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 (2,494 Responses)
  1. Delliana of the Sea

    What's wrong with eating humans?

    July 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  2. DUH

    Why cant any of you see past your own little world ? Jews wont eat pork, In India cows are sacred and it would be unthinkable to eat one, in eastern Europe it is common to eat horse. what makes you think your own culture is a universal truth ?

    July 1, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Arch Stanton

      That's right, Duh. In some cultures children are beaten to a pulp and in others they are not. And in some cultures women are brutalized by their husbands and in some cultures they are not. And it's ALL good and wonderful. What a wonderfully diverse world we live in!

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

    Nuke those dog-killing bastards. There should be countries that will kill, barbeque, and serve KOREANS for dinner

    July 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • April

      Can we not teach these ignorant people to come out of the "cave-man days" and join the 20th century? Of course what do we expect from the same people that kill their babies if their female? My God, they have so much to learn and meanwhile these poor innocent animals are being killed and eaten by these horrible people!!!!! God save your four legged creatures from these barbarians!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  4. Ousal Dove

    DOGS ARE NOT MY BEST FRIEND !!! I have been bitten by dogs many many many times, I figure it's time I bight back!!! Servem up !!!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Alan

      All dogs are not the same.
      I dont want to see nice dogs suffer. But I understand your plight, and agree .. I want to see vicious dogs(Pit bulls) put down.. eaten i dont care about bad animals.
      So i guess my position is.. nice dogs don't deserve to be eaten.. but the mean dogs.. grill em!.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  5. leeeeee

    American people eat hot dog. It's a dog, no?

    July 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  6. Lana

    Eating dog is just wrong. They are our companions, mans best friend, not meat to be eaten.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  7. Harald

    Larry, that's total BS !
    Every society does some things and doesn't do others. Just because you live in a society that doesn't eat dogs doesn't mean that other societies that do aren't civilized. For Hindus, the cow is holy. What do you think there opinion might be about savage westerners eating a juicy steak ?
    Larry, try to be open minded. You and your habits are not the point of reference for humanity in general, but just a tiny segment of its diversity.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  8. sarah

    this is one of the worst articles I have ever seen promoted on CNN, and the company should be ashamed of themselves. it's disgusting, morally wrong, and completely offensive and inhumane. absolutely shameful CNN!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      CNN is not saying we should eat dogs. Good heavens! They are saying hey, did you know they eat dogs in Korea? And that there is an anti-dogmeat backlash now? It's GOOD news, cheer up. Shoot the messenger much?

      July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  9. tom

    Koreans are nice people and I love this country . The only issue still remains, cruelty to animals should be stopped in China Korea and any other country . Such a lovely country and God bless people of Korea. There are now a lot of movement in this country for this. Also I say more attention should be toward China than Korea

    July 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  10. Gary

    Dogs in Korea, horses in France, calves (veal) in the US, llamas in Brazil, people in New Guinea ...

    Just because U.S. culture does not endorse the idea does not mean it's wrong. By our standards it may be disgusting, but our standards and theirs apparently differ on this topic. Maybe we should simply endorse the idea of a decent life while alive because ultimately all stock animals, including dogs, are fated to be eaten. Soooo, before we do too much complaining about the dog "industry" in Korea, maybe we should take a look at the veal industry here in the US. The conditions for most calves is abominable. Look it up. You know, clean up your own house before you scream about the condition of someone else.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Joe S

      How about we scream about the mistreatment of both calves AND dogs at the same time? People with brains can typically handle more than one thing at a time.

      July 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  11. stacey

    This is the most ridiculous and horrible thing I have read in a long time. Dogs have always been bred for human companionship. Not for meat. This sickens me and is one of the reasons I will never travel to the far east. If Is aw someone selling dogs and cats for meat, I would end up fighting the sellers of these animals until one of us died. I will never get over how most humans think.... Just because we are at the top of the food chain and run things on this planet, doesn't give us the right to exploit any other living creature. Everything on this planet has a right to live. Period. This is disgusting and something I will fight to end for the rest of my life.....
    SHAME ON PEOPLE WHO EAT AND FARM DOGS & CATS..... OR ANY ANIMAL FOR THAT MATTER.....
    HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE PEOPLE!!!!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      Stacey, they aren't horrible people. If they were, this would be a different article. What we are trying to wrap our heads around here is the idea that perfectly nice people sit around the dinner table asking how was work and what did you do in school today junior, and they are eating a dog. They went to the dog department at the Korean WalMart and got some frozen roast dog. It's not wrong to them and they aren't eating a pet, but still, EWWW!

      July 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Cracking up

      Don't get too upset. I'm sure there's quite a bit in your life that is derived from animals. I'm also sure you were born with the same teeth as everyone else that developed to rip flesh apart for consumption. As for me. I'm going to enjoy a nice slab of BBQ ribs over the holiday. I'll probably even share some bones with my dogs and go ride my horses.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
      • Alan

        I'm also sure you were born with the same teeth as everyone else that developed to rip flesh apart
        Pandas also have teeth, but thats for eating bamboo.
        Giraffes, cows,rabbits, horses have teeth too, for eating plant based food.
        so the teeth=carnivore argument is not true.

