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. hilo, HI

    Google, 'eating a pot of dog gumbo' for the pic. -It happened in New Orleans after Katrina. Keep up the gluttonous breeding (That's birthing any more than 2 per couple.) and when the food crisis hits full swing there won't be a dog or cat left in America.

    July 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  2. TerriTriple

    I am repulsed by this article. I thought it was going to be about why humans should not consume canned dog food (given the current economic crisis).

    July 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  3. Rabbi Malachi

    I hope in the future I can stop eating any animal, not because society tells me I shouldn't but because I feel genuibe compassion for the animals themselves. I feel this way about man animals, especially Dogs, cats, horses, cows as...but rabbits, pigs, and chickens are just so fing tasty...f those little fers...fire up that grill!

    July 1, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  4. Robert Smith

    Of course there isn't necessarily anything wrong with dog meat, but we do have an emotional perception of us not wanting to eat our friends, which I agree with. Essentially, it is the same reason we don't eat other humans. Strictly logical though, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with eating humans either. It is a waste to not eat young, healthy people who die in traffic accidents, or physically healthy suicide victims. Again, it's an emotional preception of not eating our friends – again, to which I agree, of course.

    It does provide for an interesting filosophical discussion, however. I mean, really, why shouldn't I be able to write a will that states that my body is to be grilled and feasted on by my surviving friends, say, in the name of the environment since it is free meat anyway, saving some other meat-in-progress from degrading the environment? It is hard to argue that it wouldn't be sensible. What's the morality in that not being legal, assuming it isn't? True moral doesn't always coincide with people's gut perception of what's moral. To not waste meat, when all involved parties agree, that should objectively speaking be moral.

    Many animals eat their own from time to time. Wolfs can under some circumstances eat other wolfs, and male lions may kill and probably (?) eat the cubs if they haven't fathered them. Various tribes of humans of the past have been known to routinely have eaten other humans under some circumstances.

    Objectively speaking, the morality of eating dogs may be trickier than the morality of eating humans. Dogs cannot write wills. Dogs cannot express an informed opinion about what should happen to them.

    July 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  5. Pray for the Dogs

    Thank you to CNN for having the courage to run this story, so we are all informed regarding this practice.

    And yes, please pray for the dogs, and for all other sentient beings. Pray for the people who are so angry in their posts, who attack each other so casually. Pray for those who grieve with heavy hearts when reading of the cruelty that exists so strongly in our world, and whose reasonate with empathy for the suffering of any being. And may we all find the strength to treat each other with dignity.

    July 1, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  6. S1N

    I for one, love the taste of kegogi (that would be a Korean recipe for cooked dog). I have a dog that I would never eat, but I'll be more than happy to eat one you serve me. Eating dead dog is no different than eating a dead pig (pigs are also quite loyal and caring as domesticated pets), a dead cow, a dead bird, or a dead fish. It's all tasty, to include Bambi.

    July 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  7. chieatfetus

    If you skin & beat a korean or chinese person alive then eat it's meat there is a total VIAGRA effect and your skin will look younger!!!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  8. EricKuma

    Of coarse its Absolutely Disgusting.
    There are other animals they can eat... like pigs, chickens and bulls.
    They only eat dogs because they are poor and mostly ignorant.
    You don't see dog meat booming in developed countries.
    Blast one of those back into the 3rd world and dog eating will make a comeback.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  9. Jill B

    Disgusting that people would raise a DOG to EAT! I want t vomit. We are doomed as a human race-disgusting. I will NEVER go to China! And you can post all the rude comments you want after mine, I don't care, it's disgusting! Dogs are some of the most wonderful creatures on this planet!

    July 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  10. jennifer

    cruelty's too big to hide behind culture (or religion, for that matter)

    July 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  11. LTF

    This is a classic case of Westerners attempting to impose their own arbitrary moral values to other countries.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Corky, UK

      What a tit!

