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.

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Topics: China • Culture • East Asia

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soundoff (2,498 Responses)
  1. Jason

    the consumption of any carnivore is wasteful from a strictly ecological perspective.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  2. LuciousLB

    "Soilent Green is made of People !"
    Wow... Let's toss the idea out there and act like it shouldn't be any big deal with the old adage "Hey, Everybody else is doing it". Hey Ms. Lodish, if all my friends are doing something stupid or immoral, does that make it okay for me to do it? What's next Ms. Lodish? Babies given up for adoption? After all, they're just crowding up a lot of space that could be used for more important things AND their sacrifice would benefit those who are starving. After all, you could "Justify" this argument by telling some heart-wrenching stories of some of those kids that are approaching the age of 18 and have never been adopted. You are welcome to move to a place that serves dog on the menu if you really feel that's the best practice. I'm tired of people like you trying to convince Americans that we should adopt other countries practices while trying to justify it by presenting how it will solve problems here. I think we should all chip in and pay your airfare and relocation fees to help you move to a place like this that you admire so much. By the way, if they are doing such a great job there, why haven't you moved there yet? Ooh, maybe because you have it so much better here in America?? I love it when people like this or our wonderful movie stars want to praise people like Hugo Chavez for the way they run things, yet I never see them pack up and move to those wonderful places that they just can't praise enough. Why is that? Hmm... If you don't like the fact that we haven't been using dogs as livestock here since this country gained its Independence, then move somewhere that does. Stop trying to "Indoctrinate" us. People like you love to do things like this, little by little, making it sound like such a great idea. Then, eventually, we are just like all the other countries out there and we are no longer exceptional or stand out as an example for others to follow or strive to be like. I personally love this country because we are exceptional, we are the good guys and so many others before us “Sacrificed” so much (including their own lives) to make us who we are (regardless of the select few idiots who try to make all the rules). WE DON’T EAT DOGS IN AMERICA !!! Move if you don’t like it.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
  3. Jinx

    Any animal species that has eaten humans should not be eaten by us. It is indirect cannibalism. Eg: Sharks, Crocodiles, Tigers (other man eating feline and canines), Pythons, and of course Dinosaurs.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
  4. spacewizardeatsdogs

    CNN, seriously, of all the news in the world why did you even post garbage like this? I understand the need for journalists to make people think and to have people express emotion over what they write but seriously to write an article that is so useless and serves no other purpose than to make people bicker among each other....its just sad CNN. I have come to accept the majority of your journalists are idiots.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • grownup124

      as ludicrous as this article is. emily has done her job...get people riled up.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
  5. B.C.K.

    Are all Asian men so bad in bed that they think every taboo or morally questionable food will give them "stamina"?

    You like dogs? Sorry, asian men are bad in bed.
    You like Tigers? Sorry, asian men are bad in bed
    You like bears? Sorry, asian men are bad in bed
    You like Rhinos? Sorry, asian men are bad in bad
    Love monkeys, apes and gorillas? Sorry, asian men are bad in bed
    Love Amur Leopards? Sorry, asian men are bad in bed.
    Love elephants? Sorry, asian men are bad in bed

    I am tired of hearing of animals I enjoy and care about being slaughtered by poachers due to Asian men and their "inabilities"

    July 1, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Sam

      When I ate out your mom last night she wasn't complaining.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • Benjamin

        Probably out of pity for your inability to do it right, you see my mom is a really nice person

        July 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Asian

      Hey BCK why don't I prove that asian's are not bad in bed by doing your wife or gf? Please don't be arrogant and follow stereotypes.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
      • BCK

        Sorry dude but the multibillion dollar black market industry in asia based around devouring rare animals genitals so asian men can do better in bed doesn't exist anywhere else on earth, only asia. Why is that? I wonder?

        July 1, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • GT66

      Where's my eye roll emoticon? Like no woman eats meat eh? Oh that's right, thy don't eat for sexual purposes they just wear make-up, get themselves cut up with plastic surgeries, wear FURS, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Women have their hangups too so lets not play self righteous moralizer mkay?

      July 1, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • BCK

        women aren't rolling Amur Tiger gall bladder on their face as makeup, this is about crazy animal cruelty and wild animals hunted to extinction due to asian men and their "problems" …. the rest of the world just uses viagra! leave the tigers alone!

