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. ricky14

    Emily Lodish & all fucktards like ya Your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory.end of story

    July 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • FBI

      wow, you posted something that wasn't about cannibalism

      July 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  2. SkyJelly

    I am a self rightous zealot and if I dont do it you shouldnt either blah blah blah!

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

    As a Muslim it is forbidden to eat dog so I don't do it, never have, and never will. Having had pet dogs I can't imagine eating them or cats but I don't think you cant make a good argument why you can eat pigs or maybe other animals. I say pigs because they are omnivores like Dogs. Cows only eat grass, you can make an argument for that. Still this is about culture, and western dominated culture that has been imposed on Asian nations. That is what makes this wrong. Hindus would be just as disgusted at you eating a cow.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply

      It's Harram to have a dog as a pet. Check the Ahadith...
      And if a person eat's pig they'll eat anything !!!

      July 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  4. Rufus

    This article was written by an idiot.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      No, it's a bit argumentative and sensational, but factual as well. She explains the dog slaughter and the reasons pro and con, and invites commenters to discuss it. Would you have preferred to go on thinking that nobody ever ate dogs? the article is not pro-dogmeat.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  5. Laura

    They only real reason I can think against eating dog meat is the fact that they were domesticated to become companions and working dogs. Science has shown that dogs can actually "love" (as measured by the production of oxytocin in the brain) a human and a human can love his pet dog. Dogs have evolved to be able to communicate with humans and be their friends and helpers. So essentially their purpose for existing as they are is not to be eaten. Other animals, like cows and pigs, were domesticated to become food. I wouldn't say it goes against nature to eat a dog, but it goes against their essential purpose.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      If hijackers attacked that truck and a dog got loose, odds are that it would instinctively jump to defend the driver against the attackers. That pack instinct "I got yer back, homey!" is why we hooked up with dogs in the first place.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  6. Obi

    In India, cows are considered sacred and are not butchered and eaten!
    The West should stop forcing their logically flawed "moral outrage" unto other people! I don't see Indians camped outside steakhouses protesting here in the US!!!
    This is as much a symptom of Euro-centrism as anything!
    I love dogs! I grew up in a house that always had loveable pet dogs! Most of my childhood memories include our family's German Shepperd! However, I am not STUPID and hypocritical enough to judge others for eating dogs when I choose to eat chicken, beef, pork, lamb etc!
    It is HYPOCRITICAL! Plain and simple!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  7. Maude

    Puppy stew anyone? How about puptarts?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  8. Payman

    This is a stupid article written by a stupid person. CNN, are you kidding me? Did Michael Vick ghost-write this article?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      She's not saying you should eat dogs, man. Good grief. She doesn't approve of it, but notes that it is a widespread practice. Don't be shooting the messenger.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  9. pooch perogies??

    As a former animal rescue tech with the Humane Society my opinion on this is very bias , Eating dogs is wrong IMO , although i see the allure of having food that comes when you call it !! That said ,having been to the worst possible locations and seeing the worst conditions in which some people in this country treat and house their animals , we are no better than those who eat these animals. Millions of unwanted animals are put to death in this country yearly, thousands more starve to death or die from abuse or neglect , not just dogs but every animal you can think of at least one starved to death today, because someone chose not to feed it! I'e seen them beaten,burned,choked,forgotten,shot,infested,you name it, everything from Anaconda's to Zorilla's ( it's a type of weasel) and everytime i see it i think how could someone do this to a helpless animal? but then as i eat my cheesburger lunch i remember how! in Korea and is some parts of China and Japan and well most Asian countries, dog is perfectly acceptable food. Here we eat beef and pig , in India cattle are sacred and the thought of eating one is revolting , in Muslim countries eating pig is concidered unclean, by these standards who are we to judge? I can only hope these animals are treated well prior to their killing and that the killing is done in a humane fashion!! but who knows ? I hope the same for our Chickens, Pigs , and Cattle but who knows ? my guess is that they are not ! take Veal for example before you condem the Korean's for eating dog Google the process for growing Veal , then head to the nearest Olive Garden for some Parmesan! Again my opinion ,eating dog is wrong , but if my family was starving ,come here boy!!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • DRB

      It is not done in a humane fashion – the conditions are as bad if not worse than puppy mills, only it ends in deliberate torture

      July 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  10. Istrt

    Here's my question: Millions of Dogs are being killed in Shelters in US, why not use that meat to feed the needy ones who can't afford to buy a single meal a day? I am completely against any sort of cruelty but that meat is gonna get wasted, why not use it for a good purpose.

