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 (2,494 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    I think that only vegetarians should be critical of eating dogs. Meat eaters eat a lot of cute and cuddly animals.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      I eat mostly chicken and fish; you cuddle chickens? Hug fish? Maybe a really young cow might be cute, but the big ones are like dumpsters with eyes.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  2. vince

    I think it's really strange when people get Anthropological all of a sudden and anti-imperalist and start spouting off things like "What right do we have to tell people that yadda yadda". The answer of course that we have EVERY right to speak out against killing and eating of dogs. We created dogs (most breeds are the result of Roman women's activities) from their Wolf brethren. We've so modified and changed them to be intelligent and useful companions that it's now in their DNA. They are basically born trusting of humans and wanting to be faithful companion pets to the human species - it's part of who they are and we made them that way. Eating something that only want to be your friend, REALLY wants to be your friend, help around the farm, guard homes, watch over children and isalmost completely incapable of surviving on it's own deserves our protection and support regardless of whether it infringes on cultural food norms. Save a dog, eat a chicken.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  3. Jesse R

    Stop pushing your world view on us here in America.... the rest of you need to be more like us, not the other way around. WE DON'T EAT DOGS in America...period. Be civilized. Its bad enough I have to put up with third-world behavior on a daily basis here in Los Angeles. Lets keep some things American.... please!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  4. Kevin

    What's wrong with eating dog meat?

    EVERYTHING!!!!!

    Dogs are better than people in every possible way!

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

    It's sad that humans have long used animals for food, sport, amusement, work, etc. If you want some real education, just do a little research about how food animals are raised. Dogs were bred for many things that humans wanted, warmth, security, protection, etc. now food, too. What a disappoinment that we have to put them on a plate as well. Just another example of humans all for themselves. For the record, I am a vegetarian.

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

    There go those pesky American Liberal Fascists again – dictating to the rest of the world how to live American style. It's just plain sick. It's time we start valuing rather than obliterating other cultures.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • SkyJelly

      um... so your saying that the republican people who worship a man born of a virgin, who rose after death, aren't spouting the same self righous moralistic thrash?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Jack, hate to burst your bubble but I don't think the people screaming KILL ALL KOREANS DROP BOMBS ON THEIR BABIES OMG SAVE FIDO are all liberals. Here's a helpful guide for you:
      (a)Conservative view of eating dogs: "Gag, retch. NO!"
      (b)Liberal view of eating dogs: "Gag, retch. NO!"
      As you can see, this is not a left-right issue, but a choice between 'puke' and 'retch.'

      July 1, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  7. www.earthlings.com

    Pooch, watch a documentary called Earthlings (free for viewing online) to see just how the animals are treated. Some Asian countries, such as China, have ZERO animal welfare laws to protect them from unnecessary suffering. That's why many animals are often skinned and chopped up while they are still alive and fully conscious! Same thing happens in the US, only it's well-hidden behind slaughterhouse walls. But don't take my word for it. Watch Earthlings before forming a final opinion about the subject.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  8. Tim W.

    Not much meat on a dog but why do we in the USA not eat horse ?

    July 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  9. Craig

    The idea of killing and eating dogs is to me, absolutely DISGUSTING AND CRUEL!!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  10. willow

    Well this gives a whole new meaning to DOGGY bag! Personally we think it's gross and disgusting, but since you insist... here is a tasty menu for you morbid rejects:
    Sautéed serial killer with onions, pedophile pancakes, molester meatloaf, braised drug dealer with cannabis gravy , kidnapper kabobs, bank robber bread pudding, abuser on a skewer, deep fried drunk driver, arsonist flaming baked Alaska, sodomite sausage with sauerkraut, fugitive fudge, rapist ravioli, morbid meatballs. Animal killer Ala mode.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Hi Robyn

      July 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  11. Paul

    if you hate this go to this link and ask why nike is paying Michael Vic, you will get a live response
    http://help-us.nike.com/app/chat/chat_launch

