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. Devara

    That's it, I'm becoming a vegetarian.

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

      Great decision!

      July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
  2. Jabba the Mut

    I like Reese Cups!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
  3. tintala

    Dogs have personalities and are intelligent ,more so than cows and pigs, I am farmer, and it's obvious that dogs are smarter but with cute personalities, and they love you unconditionally, THAT"S WHY WE SHOULD NOT EAT DOG!! WHAT THE HELL?

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

      There are smart dogs and there a dumb dogs

      I don't see how you could miss the personalities of pigs and cows.

      On the upside , when the pig is slaughtered that makes room for a new cute little puppy...I mean piglet.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
  4. Leo

    Strictly an ego issue. Get over yourself and realize not everyone does the same thing.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
  5. jones

    i really dont see the big deal. im not the one eatn it. these people have been doin this forever. they are making use of what they have instead of letting them run wild and starve in the streets or attack people. i love dogs, but im not the one to deny someone else of their cultural rights just because i was raised differently. and have a field day with my capitalization, please

    July 1, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
  6. Jeffrey

    Who cares. Eat a dog. It's meat.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • ricky14

      who cares eat that fucktard Emily & Jeffrey, its only meat.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      People are really emotional about this

      July 1, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
  7. mona

    nothing wrong, i suppose, with eating meat (of any kind) – it's the way they are treated before the eating that matters! that is the important issue here.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
  8. Benjamin

    Dogs are the only animal on planet earth that have a genetic predisposition to human companionship. Through thousands of years of selective breeding, dogs have been genetically altered to truly be "man's best friend."

    To eat them, to eat something that we created to serve and love us, is cruel. Dogs were never bred to be food, they were bred to serve, you don't eat servants, and unlike horse meat, this should be a generally accepted rule the world over.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Ben, some of these dogs were actually bred as food and don't expect to be pets. It's just really strange.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • Benjamin

        All dogs, even dogs "bred" for food, have a need from genetic manipulation for humans. Dogs are bred to serve, and to then say oh but some are bred for food is disingenuous. Those food dogs were still bred from serving dogs, and still have that same urge to serve.

        It's still morally wrong on a human level for a master to take advantage of a servant in such a way.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  9. Mike G

    I think everyone going crazy about this is freaking awesome. The same people who don't want dogs to be eaten, are probably the same people that are saying we need to solve world hunger. Um.....I think we solve one with the other. I have had dog, being stationed in South Korea and really it wasn't that bad. Plus here's an idea, think about the almighty dog as a stand in for old fashioned beef. Thanks to all you people who require 42oz steaks, the farmers inject these cattle with BGH and folks like me are allergic to the hormone and can't eat beef. So, IMHO, no problem with this practice at all.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
  10. Buster Bloodvessel

    It's not something we can do anything about, and maybe not anything we SHOULD do anything about. It's just really weird to think about it: dog slaughter. Slaughterhouses and and meat packing plants for Fidos. Assembly lines, big piles of paws and tails and skins. Ladies in white suits sorting out the choice cuts and boxes going down conveyers into the freezers. The dog meat section at the supermarket, and moms looking for a nice roast, man, is this a strange world or what?

    July 1, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
  11. motelhell

    meat is meat and man's gotta eat

    July 1, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • ricky14

      eat NOW that fucktard motelhell its only meat.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Krista

      We can feed a lot more people with crops than with meat. We could use a fraction of the land that we use for raising animals, and feed the world.

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

      ricky, google motel hell before you just wank out that same comment again.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • ricky14

        i rather google yr shithole i may find some brains in there u dickhead

        July 1, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • dogs rule

      NO ONE has to eat meat. Especially not our precious companion canines,you phuktard!! Perhaps some should broil you and serve you up.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
      • marsmotel

        You are an idiot! We are carnivores. It is called survival of the fittest. When you get hungry, you eat. Read Darwin. And as broiling people, Hitler already did that to my family. So you want to sit down with me for some BBQ paws and baby seal?

        July 1, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  12. Kaiviertel

    I know it sound a bit melodramatic, but, in my opinion, the reason we shouldn't eat dog is simply out of respect for the bond in which man and canine forged over the last 40,000 years or so. There are anthropological studies that propose that, without the semi-domestication of wolves as hunting companions in our hunter-gatherer days, it is quite possible that we might have never grown at the rate in which we did. Without that particular bond, man might not have developed the hunting skills necessary to take us out of that chapter in our history. Second, I do believe that there is a very distinct line between predator animals and prey animals. By and large, we eat prey animals. I think we should respect that line. There is more than enough food out there, we don't need to eat dogs (before you light up on me, those that eat dog are not the poor and destitute. If you can afford dog, you can afford chicken). As a human race, they have been truly our closest animal companions.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
  13. Janice L

    I hope the writer is reincarnated as a dog living in Korea.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • grownup124

      and you as a cow in the US...

      July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Pat Beers

      oh yes, b/c obviously he'll remember being a human and writing that post. Judge not lest ye be judged yourself!

      July 1, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
  14. beef

    eat more cocks.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  15. TG

    There's nothing wrong with eating dogs – so long as you don't do it in my country. At least if you can justify eating pigs, you can justify eating dogs – but we don't eat dogs here – so you can't either – whoever you are.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
  16. Babo Migook

    Several people mention the difference between livestock such as cows, pigs etc and "companion" animals such as dogs and cats, but that isn't really even an issue here. These dogs are raised as livestock, for the express purpose of being eaten. The only difference is that we keep dogs as pets. But people keep pigs and chickens as pets as well, and nobody gets squeamish about eating those animals. The only reason we find it so repugnant to eat dog meat is because we don't traditionally eat it in this country. It's exactly the same as our moral outrage towards the French for having the unmitigated gall to eat horse meat, and it comes from our love for those animals. That's fine, but there really isn't any purely moral reason not to eat dog or horse or cat or any of the other bizarre meats people of any number of cultures eat all around the world.

