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 (2,498 Responses)
  1. Peter Griffin

    Dog. The other OTHER white meat. Heh heh heh heh heh heh.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  2. Ridiculous

    With the exposure of horrific animal cruelty in Iowa the past few days, THIS is the "animals as food" article that CNN decides to post on their front page? How about we work on treating the animals in the U.S. being eaten fairly before we start encouraging the factory farming of another species.

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

    I would love to find out how Emily Lonsih tastes!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  4. kori west

    I was watching wife swap once and this vegan mom was living with this family that lived in New Orleans and hunted. There was a little boy of about 9 who had some pets, one was a dog and one was a turtle. the vegan lady asked him if the family was ever starving if he would eat his turttle. He said yes. She then asked if he would ever eat his dog, he said no. When she asked why the difference he responded "cause a turtle is a turtle, a dog is mans best friend." That pretty much sums it up why eating dog is wrong. no other animal on earth has the relationship or is capable of the relastionshipe w/ humans that a dog is capable of.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  5. gilbert

    Totally, completely wrong. And let's have none of this 'cultural relevancy' crap either. Right and wrong are not dependent on what culture you come from. Let's end this nonsense now. Just as it's wrong to subjugate women under any circumstances, religious or otherwise. Let me know who thinks it cool, and I'll make sure to not buy anything from any country that condones or allows this. Period. End of Sentence.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  6. korbobo

    people eat cows and people eat pigs and you are all wooried about dog but pigs are actually smarter than dogs. In all of the factory farms in the united stated more than 90% of animals are abused or mis-treated and the US is not giving the rights to those animals but only to dogs cats horses etc... Meat is Murder.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply

      can i murder you?

      July 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  7. Certified Dietician

    If youre looking for losing weight, try greyhound as there is very low fat and high in protein. Avoid bull dogs as it is high in cholesterol and fats.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  8. Robert

    Unless you are a Vegan (like I am) you really have no way to comment on this without being a gigantic hypocrite.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  9. Certified Dietician

    If youre looking to lose weight and gain more muscle, try greyhound as there is very low fat and high in protein. Avoid bull dogs as it is high in cholesterol and fats.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  10. Joe S

    This article doesn't tell the whole story. In Asia they believe eating dog gives certain health benefits. Before the dog is killed it is beaten and tortured in order to raise the dogs adrenalin level. They believe that eating the dog when it is killed with an elevated adrenalin level gives you strength. So they are not eating dog for sustenance, they are beating them and eating them because of their false beliefs. Its very sick.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  11. Nuclear Threat

    About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

    14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

    15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Acts10

    What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' Mt. 15

    It's a cultural thing and certainly not against God. We shouldn't tell other countries what we feel they should eat/not eat

    July 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      What about when they torture the dog before killing it, and frequently skin it alive? Is that part OK too? Because that is what happens. They believe that raising the adrenalin level of the dog before it dies imparts health benefits to the meat. Does that change your opinion of the practice?

      July 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
      • Nuclear Threat

        Joe, no I dont condone the torture of any animal. If they do that to them then I believe they will one day answer to that, but still not our business. God will judge. It's their way of life, their culture. I do believe all life should be respected and slaughtered as humanely as possible

        July 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Joe S

        Apparently you do condone torture because you said that we should not tell others what they can/can't eat (your words). In this case they are eating animals that have been tortured and then killed. We absolutely SHOULD tell others what they can and can't eat if it is clearly wrong behavior. There is a lot of screwed up cultures out there (including ours) and they should all be corrected.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • oldboldgold

        I certainly hope you do not eat chicken in the United States, because I have worked on production patents for that industry and they take live chickens, hang them on a hook attached to a conveyor, then the chicken trundles around with that hook protruding through its neck until it dies or is killed further down the line. I rarely eat chicken anymore unless I am a guest and it would be offensive to others. We raised chicken when I was a kid, and quickly cut their heads off before processing. I had a pet rooster who followed me around and cuddled with me. I would not discount attachment to any animal, we have more in common with all of them than some think. Still, I cannot be a part of torturing them. Corporate farming is grossly inhumane, and watching cows given growth hormones to produce excessive milk will make you sick to your stomach.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Joe S

