The Dog Meat Industry in South Korea- Should It Stay or Go?

TRIGGER WARNING – this essay contains graphic information about the dog meat industry

 

A business still remnant in today’s age that’s invoking a huge reaction in people is the dog meat industry in South Korea and other Asian countries. The dog meat industry has been around since the ancient times in places all over the world including East and Southeast Asia, West Africa, Europe, Oceania, and the Americas, according to Wikipedia. Well today, it still remains legal and still is consumed in parts of China, Korea, and Vietnam. This problem was re-brought up into my mind after I came across this article about a rescue that happened just over the week. The Human Society International had removed 55 dogs from a dog meat farm in South Korea. These dogs that were rescued faced horrible situations in the farm such as being stuck in filthy overcrowded cages. They have been brought to animal shelters in the U.S. and now face a better life and future here. However this article leads me to the big question, what about those dogs that are still stuck in over-packed dirty dog meat factories?

Many people, especially those in the west, have advocated against this particularly because it can seen as extremely cruel and unusual to people like Americans. It is because we have been raised thinking dogs are our best friends; not food that we eat. Dogs are animals that are strictly companions to us, and it’s why we find the fact there are people that eat dog to be very strange and outright disturbing. It’s see as an extreme form of animal cruelty, since most of these dogs are mistreated and badly beaten up. Although it’s only a small percentage that still continue this practice, the people that do eat dog justify that it’s legal because it’s a part of their tradition. While other countries, have labelled dog meat as a taboo. These cultural differences create a heated debate on whether this industry should stay or be stopped.

According to Huffington Post who quoted the HSI, this was the seventh dog meat farm to close in South Korea because of its efforts, making it more than 800 canine lives that they saved. Fortunately these dogs were saved from death, but most of the time they don’t make out alive. Dogs in these farms are treated similar to chicken and cows raised for meat in factory farms; they endure miserable living conditions. Some of these dogs are beaten, electrocuted, or hanged to be produce tender meat due to a traditional belief, according to the Animal Welfare Institute. This also brings up another question: Why is it okay to kill other animals, but a crime to kill a dog? Well, that’s simply because it’s a matter of dependent on society’s ethics and morality. Chickens, cows, goats, etc were bred specifically for the purpose of food like to eat or milk; not for being a pet. It’s looked upon by most people as ethical because you’re killing something bred to be killed (well maybe not vegetarians). However, dogs have been bred to be “man’s best friend”,and it’s not right to kill something seen as a lovable companion.

Dogs are a beloved pet in the household of many families, and it’s illegal in the U.S. to kill cats and dogs for food. However in South Korea, there is no law specifically written on the legality of dog meat trade. There is a large group group of Koreans that are vocal about their stance against the practice of eating dogs, but there are also those that don’t eat or enjoy the meat, but still feel it’s others right to freely practice their tradition. Not to mention, there are also the small vocal group of pro-dog meat individuals that do promote the consumption of dog meat. Regardless of whether dog meat contains some cultural factors to it, it still is extremely cruel and torturous to the dog. I feel as a person who has dogs, it is really uncomfortable and alarming to hear people eat them, since dogs are intelligent beings that are also known as human companions. It’s inhumane to kill a dog for consumption simply because they are suppose to be our protectors and companions.

The dog meat industry is a very controversial topic, and the dog meat trade still exists today in some parts of Asia. In these factories, dogs suffer from miserable conditions that leave them feeling subject to extreme fear and suffering before being killed in a extremely cruel way for the sake of a long tradition. It is just not right that these dogs are killed solely for the purpose of human consumption because it’s a long tradition. Well, efforts provided groups like the Human Society International show how things can be turned around. Ultimately, it’s dependent on us if dogs live a better life.

The Blame Game

Image via wikinut

Lying has always been something most people do out of habit. It’s human nature to lie and assign blame to others when the outcome doesn’t seem too appealing and our chances of suffering from the consequences are high. Since we were young, we hated to be the one to get in trouble, so it’s natural that we assign blame to the other person that’s closest to the incident. I know I have. It’s like the time when my brother and I were running around the living room, and I didn’t watch where I was going, so subsequently I bumped into a table and that caused the newly purchased lamp that my mom loved to come falling down. Spoiler alert, it broke, and when my mom found out, naturally I blamed it on my brother for chasing me around. Well, deep down I knew it was my fault, but was it truly my fault? (that’s a rhetorical question; don’t answer that) Anyways, the purpose of this story was to point out that it’s so easy for us to assign blame when the person nearest to us seems more at fault. Eventually, we grow up accustomed to that idea and still do it. However, there are those that take it to extreme measures where they are creating fibs and blaming a whole group for a single action that they know they did or didn’t do.

