and aphrodisiacal myths. They think it aids stamina and virility.

      Is that your belief, too? Do you think it cools you during the summer?

      There’s countless hours of footage of all I have stated above. And the science against these primitive myths is clear.

      These animals are often killed in front of the others which, besides unlawful, is incredibly cruel and callous and typical of this sinister trade. Saying you have no problem with it and eating these dogs contributes to the brutality of what’s happening in this corrupt practice.

      Most countries, including Asian ones, have already banned this. Only those holding onto antiquated customs still allow this and none are modernized like S. Korea, Seoul in particular. It’s simply astonishing. The world will increasingly see this woeful footage and so will the S. Korean public, most of whom are not participating.

      This trade is largely serving aging men that believe tortured animals will service their masculinity. It’s grossly untrue and unfair. And now is uncovered. It’s not the way of sentient beings.

      • MeiDaxia

        When was the last time you went to the Moran Market in Seoul? There is no possible way, if you have actually been there, that you can find grounds for your ridiculous claim that “they’re stolen pets, sometimes still bearing collars, smuggled from other countries…” The market herds like breeds, all together, like cattle. They are docile as cattle. They’re *not* pets, nor were they ever pets.

        I didn’t claim that the videos of stolen pets, etc. was humane, nor acceptable. Nor did I claim the horrific traditional methods of preparation were acceptable. I simply said, having been to the largest market for selling dog meat, that what I saw made me feel better about eating Boshintang, a mostly lackluster dish.

        China still eats dogs, too.

        • 2cc4

          We have fellow activists there now. They get footage everyday. “Docile as cattle,” you say? That’s telling.

          So, you’re denying that Moran is accepting live exports? You’re thinking because China also eats them, that no one would sell to Moran simply because they’re also farming them? You’re denying that any of these animals were ever pets? That’s what your words suggest.

          You’re unaware that many dogs are abandoned by their owners on the street, picked up off the street by the dog meat traders, and thrown into cages where they have to live in wire cages for the rest of their lives, awaiting an excruciating death.

          You’re unaware that many of these dogs (and cats) are owner surrendered by grossly indifferent S. Koreans that turn their loyal animals over to brutal butchers fully aware of the horror awaiting them, including to the Moran markets.

          That’s rather telling. There’s so much information on this that it’s puzzling how you could be so in the dark.

          You say you would be bothered by pet dogs being eaten, but because the ones you saw (and ate) at Moran looked to “lethargic” and “docile” to you, that it made you “feel better” about eating them. This is interesting indeed.

          Could it be that these dogs have been denied proper food and water, are devoid their previous normal human interaction and have lost their will to fight for life and thus could appear in very different visual, “docile” states?

          What would you accept as evidence to the contrary? I could show plenty of videos of dogs awaiting slaughter at Moran, but you would insist they’re farmed only. I could show links on the live exporting, but you might suggest it’s unreliable.

          How about actual locations and words which you can verify from dog traders that are accepting surrendered pets which are sold to Moran? I have videos of the surrenders.

          Are you saying there’s been change? Are you saying yourself and others wouldn’t eat dogs if you knew there was a chance that they were former pets? (On the second link, look carefully, you will see collars on dogs right at Moran. This video was made only a day ago.)

          Pets:

          http://www.koreabang.com/2012/stories/pet-dogs-sold-or-abandoned-by-owners-for-meat-at-marketplace.html

          http://www.mediafire.com/view/ac0lf4aeef40be2/SaveKoreanDogsUpdated.m4v

          https://www.animalsasia.org/us/media/news/news-archive/how-south-korea-manages-to-%E2%80%9Cfarm%E2%80%9D-dogs-where-others-have-failed-will-shock-you.html

          On the conditions:

          http://www.idausa.org/campaigns/dogs-cats/moran-market/

          • MeiDaxia

            Where I went in Moran Market, there were cattle pens full of identical dogs. Mostly Rotweiler, labrador, and the Korean dog whose breed name escapes me. They were well fed, not malnourished. They didn’t act like a typical dog, doting around, playing. They herded together, in much the way cattle herd together. I think, and I very well may be wrong, if there were “pet” dogs that had been stolen/bought/etc. that they would have reacted to every human that walked by, wanting to play, etc. No dog did this when I was there. they hardly barked, whimpered, or anything.

