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. Corey

    A bit of a psycho there dog lover? It's just a cultural difference. Just because we have our norm here doesn't mean that is the norm for the rest of the world. Here our main meat supply is beef. In parts of the world the cow is considered sacred and treated as such. Just like some of the post that I have read I to am a dog lover. But with that said I have the decency to let other cultures do their own thing. How would any of you (that aren't vegan or vegetarian) feel if the people of India was putting such a fuss about our beef consumption?

    July 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  2. Dog Lover

    Sadly ... it brings new meaning to " One from column A, One from column B ".

    July 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  3. Denim

    Go ahead and eat dogs, as long as you don't feed it to me.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  4. Ed

    Why don't they start eating each other. There isn't any thing they wouldn't eat. Boycot made in China. Sick sick people. China is a country that can't supportr itself because of too many damn people. The US is headed that way. The world needs population control. Eat babies.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  5. DogIsDelicious

    Wow, the responses here really do prove what idiots many dog lovers are.
    Equating dogs to humans is among the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.
    Even worse, saying you'd hurt of kill another human before a dog.
    The most amusing part is that 99.9% of you are spineless twats hiding behind a computer, performing oral sex on your dogs, that couldn't even defend yourselves against a fly, let alone a human. If you didn't have low-paid labor to kill and process your meat for you, most of you would die in a week.

    And until you've tried bbq'd dog, slow-roasted for tenderness, then STFU. Delicious, like a cross between pork and chicken, and very healthy for you. I tihnk I am now going to go grab the neighbors dog for dinner. He runs away all the time, they will not know the difference. Mmmmmmm.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • NothingWrongEatingDog

      I know... slow roasted dog is the best... I just can't stand all the whining as they roast... I wear eye muffs...

      July 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  6. Billy Bob

    Did Jesus eat dog? No. There ya have it.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply

      Humans. So superficial about everything...

      July 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • closetiguana

      Did Jesus eat pigs? No, there you have it. I guess you better kiss your bacon and eggs goodbye.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Yummy

      My friend Jesus (Hesus) most certainly did...

      July 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  7. NothingWrongEatingDog

    I live in New York City and I love dog meat... it's delicious... tastes like earthworms... I like those too... and I've only gotten strep throat a couple of times... Nothing like Honey-roasted PitBull, I like the skin too... You can even eat the fur... it's good for digestion... ruff-age I think they call it... There are plenty of restaurants in Manhattan serving dog today... just ask discretely... Say, "I'm finding it ruff to decide." They'll open up and offer you the specials.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  8. Kurt

    What is wrong with eating dog meat? It's a dog! GROSS! They are filthy creatures.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply

      What's wrong with eating you? ignorant.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply



    July 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
    • Dog

      We won't know because we wouldn't be an "Intelligent Species".

      July 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • You forgot

      You left of "IN MY OPINION". That's all you've stated. By law I do have the right to hunt, fish, and throw a steak on the grill as I see fit. HOWEVER – YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE WITH THE LAWFUL TAKING OF GAME OF FISH. So, state opinion as such and don't try to dictate my rights. If you remember correctly, this country was founded for that very reason. People interfering with the rights of others and trying to dictate what people can and can not do. That's more shameful than a cookout any day of the week, regardless of what's on the menu.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply

      @You forgot
      And those rights you DEMAND are too selfish, ignorant, arrogant and irrational for a human being 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  10. killerb62

    As others have pointed out, dogs have evolved to develop skills to bond with Humans for support. They have evolved to depend on humans. Dogs connect with humans and are not inately scared of them as prey. Other animals; cows, pigs, chicken, etc. have kept these animal instincts and at least they have instincts to avoid humans. Its too easy to horde dogs and kill them for food because they have evolved to trust humans. In this way I find it less ethical.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  11. Rod C. Venger

    Dogs have been companion animals to humans for most of our history. Perhaps it started with wolves. Perhaps it started with the advent of fire and cooking food over it, along with it's warmth, but at some point, canines and humans started sharing space together. Dogs were trainable, playful, loyal...they guarded and fought for humans. They have an obvious level of intelligence that other meat animals lack. They've become part of our families and we often see dogs...and cats, as I'm personally a Siamese cat person...as our kids. A pet can fill a hole in our hearts that a human cannot, for they do not judge us. They mirror us, I believe, giving back whatever level of emotional attachment that we give them. Eat one? I'd rather starve.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Amy

      Rod, that was very well stated. Thank you for saying what I was thinking and feeling.

      July 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  12. chicchi

    Well,I do know the BIBLE,says not to harm { GODS },dumb animals.Dogs are raised right by oursides,just like our kids.They will give their lives to save us from harm.They mourn,they show happiness ,they cry or cry out in pain,so dont tell me that they dont have souls.You all are just igorent,If yall would eat dogs,yall would eat youre own child.They are not the same as wild animals.I can sure see that most of you cannot know { GOD } !!!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  13. closetiguana


    July 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply


      July 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  14. Nuclear Threat

    A lot of ppl enjoy lobster, I think it's rather gross ppl boil them alive

    July 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • BoilerRoom

      I like to boil lobsters and hear them scream... I do the same to little puppies, than I pull off their skin and eat them... I live in NYC...

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

    Kind of silly to chastise people that don't absolutely agree with your opinion. Hitler did the same thing.

