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. Fido's Friend

    Looking at some of these comments and their callousness makes me fear for the future of the human race .... if these supposedly human (but definitely not humane) beings truly believe in a "dog eat dog" world, who will be next .... ?

    July 1, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
  2. Billy Bob

    @ Riddle me this, each dog can be given to the humane society and the owners must pay $50. They should be lucky to avoid jail time for their cruelty.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • WHAT?

      Assuming they have the humane society, $50, etc. This isn't in the US.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  3. paul

    Are dog meat low in cholesterol?

    July 1, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • ricky14

      same as low as your brains u fucktard

      July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  4. Darthnormand

    I cannot imagine dog meat tasting good, but I see nothing wrong with it. I also do not see anything wrong with eating cats or other things people would consider taboo. I think Pig meat is nasty. Not because I am a vegetarian, but because I know the conditions that most pork comes from. Pigs eat garbage, and have an abundace of parasites. You would not eat pork medium rare. Pigs can be fed garbage until they are slaughtered and taste awful. They can also be raised on garbage and fed vegetables (usually corn) near the time they are slaughtered and they will taste better. I have eaten wild boar meat(not the deli meat company) and had it prepared medium rare (maybe more on the rare side) and it was awesome. I did not get sick or anything. My point is that anything can be eaten that has a certain diet. I cannot imagine dog or cat meat tasting good because they also eat meat and this effects the flavor.

    Rabbits are awesome pets and I have heard they taste good. Would I ever eat one, probably not. Would I eat a dog, cat, rabbit or squirrel if I were starving to death? Probably.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
  5. tasteslikechicken

    I have a pet chicken that comes to my door and lets me pet her and hold her. She and my dog even get along. I would never eat her, but have no problem eating chicken in general. I can understand how someone could have a pet and eat its cousin. Culturally, I couldn't ever imagine eating dog meat, but then, it's not my culture.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  6. Rob

    Probably would try it, guys I work with that go to Korea told me it was great. I have eaten horse in Japan. Everytime I see a pile of dog crap at the park or in my yard I think we should start eating dogs here would help reduce the population.

    Maybe all the starving people in the world just need that, give them all the dogs.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  7. bm

    eating meat whether beef, pork, chicken, etc means taking out another ones life for your own. if you do you can make it fair by promising to have others eat out up when your time is up. but humans are ego-centric and do not give back what they took from the planet and so they place their bodies in caskets.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  8. a_paul1

    What a bunch of hypocrites! When some people eat dog, you frown on them. When some people do not want to eat cow, you laugh at them! Have you ever thought that what you consider as moral is may be, just may be, considered immoral by other people, just like what some other people consider moral is deemed immoral by you?

    July 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • sosafesosaneandsosecure

      I would eat a person with your opinions...

      July 1, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  9. MDB123

    Eating meat is wrong in all cases (in my opinion). Eating dogs is Barbaric , no exceptions. I know there are many who disagree with this view and enjoy eating meat. If you eat chicken, cow, pig, or any other animal.. yet you say it is wrong to eat dogs... you are a hypocrite. The thought of dogs being raised as food, tormented, and killed... is revolting and I cry just thinking of it. I have 2 dogs and I'd kill anyone who even thought about harming them,. There is no justification for dogs as food other than it's probably cheaper than cattle , sheep or pigs to raise them.. since they are naturally drawn to people and trust them with their lives....the cooperate and are easily handled, require far less feeding and housing. The monsters who do this will find themselves answering for their actions at the end of the line... Fate, Karma, heaven or Hell... one way or another... the score wil be evened.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  10. alb822

    Dogs are companion animals just like cats & horses. Companion animals are NOT for consumption. They're family members, best friends, helpers, etc.

    We 're not experiencing any global devastation, no nuclear winter. We're not in "survival" mode. Eating companion animals is massively wrong on every level.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Vandalay Industries

      Horses are on the menu in Italy and France.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  11. Billy Bob

    If you look a dog in the eye and don't find love, I don't know what's wrong with you. Dogs are great friends, everybody should be lucky enough to share their life with one.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • LOL

      Tell that to a family who has lost a child from a dog attacking it. I know a number of people who have been attacked. Not all dogs are like Snoopy. There are A LOT of vicious dogs. Don't tell me you're all for putting them down? That would mean it's not dogs you want to protect, but only select dogs. Who makes the determination and if you want them all to live, then what do you do with those that aren't "social" and pose a threat? Answer without using my money to pay for the solution, or without any state/federal/other funding.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
  12. KennyG

