Korean Dog Meat Festival Stirs Controversy

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Claiming that it would “help promote the fact that dogs are raised like cows, pigs and other livestock at sanitary facilities for human consumption,” the Korea Dog Farmers’ Association announced plans for the “2011 Dog Meat Festival” to be held in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, on July 1.

The proposed event drew instant fire from animal activists and concerned citizens who worried that it would tarnish global perceptions of Korea and its people. Shortly after announcing the festival, organizers were forced to cancel it, largely in part due to animal rights groups vowing to use ‘whatever means necessary’ to disrupt the event.

Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth president Park So-young told The Korean Times, “We are prepared to break the law if that is the only way to stop the festival from taking place. It is just absurd to organize such an event. The organizers must be insane. The festival will definitely hurt Korea’s international image and discourage many foreigners from coming here.”

Under current Korean law, the butchering of dogs or sale of their meat is illegal because they are not classified as livestock. The Korea Dog Farmers’ Association says they are working hard to have that changed.

“The purpose of organizing the upcoming festival was to encourage more people to consume dog meat. Due to animal rights groups’ movement against the consumption, Koreans now eat less, hurting the bottom line of many dog farmers like myself. But this has to change because dogs are just like other livestock and raised in a sanitary environment,” said Choi Young-in, secretary general of the Korea Dog Farmers’ Association.

Previous attempts by the Korean government to have dogs reclassified as livestock have met overwhelming opposition from home and abroad, but the Dog Farmers’ Association is not ready to give in to public pressure: they are already making plans to hold the event in another location in the future.

0 thoughts on “Korean Dog Meat Festival Stirs Controversy”

  1. Yeah I don’t see how it’s worse than American factory farming, sorry. No one is that outraged about that, and it goes on every second and it’s just as disgusting. Unless you’re vegetarian/vegan, it would be hypocrite and xenophobic to be outraged at their way of eating.

  2. Agreed! Give them as humane an ending as possible and they can eat what they want…. I’d draw the line at live skinnings, or religious mutilations like that of the giant sea turtle by tribes in Australia! (warning, do not watch that video, it will stay with you for weeks!)

  3. The majority of the people there feel the same way as all of you. You ought to throw up (a lot) at the out of control animal cruelty and byb here, starving, beating, mutilating one’s own dog, not to mention dog fighting. Bashing a whole people is senseless and highlights your ignorance. There are organizations and individuals there that do more for animals than a lot of people here. How would you feel if Koreans read about the recent dog starvation and abuse cases and judged all of us in that light? These comments don’t help the situation. And please, when you see a Korean, don’t ask if they eat dog. That kind of talk is of the dark ages.

    • I agree with Sera. More and more Koreans question the dog eating practise, and some acknowledge that dog eating has been part of their culture and they are willing to give it up because they feel culture isn’t static – it inevitably will evolve. Dog meat sales have been declining for the past couple of years, that’s why the dog meat association in Korea planned to hold a festival to promote sales.

      And there are many wonderful animal loving people there, having to fight the overwhelming and harsh battles against the dog meat industry everyday. Give them some credits I say.

      Did you guys know by the way, that millions of pets are abandoned in America? Whether it’s the US, Europe or Asia, you have to admit that respect for animals has been overlooked too long.

  4. My cousin is Korean… and she eats dogs… but they usually come in a bun and are slathered with ketchup.

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