Calling for and end to South Korea's dog meat industry
With the upcoming boknal days – the three hottest days of the lunar calendar when dog meat consumption is most popular in South Korea – public calls for an end to the dog meat industry are getting louder!
This year the boknal days fall on 13th July, 23rd July and 2nd August. On these days, it has become ‘custom’ for many Koreans (even those who do not usually do so) to consume dog meat stew (known as “boshintang”) as it is believed to have ‘cooling effects’ that help replenish stamina during Korea’s sweltering summer.
During these days hundreds of thousands of dogs are sold and slaughtered in markets, restaurants and health stores throughout the country.
South Korea is the only country in the world known to farm dogs commercially to supply the estimated two million dogs slaughtered each year for their meat and to produce other products. And their suffering is heartbreaking…
“Dogs caught up in South Korea’s dog meat industry have miserable existences. Throughout their short lives, they are never shown anything but brutality, and the absolute indifference to their sentience is incomprehensible. I have been told countless times that dogs raised on South Korea’s thousands of farms are “soulless”, and that this is their “destiny”. But I have met these dogs. I have looked them in the eyes and I see their beautiful souls, and, more poignantly, I see their fear.” Lola Webber, Programmes Director
Whilst often defended as ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’, the practice of farming and slaughtering dogs for human consumption is widely considered shameful and distasteful in South Korea, especially as pet ownership rises rapidly and people become intolerant to animal cruelty. Opinion polls show that there is growing opposition to dog meat from within the country, particularly amongst younger generations, and the call for an end to the industry is becoming louder.
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