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.