    July 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  12. scotester

    I wonder why they never mention that people in Switzerland eat dog meat too. Hundeschinken is a Swiss delicacy that is still legal and eaten in Switzerland.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • spammerstakeahike

      @scotester – and how many Swissies (sp?) eat dogs? 100 people could probably count them on their fingers.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • scotester

        The Swiss have such a large appetite for dog meat that they consume the largest amount of dog meat per capita. They also export their national dog, the Saint Bernard to China for the meat trade. Russia is another country that exports dogs to China for the meat trade. And if you think that's gross. It is a common European practice to feed the carcasses of deceased pets (cats, dogs,etc.) to cows and pigs and to recycle pets back into pet food. Ironically it is the Swiss government that took the unprecedented step of writing up new legistraton in an attempt to grant dogs,cats, marsupials and other pets full citizenship under the law. The legislation upgrades the legal status of pets from “domesticate” to citizen. But dogs raised specifically for the purpose of human consumption are not considered pets and thus not protected under the law.

        July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
      • scotester

        Switzerland is very good at the PR game, which is why so many people in the US (and the world) don't know about the Swiss' love for dog meat.

        July 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
      • spammerstakeahike

        @scotester – thanks for the data. Not that I don't believe you but I'd like to have some references to "...they consume the largest amount of dog meat per capita." I knew they export St Bernhards to China, that alone is disgusting since they know what'll happen to them. Didn't know Russia traded dogs.

        July 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
      • scotester
        July 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
      • spammerstakeahike

        @scotester – how is that guy's (dr dog meat) home page a reliable source? He mixes truth with fiction. Claims Philippines and Chinese eat dog. Truth is, only certain areas in China consume dogs. And dog eating in Philippines is banned.

        July 2, 2011 at 5:11 am |
  13. alex

    First, not only east asian eat dog meat, I asked people from Vietnamm, Thailand, Indonesia and Phlipinno, most of them knew that dog meat are eating in their countries but usuall they don't admit that as it cause discrimination.

    I am an east asian, and i have been in Europe in two years. I would like to say that a large percent of Europeans complaining eating dog meat are just racists. It is nothing about the wrong or not of eating dog meat. it is about the respect to human being from a different culture and a different economic situation.

    Those people always complain that is immoral to eat a dog, but they never realize that still in many place in asia, people can't even afford a meat dinner once a week! It is true that some asians believe that dog meat have special effect to human health but also large number of people eat dog only because it is affordable than other cattles.

    Even for the people who believe eating dog is good to the health, it is normal and should be understandable for Europeans as it is from a different culture! I have a lot of friends from south Asian and I never, never heard about any Indians or Bangaldesh complain to Europeans that they are eating their god! this is more serious blasphemy! And the truth is here in Europe, a lot of young people complain to me and other asians why asian are eating dogs! And I can feel that they believe we are dirty and unciviliation because of this...

    July 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Dude

      Work on your civilization. As for the Indians, they are just here to take our jobs.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • The Indians

        Take YOUR jobs? We were here first, whitey. You speak with forked tongue, and I'll put the fork there myself with my tomahawk.

        July 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • spammerstakeahike

      @Alex – it's wrong to eat dog meat because dogs are born with a natural bond to humans. Call it instinct. Look at the farm clip I posted and observe how all dogs are wagging their tails, wanting to establish contact with the camera guy.

      As for the racist part – I agree some of the comments here are too harsh. But you cannot defend your food culture if the criticism comes from within your own country. Many Chinese and Koreans are vehemently against the dog eating practice. And culture evolves, it's not static. Catalonia banned bull fighting – do we think they're less Spanish because of it? No, we applaud them. You will not lose your identity because you quit eating a certain dish that's supposed to be part of a culture.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • alex

        @ Spammer, if you have chance to see how people slaughter cow, you will find out that cows has consciousness more than dog. Before they were killed, most of the cow will cry and bend down their knees for lives. I don't have any over describe about that, I eat beef, but I know the truth. so what is the difference between cow and dog? even cow are more important animal in an agricultural society. can we say people abandon after they evolved to an industiral socity? And dog is more important because morden people are more alone needs company than ancient times?

