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. makak

    It's funny how many of you couldn't ever imagine eating a dog, but can't understand why a Hindu doesn't eat meat, particularly beef. It's about the animals that you respect. The western world respects dogs and cats because those are the pets they keep and know best, but have no problem eating cows, pigs, chicken, etc because they don't really care for them. In other cultures, all animals are treated with equal respect and therefore people don't eat any animals (i.e. Hindus/India). In other cultures, nobody keeps pets and therefore, they'll eat anything, including dogs and cats.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  2. Nate

    This article is so stupid. The author purposely chose a controversial topic to get a rise from all the users.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  3. chieatfetus

    SO WRONG!!! ...and chinese eat human baby fetuses

    July 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  4. truth

    All meat is murder. Simple as that. Justify it as you will. And if you can.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • Nuclear Threat

      God gave us the animals to kill, eat, and survive. If it were against God I would not, but I have better understanding Thank God ! I respect your choice however

      July 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • birdy

        an invisible man in the sky gave you the right to be cruel to others? wait... i'm getting something right now.... i hear it so clear... another invisible man in the sky is telling me that it's wrong to kill animals. how can you argue with that?

        July 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • .

      by definition the word "murder" only applies to the killing of humans.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • truth

        Some would call your definition a "legal" definition for use in court. Merriam-Webster.com agrees with your legal definition but also describes murder as "something outrageous or blameworthy". Dictionary.com agrees with your legal definition but also describes murder as "to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously" which is the what I intended to convey by using it. I was not making a legal point, but a moral and ethical one.

        July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  5. Asian

    What you americans do not know is that the dog possesses powerful nutrients and helps libido. It is a known fact that eating dog will give you strength and longevity.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      Especially if you torture it before you kill it. Isn't that true? Isn't that what you believe – that a tortured dog imparts strength and libido elements to the meat? You seem to have not mentioned that part of it. I wonder why.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • birdy

      then why do asians have the least s3x of all races on the planet? guess dog isn't working.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • SkyJelly

        Hmm... lets see... Asians make up roughly sixty percent of the world population... yeah you must be right.... very little sex with those stats.... moron

        July 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • cherie

      lift waits, exersice, take youe DOG for a walk

      July 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • chieatfetus

      yeah, that's why chinese love 'baby soup'.....eating human baby fetuses

      July 1, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  6. VHarmony


    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
    Mahatma Gandhi

    July 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  7. Al

    If it is moral and reasonable to eat a pig or a cow it is moral and reasonable to eat a dog or a horse.
    As far as I'm concerned no meat eater has any grounds to be appalled at the slaughter and butchering of dogs and horses.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      What about the torture of the dog before it is killed? Am I allowed to be appalled at that? Because that is what happens. They do not simply slaughter the dog – they beat it and typically skin it while it is alive. You only know half of the story.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  8. VHarmony

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
    Mahatma Gandhi

    July 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  9. yamamoto

    Ever try KOBE dog? They feed the dog beer instead of water. Truly deee-LISH!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  10. noname

    Where are you all when human being are ding in Africa and rest of the world because of hunger.., Try to show sympathy and donate.. I don't say dog eating is good, but if you can raise voice for a animal being killed, why can you raise voice against the WAR & poverty.. where a lot of innocent lives are buttered ....??????????

    July 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • noname


      July 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • Amiee

      People are helping Africa all the time. It Humans are very ugly to each other, but we know the reasons. However, animals are more innocent than humans (except maybe small children). There is no shortage of human compassion, but the lack of compassion for animals WORLD WIDE is appalling. I would help an animal over a human any day, but that's just me.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • birdy

      this is ALWAYS the stupidest argument some idiot ALWAYS makes. just because you're dumb doesn't mean everyone else doesn't worry about more than one subject. sorry you're too simple-minded to comprehend that. the rest of us know how to care about more than one thing at once.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Linda