            If the owner turns their dog over to Moran Market, that’s their prerogative. Abandoned dogs? I don’t know. Abandoned can mean a lot of things.

            Also the other Kbang article you linked does little to support your cause, I think. The dog butcher complained of people dumping their dogs there, dogs that he didn’t want. And he said the local homeless are likely killing and eating them. Where is that his fault?

            I had my boshintang, and like I said it wasn’t something I’d say was delicious. I wouldn’t deny a chance to try dog again in the future, perhaps, but I’ve low expectations for the flavor given past experience.

          • 2cc4

            You said my statements of how some of these dogs at Moran being former pets were ridiculous. Now you’re back to your personal assessments of how the dogs you saw appeared to your unqualified eyes.

            I explained the factors of why dogs could appear as they are, but the point remains, these markets do have many former pets and there’s no sure way to differentiate from which you are being served. You had said you took comfort in your perceptions of those dogs you saw being other than pets. It’s clear that you’re embracing your comfort zones despite the documentation.

            Our topic was whether pets were being subjected to the Moran markets, not the prerogatives of their ruthless, morally bankrupt owners. The fact is, this is indeed happening and the unfavorable global perception of S. Koreans doing this is completely warranted.

            Further, on the Kbang article, in yet another example of your flailing traction on the topic points, the premise was whether pets are being surrendered into the meat markets, including Moran, which you felt was ridiculous as the market dogs were “never” pets. Thus the article completely underwrites my position. The faulting of the butchers in these matters, while unforgivably reprehensible, was not our topic.

            Finally, your morality upon this despicable trade, especially given you have stated your displeasure with the horrific traditional practices applied to these animals, many pets, being valued only by your flavor preferences, speaks volumes. Does it ever.

  • chucky3176

    Most of the netizens who are defending this act probably would never touch the meat with a ten foot pole. They do so because they are probably embarrassed in a defensive reaction. Most of the consumptions are done by 60 year old and older men. Considering Korean society lets off old people to get away with a lot of things, this is just one more privilege for the old. When they die off, this practice will also be eventually be unacceptable. A lot of the Boshintang places have shut down over the years, not due to protests, but due to lack of demand and consumption. Go to the Moran outdoor market, most, if not all the customers are old people. The government should do a thorough study to find out what the real consumption rate is. They have not done a recent study on dog meat industry, since the late 1980’s when the industry was forced into a grey market (not banned, but not legalized either). The minimum the government should be doing is to enforce hygiene laws, if they’re not going to legalize the practice. Many of the dogs are butchered and transported under horrible unhygienic conditions, plus sometimes there are questions as to where some of these dogs are coming from (some are lab animals or even stolen pets or runaways). Some of these dogs are also pumped full of steroids and dangerous chemicals or drugs. Those violators of food hygiene should be prosecuted, but the police and the government looks at this as a cultural issue, so they let it slide. Korea has never had a widespread culture of dog meat eating until the pre and post Korean War, when many Koreans were starving due to lack of food supply.

    If Korea ever ends this practice, it will be due to demographic realities, not because of any animal rights campaigns or Western pressures.

    • bumfromkorea

      Some of these dogs are also pumped full of steroids and dangerous
      chemicals or drugs. Those violators of food hygiene should be prosecuted, but the police and the government looks at this as a
      cultural issue, so they let it slide.

      That happens because dog meat is not considered a livestock. It’s just fucking rich when the anti-dog meat crowd cites sanitation and food safety as an argument when it was THEIR efforts that brought down the efforts to classify dog meat as livestock in the first place.

