Dear organizers,

First of all I would like to thank you for doing this important job. I am from South Korea and living in the Netherlands now. I want to add some comments to one of your legal actions, which is 'Stop the dog meat trade in Korea'. Do you think banning dog meat in Korea will help the situation of those animals? Do you think showing horrible pictures of those animal's suffering will change people's opinions about animal's rights? I am afraid those pictures make viewers hate all Korean people because I saw a lot of comments on the internet with racial hate toward Koreans. Only less than 10% of all Koreans are eating dogs according to the research (3 millions out of 47 millions). Korean's diet is mainly vegetable not meat. Korea's geological condition is not so suitable for farming huge number of animals (70% of country is mountains).

So far it may sound that I am defending Korean's custom of dog eating but that is not a reason for writing this letter. I truly think banning dog meat trade will not help the situation of those animals in Korea. I am afraid it will increase even more black markets of dog trade and brutal killing of those animals. Strong punishment or strict law can't solve this. Whether or not you can or should eat dog meat is a fundamental question about human diet.

I myself, who has never eaten dog or cat meat, am against eating those animals in an emotional way. However I don't believe those Koreans, who see dogs and cats as food, will listen to others (especially westerners) who have also two morals in their way of living. For example, Western people are eating much more meat in daily life than Korean people and a lot of western people think having pets is the best way of loving animals. Most Korean people truly agree that brutal killing of dogs and cats should stop. Even though law has forbid it since early 1990, it sometimes happens still illegally. However it takes time. Some Koreans think the way of butchering dogs by hanging and beating to death makes the meat more tender and tastier. I advice people to persuade the Korean government to do a better job on stopping this illegal and brutal butchery. In most cases, dogs (not pets) are raised in farms and killed by electrocution just as cows and pigs. This is more civilized than some French people who make 'foie gras', using pipes to force food into the throats of geese to make their livers bigger and tastier.

Another issue that I would like to mention here is that many people in Korea are starting to think they need pets in order to show their love for animals because of the influence of western life style. Korean people were not familiar with the idea of having pets in their history.
But now, the pet industry is dramatically increasing in South Korea. Having a pet is not the right way of loving animals. I think it is human selfishness using other species as their companions. I myself have a cat at home, which I bought from a animal shelter but sometimes I feel guilty that a lot of animals are being killed in order to feed my pet.

Coming back to the issue about 'stop the dog meat trade in Korea', I want you to consider what the main purpose is of this legal action and what the consequences are of supporting other organizations of animals rights that are not helping animal's situations the best way. Showing too much violent images of animal suffering makes people contempt other nations and it increases the gap between cultures. Those organizations should more focus on educating about fundamental meaning of animal rights like your organization is doing. That is why I am writing this to you.

I hope my opinion can be heard and is helpful for your organization.

(name and address known to Animal Freedom)

 

"Food dogs" are not pets and they have no names. They are bred in farms, just like pigs, beefs, lambs, chicken and other animals. They are probably bred in cages, which may be cruel but is common in farms anywhere in the world. They are put down "humanely" just like any other animal used for food, usually by slitting the throat and beeding the animal until it passes out.

This series of photos shows the process involved in preparing a dog for dinner, from slautering to cutting-up, eviscerating, be-boning, sausage-making, cooking and of course eating!

 

This is in response to the William Saletan article "Wok the Dog" on Slade by Bruce Krider.

I am saddened by his indifferent attitude about dogs. Whether they are “man’s best friend” or not they deserve enough recognition for their nature to be spared as a meal. Maybe it takes having had a dog as a family pet to see some of these things.

Dogs exhibit some of the best ideals and characteristics humans aspire to but often fail. Let's talk about “self-sacrifice and loyalty”. As an example, my dog, Bella, a five year old German Shepperd, would, unequivocably and instantly I am totally confident sacrifice her own life in defense of anyone in the family or even in defense of those she knows as friends not giving a thought to her own welfare. How many humans would do that?

Dogs are sentient creatures. They have emotions and feelings. They are not like snails or reptiles or even cows.... Anyone who has had a dog can tell you that. They display great happiness when you come home. Even if everyone else is annoyed at me or if I have had a terribly trying day, there is Bella, waging her tail and barking to greet me, as if to say "Geez, I'm really glad to see you. You make me happy." Those of you with dog pets know this. Similarly, their feelings are hurt when they are scolded. Crows, horses and pigs don't do that. Dogs respond with unfettered unconditional affection when it is shown to them. And, yes, they experience, high anxiety and fear when some Korean, Cambodian, Vietnamese or Chinese is bashing their head in, skinning them alive or boiling them.

I am not for a minute dismissing the inhumane treatment of all animals but on behalf of the dog, the species that works with man in police work, the military, hospitals and medicine, companion care, and as rescuers of humans, I do not understand how people can literally be so satanic to them. In the U.S., people get prison terms for what the Asians do to dogs. We obviously value them as a nation and as do most Europeans.

Unfortunately, I agree with a Korean writer who says that our attitude and criticism alone won't help change behavior. I think the only way to solve this is to continue to bring light to the subject and work with companies internationally to avoid working with those countries that permit or endorse heinous behavior and cruelty. We must get to the corporate conscience of leading companies.

.......

Melanie Joy writes about carnism. Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the flesh of some animals disgusting and the flesh of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all. But when eating animals is not a necessity for survival, as is the case in much of the world today, it is a choice - and choices always stem from beliefs.