      You morons that are so concerned about all the starving children in Africa and everywhere else....They are starving because the grain that can be used to feed them is being used to feed cows, pigs and chickens so that the selfish humans in the world can satisfy their fat bellies. Then meat is fed to dogs so that these sub human dog-eaters can eat them. Take away the meat and there will be enough grain to feed the starving plus a lot less strain on the worlds natural resources. Your argument that man has always hunted for food is also invalid. Our ancestors lived in caves so just because they did, does that mean we need to? Meat is not necessary forhuman survival- eating meat causes cancer, diabetes, obesity and other disease so get off the meat and save the planet!1

      July 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  11. Coolius Unroolius

    Most of you people are so ethnocentric and have no experience around other animals. The arguments trying to show dogs as being more intelligent or sentient than other creatures clearly shows a lack of knowledge in the field of animal psychology. Most cultures don't eat dogs for cultural reasons and that is that. Go back to university and study animal psychology or zoology if you want to understand which species are more intelligent.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  12. Inupaaq

    CORRECTION ! – Dogs ARE (Or at least, WERE) Eaten on Indian Reservations.
    Had a full-blood 'Indian' from the Lower 48 States that was raised on an Indian Reservation before he became a teacher and began teaching for the BIA in Alaska.
    HE surprised me by telling me that my young Sled Dogs "...looked delicious..." – as he grew up practicing a Custom and Tradition of eating 5-6-Month old dogs on an Indian Reservation.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • birdy

      they don't eat dogs on my reservation or any other i've ever seen. please don't use one guy you knew to make blanket statements about all of us.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  13. MorallyWrong

    I regret reading this article as I'll probably have nightmares about it. But even more, I regret reading some of the comments related to this article because it's made me realize how heartless and selfish some of my fellow human beings can be towards the plight of helpless, innocent domesticated animals here in America and around the world.

    Anyone who eats or condones eating dog or cat meat obviously has a tremendous lack of morals and most definitely, no heart. Makes me sick.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      It's not 'wrong,' just different. We put dogs down in shelters who actually WERE pets, that's worse. But I think when "Garfield" says that you should definitely eat dogs, you shouldn't get too upset. Nobody's eating dogs here, or seriously saying we should eat dogs, and in fact, they are saying that less dogs are being eaten in China and Korea.

      July 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  14. j man

    Sometimes i wish the world would go back to survival of the fittest so all the the dumb ass people would die, and the world would only progress itself

    July 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply

      Hope you don't eat your mother for lunch sweetie 😉

      July 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
      • German Shepherd

        You and jman should get a room. You fight like old married people.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

        @German Shepherd LOL I know, CNN should put private rooms in their comment sections 🙂

        July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  15. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Dogs were domesticated to be pets. Most are not a wild species. Most edible animals are wild animals or non domesticated pets. Sick to eat pets, messed up!

    July 1, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  16. Laura

    Dogs and horses have a special place in human history. They were along side humans while we evolved and it could be argued that they even helped us evolve. Perhaps this is why they are the two species that most people can agree should be placed in a separate category from other domesticated animals. They are companions, our friends, not food.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  17. Torka

    But its their culture and you cannot change that if your an outsider/foreigner. If they like to eat dogs, let them eat dogs. If your a animal lover, just don't bother visit the place. Can they change? Hell no. Why? They are so use to it that its part of their history. There are some of them that won't eat it but the majority are. If you want to change that culture, just go over there and yell at them in person. Other than that, there are people out here won't change their culture to kill animals for food and by animals, all the animals you can think of is being killed as we speak. Do we care? No unless we have footage of it or someone talks about it.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  18. Jinx

    The reason Western civilization find it horrifying is that Dogs express their emotions quite well or rather easily recognizable by common human being (smiley faces, wagging tails, sad sympathetically faces). That doesn't mean other animals with stiff faces don't have emotions for us. Same applies for Dolphins as well I believe. They connect well with our emotions and communications. That's all. There is nothing wrong or right in eating them.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  19. seatrout

    AR, you said it all

    July 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  20. forwardbias

    Eating carnivorous/omni animals (dogs, cats etc) should be banned because it can bring in disease of other animals. Only chicken/pigs raised in a controlled herbivorous environment should be considered.
    BTW, how does a dog taste?