    • Dark Night

      No, you’re wrong. There is nothing to be embarrassed for eating dog. Also, there still is a large population that eats dog, and not all of them are old. I don’t eat dog, but I still believe that it is within a persons right to eat whatever non-human animal (except for those endangered) he or she wishes. Also Korea is not the only country that eats dog. Its widely spread in East/South East Asia. China, Indonesia, the Koreas, etc. So why is it that Korea is the only country criticized so aggressively.

      • chucky3176

        Why am I wrong? I said Koreans who defend dog meat are the ones who are embarrassed. Their defending the practice are a defensive mechanism. And I already posted that Korea probably gets singled out because the animal rights organization in Korea is much more vocal compared to those other Asian countries in negatively publicizing Korea’s dog eating to the world. When Korean activists post pictures of dog meats online, it riles up the animal rights activists in the West as well.

        • Dark Night

          You’re wrong because not all Koreans defending dog meat are embarrassed. I’ve met numerous defenders that were opposed to the westernization of Asian culture, and their emotion were not linked to embarrassment. Some even went as far as to seek the nutritional value of dog meat, and its effect on the global environment. Dogs have lower carbon emissions and their diverse diet (which means that forest don’t have to be mowed down to make pastures like the case of cattle), low fat-high protein ratio makes them actually preferable to that of cattle. I won’t say that all Koreans are not embarrassed by their dog eating culture, but saying that most, if not all, Koreans who defend dog meat are those who are embarrassed is entirely wrong.

          • 2cc4

            If they weren’t embarrassed, they should be. Torturing and eating former pets because older men think it will help their virility isn’t exactly a custom to resist “westernization of Asian culture” over.

            Now, most Koreans are not doing this by any means. But those who defend this as cultural, then the lumping is warranted. No different from Africa defending female genital mutilation as culture, where the association includes those accepting the practice as well.

        • 2cc4

          I largely agree, except for you saying that S. Korean activists being much more vocal. That’s not even close to the truth, sadly.

          By comparison, China has no animal protection laws (like S. Korea does, but squanders with indifference and corruption of enforcement), but Chinese activists are much more outspoken and active. They routinely stop illegal transports (of stolen, unregulated pets) and reduced the numbers killed at Yulin, which got global attention well beyond Boknal, and brought a spotlight to this sinister, immoral trade.

          In S. Korea, resistance is scant and their activism didn’t reduce numbers killed (again, many former pets), whatsoever, tragically. Seoul is supposed to be more westernized (like Hong Kong and Tokyo) as demographics go, but nationalist pride tends to rule over ethics, even when most S. Koreans wouldn’t be pleased with the horrific mistreatment of animals.

          It’s mostly older men still holding onto dated myths on the dog meat. Indeed, this will eventually go away anyway. But global activism looks to shorten that time span. Most Asian nations have already banned this practice.

      • 2cc4

        Your comments are as dumb as they are wrong. No one says Korea is only country criticized aggressively for this. China has much more critique. China lacks animal protection laws. S. Korea has them but ignores them through chronic corruption.

        And it’s not just consumption. It’s the primitive, barbaric methods in which these animals, many former pets (S. Koreans will surrender their own pets to dog butchers) are treated. They’re often tortured for antiquated beliefs.

        Medicinal and aphrodisiacal myths govern the minds of far too many and these (often) domesticated animals suffer for it. It’s an abomination.

  • Ms. Seo (Age 28), who loves puppies to death

    Not the best way to start an article titled Dog Meat Over Chicken

  • bigmamat

    I don’t want to eat my dog but I would. I’m curious about the Korean beef, pork and chicken industries now that we’re talking about dogs. Chucky mentioned that dogs are kept in deplorable conditions, with iffy health in general and often full of drugs. Sounds like the same conditions for a lot of American food animals. Americans get bent out of shape over house pets but they don’t give two shits about their food animals. Cruelty is cruelty, deplorable conditions effect every animal, not just house pets. Antibiotics and steroids, disease, I don’t see the point in arguing that dogs deserve better treatment than any other animal people will eat. If you can overlook the fact your hamburger comes from McDonald’s then you can overlook the fact some old Korean dude still eats dog.