        No I do not eat chicken. And I do not eat tortured dogs. Do you have a point? Torturing animals is wrong.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  12. Chris

    If I was visit another country, and Dog was clean/good/etc expression of that country culture. . .I wouldn't have an issue eating it. I draw the line at certain animals (monkey/dolphin/human) due to brain size/genetic similarity. Yet – I dont' see an issue here. . .with dogs. I found it hilarious that someone would say "your are sick" for eating dog, but have no issue with cow, elk, deer, etc. A protein is a protein people. . .at least at this level.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      That dog meat they served you was from a dog that was tortured before killed it, frequently it was skinned alive? Is that part OK too? Because that is what happens. They believe that raising the adrenalin level of the dog before it dies imparts health benefits to the meat. Does that change your opinion of the practice?

      July 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  13. S.Rhea

    For thousands of years we have selectively bred animals like dogs and horses to serve us. As a result, these animals are genetically and psychologically hard-wired to want to please people and/or think of them as their pack/herd. It seems wrong and even exploitive to take an animal we have adapted to those ends and turn it into food. That's my fundamental problem with the practice.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • oldboldgold

      Wolves and wild dogs have very similar social organization to humans, and that is why they adapt so easily to us. I am a bit squeamish about killing an animal that has centuries of breeding to befriend us as their pack. Still, the best answer to nearly every problem on this planet is human birth control and reduction of our numbers. The second answer is bust corporations down into manageable parts because in the United States they have the most vile practices and run unchecked with torturing animals. There seems to be no social control over their practices.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  14. Tomaroo

    We kill cows in VERY nasty ways. In India they are holy. It is a cutrual thing. I only eat fish, and I am sure lots of people have a problem with me doing that. different strokes.....

    July 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  15. John

    Absolutely nothing!
    Theres are three ways to look at this:
    1. Killing: If you belive its wrong then you should be a vegetarian – and many people are. These people have a clear value system whether religious or otherwise.
    2. Cruelty towards advanced animals: If you think you should not kill an advanced animal which has feelings and emotions – you should stick to shrimp, frogs, and fish. Every mammals brain is similar. All mammals have a large part of their brain that is empty and must be filled in by parenting. If not the brain develops abnormally and goes through intense emotional shock. Its perfectly possible to put a human or cow in a closed lifecycle, feed it, clean it, etc and never let it emotionally advance – it will live. The minute you put that animal out in its "society" it dies. That does not apply to reptiles, insects or fish. There is no parenting – its all built in. One of the side-effects is all mammals have emotions like love, fear, anger. So if you eat a pig or a cow then there is no reason from a cruelty standpoint you cant eat a dog.
    3. Cutural Desensitation: If a culture eats one meat and not another then you start thinking its gross to eat something. Take termites; disease free, no cholesterol, protein galore, almost no fat, easy on the environment and by the way taste pretty good. They are one of the easiest and best things to eat. But we arent culturally used to it so we dont. And this 3rd point is the reason the article is written and most of the comments are what they are.

    My advice: accept the world. Eat whatever you want in your house but respect a cultures overall value system. Its equally rude for a Chinese person to eat a dog in the US as an American to ask for a steak in India. Theres absolutely no difference.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Rebecca

      Eating animals isn't a cultural issue....not to be done out of politenesss to another culture! The animals have an interest of their own!!!Christ all this time and we still defer to Descartes dualism.....

      July 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  16. Rae

    Some animals just aren't meant to be eaten, but meant for domestic pets. Poor things.

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

      "meant" by whom? It's a simple cultural difference and one we dont have to join w/ but should respect as their choice

      July 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  17. Lisa

    We as humans have a natural curiosity to develop advanced ways to live our lives for the better. I believe we are being lazy when we make the choice to eat meat. Especially when these horribly unethical industrial farm practices are so easily found in everywhere. These are not secret, we all know the tortured lives these innocent bi standards endure in their shortened lifespans. There are alternatives, much healthier alternatives, but we choose GMOs, over cropping, hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, petrochemicals. Why? Because we don't like to have to think. Eyes are starting to open to the truth of the matter, and change has slowly started. This makes me happy. 🙂 We have the facts, we just need everyone to put them into action.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  18. Bri22

