Just 11 weeks before South Korea’s Bok Nal Days of Dog Meat Eating, Humane Society International (HSI) has rescued 171 dogs from a cruel fate at a dog meat farm in Wonju, South Korea! These 171 pups are part of the final 250 dogs rescued by HSI from this particular farm. Thanks to their hard work, in conjunction with placement partners, the rescued dogs are being flown to rescues and shelters in the U.S. and Canada – hundreds of these dogs have already found loving forever homes!
Sadly, this one dog meat farm is not an anomaly. There are thousands of farms like this one throughout South Korea, ranging from small backyard enterprises to huge farming facilities containing thousands of dogs. Each year, approximately 2.5 to 3 million are sent to meat farms to live out miserable lives of deprivation and captivity. They spend their entire lives trapped in small, barren wire cages, without any access to proper care or even the most basic needs. Then, they’re electrocuted and slaughtered for consumption. This is absolutely horrifying. And most horrifying is that this is not limited to South Korea – other countries such as China hold dog meat festivals such as the Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
But dog meat farmers are undeterred by these horrible practices – in fact, with prices for a large dog coming in at $175 each, farmers stop at nothing to breed these poor dogs.
While it is not common for South Koreans to consume dog meat on an average day, especially among the younger generations, many still participate in the traditions of the Bok Nal. It is believed by many that the dog meat stew consumed has the power to “cool the blood.” However, this is unfounded, and in fact, consuming dog meat comes with many health risks.
However, most people are unaware of the extreme suffering the dogs endure, having never visited a dog meat farm. And the dogs bred for meat are not different than the loving companions many humans care for in their homes. Dogs raised for meat range from large Mastiffs, Jindo mixes, Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Chihuahuas. The very dogs that many call best friends.
How Can You Help?
First and foremost, educating yourself and others about the dangers associated with eating dog meat is critical to bringing an end to this practice. Humane Society International has a wealth of information and resources to help and they also run large campaigns encouraging country leaders to take action to ban the trade altogether. Many people are not aware of the cruel practices and dangers or even the existence of the dog meat trade, so your best course of action is to educate yourself and others to expose the truth of this industry – share this article to get started!
Finally, it’s important to recognize that these dogs, who want to live a happy and free life, are no different than the pigs and cows that we raise for meat here in the U.S. If we could all see the animals around us as complex, emotional beings, instead of mindless commodities, the world would be a much kinder place.
If you would like to support their work, visit their page here.
All Image Source: Meredith Lee/Humane Society International