    • 2cc4

      These are not even remotely accurate or comparable. American agriculture industry is the best regulated worldwide. Dogs and cats consumed in S. Korea have zero regulation. Livestock is regulated, but conditions are not any better. Technically, one isn’t supposed to serve unregulated food at public restaurants, but enforcement is scant.

      Many Americans care about all animals and that’s why humane standards are monitored and enforced here. You’re mindlessly rambling with your uninformed words.

      Many of those dogs served as food in S. Korea are not farmed. They’re stolen pets, sometimes still bearing collars, smuggled from other countries and live exported to S. Korea. Also, many are owner surrendered from S. Korean citizens that turn their loyal pets over to the brutality of dog butchers.

      Contrary to what this industry claims, not all animals are lawfully humanely electrocuted to death. Many of these dogs (and cats) are often (in violation of law) beaten to death, boiled alive, blowtorched alive and hung to death (beaten while dying) to increase pain and suffering (endorphins) to placate antiquated medicinal and aphrodisiacal myths. They think it even cools them during the summer. (While they’re afraid to sleep with fans on.)

      There’s countless hours of footage of all I have stated above. And the science against these primitive myths is clear.

      These animals are often killed in front of the others which, besides unlawful, is incredibly cruel and callous and typical of this sinister trade.

      Most countries, including Asian ones, have already banned this. Only those holding onto antiquated customs still allow this and none are modernized like S. Korea, Seoul in particular. It’s simply astonishing.

      The world will increasingly see this woeful footage and so will the S. Korean public, most of whom are not participating. This trade is largely serving aging men that believe tortured animals will service their masculinity. It’s grossly untrue and unfair. And now is uncovered. It’s not the way of sentient beings.

      • bigmamat

        Best regulated what a joke. Crack me up.

        • 2cc4

          It is. Without question. Violators, when documented, can be charged, closed and imprisoned. That’s why the industry puts so much effort into keeping cameras out. Elsewhere, this is done right out in the open. The dog meat industry sanitation is not regulated at all in S. Korea.

  • 금정산

    [ADF members also collected signatures supporting a bill that would ban the consumption of animals classified as pets and the celebration of bok-nal.]

    This is ridiculous because dogs raised for consumption aren’t considered pets (but see below); and vice versa, some pet animals (Korean children raise chicks as pets) aren’t considered livestock. The ADF must be mad in attempting to use their logic to pass laws. It would never happen.

    Here is a true story and you may not believe it. I knew a girl who said she used to have a pet dog and enjoyed playing with it. One day it disappeared and her father brought home dog meat. She honestly believed that her father had pet killed for dog meat. Apparently he hated the dog.

    I bet this wouldn’t happen nowadays because middle-aged people aren’t like that. It might happen in countryside with old people, but it would be very rare. The old generation of Koreans experienced poverty and their parents experienced famine. So the old generation understandably have a very different perspective of animals and meat.

  • woonawoona

    it’s sad but true. the west will always harp on asian countries for eatings dogs. If Korea wants to be seen more positively, it’ll have to do something to change the regulatory system for dog consumption.

    Also people mention that people have pet pigs, chicks, etc….but what proportion of total pets are dogs and what proportion are chicks….I think there’s a pretty big difference between the 2

    • chucky3176

      “the west will always harp on asian countries for eatings dogs”

      You should change that to “the west will always harp on Korea for eating dogs”. At least nine Asian countries plus Switzerland eats dogs, and China’s dog meat industry is far larger than S.Korea’s. Yet S.Korea takes most of the flack for the group. I guess that’s because S.Korea has a very active domestic animal rights activist groups that work closely with American humane society.

      “Korea wants to be seen more positively, it’ll have to do something to change the regulatory system for dog consumption.”