        July 2, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  14. Bubba

    One more thing: I know the guys who run two of the Asian restaurants in my town, and they both get very angry at the mention of dog or cat meat. They are good people and take their reputation seriously. It's not a funny joke to them, and now I can see why . . .

    July 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  15. Verse

    in the U.S and many other countries people eat cow and its normal but in some parts of India eating of cow is a NO DO just like in most of the muslim countries in the middle east pork is a taboo and else where its normal...........so the point here is just because u don't eat a particular type of food doesn't mean eating it is wrong

    July 1, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  16. DeeCapp

    Well, if you're comfortable eating dog meat, why not baby meat? How about eating low IQ humans? Here's why, humans get more benefit from a living dog, cat, bird (etc.) when it becomes our pet and we care of it - than we get from a fleeting meal.

    July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Dean Swift

      Is that a modest proposal I hear?

      July 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  17. _aleph_

    Wow, what a hot topic! I raise meat rabbits. The secret is to love your brood stock as pets, but don't become attached to the yourng being raised for meat.
    _aleph_

    July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  18. Singh

    Humane who got God gifted brain/power and due to that became most crual and selfish. Why should we use any animal? Are they don't feel pain? Since you are powerful that doesn't mean you should use your pwoer to kill any one. but surely this shows that Animals have more brain and eats what they are suppose to eat. Since Dog is faithful animal for you, Pig keeps the community clean by eating all humane waste, Cow gives milk, so you are leaving them . that means you are not loving them but the benifit you are getting is keeping them safe. Scientist have been claiming that humane body is made for vegitables not for meats as we comes from Monkey who eats fruits not meat.

    Our brothers in poor country are not getting enough to eat but other brothers in rich are spending 10 pound graind to acheive 1 pound of tasty meat without caring that if you become vegy, there is ample food in the world to keep no one hungry.

    Think twise and try to be very....

    July 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  19. Dog Lover

    Read this and had to try it! Nabbed my neighbors Chihuahua and fired up the grill. Didn't know I was supposed to slaughter it first so there was a lot of fuss from it when I tried to close the lid on the grill. Noise from the grill has now stopped. Will let cook for a while (any suggestions on how long?) before adding barbeque sauce. Let you know what I think after I eat. 🙂

    July 1, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  20. Gemi Serban

    Its very simple why we shouldn't eat dogs. Mankind created dogs by thousands of years of selective breeding to be what they are today. Dogs are an animal that is meant to exist as a companion to humans. We bred them to be loyal and empathic. Dogs love us, they protect us, they work for us...they were bred to have a true connection with humans. Why would you turn around and eat a creature which is by its genetic nature there to serve, protect and love humans beings?

    There's plenty of protein out there. There's no reason for people to be eating dogs.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • Really?

      "Mankind created dogs", really? We CREATED DOGS? That statement invalidates anything you have to say. Why are you wasting air by breathing? It is not to nourish your brain that is obvious!

      July 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  21. plus

    spammerstakeahike
    Thanks for all the info you're posting and your good observations.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • spammerstakeahike

      @Plus – You're most welcome.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  22. kevin

    when I see people eating my pets it makes me sad

    July 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  23. WHAT????

    Why don't we attack Africa for eating chimps? Why don't we condemn the eating of mice "house deer" in China? Why not attack the "frog eating" French? etc., etc., etc.... Why not attack vegans for eating plants? IT IS A DOG EAT DOG WORLD and that is the plain simple fact. Wait, with the way things are going the days will come when it will be a treat to people in this country (USA) to be able to find a dog to eat! You morons think all the rest of the world simply has a Pathmark down the corner where they can pick and choose from a pletora of foodstuffs. WAKE THE FU(K UP!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Alex Gessong

      @What????: Let them eat plants. The vegetarian diet is healthier and has no moral issues. Wake up and smell the tofu. It can be made to taste like chicken. Humans evolved color vision so we could recognize ripe fruits and vegetables. Humans (and bears, interestingly enough) can live on vegetarian diets just fine. It's even in the Book of Genesis: God says "I have given you every green plant to eat." Words of wisdom.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
      • Really?