      July 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  12. levend

    People who complain about not eating dog meat – Well I guess you won't be eating Beef either seeing as the Majority of India don't. The world does not revolve around the US, though I personally do not eat dog meat, I am not going to start enforcing my beliefs on others. Thats what extremists do right?

    July 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  13. Whitefii

    I have a cat pet and so i dislike the idea of one who thinks cat meat should be enjoyed. I think it all has to do with bonds with these animals and so having to even think of enjoying them as meat like some other animals (pigs, cows, etc) would be a taboo. Dogs are also very interesting animals and good friends to mankind

    July 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  14. Marcia

    Most people here b*tch*ing about dog meat eats the cheapest kinda of meat they can find in a supermarket without thinking twice if the animals were treated right or not, so stop with the hypocrisy and do your own homework first. LOL Yes, because treating pigs as sh*t to eat is okay, because we said so. Even if their bodies are way closer to ours than any dog will ever be. Cows? Who cares about cows. Whatever if people in India think it's a sacred animal. We say we can eat them, our truth is the only one truth that matters. Dogs? OMG, no! They are cute! So nobody can eat them because we said so!!!! Whatever, I would eat it. It probably is hard as hell and not really tasty, so I'll keep eating cows, but who cares. If it's meat and the animals aren't tortured, I'll all for it.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  15. levend

    I expect no more Beef seeing as India has different beliefs? Hypocrites! the World does no revolve around the US.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  16. Momaflippen

    It is a meat....it is no different then eating a cow, or a pig, or a turkey..some other countries eat and raise Guinea Pigs as food should we stop that? After living in Korea it is a food no different then other livestock that we eat. I have 2 dogs that I love and I consider them my family but really why should the meat dogs be any different then Wilbur from Charlottes web?

    July 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  17. Clemence

    Maya. what makes you think not eating dog is changing for the better -_-
    That is under your premise that dog-eating is a bad thing. In YOUR own goddamn ignorant perspective.

    "The more money these people make and the more educated these countries become the less likely they will support dog eating in the future. History shows humans usually change for the better so I'm optimistic. " –

    July 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  18. Gary Edwards (England)

    People have this misconception that westerners like myself are butting into another Lands culture...The cultural aspect of eating dogs is a myth! Since the dawn of mankind itself, who first domesticated Gray Wolves around 30000 yrs ago, the main difference is that these animals are COMPANION animals...Not cattle...
    The other argument states that eating dogs is no worse than eating pig, cow, sheep etc in much of the Western world. Putting aside my own personal belief that ALL life is sentient (therefore I do not eat any meat), dogs ARE companion animals, and the VAST MAJORITY of populations within countries such as Korea, the Philippines, China, Taiwan etc do NOT eat dog meat and want this eradicated themselves...
    Eating a pig (taking away my personal beliefs again) IS NOT the same, as a pig is NOT a companion animal which was domesticated since mankind began all those centuries ago. There is also suggestion that the earliest records of domestication actually originated in the Far East itself approx 30000 yrs ago, so they did NOT eat their dogs and cross-bred wolves. They used them as tools for hunting, sledging, and eventually the domestication of these wolves into the more typical dog breeds, resulted in the companionship and pet aspect we see today.
    The "poor" aspect is a false ideology too...There are many other cheap forms of food than eating stray dogs and stolen pets. Not to mention the very real threat of contracting the RABIES virus which is still prevalent in these regions, and results in a horrific death with no hope of a cure.
    The misguided educational aspects that eating dog meat somehow makes a person more virilent is just another way of showing the sheer ignorance of mankind.
    Respecting another Countries culture is NOT the real issue here...Way before dogs were eaten as food, they were companions, and loyal pets. Eating dog meat began around 3000 years ago. Domestication began 30000 years ago. The vast MAJORITY of Filippino people I meet hate this trade as much as we Westerners do. Therefore this is why we fight against this trade, not only to protect the animals, but to also protect the people themselves, as rabies is a horrendous killer disease, and there are other associated risks involved.
    Also the factory farmed dogs, which are bred exclusively to be slaughtered are NOT treated humanely, no matter how they would like us to believe. They suffer in terrible conditions and suffer horrific deaths. They often wag their tails even as they are about to be slaughtered, as they still trust humans as they are about to die.
    People will say I am just another Western fool for saying these things, but I ate meat for 40 years until I became vegetarian 3 years ago, but the very concept of eating dog meat disgusts me NOT because I am English, but simply because of the fact that dogs ARE companion animals and always will be, to serve mankind, and offer unconditional loyalty, and a dog may be just another animal, but if ever you see with your own eyes the slaughter of a dog, whilst the other caged dogs are made to watch, to terrify them, causing the adrenaline to rush through them (supposedly making the meat taste better), and they are clubbed over the head, having their throats or groins stabbed to be bled out, howling in pain, still their tails wagging, is a haunting site. Humanity is supposed to be the superior species, with the capacity for compassion?? All I can say in summary is these few words....the "Human race?" More like the "Human Disg-Race"