        July 1, 2011 at 11:15 am |
      • GT66

        Actually BCK, women's make ups and perfumes contain lots of ingredients derived from animals.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • mark

      they're only bad in bed because the ones you sleep with can't get access to these magical ingredients under your watchful eye 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
  6. KansasWrangler

    This reminds me of the Guinea Pig Festival in Huacho, Peru. Guinea Pigs are dressed up in cute little costumes and paraded through town, then at the end of the parade they are prepared and eaten. Approximately 65million are eaten in Peru each year.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
  7. sarah park

    I have eatten dogs many times, although it is not my favorite dish and is somewhat tough unless the the dog is tenderized (beaten). Also they usually serve it too salty for my taste

    July 1, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
  8. Yummy

    We eat Bambi – don't we? How is that different from dog?

    July 1, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
    • GT66

      Bambi is a prey animal. We didn't breed dogs to be our prey, we bred them to be our companions. We have evolved dogs to be our partners in life. You don't eat your partner (unless you're a freak). How many stories of dogs saving our lives do you need to hear? How many stories of dogs helping us do you need to hear? They are a caliber above ordinary food animals. That has ALWAYS been the unspoken deal between man and dog: I'll hunt for you, protect you, sniff out your drugs and land-mines and even be your eyes for you and in exchange, you'll feed me, shelter me, love me and not eat me.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  9. Interplexer

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, ....... tasty.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
  10. Pastlife

    I had dog meat as a child in Korea. They were delicious. I miss them. Things are brought to life to serve a purpose. When a dog is raised as a pet, it's a companion. When a dog is raised to be meat. It's just meat. Anywhere along the food chain, killing happens. In the US, people hurt deers and mooses. I adore deers and mooses, but I know I shouldn't judge people for their culture difference. Is there any thing wrong eating a piece of venison?

    July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
  11. Wolf

    I could never approve of eating another being that could be a companion. Dogs have evolved beyond the canine pack mentality to anticipate, have remorse and be able to detect disease and doom.

    The Chinese culture does not put a high value on the multitude of human life...so it comes as no surprise that they would not value canine life, or feline for that matter, either.

    Dogs rule! Chinese dog meat market sux!

    July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • Michael

      You know, I've seen all kinds of animals express remorse. Even fish express remorse if their close fish friend dies, and can go into a kind of depressed state. All beings can be companions.

      The sooner people realize this part of nature, the sooner we will respect our food – not only as sustenance but as life and beings we shared time with on this Earth.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  12. Meat Eater


    July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • cereal killa

      Hell yeah!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • ricky14

      not as good as yr fucken momma though

      July 1, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
  13. Cetera

    Biased article is biased.
    One of the worst articles I've read on cnn, I thought news was meant to be fact based not writers-opinion based.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Bruce

      It's a fact that people have opinions. It's also a fact that peoples' opinions affect their behavior and their emotional reactions to other peoples' behavior.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
  14. Hypno Toad

    Stuff humans don't eat: sloths and orangutans and fruit-bats and stoats!!

    July 1, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
  15. Michael

    Dogs can be meat just like pigs, if you disagree then I would suggest you not eat dogs. This is hard for some people to swallow, but animals don't have inherent rights. When you make eating dogs illegal, you are potentially starving people and possibly putting them in danger (packs of feral dogs are not uncommon).

    July 1, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  16. Common Sense

    Dogs were not bred to be eaten. Dogs were bred and selected because of their companionship with humans and for all of the services they provide us. Farm animals are bred to feed us, whether it be for their meat or eggs or milk. Believe it or not, there is an animal hierarchy in the eyes of man. We value a dog's life more (and are less likely to eat it) than we do a cow's, just as a cat is more important to us than a squirrel.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • Michael

      Not in China we don't. Man is not a homogenous absolute; man is a series of diverse individuals with varied backgrounds and ancestry.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • GT66

        So in China you don't value dogs. It is fairly obvious that in China, the Chinese largely don't value each other either. Man has created an unspoken agreement with dogs that honestly, dogs do a better job of holding up than men do. China just proves that.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • cereal killa

      Why would you name yourself common sense and be soo stupid? The dogs in this article are farmed meat dogs, not the dogs you see everyday in shelters or on tv. They are created to be eaten, like emu, cow, chicken, just like it's been for hundreds of years. China sbeen eating dog before America became a country so this hierachy of meat is bullshit. The hierachy of meat is based on cost verse taste, and you wouldn't understand because your not chinese nor korean so you didn't know it taste like lamb. By the way common sense refers to an action that does not require preprogramming; in this case if i'm hungry i'm going to eat it, such as a dog! That's common sense. dumb ass!