After scrolling day after day for a single article, one particular one finally caught my eye. This article published by The Huffington Post  reports on the story of two men who claimed to be shot by the immigrants crossing the Mexico- United States border illegally, but truthfully just shot by their own hunting party. This incident stems from a particular call on January 6 about a shooting on a ranch near Candelaria where Walker Daugherty and another man, Edwin Roberts, were found with found with gunshot wounds, as reported by The Associated Press. These men reported to the officer that they were attacked by illegal immigrants from Mexico and even tried to steal their RV. However, it was clear to see after a thorough investigation, that these men weren’t shot by immigrants, these men were shot by each other–Daugherty shot Roberts and Roberts shot Daugherty back. It was said by the Presidio County Sheriff, Danny Dominguez, to CBS 7, “I mean border patrol are experts in tracking in this area, we trust what they say because that’s all they do on a daily basis, and they didn’t find no sign, no indication that there was anybody in or out of that area that night.” One of the so called “victim”, Daugherty, who is uninsured went as far as to start a GoFundMe page that gained $26,300, which are sent in by people who actually believe his words.

The fake news story has gained a lot of buzz, and even caught the attention of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller who took it to Facebook and shared that this is the very reason we need the wall that Trump suggested. Obviously, this man did not do any fact checking and goes to show how reliable our government is nowadays. It makes fake stories like these able to manipulate the minds of many into believing that immigrants are the cause of all our problems because it seems buyable. These people don’t even question that this might be fake because these surely aren’t your average, everyday normal person, but a dangerously- violent illegal immigrant from Mexico.

This isn’t the first time people said hurtful thing in order to further their point that a certain group is undeniably threatening and menacing. In fact, another recent incident which comes to mind that occurred this month was Trump’s advisor, Kellyanne Conaway, who took blaming others to a much larger scale, claiming in an interview with MSNBC that there was a terrorist attack committed by Iraqi refugees. She says that these two were “the masterminds behind the Bowling Green Massacre”, yet no such massacre exists. None of her words check out to be true, and later when proved wrong, she took it to twitter to write it was an “honest mistake”. Although she admits acknowledges her error, she blames it on the fact that she was wrongly informed. It seems this was said to gain support for Trump’s Muslim ban that he set up, but backfired when she was ousted for her untrue lie. It proves another point that people will go to great lengths to prove their point, even if it’s scapegoating a specific group of people.

It is so inconceivable to me that there are still those people that don’t think twice about what others say because it’s believable; but I guess that’s how we ended up with the president we have now. It’s one thing to believe the news, but it’s another thing to believe in an unaccredited source of information that comes straight from their mouth and purely is based from their word. What these two men did not only lied about their situation, but also scapegoated an entire group of people as the perpetrator when clearly they weren’t even involved in the incident. It adds to the numerous stereotypes and adds more reasons to think that all of these illegal immigrants are dangerous and armed when the public believes stories like these. Fake stories like these are seriously hurtful because it adds more labels to those trying to live their everyday lives who may be an immigrant.

Stories that are fake can go a long way if they are not proven to be untruthful. Numerous people are hurt in the process, when others are not truthful with our stories. And I think it’s just infuriating to think that others believe untruthful hateful stories in order to prove a certain point or hide a certain truth.

Worrying is Worrying…

Chances are something has been on your mind, and you’re worried about that thing. That thing might be a homework assignment due tomorrow, might be failing a test, might being coming off as odd, or whatever it is, it has been on your mind. The feeling of being worried is something that you can’t shake away because it’s always in the back of your mind. Whenever I watch television, or go on my phone, I feel constantly worried thinking about that thing I needed to do but haven’t done yet. It always puts me into a state of feeling anxious and thus, makes me feel attenuated from it. However, after encountering an enlightening video, it seems our problems aren’t as grand as we make them out to be, unless you always like making things grand, which makes you a megalomania.