    July 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
    • S1N

      I think you're missing my point. I don't CARE if Fido is cute, cuddly, and loves me. If I'm hungry and he's not my pet, he's lunch.

      As for your statement about your "belief" of all life being sentient. You are an idiot. We wouldn't want pesky little things like scientific evidence and vast amounts of research that show non-human animals, with the possible exception of a very small subset of primates, are NOT self-aware, rational, and / or intelligent creatures. Please kill yourself. Just make sure to eat plenty of salt first. That way you'll be extra tasty.

      July 3, 2011 at 5:39 am | Reply
  19. Corky, UK

    We have had 3 German Shepherds to date and since the most recent whom I would probably give my life for over any human, if I had to. He has strengthened my faith in God as a Christian, because clearly this most loyal, intelligent, noble creature must be the work of something far greater and superior such as God.
    He has become my best friend and I can't begin to tell you how fantastic a relationship we have and how much he amazes me in everything he does. He is uncomplicated but deep and seems to know what I am thinking. In short, I could not imagine how terrible it must have been for anyone who was raised without a dog in the family. How damaged their humility must be, not knowing the love of an animal. I have plenty of friends and the most caring and loyal ones are the ones who have or have had a dog or some form of pet in their life at some point.
    If you eat any form of domestic animal then you still have circa 2000 years to evolve and catch up with the rest of us. I can confidently say that if you eat domestic animal meat then you will never be welcome in my house and I do have a special place for you in my garage, in the form of a chest freezer. I promise you this is where you will end up if you ever darkened my door. Get with the 21st century and stop re-living the middle-ages when we had the IQ similar to that of most pond life.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • Marky

      So you agree with the woman who grieved when the police took her dog away, after it killed and ate her baby? (this happened where I live) After all, her dog was irreplaceable, but she could have another baby, she said. Get real, these stupid statements some posters make about how they love their dog so much they would gladly murder someone who ate dog in another country, sickens me as much as you could ever feel over the thought of a dog.

      By the way, my beloved dog was killed by my friend's "wonderful" German Shepherd, in less than 15 seconds and without provocation or warning. Can't tell you how I feel about your lovable breed. My Cavalier, however, is amazing!

      July 2, 2011 at 3:22 am | Reply
    • ryanzzzz

      Corky,
      And someone like you proves my point that many dog-lovers are sociopathic people with anti-personality disorders. You are one sick person, to value the life of a dog over a human. Very sick.

      July 2, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  20. Steve

    It makes me laugh when Westerners impose their own moral values. What makes You decide which animal is good or not good enough to eat?
    1/ You had no problems lynching black people, treating them like slaves and yet you are outraged by dogs.
    You have no problem invading and killing people for oil and yet you are outraged by eating dogs.

    2/ British people hunt foxes, Americans hunt deers (for pure pleasure of killing them)
    Asians kill dogs for food consumption. Which is worse?

    F*#k you. Who the hell do you think you are deciding what is good or not good enough to eat?