    As far as the argument goes, accept the fact that in some cultures there are redeeming qualities to eating dog meat. If you don't like the idea then don't eat dog meat, but for you to tell me or anyone that doing so is wrong displays an incredible sense of hollow self-rightousness. You do not get to dictate to me what is right and what is wrong; that is for me to decide. Conversely, you are afforded the same right.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • birdy

      hollow self-righteousness? i could extend your argument to any situation in any country like female circumcision, no voting rights, child labor and sex slaves. in those cultures, it's perfectly normal. based on your argument, who are we to interfere?

      July 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Reply
      • DocNines

        There is a world of difference between choosing to eat dog and the case for human rights, and I have a problem with extending human rights to any animal, dogs included. Animals, all animals, are inferior to humankind.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  16. Sofia

    The sad face of that dog almost makes me tear up. However, in general, I don't think it is worse to eat a dog than a pig, cow, etc. I spent some time on a farm and got to experience how smart, funny and loving pigs are. They had such strong and loving family bonds to their little piglets and I saw the heart-break when their families were separated for slaughter. A couple of the chickens were kept more as pets and they behaved like dogs – came running and jumping up to greet you and rubbing your ankles. What is appropriate to eat in one culture can be horrendous to another. In Japan they hunt dolphins for meat. The movie Cove brought to light the incredible suffering and pain they go through as their families are killed and torn apart right in front of their eyes. I really feel for all living beings – suffering and pain are universal.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  17. jDeski

    Holy moly how can the columnist even entertain this practice with a column. I want to vomit even reading the headline.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  18. Sickos

    Wow! Dogs should be cared for, not eaten. They should eat each other. There are too many of them anyway.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply

    That's it......the U.S. should let North Korea 'eat' South Korea.......

    July 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Sickos

      Agree! x10

      July 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  20. Amber

    This article is SICK. Really CNN, you end the article with: "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."

    OUTRAGED as it is that this is happening, but your response is what is sickening.

    What's next? "Just because we don't kill baby girls in the US in this day and age, doesn't make it a very good argument."

    Consider your audience.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  21. space wizard defender

    Cows are sacred in India, does that mean we can not eat cows in the US? Dogs are great pets, and I have one that I love like a daughter. So realistically, I would probably not eat them personally. That being said, all you people judging on the grounds of ethics are hypocrites. You say they are wrong and bad people for eating dog, pushing your beliefs on them as if you are God. They are not forcing you to eat the dog, so why would you force them not to? Keep your opinions to yourself, and stay with the facts.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  22. HoneyRoastedLabrador

    Slow roasted honey barbecued Golden Retriever is the best... I just can't stand all the whining while they roast... Just STFU... so I wear eye muffs... and watch... it smells great too...

    July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  23. kamana

    Nature intended that everything be recycled and nothing be buried in her earth. Yet humans have buried billions of other humans all over the planet. And those cemeteries are taking up an awful lot of valuable finite spaces! Now humans have taken to burying animals in animal cemeteries co-opting even more scarce and needed land. Not only should humans eat dog, human, horse or other meats, humans need to truck human remains to the desert or wilderness so the animals that Nature provided (vultures, fox's, wolves, etc.) can perform their intended purposes and consume and recycle those human and animal carcass's.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  24. Ousal Dove

    Pig, Dog, cow, monkey, it's all the same!!! I have eaten monkey on a stick – uhh and maybe dog on a stick, it was no big deal, taste like chicken maybe better. The population of dogs in the US has become such a problem we should be eating dogs, specially pitbulls and ruts! Got to feed the masses some how. Time for you whiners to grow up and face reality, only the strong survive, the weak perish!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  25. Bill

    what a loathsome creature this writer must be. she strips all humanity from her arguments. i say she should also include humans in her diet if she applies such logic to her nutritional choices.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Ousal Dove

      She who Bill ???

      July 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  26. Peter Griffin

    Hey, has anyone seen Brian? Brian, here boy! Ohhhhhhh, that's right.........heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  27. Ousal Dove

    Jesus probably ate dog, sheep and cow. NO ONE knows the trueth about that one!!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  28. Sinfear

    I don’t eat dogs but I could care less what people eat so long as you don’t eat my dog. So many posts saying its wrong and people argue saying that’s a “American way of thinking”.

    Isn’t America the best country in the world? Of course it is. We are not 100% correct all the time but by “ g o d “ we have “it” figured out much more than the rest. Oh and the posts that follow can say different but you know it and so do the people reading it. SO if the “west” says eating dog is wrong… it is.


    July 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  29. J

    OMG! Just reading the headline makes me want to throw up. Dogs are our best friends. It tears me up inside to think that dogs are slaughtered so that it can be spooned onto a plate. Ugghhh.... I'm sure people in other countries are thinking the same thing when they hear about us slaughtering cows, chickens, alligators, pigs, etc. We all know slaughter houses don't kill them humanely, so it's kind of a double-edged sword. I hope the people who are participating in this sort of animal-slaughtering ritual get reincarnated as dung beetles. So sad...

    July 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  30. ed sr

    ANYONE who kills and eats a domestic pet such as a dog or a cat should be shot and hung and mutilated and eaten by rats..........they are SWINE and I pray that those who do this to wonderful animals who are pets are condemned in Hell forever! Asians take note!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Asian

      Have taken a Note , anything more to add?

      July 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
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