      That’s what Korean governments in the past tried to do, to install a regulatory system for dog meat industry, but the animal rights activists were up in arms and opposed it fearing that it would only encourage and grow the industry. They just don’t understand that more and more young Koreans shunning consumption, will ensure that this practice will die out in time. But I guess the international activists want this practice stamped out now, and can’t wait for a generation until that happens. For South Koreans who defend dog meat industry, it’s a matter of defending their culture and don’t like the fact that they are being bullied over by holier than thou foreign countries telling Korea what to eat and not to eat. And it’s less about people fearing they won’t be able to eat it anymore if the animal rights activists have it their way.

      • 2cc4

        This isn’t just about consumption. It’s about handling and inhumane standards of unspeakable cruelty, especially onto animals for which many are former pets, including those surrendered by their own grossly indifferent S. Korean owners.

        You have a few errors of fact in your commentary. Firstly, S. Korea is amongst the least criticized for this because westerners had seen S. Korea as more modernized and this was (and still is) a real surprise.

        China gets far more criticism and few are surprised by what one hears about China.

        By comparison, China has no animal protection laws (like S. Korea does, but squanders with indifference and corruption of enforcement), but Chinese activists are much more outspoken and active. They routinely stop illegal transports (of stolen, unregulated pets) and reduced the numbers killed at Yulin, which got global attention well beyond Boknal, and brought a spotlight to this sinister, immoral trade.

        In S. Korea, resistance is scant and their activism didn’t reduce numbers killed (again, many former pets), whatsoever, tragically. Seoul is supposed to be more westernized (like Hong Kong and Tokyo) as demographics go, but nationalist pride tends to rule over ethics, even when most S. Koreans wouldn’t be pleased with the horrific mistreatment of animals.

        It’s mostly older men still holding onto dated myths on the dog meat. Indeed, this will eventually go away anyway. But global activism looks to shorten that time span. Most Asian nations have already banned this practice. And yes, acI largely agree, except for you saying that S. Korean activists being much more vocal. That’s not even close to the truth, sadly.

        By comparison, China has no animal protection laws (like S. Korea does, but squanders with indifference and corruption of enforcement), but Chinese activists are much more outspoken and active. They routinely stop illegal transports (of stolen, unregulated pets) and reduced the numbers killed at Yulin, which got global attention well beyond Boknal, and brought a spotlight to this sinister, immoral trade.

        In S. Korea, resistance is scant and their activism didn’t reduce numbers killed (again, many former pets), whatsoever, tragically. Seoul is supposed to be more westernized (like Hong Kong and Tokyo) as demographics go, but nationalist pride tends to rule over ethics, even when most S. Koreans wouldn’t be pleased with the horrific mistreatment of animals.

        It’s mostly older men still holding onto dated myths on the dog meat. Indeed, this will eventually go away anyway. But global activism looks to shorten that time span. Most Asian nations have already banned this practice. Activism does want to stamp it out now. It’s unspeakable mistreatment. Same as with the death camps in Nazi Germany. No one waits for generations to finish up their genocide.

    • Dark Night

      I really think that the saying “Those who matter don’t care, and those who care don’t matter”. If your judgement of Koreans are based on their diet rather than their character, its not the Koreans that have a problem. Also, the general proportion should never be a basis of justice. Are you saying that cannibalism can be justified if an alien race starts farming humans as a source of food?

      • 2cc4

        Valid points indeed.

    • 2cc4

      Many of these dogs are not farmed. They’re stolen pets, sometimes still bearing collars, smuggled from other countries and live exported to S. Korea. Also, many are owner surrendered from S. Korean citizens that turn their loyal pets over to the brutality of dog butchers.

      Contrary to what this industry claims, not all animals are lawfully humanely electrocuted to death. Many of these dogs (and cats) are often (in violation of law) beaten to death, boiled alive, blowtorched alive and hung to death (beaten while dying) to increase pain and suffering (endorphins) to placate antiquated medicinal and aphrodisiacal myths. They think it aids stamina and virility.

      There’s countless hours of footage of all I have stated above. And the science against these primitive myths is clear.

      These animals are often killed in front of the others which, besides unlawful, is incredibly cruel and callous and typical of this sinister trade.