    But as far as I'm concerned, I'd never touch that meat for whole different reasons.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      There's you answer: we don't eat dog meat because we don't eat dog meat. "Welcome to the night shelter, bums and hoboes. Tonight we're feeding you derelicts a stew made of dogs, because you are homeless." No thanks, and they ALL walk out.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  11. A. Chatelain

    Dogs re not eaten ecause they are the most loyal (that's LOYAL) to the human being of any other animal. Dogs help us survive. To kill and eat them would be an act of murder and utter cruelty.and betrayal. Dogs would give up their lives for us;out of LOYALTY and we should return that favor.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • UnivPress

      Dogs are loyal to stay a live. We, the arrogant humans have brought them out of their habitat, taking away their natural self preservation and have forced them to become dependent on us to stay alive. They know without us they die of starvation and therefore they act loyal and possibly give their lives to save ours. This is not intelligence or real human version of loyalty but it is pure animal instinct,,,

      Dogs are no different than any other animal! If you eat any meet you should stop blaming South Koreans for eating Dog Meat...

      July 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  12. Dude

    Emotions aside. I can understand and even extend a little sympathy to our Korean allies because their culture condones eating dog. I hope they are able to make changes internally to their society. But, I have a real problem with Americans who think it is o.k. to eat dog meat because it's all relative and they do it in Korea. If an American goes to Korea and eats dog, then truly he or she is lost. As an American, you should not violate American customs and morals just because you go overseas.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      "then truly he or she is lost." You are an extremely judgmental guy, and I think you are getting a little too close to it.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  13. Deep

    Someone commented everything is ok as long as your at the top of the food chain, and they are right. We rationalize and judge, but as soon OUR lives are in danger, it's a different story. If a tiger or a great white shark eats one of your family members, I doubt the "well that's the food chain" arguement would go over very well.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  14. Dude

    BTW, this story is the worst example of trolling that I have ever seen on CNN.com.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  15. dogs

    There's nothing morally wrong with eating dogs. It's just culturally we have grown attached to dogs, perceiving them as companions rather than food. It's the same with cats, horses, etc. Many people don't eat beef, because it is considered sacred.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  16. Mick

    I'd post a comment based in anthropology, biology and morality but, I feel like it would be wasted on most of you morons...

    July 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  17. Jake Hunter

    There are a lot of animals much smarter than dogs that humans eat. Companionship is also a poor reason not to eat the meat as well. Many people- myself included keep chickens as pets for their eggs. I still eat chicken. It's idiotic that eating dog is opposed/illegal.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  18. Puppy

    Why not eat South Koreans instead? Higher in protein and worthless otherwise. Or maybe BBQ Newborn babies...you could have a fine rib festival with those. Eating dogs is a savage practice and any culture that does so should be exterminated down to the last fetus.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Cass314

      Why, precisely? Humans regularly consume animals which are more intelligent than many breeds of dog (pigs, for example), which have been similarly raised and altered for domestication. Do you have any sort of ethical argument for your position, or are you just making an emotional outburst because you're used to thinking of a dog as a pet? What about cultures that consider other animals sacred or pets and eat dogs–do they get to turn around and say the US should be exterminated "to the last fetus" because our social mores are different than theirs with respect to which animals are sacrosanct?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      Try to take the moral high ground on stuff like this, pup. When you start out saying we should kill and eat THEM, you make them look better than you because they are just eating dogs. It's like "I'm a baby-killer and I think you should be like me." If eating dogs is wrong, it's wrong; threatening them doesn't make your terms more exact. And they don't all even like dog, so going medieval on them all would be like bombing the whole US just to get the Lady GaGa fans.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • spammerstakeahike

      @Puppy – let's not revert into racism here. Pardon me, but in America anywhere between 3-4 millions of pets are abandoned every year. Systematical torture of cattle, approved by the industry is happening 24/7. I don't hate Americans because I know most are decent loving people.

      Did you know your pork was produced this way?


      July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  19. RK

    Go veggie... problem solved.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  20. Cass314

    Many pigs are smarter than most breeds of dog. There's no real ethical difference between eating dog and pork; we're just used to thinking of them as pets.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • spammerstakeahike

      @Cass314 – I agree. Pigs are intelligent animals and should be treated as such.

