What's wrong with eating dog meat?
A Chinese animal lover consoles a dog after a convoy of trucks carrying some 500 dogs to be sold as meat, were stopped along a highway in Beijing on early April 17, 2011, and the dogs were later rescued to the China Animal Protection Association. There were about 58 million pet dogs in 20 major Chinese cities at the end of 2009 and the figure is rising about 30 percent each year, according to a survey, as pet owners in China spend an estimated two billion USD a year on their animals.
June 30th, 2011
02:05 PM ET

What's wrong with eating dog meat?

By , Global Post

Barbecued dog and steamed paws?

These and so much more were to be had at this weekend's dog meat festival near Seoul.

Alas, it was not to be.

Animal rights activists put up such a stink that the organizers, from the Korea Dog Farmers' Association, said there was no way they could go through with the event.

"We couldn't possibly go on with the plan due to endless phone calls of complaint ... now there are few willing to rent us a place for the event," Ann Yong-Geun, a professor of nutrition at Chung Cheong University and an advisor to the association, told AFP.

Organizers of the festival had wanted to showcase the positive side of the dog meat industry in South Korea, where there are about 600 farms that raise dogs for meat, according to Ann.

Dog soup, or Boshintang, is a summer delicacy in South Korea, though the Wall Street Journal reports that it isn't as popular as the media would make it seem.

A minority of people eat it regularly. It’s consumed most frequently in summer but is available year-round. And it’s more popular with men than women and is said to possess qualities that "help stamina."

They were, for example, going to show videos of farms raising dogs under sanitary conditions — something, they will tell you, that would become a more ubiquitous practice were the industry legalized and regulated.

But for many activists, the humane treatment of the dogs is beside the point. To them, dogs are companions not a main course, end of story.

Read: North Korean propaganda.

The irony is that in South Korea, that wasn't really true until more recently. And even now, it's really only true in the city, where they raise "pet dogs," as opposed to "meat dogs."

As William Saletan wrote in Slate a few years back:

In the country, they raise "meat dogs," also known as "junk dogs" and "lower-grade" dogs. But you don't become a "lower-grade" dog by flunking an IQ test. You're just born in the wrong place. Then you're slaughtered and fed to a man who thinks he's humane because he pampers a Golden Retriever that has half your brains.

So, what's really wrong with eating dog? Just because we don't do it in the U.S. doesn't seem to make for a very good argument.

GlobalPost's Dog Meat Mafia series, delves into the seedy world of the booming dog meat industry in Southeast Asia.

Post by:
Topics: China • Culture • East Asia

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soundoff (2,486 Responses)
  1. RoastPuppy

    When I was in the Navy, I ate dog in the Philippines and Korea. It’s not bad. Furthermore, I guarantee that anyone who frequently eats at Chinese restaurants in the US has eaten dog at some point. It is no more wrong to eat dog than it is to eat pig. Actually, pigs are much more intelligent than dogs, so it would seem all the animal rights freaks would be more upset about us slaughtering pigs for food than slaughtering dogs for food.

    Dogs are unnatural creatures created by man from wolves. There is nothing special about them and they are detrimental to wildlife, other animals and the environment in general. Unlike the wolves from which they are descended, dogs kill purely for sport, i.e., they will chase down and kill every animal they can in a flock of chickens or herd of animals just for the fun of it. Additionally, they chase and kill wildlife, also purely for sport. Dog waste kills everything it touches – grass, other plants, etc. and causes ringworm and other bacterial illnesses and when it washes into bodies of water, it causes algae growth and if not controlled, kills everything in the water – except the algae.

    If all these animal rights freaks really cared about animals, they would be promoting dog meat because every time a dog dies, another animal (whether livestock or wildlife) has a chance to live.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  2. H

    The fact that people eat dog meat is no less cruel then eating other meat. I think eating animals all together is completely cruel.

    March 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  3. Me

    unless i'm mistaken the dogs they eat are a special breed, i would not mind trying it, some of it looks delicious. and all the dogs that get put down in america every year is any less barbaric then putting the dead dogs to good use as food? i don't think so, if you're going to kill it eat it. send some of the dogs that get put down in animal shelters to starving people in africa or haiti where they are stuck eating dirt.