    And you know what? I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Boshintang is delicious. I've eaten it, and I don't feel bad about it, nor will I ever. If I hadn't eaten that particular portion of dead dog meat, someone else would have.

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

      Actually a lot of the dogs are picked up off the street as strays. Not, raised on farms. Also, whether or not the dog has been raised on a farm has nothing to do with the resulting 'product'. A dog is a dog. You'd need tens of thousands of years to remove the traits that we have selective bred into them, many of which come from their wolf ancestors so it may not be possible to breed those companion traits out of them at all.

      Dogs are intelligent animals, bred to form emotional bonds with human beings and be their protectors and companions. Not food.

      July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  17. blah

    We should not be outraged by the fact that dogs are being eaten. In some countries they think it is outrages that we eat cows. We should be outraged that the animals that are giving their lives so we can eat are being treated cruelly. There are all sorts of cruel images and videos out there that depict cruelty to both dogs and cows.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:54 am | Reply
  18. brian

    Cows don't curl up to you on a winter night. Chickens don't warn you when the bridge is washed out. That's the difference.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Khrys

      Aren't the roosters used as the alarm clocks in the morning?

      July 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Chickens won't tear up an intruder who breaks in on your wife when you are gone(you need geese for that). Junkyards don't have signs saying BEWARE OF THE COW. However, they do make chickens fight to the death in arenas when they can't get dogs.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Stan

      My pig pulled Timmy out of a well when he fell down it.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:30 am | Reply
  19. joey

    My friend Bruce says Dogs are friends not food! But seriously... you should not eat dogs. They are domesticated to protect us, to be loyal friends, and for companionship. There is somethings you just shouldn't eat in this world and dogs are one of them enough said.

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

    I once ate mountain lion. Very good tender meat. One should try some before any conclusion.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Reply
  21. jyre

    top of the food chain, baby!

    July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  22. Rosemary Peppercorn

    Please tell me when this article is removed. I'll come back to the computer when I stop vomiting.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  23. Pat Beers

    Now I'm not saying I'm for eating dog, but who are we to say other cultures can't? People in India don't eat cows, do they try to force us to do the same? No, because that culture doesn't think it's better than everyone else. This country makes me sick. A few of you cited that the dogs are strangled, electrocuted, so on and so forth. There is much worse going on right here in our own country, but we choose to turn a blind eye to it. So stop being so judgemental... who knows, when society collapses Rover might not look so disgusting to you when your starving!

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

    It's called evolution. Wearing clothes, bathing, cannibalism, living in a semii-lawful society, etc. etc. I don't know what more I can say other than this is one of those articles where common sense goes out the window ... there is a reason they are called "man's best friend".

    July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  25. Teresa

    It's not the eating of the dog that is the sick part (though it's not something I would ever do since I LOVE dogs ALIVE). Its the cruelty involved in the process of that meat. I remember awhile back I saw pictures of dogs ready for slaughter in an Asian country and their front legs were tied behind their backs. That can't be very comfortable for man's best friend. And no, I don't eat pigs or cows but I do kick myself when I occasionally eat a bird (chicken or turkey, no wild birds for me)

    July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  26. cm

    it just is. K-9's and humans have a bond. We domesticated them so we have a responsibility to them. This also goes for felines.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  27. Suellen

    Sorry for those people advocating dog food as okay. They obviously have never loved a faithful, loving dog or anything else. Why don't these dog flesh eaters cage and raise mice, rats, or simlar types of vermine? Seems that would be more to their taste. Tell China and Korea to stop lying about not eating dog any longer. It's the only reason I refuse to travel to these areas and I wish everyone would refuse to go to such barbaric places. Yes I am American and we don't eat dog !!!! Why don't these people rise up in their own counry and protest and stop it? JoeW makes sense.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • American Woman

      I loved South Korea. Would go back in a heart beat!! Rats are too chewy and mice just aren't very filling. I am sure there is a starving family in your neigbborhood that would be more than happy to eat your dog for you.

      We euthanize millions of pounds of food every year in the shelters. Hunger in the United States could be solved if all the unwanted animals were used to feed people.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • *sigh*

      like, seriously? it's the ONLY reason you won't even visit those countries?? um... wow.

      July 1, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
  28. Hmm

    There's a place for all of God's furry critters.....right next to the taters and gravy. You'd probably eat it if it was on a plate and all you saw was a steak. Most people I know have an issue eating a steak if they knew it came from a steer they had pet.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  29. joey

    Directed to blah... in other countries who don't eat cows, they do not curl up, pet, and lye down in their bed with them

    July 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
  30. Carnivore

    Meat is meat is meat. Honestly, the only reason I'm not looking for someone to feed me a big fat juicy tiger steak right now is because I wouldn't want to eat an endangered animal.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • ricky14

      do us all a favor & go eat yr momma u fucktard

      July 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Carnivore

        How would that help anyone? It's too late to prevent me from being born, and there are better forms of punishment for bringing me into the world. Think your ideas through a little better next time plox, kthx.

        July 1, 2011 at 11:08 am |
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