This enlightening video that I speak of is a sarcastic video that reminds us that the problem that you’re worrying about is not only unique to yourself;  millions of other people have already gone through the same thing that you are facing right now. When saying thing like, “Look at all those people. Whatever you’re worrying about must be a million times worse than anything they can imagine. They definitely never had to face a personal crisis…”,  Exurb1a puts our problems into perspective, and makes our problems seem much smaller. He doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t worry because other people have dealt with worse or that you don’t have the right to worry. Instead, he’s trying to make us see how ludicrous our thoughts are when being repeated over and over again. It’s good to there are things that are important to you, that you worry about, but it is not good to worry too much about them. Doing nothing but worrying will not help you any more than causing you anxiety and guilt.

Image by a_random_individual via Reddit

Do you still think you should worry? Do you still think no matter what you can’t change? Do you still think that just because other people have worse problems you don’t have to worry about anything? Well, if anything worrying is a normal emotion everyone feels, but when you worry constantly it won’t solve anything. Worry isn’t the problem, but going overboard is. These feelings come and go because at the end of the day another problem will pop up, and that problem you had before will soon be forgotten, because you’ve already solved it. It said at the   end of the video, “Just like all the other things you used to worry about before, and now can’t even remember.” It’s exactly as he says because we end up worrying too much about the small things in life, we tend to waste time. Instead of being productive doing things, our mind is just focused on that thing we are so worried about, so nothing good comes from worrying. Worrying might be something we do involuntarily, but change can come about if it’s something that you practice daily.

We also forget that sometimes there are others in the world because we are so caught up in our problems that we feel we must be the only one experiencing it. It sometimes doesn’t occur to us that even if we mess up, the world won’t laugh at our mistakes. That may be because of belief mistakes are normal and everyone makes them, or most humans tend to be self-involved, only caring about their own problems. It’s harsh, but it is the truth. Not many people really care about strangers much less their problems; if they are facing a problem themselves that they’re worrying about. It’s the reason that we have homeless people still loitering our streets. Homeless people stay homeless because there aren’t many people willing to donate or lend them a place to sleep. Most don’t donate because we also need our money.

Being relentlessly worried about the choices we make doesn’t lead anywhere, but a sad place of regret and guilt. Eventually, taking those risks instead of being too worried about them will pay off. There are others that are even successful and worried about the risks that they take like Beethoven, Tarantino, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and many more. None of them would have been who they are today, if they hadn’t done something daring.

Worrying is something that’s fine to think about, but it’s important that you don’t inflate it bigger than it already is. It’s an extra weight that we don’t need, so it’s good to take risks and live a little.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Life is never easy because of the low points that we hit or the tough situations that we have to face, but with a change of heart sometimes it really can be changed. Although it seems like that the solution is much farther than that, it’s really not. One example of the thing I’m talking about is this. This is about a man named Khalil Rafati who turned his life from being a homeless, heroin addict covered in ulcers to a now, 46 year old successful millionaire. This whole change stemmed because of one thing that he had realized.

Rafati’s process to finding a better place was one that was slow and gradual as anyone who experienced a low point in their life would know. After escaping from a scarring childhood filled with sexual abuse in his hometown Toledo, Ohio; he drove nonstop to Los Angeles. Rafati had found a successful job there detailing cars that was a new business he created, even scoring high end celebrities as clients like Jeff Bridges and Slash. Despite his huge success, he had also sold marijuana as a side job, which into ecstasy and then ketamine, a medical anesthetic. Then one day at a party, he tried heroin. It gave him something that he always desired which he wrote was a “childhood” in his memoir, “I Forgot to Die.” It was not until he said, “I’d finally reached the bottom of all bottoms.” It was then he would finally reach a turning point because his attitude changed. Rafati had grown serious about recovering by becoming dedicated to being healthy and self-restraint. But this all achieved when he was introduced to “juicing and superfoods” which he found a passion in and from there grew a successful business called SunLife Organics.

Rafati had realized through this nothing will change if he remained like the state he was previously in. He even said “There was no more digging left to do; all of my shovels were broken. I was done.” Through his words, he knew this was rock bottom and now he realized he needed to climb out of this hole that he created. It was when perseverance and strength started to out do his serious addiction. Soon after it was the enjoyment of making smoothies and connecting with all kinds of people that he could escape this horrible hole he’d fallen in.