    April 21, 2012 at 12:52 am | Reply
  4. nevereverkilldoggies

    omg why would you kill dogs and eat their meat?im a animal lover and i wanna kill those frickin peopple who waNNA EAT DOG MEAT!!!!!!!!!! I HATE EVERYBODY WHO IS LIKE A DOG KILLEER EVEN IF TTHIER MEAT TASTE GOOD(WHICH ILL NEVERRRRR EVERRRRR TRY ) DOGS ARE LOVING ANIMALSSSSS JUST LIKE US NOW TO ALL YOU EMAN DOG EATERS OUT THER I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IMAGINE IF YOU GOT KILLED JUST CAUSE PEOPLE THOUGHT YOU FUC*** TASTED GOOD YOU WOULDNT LIKE IT WOULD YOU SO HAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • MaybeI'llneverevertrydog

      You make a solid argument. Your use of capital letters really changed my mind about eating my delicious dog.

      July 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Reply
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    May 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  6. Toby

    1. Respect – Dogs are undeniably bred to be loyal. They are not prey. They are not scared of us. Its barbaric. There is a very interesting experiment that the Russians have been running with two groups of foxes in Siberia where they managed over 40 generations to domesticate one of the groups foxes by slecting the frinedly ones for breeding. They developed into almost dog like behaviours – they even wag their tails. Dogs have followed humans and protected their camp fire sites for thousands of years. The friendly ones got bits of food and the friendliest ones got even more. They self-selected. As each generation of dog selected itself to be more loyal and trusting of a human, the more its genes would pass on ending up in docile almost dependant animals who co-exist symbiotically with us. Until today, we are now eating our mates. These crass comparisons with other animals are so devoid of emotion and so full of self-rigeousness. The heart is pure and you know you could never stab an animal that walked to you on command so you could kill it. If you could then you are no man but a non-thinking brute.

    2. Sentience – if one must be drawn into the murky world of comparing animal intelligence, bear in mind that a dog is the only animal that can understand what a pointing finger means. An ape is clearly an intelligent animal yet it cannot understand the meaning of you pointing at somthing. A pig, cow or sheep cannot either. When you think about it, that is quite a difficult thing to grasp. And experiments show that dogs have this knowledge at birth so we dont teach them this. That is how intelligent and tightly interwoven our paralell evolution has been. To understand what pointing is, you first have to know that a gesture is representing a thought – that is a grand canyon of a mental leap for any brain. Then you have to follow the gesture rather than other senses. An experiment showed how a baby and a dog would follow a pointed finger to food under the 'wrong' cup but the same cups lowered by string, the dog would goto the cup it smelt. In short, the dog is so trusting of humans that they ignore their primary olfactory sense and their primary driver (food) to follow the instructions of a human.... bottom line – dogs are smart and can anticipate pain and are scared of being hurt.

    To the people who are so quick to right off dogs as stupid, remember you are just repeating what you think you know. America might have a black presedent now, but two hundred years ago white sugar cane plantation owners were told and beleived totally (i have read this from a black academic source) that black people were unable to anticipate pain or death resulting from injury and did not fear it, therefore it was ok to beat them. Afterall, you cannot get a normal person to do something immoral if you dont first de-humanise. This disgusting and shameful period in our history should serve as a lesson as how easy it is to convince ourselves how superior we are and how inferior others are.

    May 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  7. ickda

    num num num dog.
    ill eat anythin once
    but not pp

    June 19, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
  8. amalea

    For me it's just like some people eat snails while some not. its a traditon that needed respect. the dogs are supposed to be specially raised (although some maybe stolen and picked from street). In Korea people eat dogs for festivals like Americans eat Turkey for Thanksgiving... In china some places are famous for dog cooking and lots of resterant owners live on it.
    i hav ate dog for a few times in such resterants. but i won't eat pet dogs. nor any cats. partly because cats look like witches and i would be scared by thinking of eating them.
    of course i would never eat a human... but first of all i won't kill one. but i'm not sure if there is a great famine, would someone eat those who hav already been starved to die? i've heard such things before, long time ago of course.

    June 26, 2012 at 3:04 am | Reply
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  10. Christie

    Some cultures disgust me. How could you kill a cute little puppy like that, I would love to beat the living hell out of someone that would do that. Really humanity would be so much better off without these kinds of people.

    October 23, 2012 at 2:39 am | Reply
    • Yong

      Thousands of baby seals, dolphins are barbarically clubbed or speared to agonizing death each year, the poor bulls were speared repeatedly in the bull fight ring just for fun, And we Chinese never think these senseless cruelty can happen in your civilize world ! Care to help me to define what kind of these people are in the name of humanity ?

      September 6, 2013 at 11:30 am | Reply
  11. B

    ' it’s more popular with men than women and is said to possess qualities that "help stamina." '

    fuking idiots. just buy viagra...losers

    April 4, 2013 at 6:29 am | Reply
  12. i love dogs

    tstrom, not all Korean people eat dog meat and not all of them are barbaric. Please do not underestimate people just because some of them are idiots

    April 22, 2013 at 1:27 am | Reply
  13. Granted, although

    This! This was supposedlyBarack Obama's promise leading up to to the 2008 election. Has there been any progress as far as renewable energy goes?