    July 1, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  21. Clemence

    In addition, the reason some Koreans are forming groups in opposition to dog meat industry is because of the way they have treated their dogs. This issue has now been addressed (mostly) via new bills and such. They would use bats and blunt weapons to beat a live dog and kill it. Which, despite the fact they are domesticated farm animals (not pets), would still be considered animal cruelty. Therefore, these issues were addressed and now there are barely any qualms between the dog lovers in Korea and the dog meat industry. They are dogs GROWN and BORN to be eaten by humans.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  22. Doug

    "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."" Have you ever even been to Korea or are you just aping some racist rant made by someone who once read a book about it? There are pet dogs everywhere in Korea; country, city, suburbs, and everywhere in between.

    July 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  23. Clemence

    What part of this doesn't get through your thick skulls?

    THEY ARE FARM ANIMALS NOT COMPANION ANIMALS

    KOREANS HAVE DOGS AS PETS TOO BUT THEY ARE SEPARATE FROM THE FARM DOGS WHICH ARE BRED TO BE EATEN.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  24. D

    It's life, people get to choose what they eat, . I have fish as pets, people eat them all the time. many animals we eat every day are smarter than dogs such as pigs and maybe even some birds. Just dont eat people unless they say you can.
    Should you really be dictated on what you can do? how many people do you share opinions with on this board?

    July 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  25. Tom

    Some dogs are bred for hunting, some for companionship, some for retrieving, some for pointing, and yes, some for food. The conquistadors noted at least 2 different breeds of dogs available in the market at Tenochtitlan – both for consumption. Dogs are eaten in Korea and the Philippines and many other places. I have found dog burned dog remains with cut-marks on them in numerous north, central, and south American archaeological sites.

    Dogs are companions, hunting tools, alarm systems, bomb detectors, combatants, drug sensors, trash disposals and a source of food. I have eaten dogs and found them to be quite tasty. f course I have eaten many things that judgmental ethnocentric Euro-Americans would consider disgusting but are important parts of diest in many different cultures. I do not advocate inhumane treatment of any animals, but I do eat them – especially if they are grilled and served with a sweet, spicy peanut sauce and a cold beer.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  26. allycroc

    First of all, if you are going to write this article you should educate yourself on how the animals are kept here and how they are butchered. What is wrong with eating any animal?? Well a lot when they are living in filthy abusive conditions, when it is time to die, they are forced out of cage and strung up by the neck and beaten with metal pipes as well as blowtorched and electrocuted..and more. They do this in order to get the adrenaline up which they believe makes the dog meat tender. I live in Korea and have for 8 years. The mentality of dog eating is changing. but the laws are loose and there is constant footage of these brutal killings as well as the deplorable conditions in which the dogs live. If you are going to write such a public article, it would be appreciated to give all the facts. For more on how dogs are killed for meat in Korea, see here.http://animalrightskorea.org/dog-meat-issue/anti-dog-meat.html
    http://www.wspa-international.org/wspaswork/dogs/dogmeattrade/default.aspx

    July 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  27. Re: Pray for the Dogs

    Hello All, Rather than attacking each other, here are two websites to look at. They are demonstrate that we have many brothers and sisters in Korea who are working to help end the suffering of sentient beings.

    http://www.uniteddogs.com/stopkillingdogs/

    http://www.koreananimals.org/index.htm

    July 1, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  28. save_animals

    Well, we could ideally be eggetarian as a race and do totally fine. it would erase half the poverty and improve the health of this planet, if instead of animal farms where animals are raised for slaughtering, we grew grain, and food crops.

    I disagree with dog slaughter, however, I find it hypocritical that the same people who say NO to dog slaughter are so positive towards cow or pig slaughter. Its crazy. What I am trying to say is – if you want to save animals, follow it in general, for all creatures. Just because you don't typically have a lamb or a bird as a pet, doesn't mean they are meant to be eaten.

    - A Vegan.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  29. bubbawho?

    meats meat and mans gotta eat !

    July 1, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
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