    What's wrong with eating cats, parakeets, aborted babies of any kind, any thing that we want? Pretty stupid story.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
  13. sosafesosaneandsosecure

    There is nothing I would die for faster than my three dogs – or your dog or anyone's dog – I will not speak to anyone who has ever eaten dog and I would consider any country where dogs are eaten to be barbaric and unworthy of trade with the US or me or my children.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  14. Chipthechamp

    Friend of mine bought a puppy. Said he got it just in case of hard times. Named it Yummy.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  15. FluffyNipper

    eating dogs is absolutely disgusting

    July 1, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • John in AZ

      It really depends on the seasoning...

      July 1, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  16. Vandalay Industries

    Discounting emotion, I can't think of any logical reason why it is wrong to eat a dog, but it is not wrong to eat a cow or a pig or a lamb. Americans love dogs and don't want to see them treated like other animals... and collectively we can pass laws that we like. We can't force our love of dogs on the rest of the world, though.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  17. foreverwar

    Someone asking "Honey, would you pick up some pet food on your way home?" has a totally different meaning there it seems.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  18. eddieLee

    There are more hits on this article than there are in any political election article. Hence, the corrupt gov't.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:42 am | Reply
  19. Jinx

    In my opinion, killing any animal for food and/or self defense (including pest control) is absolutely fine and we should be thankful to these creatures and the nature for feeding us. What I condemn is killing or torturing them in the name of fun, entertainment (rodeo, hunting games), luxurious outlets (ivory, leather).

    July 1, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Khrys

      All seem to be the trappings for the citizens of a developed and "civilized" country such as United States.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
  20. Billy Bob

    I tell you what, and I surprise myself for saying this, but I think I'd lay down my life for my dog. I love her that much.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Vandalay Industries

      I love dogs too, but that is a bit much.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      A guy dove in and fought a gator for his dog last year, and he won. Nobody will fight a gator for a goat or pig.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:01 am | Reply
  21. Judith

    Eating dog meat is not my cup of tea and I do not support it. What I must ask however is why people are not indignant about the way they use giant hooks pushed through a dog's upper jaw and then throw them alive into the sea for shark bait?

    America is no more civilised than China however as it one of the few (The only western country) countries that kills people to show that killing people is wrong. Take a look at the conditions on death rows around the country and you will see that America treats people worse than most countries treat animals. To make matter worse the USA has murdered many innocent people in the death chambers.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Billy Bob

      I don't think America murders innocent people in death chambers. It's true that we need to get rid of the death penalty, and that some innocent people have died accused of crimes they didn't commit, but I don't think you can extrapolate to a country of 300 million people and indict them all on the basis of a few cases.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  22. jenna

    we don't eat mammals that can eat other mammals. it is plain unhealthy not to mention gross. stick to non carnivores

    July 1, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • A_Vegetarian

      Chicken eat worms and bugs. That OK?

      July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • You are an idiot

      Really....you cannot think of one animal that Americans consume that feeds off other mammals? Really?!?!?!

      July 1, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Jinx

      Chicken is not "Mammal" and neither are bugs and worms.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      I don't like pork, partly because I think pigs know we are raising them for food and hate us for it. They are too smart to eat. It feels wrong. Chickens, on the other hand, are so stupid they deserve a quick and delicious death.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • Hmm

      Pigs are mammals and pigs eat meat, and will even eat other pigs which also makes them a cannibal.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  23. Riddle me this

    When the world dies and humans have nothing left but guns and fear, what would you rather eat.....the family dog, or the obnoxious middle sister?

    If you answered dog, then you are not above eating them. If you anwered sister, than you are crazy sick and need help.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • LOL

      Since you used my "Name". I'd eat the dog and am not opposed to it. I've been all over the world and have experienced how other cultures live. I'm not going to judge based on what I don't know. However, I am not opposed to cultures enjoying the same freedoms we have in the US, to include the expectation that other countries don't meddle in our internal affairs. Think of the money we could save if we ate dogs over here instead of the complex no kill shelter requirement to try and save what could be on Monday's menu. Cheaper and more profitable to eat them. You probably wouldn't think twice if it was a steak on a plate. Most people don't have an issue eating a cow, but I bet they'd have a hard time if they knew they pet it while it was alive at a zoo or farm.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  24. Wierndiddy