      But when people say dogs are man's best friend, it's not just empty words. Take a look at the video clip I posted showing a typical dog farm in Korea. I reckon there are 70+ dogs there, and virtually every one of them welcomes the camera man, wagging their tails and want to establish contact. It's their instinct to wanting to be close to humans.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  21. Benny

    Emily lodish, you wrote a article like this in the US without taking side and you ask what really wrong? To a degree, you could argue that nothing wrong since they are just 'meat', right or wrong is determine by the public acceptance! There's more people in the US believe that's wrong, so that's wrong.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • German Shepherd

      Good man. Benny, I gotta go, can you take over pointing out to these nuts that Lodish is NOT saying we should go eat a dog?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  22. Steve Portaro


    July 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Dean Swift

      Hey, that's MY modest proposal.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  23. BD70

    Kind of like eating your young isn't it?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  24. Dude

    As a Southerner, my ancestors did something morally wrong by keeping slaves. We were invaded, our cities were burned, and we were forcibly set on a different path by extremely judgemental people. Was it wrong to keep slaves? It was part of our culture. In Germany, they decided to gas the Jews and the Gypsies. That was part of their culture. Where does it stop. At some point, someone has to be judgmental. It might as well be me. If you eat dogs, I think you are barbaric and, when possible, I would rather not buy products from you.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Yeah, I live in the South, and you are right; they had to nail us to the cross before even half of us admitted we'd been penning and driving humans as cattle and even today they fly that flag and insist they were right. Changing a culture is hard.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • Dude

        Exactly, nobody cut the American South any slack. So, if other cultures do morally reprehensible things like fly planes into buildings, eat dogs, or sell 9-year-old girls into the sex trade, there is NO reason to cut them any slack. We don't have to look the other way and say, "When in Korea, do as the Koreans..."

        July 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  25. Al

    This is actually a valid moral question that I've asked myself many times, and a worthwhile discussion to have in this country. We make value judgements as to which animals are acceptable to eat, but the line really is totally subjective. In the US we find eating dogs and cats to be repugnant, but in other countries these animals are not given the same place in people's homes, therefore, they aren't viewed as "companions." Pigs are actually smarter than dogs and can be just as loving and playful with humans. If you raise a pig with kindness it will bond with you the same way a dog will. Pigs are also closer to humans biologically, yet most Americans have no problem eating bacon. Eating cows is horrifying to people in some countries, yet we do not hold them in any kind of regard. To them, we seem like the savages. I do not eat pigs because of their intelligence. I admit to some hypocrisy here because my attempts to become a total vegetarian throughout my life have failed. I admit that I am weak. I like cheeseburgers and steaks A LOT, so it's a constant struggle. I do feel bad eating animals though, so will try and try again. For a while I didn't eat anything I wouldn't be willing to kill myself, which left me with fish and chicken. My long term goal is to eventually get to the point where I don't eat anything that will try to escape if someone attempts to eat it. People can make the argument that humans are designed to be omnivores, but most of us don't need to consume flesh in order to be healthy anymore. Obviously, not everyone has a choice, due to finances and availability, but most Americans can get whatever they want at the local grocery store. We choose to kill and consume other creatures, but most of us do it simply because they taste good. To give some animals status over others seems a bit empty to me, but I understand it. I'd never eat a dog because they are cute, but at least I know that isn't the best reason to give.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  26. kayla

    This is one of the worst things that I have seen!!! Find another source of food or quit populating as fast as you do!!! This will not help your relationship with the United States!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  27. Maude

    Eat em all you retards. Dogs, pigs , maggots, roaches and your own feces.
    Rapture is coming soon ! I am tired of the human species. I say kill them by flooding and deases. Let the dogs rome free.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      With a mouth that that, you should be afraid of the rapture. Whoever raised you did a bad job. People irritate me too, but they are the only people we've got. Get away from the keyboard and go talk to some humans. We aren't so bad.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  28. Fractal

    No wonder why on Earth we have microscopic bugs that can convert animals (including humans) in to dead meat in just a few days. All part of the natural balance, especially, when some neurons get wacky!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  29. Katherine

    Well that just took South Korea off my "to visit" list. I almost didn't open the article to read because I knew it'd make me sick.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  30. Max the Dog

    Hi, this is your pet dog Max. Thought I'd write a little note. I got together with the German Shepherd next door and that little Wire-haired Terrier across the street and we decided to eat your kids. It was fun running them down. Hope you don't mind. Thanks.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Passle of Kids

      Hey Max, when you have some spare time could you and your buddies stop by my house please? When you're done if there is anything left I will fix you up some "doggie bags" to take home for the rest of your friends! 🙂

      July 1, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
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