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. Live logically

    Why don't we mind our own business and let people eat what they want? I don't come down on vegetarians for eating poor defenseless plants. The Question here is "where is the line?" It varies with different situations. Just because we are at the top of the food chain, doesn't mean we should eat everything below us on it, but if there is nothing else to eat, sorry Fido. I say eat what you kill, and kill what you eat including plants. Then we will have a better appreciation for what ends up on our plates.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  2. Craig Nazor

    There are those who believe that all non-human life on earth is here to support human civilization. They believe that humans deserve preference over all other life forms. This is why we are seeing the rapidly accelerating destruction of the natural world, as this illogical and anthropocentric point of view is combined with rapidly increasing human population (for which we ARE NOT YET taking responsibility). In the end, this will be very bad for human civilization, and cause unimaginable human suffering.

    In reality, dogs want to live their lives as much as I do. They love their young and they love other members of their "pack," be they dogs or humans. They deserve better than to be treated as inanimate objects, living short, miserable lives solely for human consumption. Do they deserve to be treated as well as other humans? Of course, many humans will say "no." Could this be because of a gross human bias?

    If I were looking at earth from an objective point of view, and concerned about the destruction of ALL LIFE equally, and not biased to one species over another, I would have to say the humans are the most destructive species of all, both to other humans and to all other species. Unchecked, we are going to kill ourselves, and a lot of other species, to boot. So who is going to check us, if it isn't us?

    I believe that humans can live on this world and DO MUCH BETTER than that. Humans definitely have that capability. Some will say that will never happen. But is that really a good excuse for not doing what we know is right? Every religion in the world tells use exactly the opposite. So why not go for a better world? It can only happen one person at a time.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
    • Walter

      Love is an emotion only humans have you dummy.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  3. KC

    I never thought I would do this – but this is going to far – lets stick to the basic:

    “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat."

    July 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Feo

      Ugh! Really? You're going to quote the f-ing Christian Bible? What other moronic propaganda do you want to spout forth from?

      July 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • DogIsDelicious

      So then it's ok to eat Palestinans?

      July 1, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  4. TBeef

    There is nothing wrong with eating a dog. I just don't believe it will taste very good.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  5. dustpup

    Asians will eat anything, even poop.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • dustpup

      Heck, I eat it myself.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Shard

      The Japanese have actually found a way to extract protein from sewage to make an edible meatlike substance.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  6. Rhonda_S

    For the love of God, everything is wrong with this "ideal". I encourages wrong, breeding for the wrong reason ($$), killing for the wrong reason ($$), not loving and caring for the wrong reason ($$), offer of acceptance for the wrong reason ($$). God did not give us love to not love. God gave us a heart that his larger than life-earth combined, it should be our only reason to know that this is wrong. All life is important and should be valued at all cost. We should never "think" it is right to take a life, any life, we should feel the pain. If we do not, then we are no longer hu-man and no longer the walking love that is our birth-right. Our connection is lost with creation.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  7. Yummy

    Welcome to my new Frachise... KFD..

    Korean Fried Dog

    July 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  8. Lloyed

    I once ate a mix of a bull dog and a shitzhu. Man that was bull-sh1t.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  9. Dan

    I say let's dogs eat humans if they want

    That would even things out

    July 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  10. May

    If someone had not 'tamed' a timber wolf many centuries ago, we would not have the domesticated dog today. Someone shoud 'tame' the chickens, fish, cows, pigs, sheep, goats, tuna, etc., then they would all be in the same
    catagory. Edible.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  11. Mike

    In a more perfect world humans would not eat any other sentient animals except in the most extreme situation. Dogs are most certainly sentient. Culture or Tradition does not ever justify continuing something that is inherently wrong. A few hundred years ago in France cildren as young as 10 years old were sent to the gallows to be hung for stealling food. We would like to believe that societies will evolve for the better over time. The only other options are stagnation or regression.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  12. Blabbity

    Eh, it's more of the fact that we have emotional attachments for certain animals, and it comes down to culture. Would I eat a dog? Sure, only for survival.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  13. Dave