      Most countries, including Asian ones, have already banned this. Only those holding onto antiquated customs still allow this and none are modernized like S. Korea, Seoul in particular. It’s simply astonishing.

      The world will increasingly see this woeful footage and so will the S. Korean public, most of whom are not participating. This trade is largely serving aging men that believe tortured animals will service their masculinity. It’s grossly untrue and unfair. And now is uncovered. It’s not the way of sentient beings.

  • KP

    eating dog meat causes leukemia white blood cell cancer. Dog meat are not meant to be eaten by humans.

    • Joe

      Eating chicken can cause cancer. Eating salad can cause cancer. Great logic.

    • Dark Night

      That’s the first time I heard that. Could you please send me a link to the source. Because the only article I could find linking dogs to leukemia was ”
      Hotdogs Linked to Leukemia Risk”

  • Attitude2Disqus

    Dog eaters have wrong attitude.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Just declare dog meat is bad and get it over with. It’s gonna happen, all this fighting about it is just so much silly.

  • risotto

    “I have a pet lettuce. Don’t eat lettuce you barbarians.”
    I can’t stop laughing.

    • 2cc4

      Actually, that’s as insensitive as it is stupid. Only those devoid of sentience would find this humorous.

      • risotto

        Well, my battery charge has been kind of low lately…

    • Adrian Shiva

      Because you’re not the one being stolen from or sold by your family, skinned alive from face to anus, then roasted or boiled alive.

      • risotto

        You’re right — all the more reason for me to celebrate! I love being at the top of the food chain!

        • 2cc4

          You’re not. It’s others protecting and making provisions for you. Without them, you’re more fragile than these dogs.And if superior lifeforms were to ever come to this planet with a mindset like yours, they’ll be justified in starting with people like you. A real awakening would be vivid.

  • Dave Park

    A majority of those who consume dog meat are elderly men. When they pass away, so to will this industry.

    • 2cc4

      But we cannot wait. Like death camp liberators in Nazi Germany, halting pain and suffering is a here and now modality.

  • Hwang Dongseong

    Human can eat all non-human animal. Nobody has right to prohibit. However, other people can feel gross to dog eater. As other people cannot convince dog eater to not eat dog, dog eater cannot convince other people to feel good to dog eater. It’s up to dog eater to handle this gross reputation.

    For example, you can make yourself dirty. Nobody has right to prohibit. However, you cannot blame your gross reputation. It’s so called sociel norm.

    I don’t blame Korean dog eater. I ate several times also. However, I wish Korean stop to eat dog, because I can live without dog meat and I hate the gross dog-eater reputation. But I cannot force anything. It’s up to majority of Korean people.

    • 2cc4

      It’s the act of deliberately torturing for pain endorphins to transfer properties from the suffering animals which causes the most resistance. This is done for medicinal and aphrodisiacal myths, often upon former pets. It’s not the way of modernized, sentient beings.

    • Adrian Shiva

      You have to understand, this is not about whether people think it’s “gross” or not. By all means, everyone should have a right to as they like, up to a certain point: the line is (or really should be) drawn where doing what you like victimizes others. This is why we generally are not allowed to harm or kill other people or otherwise endanger them just because we feel we have a right to do anything we want. Because, when we’re dealing with other people (or animals), they should have a right to NOT be the victims of your actions. Having said that, while many people may or may not agree on what is or isn’t okay to kill/eat, the fact that dogs (and cats) are victims are actually important, whether many people like to acknowledge it or not. This does not mean cruelty is OK upon other species, but dogs/cats are an interesting case especially when you consider their evolution at humanity’s side throughout civilization, and the crucial roles they played in our advancement. Today we even have dogs as officers of the law, as guides for the blind, dogs and cats help depressed/handicapped/sick people as they are therapeutic, dogs even rescue people in times of disaster, like with the fairly recent earthquake in Nepal. They’re even in our military — soldiers who defend our nations with their lives. Dogs in particular are not and never were naturally occuring. We created them when we adopted the wolf. We have, over the many generations, selectively bred the “wild” out of them and replaced it with a predisposition at the very genetic level to be more loyal to us, to put their trust in our hands. Now with that being said, even if you ignore the importance of their species, even if you ignore that not only do many people consider them to be family but that they consider *us* to be family, even if you ignore that so many of them are not only stolen from families and trafficked into the meat torture trade but also sold by former owners into the trade (one hell of a hurtful betrayal) — even if you ignore all of that, there’s the sheer, insane, unbelievably hellish torture of being skinned alive, roasted alive and boiled alive; an utter, red hell that no one could even begin to imagine the depth of agony involved.