        July 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • @alan

        Look up incisors. They are used for tearing off meat. The herbivores you are referencing do not have them.

        July 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  12. New 4th of July tradition

    Thats it, in honor of all you over the top dog lovers, I am going to have dog for dinner on independence day !

    July 1, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  13. bx10458

    Disgusting and upsetting. I hope every kid on the internet sees this story so they can be the spark to stop this utterly cruel practice. I cannot stand cruelty in any form. Veg is the way to go, so i'm realizing more and more.....

    July 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  14. snowboarder

    there is nothing morally wrong with eating dogs. they are just another animal that we have domesticated and some cultures have given a more coddled place in society.

    when i grew up on the farm we were not allowed to name the livestock. once you get too attached to your food it is hard to do the work of the slaughter.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  15. plus

    It makes it ten times worse if the dogs are inhumanely killed. Someone mentioned that we mistreat cows and pigs before death. Well, doing so doesn't make it right for anyone inhumanely slaughter meat dogs. Inhumane slaughter shouldn't exist anywhere.

    July 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  16. Brian

    unless you are a strict vegetarian, it is just food prejudice (and/or cultural chauvinism) to say there is anything wrong with eating dogs. Americams are so narrow minded on almost all fronts other than their very wide approval of worshipping unlimited acquisition of all material things. Most Europeans eat horse, many many people eat insects etc

    July 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  17. Mandie and Mason

    You ask why we shouldn't eat dog, I ask you why we should? A picture is worth a thousand words and the one above says a lot. The dog in that photo is stretching it's head to get affection. Cows do not do that. Chickens do not do that. Fish do not do that. Yes pigs are very smart and a lot of people choose not to eat them. I think it's funny CNN calls eating them a delicacy. I have a Korean brother in law and from my understanding eating dog started out of poverty. According to him most still find eating dogs an embarrassment. Dogs work very hard for us. They find bombs before they have a chance to kill our soldiers. They get drugs and criminals off the street. They go in to places we can not reach. They love us more than we love one another. They protect us and our property. They offer companionship to people that have been left alone. They are eyes to people who can not see. The list goes on. They never leave our side. Even when their humans pass away, some wait for days for them to come back home. When a cow, chicken, or fish does that I will stop eating them.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  18. Indy

    I've eaten out a few Koreans, and they tasted like dog.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  19. Ughhh. I'm Korean and am disgusted

    My parents or extending family never ate dog when they were in Korea. This is sick because I only thought this happened during the Korean War.

    Wow, I can't believe their is such a thing like this event.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  20. shellyb1025

    Its a pet not a source of food! this is disgusting! how could you eat a dog! MEAT iS NOT MEAT MEAT IS A COW< CHICKEN< DUCK< PIG! NOT DOG! PEOPLE WHO EAT DOG FOR THE HELL OF IT NEEDS TO GET SLAP ACROSS THE HEAD!!

    July 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      shelly, they aren't eating them for kicks, and they don't see them as pets. It's horrible to us but it doesn't make them bad people; the world is full of odd contradictions. If you notice, they are beginning to see our point and eat dog less.

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

    Your culture is your truth. Don't let someone tell you that it is o.k. to eat dogs just because it's another culture. If you are an American and you think eating dogs is o.k., you need to replace your moral compass. When you travel overseas, you need to maintain your American sense of civilization and morality. Globalization doesn't make other cultures any more civilized. And, extending understanding to those who eat dogs, bush meat, or any other uncivilized foods, doesn't make you worldly. It makes you twisted and gross. It's not all good. Sometimes other cultures are barbaric.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • queenbee

      Stop the ethnocentrism. We must practice the rules of the land we are in–or do we want people to engage in ethnic hatred and honor killings when they come here (taking THEIR culture with them) the fact is–there is NO SUCH THING as "civilized food" Years ago, tomatoes were considered poisonous and in many parts of Europe, corn is considered pig food, Indians think the West are depraved for eating beef. There is just food. INdeed people need to respect the culture they are from and others need to honor it when they are here but that is as far as it goes.

      There is no depraved food- there is only food –the "rules" depend on the culture and the culture depends on the country. What Americans and some of the west need to accept is that the rules in your country are not the rest of the worlds, and no deity has ever come down and proclaimed the West to be the arbiters of either mores or morals for the earth. They are our customs–so don't eat dog –but if a person goes to Korea and wants to–let them "when in Rome, do as the Romans–as long as they remember that when they come back–dogs are not for eating here.