    I think everyone here is missing the point. No one, EVER, in the history of comments left after web-based news articles, has successfully changed another readers mind. EVER!!!! Is there anyone out there who really thought they'd post their brilliant, previously unheard or imagined point of view, and the other party would respond with something like "oh my God, you are so right, I never thought of it that way before. You have completely changed my way of thinking about this issue"...It'll never happen, it's never happened.
    The bottom line is everyone has their own opinion, almost everyone thinks their's is correct and the other guy is a fill in the blank. I believe that's how most religious wars have started..Trying to convince others to "see it your way", the only difference being those were at the tip of a sword.
    I'll end by saying I find it hilarious that some of the extreme dog lovers that have posted here threatened violence against other PEOPLE to protect an animal. I'm betting these people consider themselves gentle souls as they look out for animals that depend on us for compassion etc. That's the logic that has people blowing up abortion clinics and killing doctors, who are someone's father or mother, to protect the unborn..Backwards, twisted logic.. You betcha!!
    Enjoy... and let the attacks on me begin... 😉

    July 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Joe Peterson

      Noe one has ever changed their mind based on in" comments left after web-based news article" Another absolute Dave ? lol . What proof have to offer? No proof to offer? Man for a guy who thinks all things are relative you sure believe in a number of absolute facts lol You are funny Dave......

      July 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • Dave

        Joe, point taken..Has it ever happened? I don't know. Based on the exchanges I see on these boards I think it is highly unlikely and if has, it has to be rare for sure. People tend to come into these discussions with their positions pretty entrenched, so I don't see many people changing their minds, especially for the more passionatte issues.
        Absolutes are rare. People who get that are rarer still 😉 I only stated it that way to try and illustrate the futility of everyone on this board yelling back and forth in an attempt to sway the other party's opinion..
        Good feedback..

        July 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
      • Joe Peterson

        Hi Dave,
        I understand and do apologize if I had been a bit strong in my statements. I do learn when someone posts ideas that I have not heard of before that is if they warrant it . It does not mean I trust what they say all the time but I do try to look into the facts and confirm or deny them. .If found true then I learn even here from time to time. So I guess I might be one example though I will agree most things posted here do not pass for thoughts just regurgitated opinion a talking mouth.

        July 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  14. Dennis

    Millions of dogs are killed at animal shelters every year.

    I smell an export opportunity

    July 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  15. Dean

    While I think of a slaughterhouse that is slaying dogs and I think that is mean, who are we to tell certain Asian countries not to eat dog?

    Let's reverse this scenario - if India protested against eating cows, would we do it as a culture? Would everyone here stop eating cows because India objects?

    There are far more important ways to spend our time, such as gettiing the democrats and republicans out of US offices and bringing in honest parties!

    July 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  16. Liza

    How can anyone eat and abuse man's best friend?

    July 1, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  17. gonzoaster11

    "To them, dogs are companions not a main course, end of story."

    July 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  18. ricky14

    I consider myself a human lover. If i was offered to eat human flesh, i'll have it baked..RUN STUPID CORPSE MUNCHERS ... RUN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Charlie Manson

      All your posts seem to be about cannibalism. You aren't insane, are you?

      July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • ricky14

        A vegetarian, a meat-eater, and a cannibal walk into a bar, the veg' orders a salad, the other orders a burger, than the bartender asks the cannibal "anything for you?", so he replies, "no thanks, i'll wait till they're done."
        9 out of 10 cannibals agree–vegetarians taste better! I follow a strict vegan diet** I eat only vegans.

        July 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • ricky14

        i If animals aren't supposed to be eaten, then why are they made out of meat?
        If humans aren't supposed to be eaten, then why are they made out of meat?

