In S. Korea, dog meat industry is calculated at $2 billion that results in the annual slaughter of over 2.5 million dogs, served in upwards of 20,000 restaurants nationwide. That's about 7,000 dogs slaughtered every single day. It is estimated that over 100,000 tons of dog meat is consumed annually, including 93,600 tons used to produce ‘health’ tonics called "Gae Soju" which is prepared by boiling dogs with various herbs until it become a thick liquid. Cats are also made into these tonics which is called "Goyangyee Soju".
The S. Korean's Animal Protection Law, which was passed in 1991, considers dogs to be "domestic pets," but the shadowy and illicit world of the dog and cat industry flourishes because of the shameful indifference of the S. Korean government and the demand from the consumers.
Today, we are asking that the S. Korean government ban this cruel and inhumane practice of torturing and consuming dogs and cats once and for all. Here are the reasons why:
Dogs are called man's best friends for a reason. In the history of mankind, dogs were mainly treated as part of a family in both western and eastern cultures. They protected our homes and family with their loyalty and unbridled faithfulness. They served as friends with their unconditional love, quick forgiveness and uncompromising selflessness. They walked along side their human companions and hunted with fierce bravery and the desire to please their human. Now to torture and eat them is a betrayal against our best friends who have always stood by us through thousands of years becoming dependant on us for their very survival.
Proponents of dog meat in S. Korea is trying to justify this cruel practice by using the "meat dogs" vs. "pet dogs" argument. It is well known worldwide that all dogs are the same. It is unethical and wrong to separate dogs for meat and dogs for pets. To say there is a dog especially bred for eating, does not mean that it is different from other dogs in nature. It has the same intelligence and feelings and it will suffer as much as any other dog. The dog-for-meat notion is a smoke screen to keep people ignorant. It gives people an excuse not to think about the real issues. But for argument sake, let's say that the "meat dogs" vs. "pet dogs" defense was valid. It is practically impossible to enforce the law to ensure everyone adheres to the dogs for meat and dogs for pets division. Any pet can end up as dog meat and many do. Pet dogs are being bought or abducted and slaughtered for dog meat and dog liquor all the time. A recent Korean TV program exposed the world of dog meat industry where the former pets that were abandoned or stolen are readily being sold and slaughtered for meat. http://youtu.be/vHB3uwB9kyA
One of the worst examples of animal cruelty in the history of humanity is being committed by the dog and cat meat industry in S. Korea.
Dogs are deprived of everything that is natural to them. They live in tiny cages above the ground and having to balance on rusty feces encrusted wire underneath them all their lives. They are left to constantly smell the accumulation of feces and urine underneath their cage. Puppies are separated from their mothers at an early age and some are slaughtered at just a few weeks old. They don't even know what walking on the ground feels like. They cannot mingle with other dogs other than those in cages beside them. They suffer summer heat and freezing winters outdoors. No water is given. They have to eat rotten human food waste such as kimchi or organs from their slaughtered friends. It is also documented that dead puppies are ground up and fed to these dogs. They get no exercise. Veterinary care is nonexistent. They have been known to have their eardrums burst to prevent them from barking. Every natural instinct they have is impeded by the inhumane and tortuous conditions they must live under. The best description for their lives is "Hell on Earth".
During the transport to the markets, restaurants and slaughterhouses, from being thrown into metal cages by the neck like rags, they sustain serious and painful injuries such as broken spines and limbs. To prevent dogs in fear and stress from fighting with each other, they are crammed into tiny cages making them unable to move or stretch their limbs. They are loaded into back of trucks and forced into this position for hours without food or water. When they are finally yanked out of these cages by the neck, they are electrocuted, hanged, beaten or burned to death. There is a perverted belief that the meat tastes better if dogs have high adrenaline levels in their meat before they die. Therefore, some dogs are made to experience extreme fear and suffering leading up to their deaths. Some dogs are hanged and then beaten while they are hanging and still alive. Others are hanged and then a blow torch is used on them while they are still alive to remove their hair. Others still are simply beaten and tortured to death. Generally, at the markets, dogs are electrocuted and then their necks are broken. Throughout the modern world S. Koreans are depicted as heartless people who brutalize and terrorize helpless animals without one shred of compassion or humanity. When I think about these horrible cruelties perpetuated by humans on these trusting creatures, I feel ashamed to be a human.
