2018 Winter Olympic Athletes Help Raise Awareness To End The Horrific Korean Dog Meat Trade

Gus Kenworthy, Facebook

South Korea is one of the largest countries for dog meat consumption in the world. Korea Animal Rights Advocates (KARA) estimate that approximately 2 – 2.5 million dogs are slaughtered for food in South Korea each year, and an estimated 30 million dogs slaughtered for human consumption across Asia, including: China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines and Thailand.

South Korean authorities agreed to shut down some dog meat markets leading up to the Winter Olympics 2018 in Pyeongchang, because of the pressure from animal welfare groups and animal lovers worldwide, but dog meat continues to be sold in most restaurants.

“It is the saddest place I have ever been,” said U.S. Olympic Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy who was “heartbroken” after visiting one of the 17,000 dog meat farms near South Korea’s capital Seoul.

Kenworthy and his partner Matt Wilkas, rescued 90 dogs from the dog meat farm, even adopting one themselves. If they had not, these innocent animals surely would have died a painful death. As meat is excluded from animal protection laws, dogs are often killed in public, either by hanging, beating or electrocution. Horrifically, some are even boiled alive at a slaughterhouse or market.

Gus Kenworthy, Instagram

In addition to Kenworthy, Netherland speed skater Jan Blokhuijsen also spoke out on behalf of the dogs in Korea. “Please treat dogs better in this country,” he said, which was unintentionally taken as criticism of the host country. Although it is the sad truth!

“I want to apologize to the Korean people. It was not my intention to insult you and your country. I care about the welfare of animals in general,” Blokhuijsen later apologized on Twitter. He did stand his ground about dogs in Korea in an interview though stating through translation, “I know what is going on and I stand by my message. I am an animal lover and I need to speak from my heart!”

“I have a dog and love dogs,” he stated. “Different culture does not mean we cannot talk about it.”

Korea is the only country where dogs are routinely bred for human consumption. Typically kept in horrible conditions, they are left outdoors in freezing temperatures, locked in filthy wire cages, and deprived of water and food.

According to the Humane Society, Korea has an estimated 17,000 dog farms where dogs are bred and prepared for human consumption.

South Korean restaurants offer dishes including dog salad, dog ribs, dog stew and dog hot pot (boshintang). A large adult dog sells up to $180.00 ($18.00 per pound) while a two-month-old puppy is sold for $9.00.

“The dogs are for pets or for the kitchen, it’s up to you. After you buy a dog you can do with it what you like,” a dog meat trader told Sunday Express. Are they kidding?

There is hope for South Korean dogs, with the effort on the global fight against dog meat trade, and the young generations of more compassionate Koreans, we surely hope to see that dog meat consumption diminishes and is banned in the near future.


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