        July 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
  19. abrous

    Funny that people here are so offended at the thought of eating dog meat that they would call it morally wrong. Its thier culture and who are we to say that it's wrong or immoral? In Western culture it's perfectly acceptable to raise cows for consumption. If you posted this on an Indian site, where the cow is sacred, I'm sure you could easily replace the words DOG with COW and you would find the same responses. But Americans would be all offensive and try and defend their beef eating ways. Step outside your shoes people, just because YOU don't like it or its not culturally acceptable in your area, don't give harsh judgement on others where it's part of their culture. Happy 4th, let the charring of cow flesh waift through the winds of the USA this weekend.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply

    Chach, thank you for putting the true horror of this practice in full black & white visual. Again, shame on the cranks who make nasty & raunchy comments from the shadows of the Internet & Blogosphere because they don't identify themselves and can just say anything ... cowards. No wonder this country is going down the tubes from an un-educated & ignorant society that does not take responsibility for their actions or hate speech.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  21. MCR

    Hypocrites! If you are offended by breeding one animal for food, why not others? Because you have a pet dog? And yet, I'll bet most of those upset by dog meat will think nothing about eating a hamburger or chicken for dinner.

    I too do not like that some people breed and kill dogs for food, but that is their culture. I'll simply stay away. I also don't like the idea of breeding and killing chickens, cows, pigs, lambs, turkeys, etc. for food, either, and after 35 years as a vegetarian, I don't really miss them. But if you like eating such animals, go ahead. Just don't criticize others for their food choices.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  22. Steve

    Whats wrong with it? A dog is a loving, intelligent creature, that's whats wrong. They may not be as "intelligent" as us, but so what? And dont give me the chicken, cow argument. They are not domesticated, loving animals that millions of people have taken into our homes and treat like members of our family. Hypothetical: if an alien race lands here and is super-intelligent compared to us, and enjoys human meat every now and then, whats wrong with them eating us as a delicacy? To them, we are stupid creatures, and they harvest us humanely and sanitarily?? Whats the difference? Why should they care and why is it morally wrong?

    July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • sass

      Steve, please you really need to justs some research, watch the videos of animal torture something that you support when you buy meat. Please, make the effort instead of blindly walking thru life hurting animals out of ignorance.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • MCR

      Don't give me the aliens argument 😉 That's been done before...see The Twilight Zone, "To Serve Man"

      July 1, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  23. Teo

    Dogs have been evolved from wolves to be a companion to man. If pigs had been evolved in place of dogs, we would not eat them. Evolution is the reason we shouldn't eat them. Dogs have evolved to be our friends, not to be eaten.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  24. George C.

    I'm probably as much of a dog lover as one can be. However, people need to realize that pigs that we eat daily, are many times smarter than any dog in the world. I would never be able to eat a dog, but just because we are accustomed to eating pork and beef, doesn't make that immoral as well. No I am not a vegan or a vegetarian. I love my steak.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • sass

      very hypocritical of you to say you love dogs and then support the torture and slaughter of meat.

      "I love my meat" mean while animals are tortured and suffer for months so you can "love your meat" Nice all right.
      Shows your level of evolvement or lack.....

      July 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  25. Adam

    all you have to do is look at the face of the dog in the photo above to know why eating dogs is wrong.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  26. Alienbrother

    God you people know how to get away from the topic at hand. People are barbarians. For those of you who think eating dog is acceptable, you're just not evolved, your true nature is nasty, it's evil, its twisted, you have nothing good about you. Many Asian cultures, like this, eat anything with a face, and so no wonder so many diseases come out of that continent. The lack of humane treatment of all animals that they breed in Asia disgusts me to no end – I hope you all end up on hell's barbecue, doused in soy sauce – and go through as much pain as these animals do. Largely your culture disgusts me in this self serving clueless so called culinary respect, and breeding like rabbits, you have spread it right across the world, because the true primitive nature of many other culture when it boils down to it, obviously from the comments here, allows it. It's not alright to eat any animal incidentally – your'e nothing but Neanderthals living under the guise of civility and evolution. So-called humanity makes me sick. All of you here, who think it is alright to eat dog, an animal, that has largely been bred for domestic joy, make me SICK. Karma will get you.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Gaspode the Talking Dog