  • bultak23

    I blame the Confucian philosopher Mencius, he started it.

  • H K

    Western people are generally concerned about eating animals. That’s why so many are “Vegetarians” and “Vegans”. They feel superior when they criticize others eating meat. It’s so pathetic.

    • 2cc4

      No, it’s those brutalizing and eating animals that feel superior. That’s what’s pathetic.

  • ultimategore

    “brutal torturekill makes the dog meat more tasty and chewable”

  • Dora Shepherd

    So many here have compared the dog to a chicken or a pig, what so many have missed is that the Dog has evolved over thousands of years to be Man’s Best Friend and Man’s Companion. For this reason, the Dog is used in Search & Rescue, Physical Therapy, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Law Enforcement and Military. The Dog, especially should never be betrayed in this manner. While I do not eat chicken nor pig and I do believe cats have evolved to be companions for us humans, the Dog is very special. The Dog’s love for us is unconditional. Science has proven that they look into our eyes, understand different tones in our voice and learn our speech patterns and understand basic language. The world is raining down shame on South Korea for acting out atrocities against Man’s Best Friend. For this reason, many including myself boycott South Korean products. Samsung, LG and other companies will pay the price. Shame on South Korea and on any that try to justify the consumption of Man’s Best Friends. There is simply no excuse for your country to continue eating an animal that has evolved to be Man’s Helper in this World. The world has seen how you treat and kill Man’s Best Friends. This is unacceptable and the civilized world will never accept your behavior.

    • 2cc4

      Indeed, dogs were specially created by humans for direct interaction, bonding with humans. Dogs, unlike everything else being slaughtered, were not naturally-occurring. They exist only from selective breeding (from the wolf) and are unique, companion animals because of that.

      But regardless the animal, if we’re going to eat them (as unnecessary as that is), at least standards should be humane. S. Korea’s dog and cat meat trade is brutal, cruel, unsanitary and in violation of its own laws. But with corruption rampant, enforcement is scarce.

      But the world looks on this now. The footage is irrefutable.

      • Dora Shepherd

        We all remember after China had their devastating earthquake, how the search & rescue dog went to work searching for victims. The same would happen if the same happened in south korea, only after the victims were found, they would resume eating the dogs just as some have resumed eating in China. South Korea and China are benefiting tremendously from American and European economic trade. Consumers of their products find this barbaric custom repulsive and want it stopped completely. Like me, the civilized and modern world do not want companion animals of Men killed and served as dog or cat soup. Certainly worse than consumption is the manner in which these companion animals are killed. I echo your last line “But the world looks on this now. The footage is irrefutable,” Now, is the time to stop. In fact, many thousands already boycott China and South Korean products. In fact China’s consumer index has fallen dramatically, perhaps due to spreading boycotts. What is happening today as I write, is vile, nauseating, incomprehensible cruelty that must be stopped through legislation, for “some” of the people have demonstrated that they are incapable of stopping on their own.

        • 2cc4
          • Dora Shepherd

            Thank you…just watched whole video. Will be sharing with everyone, including news websites and businesses that sell South Korean products. Excellent video – very well done. While truth is difficult to see, video and photos are acceptable to watch.

          • 2cc4

            Anytime. Hope it helps. The denial syndrome (or apologist’s burden) can only excuse the inexcusable for so long before those dismissing begin to consider that they’re on the way to sadism.

