(Vivan Han / Daily Titan)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has proposed a ban on the consumption of dog meat. Dogs are bred, stolen from homes, and locked in horrific and unsanitary environments. South Korea must ban the consumption of dog meat as it is a hideous practice to clean pet companions.
Two million dogs are said to be killed for food in South Korea each year, and over 100,000 tons of dog meat are consumed annually, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.
The numbers tell a narrative that seems to contradict any general understanding of the popularity of dog meat in South Korea. Despite the progressiveness of the country and the increasing taboo on the practice, an annual consumption of two million is an astonishing number, which proves that the consumption of dog meat is a serious problem.
The report said, “Although there is evidence that dogs were consumed in Korea a thousand years ago, the nonprofit International Aid for Korean Animals claims that the practice is not deeply anchored in the history and culture of South Korea.” Historically, it has been seen Dog meat consumed only in desperate hunger situations.
In the last century, some of the elderly relied on dog meat for mythical health benefits. However, the majority of Korean youth do not support the consumption of dog meat.
Although most people in South Korea don’t eat dog meat, there are high-consumption spikes. According to Humane Society International, more dog meat is consumed in South Korea during the Bok Nal, which is the hottest days of summer.
On these blistering summer days, 70 to 80% of dog meat is consumed, even by those who hardly participate in the traditional practice. The pretext that dog meat soup invigorates the blood and revitalizes people’s health during the heat is pure fake paid for at the expense of innocent dogs.
The social pressure to eat dog meat soup in hot weather encourages the unnecessary consumption of dog meat. The weather and outdated beliefs are not an acceptable reason to continue this cultural practice. There has to be a more ethical and sensible way to deal with the heat without eating dogs.
When people begin to understand how dogs are treated on farms, public opinion will change.
The Humane Society reports that dogs with no water or food are locked in metal cages, suffer from severe malnutrition and painful skin conditions. On one farm, the dogs were abandoned after the owners left. The intolerable conditions these animals live in must be ostracized, and no dogs should ever endure this type of abuse again.
A 2020 survey by Nielsen for Humane Society International found that 84% of South Koreans have never consumed dog meat or say they do not want to consume it in the future. It also found that 60% of South Koreans support the dog meat ban. With these results, it is clear that eating dog meat is no longer viewed as a practice that people want to participate in.
Although South Korea has a long tradition of eating dog meat, the country needs to adapt and move forward without the need to abuse animals. According to Humane Society International, there are already bans on dog meat in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
Indonesia has also recently pledged support for a ban. South Korea must follow in the footsteps of its neighbors and finally end the consumption of dog meat.
Recently, a group of 171 dogs were rescued by the Humane Society and taken to the United States and Canada.
In a press release from Humane Society International, Kitty Block said, “No matter how many dogs we save from this brutal trade, it never gets easier to endure the harsh, appalling conditions that survivors are suffering.” To date, the Humane Society has over 2,000 Dogs rescued from Korean dog farms.
Several international organizations are fighting for a dog meat ban and helping dogs in South Korea. The best known include the Humane Society, Soi Dog, Free Korean Dogs, the Animal Welfare Institute, and Humane Society International. Donating to these organizations, learning about dog treatment in Korea, and being adopted by local animal shelters can help make a difference in Korea.
The consumption of dog meat in South Korea is a terrible demonstration of animal abuse committed under the umbrella of tradition and history.
The people of Korea support a ban and do not consider dog use a part of their culture. President Moon Jae-in must act now and enforce a nationwide ban in response to international and national outcry.
Dogs should be treated humanely and do not deserve to be tortured and murdered in the name of an outdated tradition.