    I think dogs taste like pork. But the have a tougher texture. You most definitely need to tenderize them. Nothing like a big dog stew for a wedding, and some tender puppy paw meat kabobs.. mmmmmmmmm. I love it. The best part of eating dogs is they are a nutrious meal fortified with all the essential vitamins and minerals. Look up dog recipes.. they are all over the net. In China St. Bernards are referred to as the Big Dumb Ones. They make great drumsticks.. extra crispy or Cagun style!!! yum yum eat um up!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
  25. A_Vegetarian

    Cool, this ought to get the non-vegetarians thinking. Why reserve your slaughtering of animals to certain species? How is eating a dog moral decrepitude when eating a cow/chicken is not?

    July 1, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
    • Billy Bob

      Because dogs are emotionally very much advanced as people are, there ya go. A cow ain't.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
      • grownup124

        hey billy bob, cows are considered religiously SACRED...yes sacred in india...please don't try to push your beliefs on others.

        July 1, 2011 at 10:49 am |
      • Stan

        Dogs are "more emotionally advanced" than a cow? Really? I'd love to see some actual scientific evidence of that.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • grownup124

      now this board has turned into a vegetarian vs. carnivore battle..nice. but how can you eat that beautiful artichoke heart? it's a living being!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
  26. Steven

    there is nothing wrong with it. Dog's are animals just like cows and pigs and chickens. just because some people have attached themselves mentally to dog's doesn't mean every should. i personally wouldn't choose to eat dog meat but i'm not saying it shouldn't be done

    July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  27. Jody Chenoweth

    And we spent how many billions of $$ and lost how many American lives definding this country?
    re: meat is meat no matter what 'animal' it comes from.
    As the cannibal said as he was stirring the boiling pot, " If God hadn't wanted us to eat missionaries He wouldn't have made them taste so good."
    Here is what is wrong with eating meat ....
    Albert Einstein said:" Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. If a man aspires to a rightious life his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.
    Leanardo Da Vinci :"I, from an early age have abjured the eating of meat and the time will come when men will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men."
    Shopenhauer: "Compssion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
    Leo Tolstoy: " A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite and to act so is immoral."

    July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  28. aster

    This is a very complex issue, I think. I tried to walk a fine line for many years between feeling compassion towards animals and doing what my biology tells me to do, i.e. sustaining myself with meat. After being a vegetarian for 7 years I became very sick and was told to eat meat. Now I eat meat about once every two weeks but I follow certain guidelines. It has to be humanely raised (even though I understand that it doesn't always mean that the animals was indeed humanely raised). It cannot be something like fois gras or veal or any other kind of product that is known come from animals raised by extremely cruel methods. I don't eat pigs since I feel that that animal is just too intelligent for me to feel at peace with consuming it. I would never eat any companion animals, including horses, or endangered animals. I know it's all subjective but I think the guideline for me is to use my conscience while keeping in mind that it is also true that creatures eating each other is just part of life. What I don't like, however, is the attitude of people who simply say "hey, if it tastes good, I don't care where it comes from." You should always care. You don't have to be extreme but it doesn't mean that you should silence your compassion completely, desensitize yourself to animal suffering, put it out of your mind and stop being discerning about what you consume. The world is difficult and complicated and in the world of shades of grade one needs to keep to the middle of the spectrum. It's not easy and at times you will end up being a hypocrite, but it's better than becoming an uncompromising radical or an uncaring simpleton.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  29. co2vs

    same BS as usual, if the koreans wants to eat dog meat is their problem if you don't , just don't do it,
    care for your self and let the other do what ever they want, stop beeing the world police
    is called FREEDOM

    July 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Reply
  30. Krista

    For those of you who argue that there's no difference between a cow, pig or dog, because they're all animals, or as some have put it, "meat". You need to remember one thing....

    Humans are animals too.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • John in AZ

      Right, but no one is arguing in favor of cannibalism...just against being a carnivore that confuses his or her chosen diet for a moral imperative.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Krista

        Refusing to make a distinction between animals, makes the argument that people should be eaten too. There is a difference between predator and prey animals, as well as animals raised for companionship and those raised as livestock. Personally I don't think there's enough of a difference to choose to eat meat, myself, but for those who Do eat animal products, the distinction can and should be made.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Dennis

      Cannibals die of Kuru

      July 1, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Corey

        From eating the brain not the meat.

        July 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
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