      Wait, are you trying to talk us out of eating dogs? We aren't eating dogs, and we don't think it's alright. Some people are having fun with the concept and proposing recipes and stuff, but we don't eat dog in this country. Calm down, you are going off on people who agree with you.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
      • Alienbrother

        As I said, I am going off on anyone here who thinks this practise is alright, and with respect,I don't know what country you're in, but one just needs to go into Chinatown in most cities in the country I'm in to see that they do indeed eat dog there, and many other species too, and they don't give a second thought to the fact that these animals have gone through pain and suffering just to end up in their bellies. I'm going off on the way these animals are held in captivity, treated, abused and the people who can look in their eyes and have absolutely no emotion for what that animal has gone through. Its alright, as long as the person doesn't feel pain, hunger, captivity – the first to complain and run off to the doctor if they somehow get a tiny little ailment. As I said, THOSE people, many of whom I have read here feel it is alright to make smart remarks about this tragedy, are joking about it and agreeing with it. I suggest you read through more of the comments, because there is a large percentage of those people. Animals can't talk, so no, I can't calm down about it, where I ca, I will voice it for them.

        July 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • AM_I

      Hey Alien do you eat cows? Do you know that Karma is originally a Hindu principle? Do you know that Hindu find eating cows one of the worst things that any human can do? if you eat cow meat I think that you are the one that karma will get before coming to dog eaters .....

      July 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  27. dsavage666

    Why shouldn't we eat dogs? How about because they're altruistic? Casting aside that little fact, how about the fact that when they were first domesticated it was for protection and companionship, not food? Seems to me our dog eating friends have forgotten these two little facts. Then again, the Donner Party ate thier kin so who are we to judge, right?

    July 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  28. tdog

    Taste like Chicken

    July 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  29. Kris

    What's wrong with consumption? Nothing but what is wrong is the inhumane treatment the animal receives. Why is it right for someone to brutally kill an animal because they feel the adrenaline makes the meat better? This article should look at more than just the moral dilemma of eating a companion. We all know much more goes on in the practice of eating dog.

    July 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  30. Kali

    When you're born into this dominant, carnistic culture, you inevitably absorb the system’s logic as your own. In other words, we learn to see the world through the lens of carnism. Carnism conditions us to disconnect psychologically and emotionally from the truth of our experience when we eat meat (and other animal products). It allows us to disconnect the meat on our plate from the living being it once was. When people sit down to a plate of beef stew, they're not thinking about the cow that it came from. They're not saying, "I'm eating a dead animal." They're saying, "I'm eating food," and therefore they're feeling no disgust. However, if that same person were fed a guinea pig or swan, they would likely not be able to help but envision a living being, and feel repulsed eating that animal. Stop supporting violence of sentient beings, go veg!

    July 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      I think you are way over-psychoanalyzing this. When I eat chicken, I know it's chicken and I call it chicken. I've plucked them and cut them up plenty of times, and I tell you, a chicken is absolutely no use for anything except food. They make awful noises, they stink, and they are stupid. I don't think they enjoy being alive. Pigs are too intelligent and I don't think we should eat them, but cows are just dumb lumps. Honey, both swan and guinea pig are eaten as food animals, and if you google "peru guinea pig festival' you may have to go sit down for a while. Swan is supposedly really tasty. All life feeds on life at some level; even vegetarians must have fertilizer.

      July 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply
      • Kali

        If you took a cross-section of Americans and you asked them if their value system supported intensive, extensive, and completely unnecessary violence toward other sentient beings, of course they would tell you no. And yet at the same time these very people—just like I had done when I was younger—enable such violence on a daily basis by eating meat. Not only that, but many of them get angry if you try to shed light on where their meat originates—just telling people you're vegan can sometimes inspire hostility. That’s because people know, on some level, that animal agriculture is horrific but support it anyway. By raising awareness of the reality of animal agriculture, you shed light on that moral discomfort that most people feel at the idea of eating animals. So why aren;t you eating dogs?

        July 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
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