    Even if I was starving to death and my dog was with me, I would rather die than ever harm my dog. They love you like most people don't, and that to me is something sacred and special. I would kill a human before I ever killed a dog.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply

      Agree 100000000000000000000000000000x

      July 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • Nuclear Threat

      Have to respectfully disagree w/ you Bri. I am American thus share similar views as dogs as pets and not food, but in your example starving to death. I'd eat the dog, God gave us animals so we could survive...killing a human first, c'mon that is just ridiculous.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • birdy

        do you also believe in the tooth fairy? sorry but, far too many people use the bible to rationalize cruelty to others. how insane.

        July 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

      @Nuclear Threat
      That's because you haven't loved a dog that much as we have, and I can assure you, dogs are more humble, loyal and more loving to their masters than any human being on this planet 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  19. Griffin

    What's wrong with eating human meat?

    July 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  20. 100 meter runner

    The reason why I eat Greyhound is because it makes me run faster. Try eating it with whole grain rice or multi-grain bread.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  21. CNNot

    there are people with pet fish, pet chickens, pet pigs, pet cows, pet horses, pet sheep, dose that mean it's wrong to eat fish, chicken, pork, beef or lamb? i say, if it's farm raised for the sole purpose of meat, then it would be OK. but eating pets, doesn't matter if it's fish, chicken, pig or dog is a different issue.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  22. MMmm Dog...


    July 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  23. Peter Griffin

    Forget dog, my favorite on the grill is American Bald Eagle, YUM!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply


      July 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  24. Dog

    Majority if not all of the negative remarks are from narrow minded Caucasian Americans.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  25. MMmm Dog...

    I love dogs, I just cant finish a whole one!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  26. Neil IK.

    We can now give up on the human race. We do not eat dogs, because they are sentient beings with a highly developed mind. This is the same reason we eat tuna, but not dophins. You will also notice that China kills many human prisoners each year. You will also noitce in the future that China will suffer a severe collective karma as is happening now in Japan. The real fact of basic morality: Live in such a way as to cause the least amount of pain and suffering to other living beings. This rule is basic in taking the next step in human progress.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • That'snotTrue:[

      Neil, you talk about karma and all that, so , so the US is nextt

      July 1, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  27. happy non-american

    Silly Americans. You do know there is life outside of your country right? Every culture is different.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      And speaking for all of us Americans – we are so happy you are not one of us.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      What about a culture that tortures the dog before killing it, and frequently skin the dog alive believing that the elevated adrenalin level imparts health benefits? Because that is what happens. Am I a silly American to oppose this? If so, call me silly because I think it is sick.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply

      And all cultures are humanity who should care about the planet that has given them too much but they give NOTHING in exchange, no wonder some people consider humanity a virus...

      July 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • j man

        Are you really just that stupid? So you think we shouldnt eat meat, one of the greatest things on earth? Seriously i want to find out where you live and kick your ass so hard your head will be consumed by it and you disappear. Why is it so wrong to enjoy something not to be engulfed in the desire but enjoy it as us humans of a higher intelligence as we should enjoy any aspects of life

        July 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

        If you're a rational person, the ethics and morallity should come first instead of "enjoying all pleasures of life", but I guess you're just too irrational, unethical, ignorant fool to understand it 🙂

        Oh, I just answered your 'insect argument' on the other comment, do your research before you comment on the issues, all insects don't experience pain, they don't even feel many of their environment because they lack of neurological axioms that only mammals posses.

        July 1, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nuclear Threat

      don't label all of us. I understand its a cultural difference and one I must respect, just don't invite me over for dog 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  28. Anthony

    I don't see what's wrong with eating dog, if there not domesticated and were raised to be eaten or in the wild I don't see what's wrong with it. People are too attached to animals.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  29. Lucy

    God created the animals for mankind, however, they each have their own purpose - some for food, some to work and others as companions. Dogs were not meant for food but to work and/or be a companion.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  30. tori

    Enough already! do we have to eat every animal on earth? Aren’t people FAT enough! Leave the poor dogs alone!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
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