      July 1, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Henry

      Just because you value dogs more than cows doesn't mean that everyone in the world does. In fact, comparing a dog to a cow would be offensive to many in India. Newsflash, your culture is not inherently better than anyone elses.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
  17. Luke

    Why don't those Korean man cut their own penises and eat them for supper? It must make a very good aphordisiac.

    This people need to look at science and recognize that the belief in dog meat raising stamina is bologne.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Asian

      No, I rather eat dog. Though, you are more than welcome to cut your dick and eat it =)

      July 1, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Lindsey

        So you would prefer someone didn't cut your dick off and ate it....WEIRD, I bet animals of all kinds feel the same way.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  18. azazal

    I don't know why im surprised by the "dog lovers" going crazy on here about it being "morally" wrong to eat dog meat. comparing it to cannibalism? You do realize 3-4 million companion animals are destroyed every year in the US right? at least the Koreans are eating the meat and not just burning/burying it. The peta/aspca nazis out there are the biggest hypocrites in this country. want to stop "pet" abuse? stop owning them. every time you "rescue" one from the shelter you contribute to the problem. you think whoever dumped the animal there didn't turn around and buy a puppy 2 weeks later lol. shelters are only enabling the problem .the only way to stop animal abuse/neglect is to ban the ownership of them....besides ive tried dog meat. better than monkey but i wouldn't go out of the way to eat it again. although it would be fun to walk through an ASPCA fund raiser chewing on a dog kebab.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • GT66

      The overabundance of dogs in this country is part and parcel of the same thinking that the Asians are using to justify eating dogs. Careless breeders who consider the dogs as a product or a path to money and care little about the dog are what is causing so many to be destroyed. If you cannot understand what a dog can bring to your life other than a few dollars or a source of food then I pity you.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
      • azazal

        You pity me? how sweet...but im not the one who NEEDS a companion animal to make my life "complete" and your right about puppy mills etc.. but my point is if there were no consumers there would be no market. you "dog lovers" are the root cause of the problem. your just to blind or delusional to see it.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  19. alko

    You cant go and just eat your pet, its wrong, its like saying if you can eat your dog, i can go eat my neighbor, where is this right, dogs are a domesticated animal, there is no reason to be eating them

    July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
  20. aubrie

    The Native Americans raised dogs as a meat source regularly. It has not historically been just China.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • d

      you have no idea what you are talking about moron.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • aubrie

      Oh yes I do... MORON.... I'm a history teacher!!

      July 1, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Sunflower

      Sorry D...

      Aubrie is correct. Do your research. Or can you read?

      July 1, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
  21. Mike

    I wouldn't eat dog meat because it just sounds disgusting. However, if people want to, more power to them. Anyone that complains about eating dog meat but eats beef, chicken, fish, or any other sort of meat is a hypocrite.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • GT66

      There is a huge difference. You'd know this if you ever had a dog as a companion. They are a much higher order animal than a simple food animal. Perhaps that was due to humans breeding them this way however, that is the state of affairs and as such, treating them any other way that that for which they were bred and evolved by us is tantamount to betrayal. Dogs, are not and have not been for a few centuries now, a simple animal. They are a family member. There is absolutely no contesting the fact that a dog without a home isn't just another dog but an orphan without a family. Would you eat an orphan?

      July 1, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
      • sam

        looks like someone has never lived on a farm. ignorance is awesome.

        July 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  22. Wolf

    Oh, and another thing....all you dog lovers that shop at Walmart and Target...you are continuing to buy the crap that supports the cultures that kills and eats dogs.