  • Nathan Symington

    I wish people would stop eating animal protein and become vegan but if you’re going to differentiate that is pointless. I don’t ever see Koreans changing the slaughter process because that will become 맛 없어 so maybe a good thing.

  • Kelly

    I really don’t think people have a problem with what you eat. Unfortunately, it is now widely known that South Koreans will inflict barbaric, sadistic, monstrous, sub human pain and torture on the dogs they eat……on purpose! Modern civilization has a REALLY BIG issue with that. From SKINNING the dog ALIVE, BOILING the dog ALIVE (over and over again). Nail gunning the dogs to walls to inflict atrocious pain, stabbing the dogs, kicking the dogs, beating them to death while cowards tie the dogs hands and feet up, cutting off the dogs legs so they are easier to skin alive. Essentially, psychotic, barbaric and demented treatment of animals on purpose so they ….are tender. Wow! What did those poor dogs ever do to you. What kind of coward TORTURES and animal to death. I’ll bet that the people that eat them couldn’t last five seconds with the torture that is inflicted on these dogs! Are they REALLY THAT ignorant and think the dogs don’t feel pain or are they just total sub humans that don’t care that the dogs are TORTURED for long periods of time, ON purpose. The world is REALLY SHOCKED that you torture animals on purpose and boil and skin them alive for tender meat. I mean…..seriously! That is so arcaic, barbaric, classless, scummy, disgusting, monstorous, psychotic, sadistic and the list goes on and on and on. SHAMEFUL! That is what we expect from CRIMINALS in many countries. It is so wrong, so gross, so below anything that could ever be even remotely civilized. I had NO IDEA there were such merciless, cold, demonic people in South Korea. I wouldn’t even treat a lizard like that! Those poor dogs, surrounded by a bunch of people with no empathy and no humanity. May God forgive you for the crimes some of your people are committing against humanity, EVERY DAY to these dogs and cats. The picture are SHOCKING and what is worse, is that South Koreans are LAUGHING like mad men while they TORTURE an animal. Just unconscionable. Sadly, the humanity and moral conscience of your country just hasn’t evolved within many people of your nation when it comes to this. If you treat animals like that and torture them….you belong in a mid evil third world country far, far away from the civilized world of today. Like I said, it’s unfortunate that kind people of South Korea with good values and morals have to be overshadowed by barbarians.

  • Kelly

    Oh!!!! I forgot to leave out that the people that eat them are also perpetuating a black market of THIEVES that STEAL people’s PETS!!!! Seriously, the whole world is outraged! Over 11 million people think it is THE MOST vile, disgusting, barbaric thing they have EVER seen happen to an animal in their entire LIVES! The way you treat those dogs and cats stains your country. It’s THAT BAD! Feel sorry for all the wonderful and civilized people in South Korea that have to live amongst vile barbarians.

  • Kelly

    Oh, and don’t EVEN try and use the culture excuse. No one is buying it. CULTURE cannot be a smokescreen for torture in a modern day civilized society. Sorry but, not buying the culture part when these dogs and cats are LITERALLY living in Satan’s torture chamber of HELL on EARTH!

    • sal

      Koreans and Chinese torture dogs… Americans torture people. What’s your excuse?

      • Kelly

        Incredibly cowardly to defend torture and abuse of animals. Torture of people is wrong, Torture of animals is wrong. Moral and civilized beings of the modern world understand this very simple concept. Only someone of complete and utter depravity would compare one depravity to justify another. Over 11 million people throughout the world and in other countries are appalled and disgusted with how horriffically and sadistically these dogs are being treated. The consensus is that it is evil and vile and wrong.

      • Kelly

        Only cowards abuse helpless animals that cannot fight for themselves.

      • Kelly

        There is nothing manly, respectable, or powerful about it. It is the deepest pit of cowardliness and depravity.

      • Kelly

        And you need to check your facts because there is a multitude of Chinese and Koreans that believe it’s just as vile as the world does to torture a helpless, innocent dog or cat.

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