The statistics shows that the people who abuse animals are several times more likely to abuse women and children as well. Tolerance of this type of treachery and brutality towards companion animals sends a wrong message to your society that it is ok to hurt and cause suffering to others as long as the law does not intervene. Based on a survey done by a Korean animal group, a majority of people in the dog and cat meat industry they interviewed took no pride in their profession and would much rather be doing something else for living. Children who grow up in this kind of environment will not learn to respect the lives of animals and fellow human beings. Do you want your children to live in a society where this brutality and disregard for lives is accepted as a norm?
Supporters of the dog meat industry point to the alleged health benefits as the reason to consume dogs. However, there is substantial support that dog meat is actually bad for your health.
With the sanctioning of authorities and exploitative opportunities for profit, unscrupulous dog traders perpetuate the falsehood that canine meat increases male sexual prowess and overall health and that cats produce tonics that are believed to cure rheumatism and arthritis. Nothing is further from the truth. Any person with a reasonable intelligence would know that meat is meat. Dog meat isn't any different than any other meat in terms of its contents and they do not contain magical powers.
On the contrary, dog meat is actually harmful to your health and can make you sick. In an effort to prevent disease, dog farmers liberally use antibiotics and reportedly, some dog meat traders inject the meat with steroids.
The S. Korean TV program that exposed the dangers of eating dog meat consulted the scientists at the Seoul Health & Environmental Research Center to examine the sample dog meat collected from the markets. The unmistakable results revealed that the dog meat is contaminated with various disease causing germs. Specifically they found 6 types of common germs, 4 types of colon bacillus, 1 type of yellow staphylococcus above the standard expected limit in these dog meats.
Additionally, a study by nutritional physiologist, Irwin H. Putzkoff, along with Cho Byung-Ho, and Oh Jin-Hwan, examined how the stress, fear, and pain experienced by dogs when slaughtered, or waiting to be slaughtered, resulted in several diseases in the people who ate the meat. His findings discovered “an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”
The hormones in question are adrenalin, cortisone-like secretions, and steroids that stimulate the fear pheromone production. Laboratory rats fed dog meat ceased to reproduce after a period as short as two weeks. They suffered cardiac problems, general fatigue and impotency, and there was a small reduction in physical size of the sexual organs – the penis shrunk. How interesting that this contradicts the commonly held belief that dog meat increases virility.
In the journal PLoS Medicine, Dr Heiman Wertheim also reported on two cases of human rabies infection transmitted by eating infected dog meat, further highlighting the dangers of consumption. Dog meat is no health food. This is a deceptive bases for animal abuse in S. Korea.
Lastly, we understand that a lot of Koreans would be offended if people were to refer the dog and cat meat as their traditional food. That is because this is not something that the Koreans are proud of or want to be known for. We learned that eating dogs and cats was something of necessity in the times of intense famine and hardship in Korean history. However this horrific cruelty continues in this day and age to a so called "modern nation" and one of the world's economic power. Even if the dog and cat consumption was a true Korean cultural tradition, people needs to evolve with time. Recently, Catalonia of Spain outlawed their tradition of bull-fighting, as it caused unnecessary suffering and death to bulls in the name of entertainment. Should you not also show compassion to an animal that has long been regarded as “man’s best friend”?
Dedicated caring people of S. Korea have been trying to get the government to ban this atrocity for many years and the government has yet to take the leadership role in banning this illicit and gruesome industry. Therefore, in solidarity with these caring animal advocates of S. Korea, we will boycott Hyundai/Kia, Samsung, LG and all other S. Korean products and services until S. Korea bans the dog and cat meat industry once and for all. We will not visit S. Korea and we will discourage others from visiting S. Korea. We will not stop speaking out against this betrayal of man's best friends until the S. Korean government takes the stand to ban this horror.
We understand that this is a $2 billion industry and no one wants to rock the boat. However, the export revenue, the positive image and the goodwill within the international community that S. Korea stands to lose could be worth far more than $2 billion by continuing this vile and inhumane industry. Please hear the haunting cries of these animals. Take up your position as a moral leader of your citizens for not only for the animal's sake but for your country as well and ban the torture and consumption of dogs and cats today.
For more information:
South Korea's Cruel and Gruesome Dog Meat Industry - "Two faces of Traditional Markets" http://youtu.be/LHn8IDRdprE
"The Fight Against the Dog Meat Industry"
Korea Animal Rights Advocates
"S Korea's Dangerous Health Food - Inconvenient Truth About Dog Meat"
http://youtu.be/vHB3uwB9kyA (Part 1 of 2)
http://youtu.be/foHCBNllT8w (Part 2 of 2)
Yellow Dogs (Photos and videos exposing dogs and cats in S. Korea's dog meat industry)
2012 Global Fortune 500 companies based in South Korea: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2012/countries/SouthKorea.html