    Don't like it then don't support it.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
  23. Mel

    Omg!... the look on this dogs face makes me want to cry!.. I never in a million years would ever consider eating a dog or cat!. Yes, in "OTHER" countries.. people do alot of revolting things such as eating cats..dogs..rats..bats..etc... But here in the states.. your funky ass would be shot for sure!.. Dogs are companions as well as cats!.. They have unconditional love to give and always looking for your attention. I will tell you this, don't ever park your ass next to mine and ask for some "FRIED LAB".... I will give you a 10 second start before I pop a cap in your ASS!......The same goes with horse meat!..Uh, don't think so....I may give you a 15 second start!......

    July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • azazal

      so by your logic eating certain animals should be punishable by death? sounds like the Taliban..your "morality" is that a dogs life is more important than a humans? all the issues and tragedies in the world and you choose this issue to become violent over? BTW wanna be tough guy, your not the only one armed and i will guarantee some one is faster better stronger than you. careful making threats like "i would give them 10 sec" . in 10 seconds i can put 20 rounds center mass on you dumb a$$. and then 2 in your mutt for the fun of it

      July 1, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • NONcorrect

      "they have unconditional love to give" Right ... as long as you hold up your end of the deal the feed them unconditionally, shelter them unconditionally, etc. Stop feeding a dog and tell me how long that love lasts before it tries to eat your leg off?

      July 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  24. JasonK

    What is right? What is wrong? Who first looked at the sky and said "blue" instead of "red"? In the animal kingdom predators hunt prey because they want to eat them. But sometimes, things go wrong and the prey either gets away, or maybe even kills the Predator. I'm reminded of the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer uses butter as tanning lotion and Newman is chasing him around with a knife and fork. So to all of you who compare it to eating people let me say this. If your dog is of the same importance or mor than your child, then eat the baby. But remember they are higher in cholesterol. I'm ok with eating small yappie type dogs as they p!$$ me off...but that's me. Oh and to those of you wondering what it tastes like, it varies from breed to breed. I had some when in China that tasted similar to lamb, but my chinese is bad and I couldn't understand the breed when I asked.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  25. Yummy

    I like mine doggie style....

    July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  26. Aminal Lover

    What was the point of this article? No valid points were made. It's almost as though she became tired and stopped writing it half way through. Afraid to answer that question herself?

    July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Am, there is no answer. There's no question. It's just an article that says hey, did you know that some Asian countries eat dog meat? Mister Brain's Faggot's is a popular food in England, so there's no accounting for taste.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • Frenchy

      She was leaving the question open to elicit discussion. Duh.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • Lexi

      I agree with you Aminal Lover. WTF?

      July 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  27. Corrine

    I fully believe in respecting other cultures BUT when it comes to the welfare of animals cultural rights be damned. By people's statements since they do it in other countries it must be okay. Have any of you seen how they skin these dogs? The do it with the dogs ALIVE!!!! Since that is done in China because they think it makes the meat better does that make it okayOnce they skin them ALIVE!!!! How is that right in anyone's mind??? Dogs give us love and affectin and any creature able to give and receive love should not be eaten...pigs, cows, etc....and yes, I am a vegetarian and any animal products I eat only comes from well run, safe farms (milk, eggs).

    July 1, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  28. Herbert West

    The problem isn't so much dogs as the reasoning; according to the article men eat dogmeat to "help stamina"...we all know what that means. Such superstitious idiocy is a big reason why there is such a market for the meat and other...parts...of species that are actually endangered. There is harmless backwards and not-so-harmless backwards...

    July 1, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  29. CAW

    Dogs have been bred for thousands of years to be our partners in life and work. Many of their qualities, loyalty, trust, generosity of spirit, are qualities to which we humans aspire and often fail to meet. In dogs, we are able see the idealized self that we would like to be. So, in turning this relationship into one of devaluing, emotionless commerce, where thousands of years of trust, bonding and partnership results in one of the partners being viewed as an object worth only the value of its meat, we devalue our compassion, our insights, and ourselves as well.

    July 1, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • GT66

      Beautifully said!

      July 1, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • sam

      a narrow point of view, no matter how well said, is still a narrow point of view.

      July 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  30. danimal

    i love animals..........they are delicious

    July 1, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
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