    May 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  14. helen

    i dont understand this article. Seems the journalist doesnt know this topic very well.

    Eating dogs and cats are morally bad. But 1 major reason why this act is so cruel is not only because they eat these animals but the way they kill them. They beat them until they die or even cook them on fire alive or boil them alive, yes, ALIVE. Please know your topic before saying "what is wrong with dog meat."

    No need to say how it hurt to be beaten to the head with a piece of wood on the head until you die or boiled live,,,

    For those who think all this is normal, which i dont understand, we are in 2013, not in the 19's... Virus, many dogs are sick, chinese and korean eat them and carry illness such as a SARS in the past and some others. They travel to other country and propagate virus after but nobody talk about this... There is enough food at grocery, why eating this ...

    June 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • helen the sadist

      Everything you said was false and your grammar is horrible. You're just a racist POS.

      June 5, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply
      • Sam

        Your name suits you, you should go inform yourself before writing it's false, instead talking without knowing.
        Everything this person said is so very true, but it's hidden from us.
        You have internet, so look for "dog meat" and you'll see.... Pathetic

        July 19, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  15. Jake

    there is no difference between eating dog and pig or cow.
    They are the same animals and it would be unfair (?) for other animals to not eat dogs just because we raise them.
    Furthermore, those dogs we eat is not the same as the dogs we raise at home for pet. They are raised to eat.

    -one South Korean

    개 먹는거나 소 먹는거나 다를 거 없어요. 어차피 똑같은 동물인데요.
    그리고 우리가 먹는 개는 애완용 개가 아니라 식용으로 따로 키워진 개에요.

    July 17, 2013 at 2:49 am | Reply
    • BlownAway

      As I read and see people saying that there is a difference in a dog raised to be eaten and a dog raised as a pet...It sounds completely stupid! Do you honestly believe that a dog that has been raised for the dinner table is not going to feel the same pain that a dog raised as a companion would feel? They "ALL" respond to love and affection, they "ALL" feel pain if clubbed or beaten...and so on. How can you say that there is a difference? What makes it, OK, for one dog, as opposed to another? Please, tell me what the difference is between the dog's.

      October 1, 2013 at 1:21 am | Reply
      • DANIELLE MAE

        FOR ANYONE SUPPORTING EATING CATS AND DOGS OR SAYING ITS NO DIFFERENT THAN EATING COW OR PIG, YOU NEED TO DO MORE RESEARCH. BESIDES THE MEAT, THEY ARE EXTREMELY DIFFERENT IN THE SENSE THAT THE METHODS FOR KILLING CATS AND DOGS ARE FAR MORE INHUMANE AND IS EXTREME ANIMAL TORTURE. DO YOU KNOW HOW THEY GET KILLED?? FIRST THEY ARE SKINNED ALIVE. THEN A FEW OR SEVERAL OF THEM ARE ALL THROWN IN A LARGE POT OF BOILING WATER AND THEIR SCREAMS CAN BE HEARD...THEY FEEL PAIN LIKE WE FEEL PAIN...WHY DO YOU THINK THEIR MOUTHS ARE LEFT OPEN OR THEY ARE SHOWING THEIR TEETH?? THEY ARE IN SUCH EXCRUCIATING PAIN AND WILL TRY TO CLIMB OUT AND ESCAPE BUT CANT.

        SINCE I AM NOT A VEGAN I CANNOT SAY IT IS WRONG TO EAT ANIMALS, HOWEVER I FIRMLY BELIEVE WE SHOULD KILL ANIMALS IN THE QUICKEST AND LEAST PAINFUL WAY POSSIBLE. WE SLAUGHTER PIGS FAST OFF WITH THE HEAD. COWS ARE ALSO SLAUGHTERED FAST OFF WITH THE HEAD. PERSONALLY, I ONLY EAT FISH AND CHICKEN; WHICH ARE USUALLY ALSO KILLED THE SAME WAY. THESE CATS AND DOGS ON THE OTHER HAND, ARE KILLED VERY SLOWLY AND TORTURED BECAUSE OF THE BELIEF THAT THE MORE PAIN THEY SUFFER THE BETTER THE MEAT!!! I LOVE CATS AND DOGS AND AM A PROUD OWNER. IT TEARS ME UP INSIDE AND MAKES ME MAD AT HUMANITY FOR EVEN THINKING IT IS OK TO LET THEM SUFFER SUCH UNIMAGINABLE PAIN. THEN AGAIN, SOME PEOPLE ARE OUTRIGHT EVIL/ CRUEL AND LIKE TORTURING ANIMALS OR PEOPLE. CLEARLY THE PEOPLE WHO KILL THESE DOGS HAVE NO HEART. WHILE I HATE THE IDEA OF SOMEONE EATING CATS AND DOGS AND REALIZE I CANNOT STOP EVERY PERSON IN THE WHOLE WORLD FROM DOING SO. SINCE THE REALITY IS THAT POOR DOGS AND CATS WILL BE KILLED FOR FOOD AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO, CAN'T THEY CHANGE THEIR IDEOLOGY TOWARDS WHAT MAKES FOOD TASTE GOOD AND SHOOT THEM FAST SO THEY FEEL LESS PAIN?? ONLY A MASOCHIST LIKES TO INFLICT THE MOST PAIN; HAVING THEIR SKIN CUT AND TORN OFF WHILE THEY ARE ALIVE AND THEN BEING BOILED SLOWLY WHILE ALIVE IS TRULY THE WORK OF A MASOCHIST.