        Read on if you want to quote the Bible: Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

        July 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  24. Alex Gessong

    Leonardo da Vinci, arguably the greatest genius of the Renaissance, once predicted that a time would come when people thought of eating animals the same way we think of cannibalism. Leo was way ahead of his time indeed. Dog is man's best friend, not a menu item.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  25. Kraznodar

    Nothing wrong with eating dog. It is the way of nature for predators to kill and eat. Higher predators kill and eat lesser predators. I don't like eggplant so I don't eat it. I don't like the idea of eating dog so I don't. I have an enormous amount of contempt for people that think nothing of endorsing the murder of hundreds of thousands of people to insure low cost oil but get all worked up about a few animals. If I was starving I'd eat a dog. Science has shown that roughly 90% of humans will resort to cannibalism to avoid starvation and particularly to prevent their children starving. If you are reading this you are just about guaranteed to not be on the 10% that would rather starve and watch their children starve. Grow up and get over it.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • Alex Gessong

      @Kraznodar: some people think there's nothing wrong with eating people either. Humans evolved as omnivores, not carnivores. We can survive by plants alone, but not by meat alone. It's simply wrong to eat intelligent, thinking beings, which humans and dogs are. Just as humans do, dogs plan and anticipate the results of their planning. They also feel emotions (love, anger, fear, joy) , as humans do. Dogs are what humans aspire to be: brave, loyal, selfless, and loving. A dog will freely give his life to save his human master. They are our friends, not our food.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  26. KOREAN3

    CNN =american dumfucks

    July 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Man's Best Friend

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

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      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

      YOU ARE A DUMBFUCK WITH NO BRAINS AT ALL.
      KOREN3 IS A DUMBFUCK SAVAGE!!!!

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      July 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • KOREAN3

        i do not eat corpses do you rot inside?????????

        July 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
      • Marky

        You will not turn me into a vegetarian or vegan, period. Have you seen me suggest you veggie people should eat meat? My kitchen, my way; your kitchen, your way. It's obnoxious to have you pounding away at how stupid and horrible all of us meat-eaters are. There is no good reason for you pounding on me, any more than for me to pound on you. Even my darling dog understands when I say, "Leave it!". Same to you

        July 2, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Alex Gessong

      Kimchi is very tastey!

      July 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  27. YC

    The problem that Asians countries facing today is too many people living there and not enough food for evryone, I suggest that they eat each other and leave the animals alone.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Marky

      This is just another stupid comment! Good grief, you vegans are so violent! You just keep talking about how meat-eaters of any kind should be killed or should eat each other. What on earth is the matter with you?

      July 2, 2011 at 2:54 am | Reply
  28. Martin

    that's the problem with liberals "animal lovers"... they can't make the moral difference between animals and humain....

    July 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
    • Alex Gessong

      @Martin: the problem with conservatives is that they make no moral distinction between humans and animals. They say they are "pro life" but insist on executing human beings. And, once a kid is born, conservatives couldn't care less if the kid has food, shelter, or loving parents, yet the conservatives will insist that every pregnancy go to term, regardless of the choice that a woman makes. Conservatives have no moral compass. This is why conservatives attack liberal causes. Liberal causes are all about morality. Conservative causes are all about rigid ideology. And red meat.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  29. SkyJelly

    Informing someone of your views is great.... imposing your views on everyone is autocracy.
    Yes, there are people around the world who eat dog. The reason metioned in the article is stamina. I, however, lived in Korea for many years and the resons are more numerous.
    At leats they are eating the dogs, people kill animals for sport and/or cruelty every day in tthe United States.
    Hindu people outnumber americans as a whole 3 to 1. So since they are opposed to eating beef we should all stop right? Check yourself... inteligence is virtuous, judgement is not.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  30. KOREAN3

    plants don't have brains or nervous systems & americans no brain at all.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
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