All of us could just wallow in our sadness and grief when something hard happens to come our way, but it’s our mindset or attitude that allows us to overcome that crisis. When you become determined, it’s likely that don’t feel like giving up and that makes you able to power through a difficult situation. In Rafati’s case he didn’t just let his life slowly rot away into nothingness, but instead he took action and didn’t let his addiction over take his life. He was determined to find sobriety.

Of course addiction is one of the hardest things to overcome and most of us can’t relate, or at least I can’t but in the context that is used,which is that attitude determines our ability to progress, that’s something that we come across everyday even if it’s not something apparent. It‘s just recently I experienced this because of things happening in school. After I realized that I not doing so good in one of my classes, instead of just watching my grade drop like a hot potato, I realize there is something I can do. There is a change I can make even if that means sacrificing free time it is something that has to be done.

The way you put things into perspective determines the state of your well-being and if you decide something can be done then if something will change; even if it doesn’t work keep trying because if there’s a problem then,a solution is out there. So don’t lose hope even if it seems impossible.

Mondays

There are 12 months in a year, 30.417 days in a month, and 4.345 weeks in a month according to google, or basic knowledge. All of them have one thing in common which is that they all consist of the basic days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. Some days time may seem slow or other days  where it goes by too fast, but it always seems Mondays are the toughest days of the week when we never seem to get anything done in a pleasant manner. It the reason why many of us always assume Mondays are the worst when Sunday arrives and there are many t-shirts made off of that line. But it may seem Mondays aren’t as hateful as we make it out to be.

While scrolling across ideas for this blog, I accidentally clicked on a link that would lead me to a very interesting outtake on the perception of Mondays. It was a note presumably left for someone who didn’t particularly like Monday and it had given the idea that there’s much more happening in the world on Monday than you would think. There are miracles happening statistically showed to be happening on Monday and so it gives the impression that the same might happen to us. The person proves “Mondays sucking” isn’t necessarily true because of everything else that’s simultaneously happening on that exact day. The person who wrote the note , “According to statistics, there will be over 5,000 weddings, 10,000 childbirths, and 42 million hugs occurring today throughout the United States.” By mentioning those facts that person is trying to generate more joyous feelings, because all these these things that is mentioned has exultant connotations. It makes Monday seem not too bad because knowing that there many others out there with a life just like yourself.

This note is very endearing to me because of the message of its positive outtake on something that most people feel are loathful and dreadful. Mondays are also something that I don’t particularly look forward to, as to other people such as the person is writing the note to. When I was a small child, it was always a day that signify the start of the school week which is not always a pleasant thing that I look forward to, and it still is now. But as I see the point of view of the writer that makes which is there is that there’s a larger side to life than one you are just living, I realize there is always a positive aspect to things that are not so wonderful. It’s not all so bad when you envision the thought of “600 dogs are adopted” or “the words “I love you” will be said over 9 million times” happening on Monday.

This concept can also apply to other days of the week. It is not just Monday when all of these things happen, but it is every day. Things get tough and we all face those days when everything isn’t so great like the rest of the world, but just know that “nothing last forever.” The world keeps on moving even when you think it’s not because just as all the things the person notes like when said, “There will be 4 people that will win the multi million dollar lotteries”; they imply it’s something that is happening when we don’t give it some thought.

Monday is notorious for having a bad reputation but once you realize that the day holds so much more than work or whatever duties you have to fulfill it’s not bad at all when put in a bigger picture that doesn’t only revolve around your daily life.

Animals to Pollution

The world today is no doubt filled with all kinds of problems that diverge from political issues to war . There is just one thing that people seem to let slip past their minds in all of this mayhem, and that is pollution. While reading this article on someone saving something that they initially thought was a puppy, but discovering it was actually a fox made me have a sort of revelation that there hasn’t been much done about our long battle with pollution. Although there has been progress here and there, it still hasn’t really been defeated or at least reduced significantly.

Pollution has been something that existed since the start of human history and was especially prominent in the Industrial Revolution during the mid-19th century. It also doesn’t seem like pollution is going away at any rate because there aren’t any signs that the technological age we live in today is going to stop.

This day and age our number one priority is earning money (which will and always be)  in order to live a life full of comfort and leisure. Many of us do not care what it takes if the prize at the end is a huge sum of money that we can gain from whatever it is that we choose to do. Although money isn’t the issue, it is the way how they achieve that money, like from commissioning our new ideas to be produced in factories. It is the reason why strong economic countries, especially in China are notoriously known for being extremely polluted because of all the industries that reside there and the waste that it produces.