    July 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  21. Hali

    Chinese friend of mine told me once that there is a saying in China that Chinese eat everything with four legs except a table.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  22. Maude

    Try this:
    1lb of fresh dog meat. Heat little olive oil in a wok. Place dog meat in the wok and let is simmer for three minutes. Add half a clove garlic, two teaspoon sugar, some ginger and fresh onion (to taste). Add two tablespoon soy sauce.
    Add chilli paste to taste. Serve with rice or noodles. Yum Yum enjoy.

    For desert some monkey turd on a tick.

    July 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  23. Luke

    Thats messed up. its not so much about eating the dogs, but you can see that they are in terrible conditions, just by looking how dirty the dog is. I would say the same thing about anything, cows, pigs, chickens, etc... Its just as bad as those meat farms for cows where the cows can barely stand due to being crammed in so close to each other. Dogs are smarter than those animals as well and they are still being treated poorly, even if they do end up being slaughtered,

    July 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  24. So Much Xenophobia

    Just because we're emotionally tied to our dogs, that doesn't give us the right to call others "monsters" or savages because they believe it's okay to eat them. Many cultures view ALL animals, not just pigs and cows, as fodder. While I would not eat a dog, I don't harbor ill-will towards anyone who would. There are just some cultural differences that the average American are incapable of grasping. After all, why would we know anything about the dietary predilections of a country most of our young people can't even find on a map?

    July 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  25. Nuclear Threat

    off subject a bit, I'm not a seafood guy and I still find it rather gross and a bit inhumane actually (when you think about it) that ppl boil lobsters alive. To each their own however, its just not for me.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  26. doug o

    Before you judge this try being poor and hungry. Try seeing your children go hungry. Try living in less than deplorable conditions for generations. Not just for a day but for lifetimes. Then jusge what you would be willing to eat to survive and see your family fed. See a possible food source and say "no better that my children go hungry because that's my puppy". Don't sit eating your steak and judging what you know nothing about. You fu(king know nothings!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      Do you really believe Asians are eating DOGS because they are poor and have no other source of sustenance? Are people really that stupid?

      July 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • doug o

        No idiot! But you have to recognize where things that are culturally accetable stem from. Just because Pathmark is down the street from you does not mean the world was always that way. We throw live lobsters and crabs into boiling water that sits well with you? You are precisely the type of person I meant by "fu(king idiots".

        July 1, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
      • Joe S

        They aren't eating dogs because they have no other option – even historically. What they believe is if they torture the dog before killing that the elevated adrenalin level imparts health benefits to the meat. IT IS NOT EATEN FOR PROTEIN OR SUSTENANCE. It is specifically eaten because they believe tortured dog meat will give them libido and strength. Please know something about the topic before commenting.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
      • doug o

        You know cows are "holy" in to some in India yet we slaughther and eat them in Western Culture. All I am saying is to keep your moral judgements to yourself or are you one of those social liberal tree huggers that knows better than everyone else what is good for them? Are you in with the "nature should have legal rights" crowd?

        July 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
      • Joe S

        No I will not keep my moral judgements to myself. When there is injustice it should be addressed. Sorry buddy!

        July 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  27. Michele Howard

    The sickest article CNN could post. Dogs are mans best friend. Whats with this disgusting article!-PULL IT!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Nuclear Threat

      Ms Howard I wanted to feel the same originally due to the place dogs are esteemed here in America, but I'm finding this article is at least interesting in opening up a discussion b/c who's to say what we eat here is ok and what they eat there is wrong? neither is against God, it's a cultural difference- one we should respect

      July 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  28. seatrout

    I also agree with TEXAS we eat Grass eating animals not meat eating preditors.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  29. Siriaka

    I know that is sounds crude to eat a dog, but 3rd world countires do not view dogs in the same manner we do. In fact in these countries it's not uncommon to run over a dog just for fun. I would rather see a dog being farmed for food then being savagely persecuted just for the hell of it. There's inhumane and human. Human's hunt animals for food, inhumane is mistreatment of animals.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      But they are being savagely persecuted. They are purposefully tortured before they are killed. The author left that part out of the article – she has probably never been to Asia.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
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