        IF FOR ANY REASON YOU THINK I AM MAKING ALL THIS UP, AND IF YOU WANT TO BE LEFT IN TEARS THEN HERE IS A LINK WITH PICTURES AND INFORMATION THAT CONFIRMS EVERYTHING I SAID. http://www.animal-rights-action.com/dog-meat.html

        October 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  16. Yong

    In Asia where our best friends are always from fellow human beings, never an animal ! May be for some countries, their people's best friends are dogs and not human beings ! So we should respect each cultural different, but we have a common similarity in not eating our best friends ! Yours are dogs and we the fellow human beings. Ok ?

    September 6, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
  17. emmavoberry1

    Do your homework.

    http://olddrum.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/stop-this-insane-festivalsickos-steal-peoples-beloved-dogs-and-hang-them/

    What's wrong? Mobs steal domestic dogs, and they are transported in hideous conditions, boiled alive, skinned alive, beaten and stabbed to death. Chinese activists worked desperately to stop this merciless cruelty. Some folks brought their own elderly dogs in to get paid for their meat. These are not dogs of a certain type but of all breeds. We are not much better in our own factory farming practices, so in that sense it is hypocritical of us to condemn the "festivals"–no buts or ifs. Studying up on the Yulin festival in China made me stop eating cows and pigs and sheep. All sentient beings suffer as much as you do, love their children as much as you do, and want to live as much as you do.

    October 18, 2013 at 1:28 am | Reply
  18. BSWEAT

    JUST THREW UP IN MY MOUTH READING SOME OF THE COMMENTS.. hell why dont we just eat aborted babies or our dead relatives...why stop at dogs!!! geezzz...some people have no heart or compassion...in fact since nothing seems off the menu for some of you why dont i just show up at your house and roast your ass..why not, you might be tastier than the dogs you show happily enjoy consuming...

    November 23, 2013 at 4:07 am | Reply
  19. kiyoshi

    animals are alive , they have emotions just like we do , they feel pain , love and sadness ... i myself have 4 dogs , there are times when i play with one , the other might get jealous lol , but that's also a human trait , just look at the picture above and u can come up with an emotion u think that the dog is feeling ... a dog is one of the best friends u can ever have , i personally think that this is not right , and congratulate the people that saved these dogs lives ...

    March 2, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Reply
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  22. Disgusted

    Do you know how many millions of dogs are killed in the shelters in the US every year? So really, no need for you people to be holier than thou. You guys are dog killers too. Try walking into an animal shelter sometime and see how many dogs are waiting to die.

    August 19, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  23. aLjon from philippines !

    I EAT A LOT OF DOG MEAT EARLIER , CUZ MY FRIEND IS HAVING A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION HAVING FUN AND GET DRANK THO IT TASTE GOOD !! BUT HONESTLY I HATE DOGS BEING EATEN ,, BY THE WAY I EAT IT BECAUSE THEY SAID THAT IT WAS A GOAT MEAT THEN AFTER THE PARTY THEY TOLD ME THAT IT WAS`NT A GOAT BUT ITS A DOG ,, I FEEL BITTER THAT TIME !!!!! HERE IN PHILIPPINES SOME OF THE PEOPLE HERE EAT DOGS BUT I DONT REALLY AGREE WITH THEM I HATE THEM, LOVE DOGS AND CATS ..................CUZ THEY ARE THE MOST FRIENDLY AND MOST COMPASSIONATE, TRUSTWORTHY, LOVELY ANIMALS IN THE ENTIRE EARTH .. JUST EAT CROCS ,SHARKS, DINASAURS ,ETC BUT NOT DOGS !!

    August 23, 2014 at 8:21 am | Reply
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