      Other than that–mind your own business and leave the world to mind theirs. America is NOT a paragon of virtue or by dint of our recent actions around the world –we are not even great examples of morality–unless we ignore a lot to embrace our recent lies, torture and illegal invading and killing people policies.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • DK

      Git your head out of your arse... I understand what your saying, but to judge what is barbaric in another country... you're full of yourself if you think that way. You iiigggnant.... I don't care for monkey brains, dogs, cats, frogs, but I don't pass judgement on others based on my beliefs... You sound like those European explorers back in the days when they went around the world and called the natives "barbaric". I guess somethings don't change. Have some respect for others. I respect everyone even if they don't eat meat, gay, Muslim, worship cows, eat dogs, eat cats, eat McDonalds, etc as long as I get the same respect. Don't pass judge on others unless they have passed judge on you.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  22. retspool

    i dont eat dogs cause they are cute, but i do eat chihuahas

    July 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  23. Tony

    Why no tears for Cows, Fish and Chicken. Just because one type of meat is palatable to one group doesn't mean its the same for everyone. When you get right down to it, while a great deal of the world views dogs as pets the reality is its a choice. Some people keep Chickens as pets.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Mandie and Mason

      Maybe it has nothing to do with the meat and every thing to do with morals. I will tell you why I do not shed tears for cows or chickens because the police do not have a "cow" unit but a K-9 unit. There is no such thing as a "seeing eye chicken" but dogs lead the blind every day. There is no such thing as a "therapy fish" but therapy dogs go in to nursing homes and other places to comfort the sick. I think you need some time alone with your thoughts.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  24. queenbee

    In speaking of the use of eggs or fetal calf serum in medicine, I am speaking ONLY to biologics and not to pharmaceuticals made from inorganics or those made from RCD (recombinant DNA) The fact is, from cosmetics, to candy, to gelatin and many food products (including those Micky D fries with the beef tallow flavor) there are animal products in them–but for the "saved lives" remark–one cow can be used in so many ways and can save so many lives that if one dog was the "hero of the year" they could NEVER save as many lives as that one animal.

    You can love your pet and fiercely want to promote why it is better than any other–but be aware of what we do with animals–from eating them to using them in medicine or using them to feed your dog–all animals should be respected. And if you have had vaccines-then you have benefited from pigs, chickens, and cows for that vaccine. BANK on it.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  25. MICHAEL WHITE

    This is just plum sic, mann. Dog is mann's best friend, not mann's best food. It's just one set above child porn. You don't eat mann's best friend. Just plain sic!!

    July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  26. Steve T.

    It is hard to come up with a counter argument for one reason that challenges people: killing animals for our taste buds is wrong.

    Pigs and cows are extremely intelligent: pigs can use cursors to click images on a computer, cows enter deep depression for months when their calves are taken away at dairy farms. There are videos of all of them being slaughtered on Youtube, including dogs and cats, and I have to say the dog, cat, dolphin ones are harder to watch, but it doesn't change the truth of what happens at slaughter houses in the US. Not saying this to guilt trip anyone, it's just the truth.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  27. aaron

    some religion worship cow and consider eating beef a taboo. so is it wrong for us to eat beef? what's wrong, what's right is all up to the individual. To all the people who say this is wrong, you can express your view but you have no right to stop others from eating dog meat.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  28. wat

    thats mans best friend you sick nips

    July 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  29. Soph

    Unbelievable, the hard hearts some people have. To mistreat and butcher any animal that seeks comfort in humans is an indication of the poor health of the soul of the human that could do it. There is such a thing a karma and I only hope it comes back 1,000 fold.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • DK

      Trust me, dogs are not mistreated in Korea. Karma? So i'm guessing the plants and the cows that you eat will get you someday? LMAO From what I know.... Koreans like they dogs "free range", just like wild game here in the states. I don't know about these fanatics who love the taste of a wild game, but I don't... I like my meat processed and packaged with no eyes looking at me, only fish I can stand being stared at. From my experience, a stray dog would be fed dried anchovies for at least 24 hours to clean out their system and then killed.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Joe S

        DK – please stop your spin control.

        They are not "strays" who are "fed dried anchovies for 24 hours". Nice try – did the Ministry of Culture come up with that one?

        This is how the dogs are prepared:
        1) It is kept in a small cage with other dogs
        2) The dog to be prepared is bound and hung by its hindquarters
        3) The dog is then beaten with a stick
        4) The dog is then skinned alive, typically by burning off the skin

        This is done to elevate the level of adrenalin because they believe that this will give the consumer of the meat increased libido and strength.

        July 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  30. Tyler

    Before I say this I don't eat dogs and I have a chiuahuah as a pet and I had a yellow lab and I love them both, but you are forgetting that not all cultures are the same. Would I eat dog...probably not, but that's because in America we don't do that. On the same hand we eat hamburgers and steak but you wouldn't offer someone from india a cow to eat, nor would you offer a vegan a steak. Dogs are animals, just like cows, so what's odd to us maybe just another food in another country.

    July 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
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