In the U.S., few people blink when we discuss the topic of eating animals. It’s a known commonplace that most people regularly eat chicken, pork, and beef. But, if you were to introduce the idea of consuming dog meat, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t recoil with absolute disgust. In our culture, dogs and cats are different from farm animals, they occupy a different part of our consideration and as such we afford them love and care instead of a miserable life in a factory farm. This may be how we view domestic animals in the U.S., but in other parts of the world, dogs and cats are no different from farm animals, in that they are all just as readily consumed.
Eating dog meat is considered a tradition in a number of Asian cultures, however, South Korea is the only country where dogs are commercially farmed for consumption. Dog meat farms bear a striking resemblance to factory farms. Animals are kept in filthy, cramped conditions and grow to associate humans with fear and abuse as a result of their treatment in captivity. The idea of cages upon cages of dogs lined up, awaiting their fate to become a meal is absolutely abhorrent to many people around the world, and thankfully, there are a number of organizations working to put an end to this cruel trade – and progress is happening!
Most recently, Moran Market, one of the most infamous dog meat markets in South Korea, responsible for the sale of around 80,000 dogs a year, officially shut its doors! According to a press release from In Defense of Animals (IDA), an organization that works to rescue and rehabilitate dogs from the meat trade, the ceremony marking the close of the market took place at 10 in the morning on December 13th, 2016. IDA has campaigned for years to shut down this market, citing rampant cruelty and abuse behind the scenes. Undercover investigations found that dogs were being bludgeoned and blowtorched to death in some cases, which led to a widespread Seongnam-city investigation of dog slaughter and sales conditions at Moran Market and several council meetings were held with directors and the deputy mayor presiding. And it looks like years of persistence have finally paid off – for the benefit of so many dogs!
“The closure of Korea’s most infamous dog meat market at Moran deals a significant blow to the heart of the dog meat trade,” said IDA President, Dr. Marilyn Kroplick. “We thank Seongnam city officials and Mayor, Jae Myung Lee, for taking a humane position. Moran market has run with the blood of hundreds of thousands of dogs for many years, so this is a step in the right direction in our fight to end the horrific dog meat trade. However, we expect the dog butchers to set up their dirty business elsewhere, so In Defense of Animals will remain vigilant and will not rest until we take dog meat off the menu for good.”
Dog meat consumption might not something we encounter every day in the U.S., but it is still an international issue that needs all the attention it can get. You can help stop the practice of eating dog meat by working to spread information about the dangers to humans and supporting organizations like IDA that are on the ground fighting this issue.
All image source: IDA