The pollution is especially prominent in the city of Beijing, China where it clearly shows the cost of being the world’s second largest economy. It’s taking its toll on the environment and the people. A thick and heavy cloud of smog engulfs the city of Beijing causing serious health issues and environmental issues that greatly affects its population. The air quality in Beijing was so bad that it has even been issued red alert warnings of PM 2.5 (yes that’s really bad). The reason not much progress has been made was due to the fact because the government had been ignoring the problem until it became so extensive that they couldn’t ignore it anymore. The reason this panned out so long was because this would be very costly to the country. This would have a ripple effect that would in turn create political and economical changes that’s unwanted in their eyes. It shows how big of an impact the government has over the environment of their land and how they could change a problem if they put a little more effort into a solution.

A country or city-state opposite of China’s terrible situation would be Singapore. Because of its strict laws that the government enforces, it’s one of the cleanest countries in the world. Although Singapore remains one of the cleanest countries in the world, it is also has one of the strongest economies in Asia. It remains mostly free of pollution because of the hefty fines that are awaiting if people don’t follow the law, that includes littering, jaywalking, and selling chewing gum.

It’s clear to say that pollution is a serious problem that not only affects the city, but also the animals and the people that reside in it. Pollution has been around for the decades, and it won’t stop with just a group of people standing against pollution. Instead the first step toward cutting pollution off is with the help of the government. Countries like Singapore and China show how effective or noneffective laws could be towards the people and the environment if they just followed the rules. The government ultimately holds authority over the people that actually forces everyone to do something about the problem, instead of wiggling their way around it.

 

Confidence is Key

Days come by quickly, and there might be a thing that you want to achieve. This can be anything ranging from being something a little personal, like taking that dance class you wanted to try out to something much more public such as speaking on stage in front of thousands. It might not be a big deal for others, but to you this is something big you’d like to carry out. Although that might be the case for you, if you feel that there is something holding you back preventing you from attaining your aim and you keep stalling it, that my friend maybe a lack of confidence. Don’t worry if you feel alone because many people have the same problem, and as that’s the case this site has covered some of the tricks and tips on how to improve that problem. It’s a given that not all of us have issues with self-confidence, but for those of us who do, these tips will surely be a little helpful if not a lot.

One of the tips it first gives is to take chances that make you feel uncomfortable. This idea of “stepping out of your comfort zone” enables us to overcome new challenges that might seem strange at first, but eventually we adapt and that leads to growth. Change is scary thing which that most of us can relate to, but it’s also a thing that we continuously go through whether we like it or not. Although we perceive it as a bad time, sometimes it is a good thing to experience as in this case it is because it’s something that we will never know unless we try. Even when selecting my topic for this blog , I have to keep in mind that I need to pick something outside my comfort zone because that will help me deal with the foreign topic that I will receive on the oncoming exam that I’ll have to take. Stepping out of the comfort zone also gives you more experience that will surely benefit you in the future. Failing can also be an outcome of this choice, but don’t fret because it’s the second important point on how to “build your confidence” that the author points out.

Failure may not be an option for a lot of people, but if the fact of the matter is everyone fails. When we fail, it’s a sign that we made a mistake and if we learn from that it helps us grow. No need to be bothered by it because it’s part of the learning process. According to Chernoff, “You must encounter many defeats to learn how to not be defeated.” This is holds true because when something happens a lot we tend to get used to it, and that means it just becomes something that isn’t a big deal. As we adapt to it, and it just becomes a process that “boosts your confidence.” Other important points made were being okay with being wrong, ignoring most people’s opinions about you, and last but not least, begin right now. These points remind the reader things like admitting your wrong and having trust builds true confidence, instead of always being right or having the most followers and friends. Also you have the choice to do something instead of waiting around for someone to do it for you. You “choose your own path” and it makes you feel more capable and confident.

There are many more ways to building confidence, but it all begins with the choices first made. Building confidence is not easy and that’s the reason I chose this article. I sometimes struggle with trying not to make a lot of mistakes and delaying things I want to achieve, but this article was eye-opening for me. The tips given like experiencing unfamiliar things, and failing often are things that make me realize confidence doesn’t always stem from their ego, but from learning from their experiences. Self-confidence can comes from choices made from within, so it’s time to stop waiting around for outside help and as Nike says, “just do it”.